The Race for White House Chef Heats Up

Daniel Young
Daniel Young
Art Smith
Art Smith
Rick Bayless
Rick Bayless

The New York Daily News chimed in on November 10, 2008, suggesting three male chefs — Chicago chefs Daniel Young, Rick Bayless, and Art Smith — for White House chef.

Then the next day Juliette Rossant of Super Chef Blog took a bit of umbrage at that. Why? Because The New York Daily News failed to mention any female chefs, that’s why. Of course, the Obamas might just keep Cris Comerford , but I rather doubt that’s going to happen.

So who does Rossant suggest from among the female chefs in Chicago, chefs with whom the Obamas might feel comfortable?

Suzy Crofton
Suzy Crofton

Suzy Crofton, of Crofton on Wells, would bring the requisite French touch to the White House table, in keeping with the traditions laid down by Thomas Jefferson. Freedom Fries no longer!!

Carrie Hahabedian
Carrie Hahabedian

Carrie Nahabedian of Naha would add a touch of the Armenian and California to the White House, maybe not such a  great idea if the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, should come for dinner, or even if the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, happens to be in the neighborhood.

Sarah Stegner
Sarah Stegner

And then there’s Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Café, serving the lighter, healthier food that the Obamas prefer and that keeps them so thin and trim.

There’s a movement afoot, that much is clear, to encourage the Obamas to hire chefs tuned in to the rising issues of food, the environment, and health. In October 2008, Author Michael Pollan wrote a long, if somewhat stern, letter to the Farmer in Chief, in which he said, “It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. … But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact – so easy to overlook these past few years – that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.” La Vida Locavore lists what President Obama said about food during his campaign.

So here we all wait with open mouth to see what President and Mrs. Obama cook up in regard to food, both in the White House and beyond.

© 2008 C. Bertelsen

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