As the Obamas prepare for their first state dinner on November 24, White House chef Cristeta Comerford faces the challenge of her career. From the sidelines, San Francisco’s Rene Verdon, who cooked for the Kennedys, notes that the Obamas have similar palettes and values to the first family of 1961. “Mrs. Kennedy was very concerned about the health of the children,” he told the New YorkTimes. “She wanted them to eat meals of the freshest ingredients, and she wanted them to taste everything.” Verdon grew vegetables in the White House garden and used them in state dinners. “It’s a good thing she is doing, a very important thing,” the 85-year-old farmers’ market devotee said of the First Lady’s garden. Comerford and assistant chef Sam Kass are still working with the Obamas to set the menu for the state dinner, when the White House hosts a delegation from India.
Heavy is the Toque at a State Dinner [New York Times]