The cook Christophe Leroy, implicated in the case of illegal dinners, gave his version of the facts in an interview broadcast by BFMTV this Sunday.
Last week, a report by M 6 on sumptuous meals served in Paris, in particular at the Palais Vivienne, had indeed triggered a lively controversy.
One of the organizers, identified as being Pierre-Jean Chalençon, claimed to have "dined during the week in two or three illegal restaurants" where he would have met "ministers".
On Friday, as part of this case, the chef and the collector were placed in police custody for a few hours.
"The hearing was long, we arrived at 10 am, we left around 6:30 pm to 7 pm, we were treated very well," said Christophe Leroy first, who received BFMTV journalists on Saturday morning.
“The police wanted to know which personalities I had served.
I told them: I have never served in government for the past months, never, never, never.
I say it straight in the eyes, there was no member of the government, no more ministers than secretaries of state or others.
The chef close to the stars has not denied having organized lunches at home, but assures that he is in his right.
“I am in my apartment in which I created a private club,” he explains, after having visited his “Leroy's Business Club”, located in the Palais Vivienne (2nd arrondissement).
The chef implicated in the clandestine meals affair, Christophe Leroy, visits his club pic.twitter.com/Ofg9439nKW
- BFMTV (@BFMTV) April 11, 2021
“I found a formula where I receive people at home, I introduce people, it's a showroom, a co-working space.
There are people who come here to work, who rent an office.
And since my job is the art of living, gluttony, it's normal that I serve them a few dishes and a few dishes, ”he explains.
And to clarify: “There is nothing illegal to receive at home.
(...) The barrier gestures are respected, there is gel at the entrance, masks available.
(...) During the Covid-19 period, there were never more than six people around a table.
Christophe Leroy denies having set up an underground restaurant: "I am in my apartment in which I created a private club" pic.twitter.com/T4ZJ0USXzN
- BFMTV (@BFMTV) April 11, 2021
However, in the report of M 6, the butler of "Leroy's Business Club" declared: "People who come here take off the mask.
Once you go through the door, there is no more Covid.
Asked about this, the fifty-something sees it as a clumsiness on the part of his employee.
April 1, "we should have canceled"
As for the identity of his clients, Christophe Leroy does not give names - "otherwise it would not be a private club" - but claims to have sent them to the police.
Among its guests are in particular business leaders, "opinion leaders", artists and media personalities.
"But I have not served any member of the government at the Palais Vivienne in the past twelve months," he insists.
Asked about the evening of April 1 which took place at Pierre-Jean Chalençon, owner of the Palais Vivienne, which we discover in the report of M 6, Christophe Leroy assumes: he was the organizer.
There again, he invokes an awkwardness.
“With Pierre-Jean Chalençon, we talk to each other at 5 pm on March 31.
We hesitate to cancel, we should have, ”he said.
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During this evening, which he calls a “conference”, Leroy has 37 people present between 5.30 pm and 10 pm.
Today, I say it: it was a mistake to do it.
If I am doomed, I will face it.
I can understand the feeling, the palate, the caviar, the champagne, the show business cook… It is badly perceived.