The head chef at the Lord Mayor of the City of London's home, Mansion House, has retired after 19 years' service.
Michel Giquel estimates he has prepared more than a million dishes at everything from working breakfasts to 1,500-strong banquets.
Giquel, who worked for city caterer Chester Boyd at Mansion House, has catered for heads of state and world figures such as Nelson Mandela.
After completing his French national service, where he fed up to 2,000 troops a day, Giquel joined Grand Metropolitan Hotels, starting at the Europe Hotel in Grosvenor Square in 1964.
Recognising his dedication, he is to receive the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (equivalent to our CBE) on 7 April for services to France and Britain.
Giquel will be succeeded by Jonathan McCann, who moves from the Westbury in Bond Street, London, where he has been working as executive chef for the past six years.