François Hollande's Love of Burgers, Plus His 'Top Chef' Kitchen

The recently elected French president has a thing for American foods — and Norbert?

It's now common knowledge that François Hollande, recently elected president of France, has a thing for burgers. But did you know that he once studied fast food — as a school subject? And that French Top Chef's Norbert is allegedly in the running to become his head chef?

Whatever the rumors may be, Hollande's love of food — both fast-food and gourmet — has had everyone in politics talking. What we learned about the new French president: 

He really, really loves burgers. The reason, his girlfriend, Valérie Trierweiler, says, is that Hollande used to work in fast food to make ends meet. And his affair with the hamburger didn't stop there. In 1974, Hollande revealed to The New York Times magazine, he got a grant from business school to come to the U.S. and study American fast food (yes, really). Hollande said he wrote a report predicting that American fast food would spread to his home country. He said in the interview, "I could have made a fortune in cheeseburgers, but I finally chose politics." 

Despite being a burgerophile, his nickname referred to him as a dessert. No, really. The French have a way of nicknaming their friends and foes (the British, Policymic reveals, are called "roast beefs," or "rosbifs"), and Hollande's common nickname? Flanby. A flanby, Policymic reports, is "a type of woobly, beige, and somewhat bland but very sugary French dessert. Not very positive or very presidential." To change his image, Hollande lost 26 pounds — from "Flanby" to un-flabby?

Hollande could employ a Top Chef contestant as his official chef? Sadly, this is simply a joke: The Top Chef contestant Norbert recently appeared on a French radio show, hosted by comedian Olivier Bourg. At one point on the show, Bourg pretended to be the socialist party spokesman and asked Norbert if he'd like to be the main chef for the Élysée (the president's official residence). Norbert at first responded with "why not," but soon caught on to the prankster. Looks like we'll have to wait to see what kind of burgers the true chef of the Élysée makes for the new president.