Obamas Turn on Foodie Elites, Keep Bush’s White House Chef

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Cristeta Comerford Photo: Getty Images

Foodies who were hoping President-elect Barack Obama would elevate words like “locavore,” “sustainable,” and “greenmarket” to the top of the national grocery list must be disappointed to learn that Cristeta Comerford is keeping her post as White House chef. After a Secretary of Agriculture appointment that was not who the country’s food elite were recommending, it turns out that people like Dan Barber and Alice Waters don’t have Obama’s ear. (Perhaps if Alice Waters had donated $2,300 to Obama instead of to Hillary Clinton, she might have more sway.) Chicago’s Rick Bayless and Oprah chef Art Smith get no love from the Obamas, either. But what no one seemed to realize is that the White House chef isn’t a political appointment and, like much of the White House staff, doesn’t change with a new administration. Comerford, who entered the White House kitchen in 1995 as an assistant, was elevated to White House chef in 2005.

Obamas Order From Bush Menu [WP]