FOODIE FRIDAY: Cooking with the White House Executive Chef

As Executive Chef of the White House, Cristeta Comerford determines the food that will be served for President Barack Obama’s family and at state dinners, like during the recent state visit by the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Comerford has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005, having served the Bush and Obama presidencies.

In this video from the White House, Comerford demonstrates how to make traditional Asian dishes in a healthier way, in line with First Lady Michelle Obama’s healthy initiatives. With help from TV chef Ming Tsai, Comerford shows how to cook better fried rice and prepare a healthier version of the Filipino desert called Halo-Halo.

[White House / YouTube] White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford demonstrates cooking some healthy Asian dishes

Learn more:

  • [Wall Street Journal] Cooking for the Commander in Chief: “The Chinese asked for a “quintessentially American” dinner. What does that mean to a Philippines-born, French-trained chef, married to a chef of Irish descent? To Ms. Comerford, quintessentially American “reminds you of home.” Read more
  • [CNN] What’s it like to feed the most powerful man in the world?: “You look at everyone’s strengths, everyone’s abilities and knowledge. So hopefully towards the end of your meal you hit a home run because you’re basically trying to rally your team to be the best at whatever they do.” Read more
  • [New York Times] Justin Trudeau’s White House Dinner Has the Air of a Family Reunion: “There is so much commonality. It’s just like cooking for your brother,” Cristeta Pasia Comerford, the White House chef, told reporters before the meal. “It’s not a big stretch for us to do something wonderful, but we want to make them feel at home.” Baby lamb chops with Yukon Gold potato dauphinoise and a fricassee of spring vegetables filled the Obamas’ official china service. A maple pecan cake with cocoa nib wafer and butterscotch swirl ice cream rounded out the meal.” Read more
  • [Washington Post] State dinner will start with a gussied-up version of Canada’s late-night party food: “One of the country’s most popular exports, the greasy rib-sticker with ties to Quebec (and really late nights) will be spiffed up and scaled back in the hands of White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford. Her more formal take on the fast food involves shavings of smoked duck and cheese curds finished with red wine gravy and served on delicate wafer fries: a one-bite canapé.” Read more
  • [Washington Post] State-dinner statements: The menu and the chefs behind it can say a lot (but do they?): “Comerford informed the media on Thursday that there’s no statement behind the move to lamb. The meat simply looked good in the market, and it paired well with the accompanying baby broccoli.” Read more

Photo: Screenshot from White House / YouTube video “White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford demonstrates cooking some healthy Asian dishes”

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