White House Guessing Game: Who Will Cook for Barack?
With the epic campaign season finally concluded, Washington has moved on to that quadrennial guessing game that has the corridors of power all abuzz: Who will the president-elect bring with him to the White House?
We here at ES could care less about some hard-hitting chief of staff or misogynistic treasury secretary candidate. The real burning question is: Who will Obama appoint as White House Chef? All we know for sure is that some serious change is in need after Bush’s eight years serving BBQ and hohos at official state dinners. Here are the leading candidates, along with our exclusive odds, and a few additional people we think P-E Obama should put on his short list.
WaPo’s Tom Sietsema says the frontrunner is definitely Art Smith. The chef at Capitol Hill’s new Art and Soul restaurant, Smith has both the inside DC knowledge the new prez needs, and the down-home Chicago background he loves (he was Oprah‘s personal chef for 10 years). Smith’s upscale-downhome specialties (caviar and horseradish hoe-cakes, red eye gravy pork chops) would deliver a hearty slice of Americana to visiting heads of state. Odds – 3:1
Or maybe Obama wants to skip the in-between and go fancy-fancy. Barack and Michelle’s first meal out after winning the presidency was at Chicago’s Spiaggia, the same place the first couple celebrated their anniversary and Michelle’s b-day this year. That’s quite the endorsement! A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin (swing state!), chef Tony Mantuano offers high-end Italian cuisine featuring dishes that even foodies can’t decipher, like STRANGOZZE VERDE CON LUMACHE, AGLIO E PANE GRATTATO. Yum! (I think). Mantuano would bring a touch of class back to the Oval Dining Room. But then again, Barack might not be too enthused about Italian lately. Odds – 7:1
BHO could show an important display of bipartisanship by asking current White House chef Criseta Comerford to stay on in his administration. Hand-picked by Laura Bush in 2005, the Philippines-born Comeford is the first female to lead the White House kitchen, thus allowing Barack to hang on to the Hillary vote. Plus, then he could get rid of Gates. Odds – 8:3
So those are the most likely bets. But honestly, none of these choices would bring the radical change and hope Obama promised us. Let’s forget the Washington insiders and shake things up a little bit, Barack! Here are our alternative recommendations:
No-nonsense Michelle is known to be a “get-it-done-efficiently Rachael Ray type, they say, not given to elaborate Martha Stewart-like efforts.” So why not bring RayRay herself to the White House kitchen? If nothing else, it would get her overexposed mug off the airwaves. Plus, the thought of Queen Elizabeth or Vladimir Putin sitting down for a meal of “sammies” is reason enough. Odds: 50-1
The most embarrassing gaffe of the campaign wasn’t John McCain forgetting how many houses he lives in, but Cindy McCain’s repeated recipe-pilfering. Why not give Cindy a shot at redemption and let her prove herself in Washington? We’ll even let her bring a cheat sheet. Odds – 100:1
We all know it never would have even gotten started for Obama without Iowa. And the endorsement that clearly but him over the top in the Hawkeye State was from Duffy Lion, the farmer famous for sculpting cows out of butter for the Iowa State Fair (and Butter Harry Potter and even Butter Barack). So come on, Obama, let’s send a true American to Washington–Endless Simmer officially endorses Duffy Lion for White House Chef. Odds – Even
Lead Photo: HuffPo