January 12, 2009

Pinay Chef Stays At The White House


Now here is something Obama has done impressive, and that is retaining the Fil-American chef at the White House. Such a delectable representation indeed!

Here's the news (from Perryscope.org):

Some prominent foodies have been clamoring for change in the White House kitchen. But President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have decided that Cristeta Comerford, the executive chef at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, will stay put, a transition official said on Thursday.

Ms. Comerford, the first woman to hold the executive chef post, has been in the job since 2005. And some gourmands have argued that that is long enough. Ruth Reichl, the editor of Gourmet magazine, sent a letter to Mr. Obama, along with restaurateurs Alice Waters and Danny Meyer, offering to help him select someone new for the job. Ms. Reichl said the White House could use a chef who cooks local and organic foods and picks some of it from the presidential garden.
But a transition official said that First Lady Laura Bush spoke very highly of Ms. Comerford and that the Obamas, who have two young daughters, also liked the fact that Ms. Comerford is a mother herself. Mrs. Bush’s office has praised Ms. Comerford in the past for creating “original dishes with American flavor.” “They had heard a great deal about her from Mrs. Bush,’’ said the transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The Bushs just loved her. There’s no need for making a change.’’

Ms. Comerford is a naturalized citizen who came to the United States from the Philippines when she was 23. She has a bachelor’s degree in food technology from the University of the Philippines and has studied classic French cooking and worked in Austria. She also worked as chef at two Washington hotels. She joined the White House as an assistant chef in 1995.

Her predecessor, Walter Scheib III, who was hired by Hillary Clinton when she was first lady, was fired by Mrs. Bush in 2005. He said at the time that he had been unable “to satisfy the first lady’s stylistic requirements.’’

He did a wonderful decision. Keep it up!

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