Cristeta Comerford: White House Executive Chef

The White House Executive Chef is in charge of all menus for the First Family as well as all official state functions.  Though the White House Executive Chef serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States, typically they work side-by-side with the first lady.

Walter Scheib III served at the post beginning in 1994 under President Bill Clinton.  President George W. Bush saw no reason to replace Chef Scheib and retained him until 2005 when he left to enjoy life as a celebrity chef.  He has since battled Iron Chef Cat Cora and published a book White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen.

To fill the void left by Chef Scheib’s departure, Laura Bush tabbed his talented assistant Cristeta Comerford to be the new White House Executive Chef making her the first woman and first minority to hold the title.  Mrs. Bush had reportedly been very impressed with Comerford’s handling of large State events.

Chef Comerford’s voyage into history began in the Philippines where she lived her first 23 years on earth.  Just prior to immigrating to the US, Comerford attended the University of the Philippines majoring in food technology.

Upon reaching the States, Comerford took a job in Chicago cooking for Sheraton Hotel and Resorts.  Since then she has worked in Washington DC, Vienna and for Hyatt Regency.  Her rise has been meteoric and deftly earned.

Apparently, new first lady Michelle Obama was also impressed as she retained Chef Comerford saying, “Cristeta Comerford brings such incredible talent to the White House operation and came very highly regarded from the Bush family,” in a statement released by the transition team.  Mrs. Obama is quite the foodie who has even started a White House Kitchen Garden.

On Sunday January 3rd. Chef Comerford joins Iron Chef Bobby Flay in Kitchen Stadium to battle the team of Iron Chef Mario Batali and culinary legend Emeril Legasse in the first Iron Chef: America of the new year.  Comerford’s boss, Michelle Obama will be in attendance.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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