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Obamas hire private chef for White House

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Sam Kass, a private chef for the Obamas while they were living in Chicago, is now working in the White House, Marian Burros writes on The Caucus. A spokeswoman for Michelle Obama said Mr. Kass has a particular interest in healthy food and local food.
Mr. Kass’s appointment should please chefs like Alice Waters, who have lobbied the Obamas to set an example for the rest of the country by emphasizing food that is healthy, local and sustainable. It further suggests that a vegetable garden on the White House grounds, another of Ms. Waters’s dreams, could be on the horizon.

Mr. Kass, one of the new breed of chefs who are concerned about the environment and about poor eating habits in this country, has been quoted as saying people in his profession should take the lead in tackling public health issues.
“Not only is there an unconscionable amount of people who remain hungry,” he told In These Times magazine last year, “there’s even a larger population, mostly poor, who are faced with obesity, diabetes and various other problems from overabundance.”

A Chicago native, Mr. Kass graduated from the University of Chicago and received his formal training at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe. He then went to work at Avec, a Chicago wine bar serving Mediterranean food.

After he left the restaurant, Mr. Kass, 28, founded Inevitable Table, a private chef service in Chicago that, according to its Web site, is the client’s “link to clean, healthy food.” In addition to cooking and shopping “mainly from local farms” and buying wines from “small sustainable wineries,” the Web site says, the service offers meals for children and for private parties. Walter Scheib, the White House chef for the Clintons and Bushes, said the decision to bring Mr. Kass to the White House was “a master stroke.” Mr. Scheib said Mr. Kass would be a tremendous resource for Ms. Comerford, the first woman to hold the post of executive chef.
“This will make her job much easier because she will understand better and faster what they like,” he said. “She doesn’t have to spend months reading the tea leaves.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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