Sam Kass, the New Assistant White House Chef; Is Everybody Happy Now?
How deft a politician is Barack Obama? Pretty damn deft if you ask me. In fact, I would say he's downright Solomonic. Consider his latest bits of organic food politics sleight-of-hand:
Instead of bowing to well-intentioned pressure from Alice Waters, Danny Meyer, and Ruth Reichl in choosing a White House chef, he managed to retain the current Filipino-American White House chef Cristeta Comerford.
Comerford, according to her predecessor Walter Scheib, served lots of organic vegetables at the White House at Laura Bush's behest. Some of the vegetables even came from a White House garden. Scheib apparently pigeonholed Alice Waters at one of the Inauguration benefit dinners to inform her of all this.
Now, to make all the Michael Pollan disciples (and, I have to admit it, me) even happier, the Obamas have brought their former personal chef Sam Kass, who earned his cred at Avec, to assist Comerford in the White House. Kass is according to our sources a serious food activist and slow food supporter.
Maybe now President Obama can focus on more pressing, life-and-death, food-related issues, like saving us from the likes of the unscrupulous owners of the Georgia peanut butter factory who, according to numerous published reports, knowingly kept on turning out salmonella-laced product even after they were informed that their peanut butter was tainted.