Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pinay At The White House

As a Filipina, this is something to brag about and be proud of.

White House Gets First Woman Executive Chef
Sun - Aug 14, 4:32 PM ET
Source: Yahoo

CRAWFORD, United States (AFP) - A Filipina-American, Cristeta Comerford, became the first woman executive chef at the White House, six months after First Lady Laura Bush reportedly forced out the last organiser of the president's state dinners.

The first lady announced her choice of replacement in a White House statement.

"I am delighted that Cris Comerford has accepted the position of White House executive chef," Bush said.

"Her passion for cooking can be tasted in every bite of her delicious creations."

The key White House post has been vacant since March when Walter Scheib left after 11 years as executive chef. According to the US media, Scheib could not adapt to the culinary demands of the Texan first lady.

The announcement was made after the New York Times printed an article Sunday telling how Laura Bush asked Scheib "to pick up his knives and leave" and the prolonged wait while chefs are interviewed and asked to make test meals.


President George W. Bush started his second four-year term at the White House in January.

Comerford, 41, had been one of Scheib's two assistants in the White House kitchen since 1995. Her specialty has been "ethnic and American cuisine," according to a White House statement.

Now a naturalized American, Comerford studied for a degree in Food Technology at the University of the Philippines and then gained experience serving as a chef tournant at Le Ciel restaurant in Vienna.

She had also worked at the top Washington hotels, the "Grand Bistrot" and "La Colonnade".

Comerford prepared the menu for the White House dinner in honor of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003 and this year for India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The menu included chilled asparagus soup, pan-roasted halibut with ginger-carrot butter, basmati rice with pistachios and currants, and herbed summer vegetables.

Comerford's duties are to design and carry out menus for state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions and official luncheons. Her official salary is between 80,000 and 100,000 dollars a year.

But the presidential couple are not known for the frequency of their official dinners. There were only four during the first term from 2001-2004 and only one so far in the second term, for the Indian leader.


Ronald Reagan held 50 official dinners during his eight years at the White House.

George W. Bush is not a known gastronome. Obsessed by his fitness, Bush eats only light meals.

His wife takes a lot more interest.

"Mrs. Bush has said she wants someone who cooks American food but also someone who can make a mean enchilada as well as the more complex interior Mexican food that she prefers," said the New York Times.

"And the chef had better know how to make the president's favorite cheeseburgers," it added.

"Plenty of chefs were interviewed, with only a few asked to cook for the Bushes," according to the New York Times.

Comerford had been a favourite with Chris Ward, chef at the Mercury Grill, a restaurant at Dallas in the Bush's home state.

One top Washington chef, Eric Ziebold, had been approached, according to media reports. But the Times quoted him as saying that the White House job was "not a good career move".

Richard Hamilton, another reported candidate, said that whoever was chosen "may not be the best chef they can possibly find," but "the one with whom they are most comfortable."


  1. cruise, sinabi mo..hehehe..
    I just hope the media will continue to put
    this kind of news front page, & not those
    never-ending political brouhaha...

  2. yeah, I heard this news yesterday... ang galing galing!

  3. Filipinos should be proud of their own and
    I hope that the media here in Manila
    will allot more news coverage worthy of exalting our
    countrymen, not sensationalizing any unworthy news.


It is always refreshing to know what is in your mind. Thanks!