Pol Pot stirrer: what dictators were really like - according to ...

Lifestyle

Pol Pot stirrer: what dictators were really like - according to their chefs

In this new book, strongmen are transformed from creatures of mythology back into flesh and blood

Iona McLaren

If Saddam Hussein didn’t like his dinner, he demanded compensation from the cook. “This food is inedible,” he’d say. “You’ve got to pay 50 dinars.”

Sometimes Saddam did the cooking himself, and then it really was inedible. He liked to be filmed making rice for his soldiers but would absent-mindedly sprinkle a whole kilo of salt into the pot, which they had to eat. For a joke, he put an entire bottle of Tabasco into some koftas for his inner circle, forcing them to run around clutching their throats, feigning delight.

As his chef Abu Ali delicately puts it in How to Feed a Dictator: “You’re not going to tell the president you don’t like the food he has made.”..

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