Interview with the White House Executive Chef

by - Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One thing I love about the Obamas is they walk the talk.

At least when it comes to food and the problem this country has with childhood obesity.

Michelle Obama's biggest health initiative, the Let's Move campaign, teaches kids to eat more fruits and vegetables and to be active every day. And the First Family follows the Let's Move model by planning their meals each week around what's growing fresh in the garden.

How do I know so much about the Obamas' eating habits? 

Well because yesterday I interviewed the White House Executive chef and she told me so.
Cris Comerford White House Executive Chef

My coworkers and I were shooting the most recent episode in our Career Spotlight Series and we got to take a trip to the White House and see the kitchen where the food magic happens.

Me, Coqui and Emily waiting to head to the kitchen. Yes my job rocks! 

Executive Chef Cris Comerford was one of my favorite interviews to date. She was smooth on camera, spoke clearly and told some really great stories about how she came to be a chef.

We chatted about how meal planning works in the White House (menus for state dinners are planned months in advance!) and what is currently sprouting in the First Lady's garden. (Lots of peppers and eggplants).

Veggies from the garden

Some things I thought were most interesting: 

  • The First Family is dedicated to eating local. They grow lots of their food and what they can't grow they try to get from local farmers. 
  • The First Lady manages to grow some food even in the winter, mostly spinach and kale. 
  • Bo, the First Dog, doesn't get to eat the leftovers. 
Gratuitous picture of Bo (photo from the White House)

I can't give away all the secrets, but I promise to share the video once it's finished.

If you could ask the First Family's chef one question, what would it be?

All photos in this post are courtesy of my coworker Arlene.

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