The White House chef doesn't usually change with administrations. And sure enough, Mrs. Obama announced yesterday that the family would keep on Cristeta Comerford, who became the first woman to hold the position when Laura Bush hired her in 2005.
"Cristeta Comerford brings such incredible talent to the White House operation and came very highly regarded from the Bush family," the incoming first lady said in a statement. "Also the mom of a young daughter, I appreciated our shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families. I look forward to working with her in the years to come."
The decision was anticlimactic, if not disappointing, for some food lovers who had cast Barack Obama as the next American food hero. While George W. Bush is renowned for his love of cheeseburgers, Obama understands the pain of high-priced arugula at Whole Foods. He not only favored Bayless's restaurants, but he also was a regular at upscale Spiaggia and South Side institution Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop, famous for its corn cakes. Here was a man who could bring organic and sustainable food to the political table. ad_icon
But no one is expressing dismay, at least not publicly. Waters, who had offered herself up as head of a "kitchen cabinet" to help vet potential chef candidates, said it was a "great relief" that the Obamas didn't choose a celebrity. "I think that overshadows the idea that good food is a right, not a privilege," she said. "I want someone there who cares deeply about this and understands the importance of real food."
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