Vote for White House Woman Chef


White HouseIn February 2005, superchefblog brought the idea of White House guest chefs to public attention; cooking duo Mary Sue Millken and Susan Feniger won, announced on March 1. Less than a week later, Women Chef and Restaurateurs (WCR) brought the idea of a woman as full-time executive chef at the White House to public attention. Superchefblog feels responsible for setting this in motion (see previous article): it seems high time to get some actual names out as well. So, superchefblog is running another poll, this time to vote for who should be the first woman executive chef at the White House.

I have made this as easy and comprehensive as limited time, resources, and my own knowledge allow. Below is a short list of women chefs all across America, by no means complete. Still, the list is rather large -- and that is to suggest to the public (and the White House) that there are many excellent women chefs among whom to choose the first executive chef of the White House. Also, unlike the men, women are rarely super chefs -- according to my stringent definition, the basis of the book Super Chef -- so in fact many top American women chefs are eligible candidates, since they do not have empires to manage. (If you feel strongly that you or another chef should be added to this page, please email me, too.)

In my search for female chefs, I was disappointed not to find any African-Americans, although I did find Asian- and Hispanic-Americans. Jacques Pepin, in his marvelous autobiography, The Apprentice (Houghton Mifflin 2003), commented on the same phenomenon:
I think back to my first days at Howard Johnson’s. At that time, the vast majority of faces in kitchens throughout America were black. These chefs were as smart and talented as anyone I’d worked beside. It baffles me that African Americans have been largely absent from the culinary revolution of the past four decades... There is a lost generation of African American chefs, and the nation’s cuisine is the poorer for it. (p. 242)
I could not agree more.

On the other hand, I would like voters to keep in mind that Cris Comerford (top of the list under "East Coast," below) is already in-house: the naturalized Filipina is currently Assistant White House Chef, reporting to the Executive Chef... One would hope that the White House would give her strong consideration and reward her previous service with advancement -- also that the White House would in fact hire from within first before looking outside.

Poll closes on April 29, 2005: winner will be announced May 2, 2005.

First Lady Laura BushPlease help get out the vote by telling family, friends, and any blogs or media outlets about this vote.

(Mrs. Bush, I hope this helps. It's time for a little more Girl Power in the White House!)



Chefs are listed from West Coast to East Coast, with "Rest of USA" between them. To vote, all you need do is drag your mouse over the photos -- a caption should appear with the chef's name, main restaurant, and city. Click on any chef you want as your pick for the White House -- as many as you want, too. Each click will automatically generate an email which you can send to me. Or, if you want, suggest your own candidates by clicking here. (Anyone who votes for the same chef more than once from the same email address will have all of his/her votes disqualified -- "thanks" to "Tuna" and "JZ" for the heads-up.)

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Profiles of these chefs are being published as they are completed: published chef profiles are listed at the end of this article. - April 18, 2005.]

* West Coast *

Traci Des Jardins Cat Cora Judy Rodgers
Roxanne Klein Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger Josie Le Balch
Nancy Silverton Suzanne Goin Scooter Kanfer-Cartmill
Christine Keff Melissa Perello Tamara Murphy
Suzanne Tracht (Joel Lipton Photography) Alice Waters Jennifer Naylor

* Rest of USA *

Lucia Watson Kathleen Daelemans Deborah Knight
Julie Francis Jennifer Jasinski Sarah Stegner
Carrie Nahabedian Anita Jaisinghani Louise Lamensdorf
Susan Spicer Kathy Cary

* East Coast *

Cris Comerford

Lidia Bastianich Nora Pouillon Jody Adams
Patricia Yeo Barbara Lynch Allison Vines-Rushing
Sara Moulton Susanna Foo Lydia Shire
Zarela Martinez Katy Sparks Anita Lo
Diane Forley Paula Deen Anne Cashion

Profiles for White House Woman Chef:
Profile: Josie Le Balch for White House Chef
Profile: Melissa Perello for White House Chef
Profile: Alice Waters for White House Chef
Profile: Jody Adams for White House Chef
Profile: Tamara Murphy for White House Chef
Profile: Lucia Watson for White House Chef
Profile: Barbara Lynch for White House Chef
Profile: Suzanne Goin for White House Chef
Profile: Louise Lamensdorf for White House Chef
Profile: Anita Jaisinghani for White House Chef
Profile: Julie Francis for White House Chef
Profile: Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger for White House Chef
Profile: Traci Des Jardins for White House Chef
Profile: Anita Lo for White House Chef
Profile: Sara Moulton for White House Chef
Profile: Nora Pouillon for White House Chef
Profile: Scooter Kanfer for White House Chef
Profile: Cat Cora for White House Chef
Profile: Diane Forley for White House Chef

Previous articles:
Superchefblog: Catalyst for White House Woman Chef?
Results of White House Chef Vote
REMINDER: Last Vote for White House Guest Chef
The White House: Think Like a Chef
Vote for White House Guest Chefs
Wanted: White House Chef
Inauguration Spells Alphabet Soup Disaster
Tsunami Update 4: US Ex-Presidents Lead Funding
Elections East 2: Washington Sports Night
Elections West: First Drinks on Mary Sue & Susan
Elections East: East-West Special
Todd English Flipflops Between Bush and Kerry?
Charlie Palmer: Bipartisan Turf Surfs the Hill
Politics, Billboards & Champagne
Politics, Chefs & Billboards
Inside Scoop on Dinner in the Control Room

--> back to superchefblog


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too bad that Lucrezia Borgia is no longer available.

2:30 AM, November 04, 2006  

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