And Obama's new White House Chef Will Be...

November 11 2008 - 11:45 AM

To be the White House's resident chef is to truly serve at the pleasure of the president. Walter Scheib has worked for both Clinton and Bush. Might Obama's choice be a well known Chicago chef? I don't think I'd want Cantu's Moto-style cuisine daily but you never know. Smart money seems to be on Oprah's personal chef – Art Smith, Rick Bayless or personal chef – Daniel Young, according to the New York Daily News.

It's an interesting question when you think about the contextual shift from the delight over a chef's talent and imagination versus a potential overload resulting in a late night mac and cheese binge. Could you imagine asking Charlie Trotter to make you a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips?  Or Rick Bayless to just make you a bowl of oatmeal?

Actually now that I think about it I remember a dinner at Thomas Keller's restaurant Ad Hoc, in Napa, where I ate some amazing fried chicken. The locals, throughout that day, were actually talking about it and how odd that it wasn't the usual fried chicken day. The allure of simple, comfort food is certainly not lost on the finest chefs. The chocolate chip cookie dough sold at Trotter's To Go, cooked in your own oven, is so good that you will be convinced that there's something worse than butter inside.

I would love to know that a Chicago chef is cooking in the White House so I'm happy. I don't expect it to be Bayless as it would take him away from his business but if asked could anyone say no? I mean, if I were Charlie Trotter and was asked I'd do it just to do it… you know? Why not. I'd just say, "Yes sir. Mr. President, I'll make you that cheese sandwich…"
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