Cooking for the Obamas

The newly elected Barack Obama leaving Spiaggia<br> with Michelle on November 8, 2008.
The newly elected Barack Obama leaving Spiaggia with Michelle on November 8, 2008.Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Before there was a White House chef, Missy Robbins cooked regularly for the Obamas at Spiaggia in Chicago. Now at A Voce, she spoke to Jada Yuan at last night’s Beard Awards.

Was it a big deal when the Obamas came into the restaurant?
Okay, I moved to Chicago and didn’t know who the hell Obama was. He was a senator when I got there. I mean, I didn’t pay attention.

You probably just thought he was a good-looking regular.
My God, he is beautiful.

What could you tell about them via the food they ate?

They have very sophisticated eating habits. Tasting menus. They’re very open. They let me cook for them one night. They didn’t want the last course, so they were open to changing it and they were very open to whatever I wanted to do. They’re very cool.

Read the complete interview on MenuPages: Chicago