According to the NY Times and also, Rachel Maddow, the White House added a co-chef in the previous administration — Chicago’s Avec restaurant chef Sam Cass — to assist Christeta Comerford.
Cass is known for organic food and his wine bar. The Obamas have signaled, with a cocktail party tonight, that they are breaking from the Bush anti-social dining plans. Comerford, the first female White House chef, probably has a historic stronghold on her position.
Who would I have as White House chef? I don’t have enough experience with the world’s great chefs, though I have eaten wonderful meals by Masuhatu Morimoto at Morimoto’s in Phllly and also, Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington in Little Washington, Virginia. But, I would want someone who had the open mind of former White House chef under five Presidents, Henry Haller. I ate some of his meals on a Norwegian Wind cruise, but I would want to try the recipes under non-cruise circumstances. He adapted recipes to fit each President: the athletic requirements of Ford, the Southernness of Carter, the dietary requirements of Nancy Reagan, for example. He also worked his favorite Swiss recipes in there, too.
He probably would have been open to all my crazy requirements! Mostly vegetarian and fresh veggies for weekdays, along with serious sushi skills, with big prime ribs on the weekend! He’d have to make kreplach soup like my Bubbie Sonia did and keep a kosher for Passover menu, too. Hors d’oevres would have to be very special for all the guests who’d come by. And, well, if he couldn’t make the richest caramel sauce I ever had… he wouldn’t get the job!