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The government shutdown that starts today results in temporary pink slips to ânonessentialâ government workers, begging the obvious question: Are the White House chefs essential?
The Obamas are known to eat quite well, at least in public, where they can be seen frequenting trendy spots around Washington and landing in over-priced restaurants aimed at vacationers when theyâre in Hawaii and Marthaâs Vineyard. At home in the White House, a team of chefs plans menus for the Obamas and prepares an endless series of tasty meals.
government shutdown presents the terrifying prospect that the Obamas may
have to defrost a package of Lean Cuisine or open a can of meat
ravioli. Oh no, say isn't so.
The Obamas have two de facto chief chefs: Cristeta Comerford is a leftover from the Bush years who is formally the White House Executive Chef and whom the Obamas decided not to get rid of; and Sam Kass, who was imported from Chicago by the Obamas and whose title is Executive Director of Letâs Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy.
Kass came in as Comerfordâs âassistant,â but with his current involvement in the first ladyâs food projects, itâs not known how often he still whips up a meal. Nevertheless, itâs not clear if the Senior Policy advisor for Nutrition Policy is essential. But Kass is also a frequent golf partner of the presidentâs, which may increase his âessentialness.â
Also present on the grounds is an Executive Pastry Chef, who is exclusively in charge of dessert, and perhaps a lobster pot pie or two.