RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Yes, we can cook

Posted by Devra First  November 10, 2008 04:49 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

OK, Obama is president-elect. Now for the big question: Who will be the new White House chef?

As you may be aware, Obama is reputed to be a fan of Chicago's Rick Bayless, of Topolobampo fame. Bayless has been floated as a contender for the position by the New York Daily News.

More likely, I think, is another of their picks: Art Smith, who also has Chicago roots and is Oprah Winfrey's personal chef. Obama has eaten at his Chicago restaurant, Table Fifty-Two.


Future White House chef? (Globe staff file photo/Wendy Maeda)

He has a history of cooking for politicians; he was once the chef at the Florida Governor's Mansion. Like Obama, he's concerned about his community, having started the nonprofit Common Threads; he's a recipient of the James Beard Humanitarian Award. And a self-penned profile of the chef reads in part: "I'm a native of Jasper, Florida, where I learned the value of shared, home-cooked meals and old recipes passed down through generations on my family's farm. Those memories have been so influential in my life and are a big part of why I love working with and talking about food so much." Family meals, farm-sourced ingredients? Sounds appealing. Plus, when I called Smith a few months back to talk about Obama's food likes and dislikes, he respectfully declined. So discreet!

Also mentioned as a possibility: Daniel Young, who cooked for Obama at the Democratic National Convention and is personal chef to Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.