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First chef shakeup on the horizon?

by Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca

Political watchers may be debating who U.S. President-elect Barack Obama should select for his cabinet but the question on many gourmands' minds is: Who will take up the post of first chef?

The New York Daily News suggests the White House is considering the following three candidates for the job:

  • Art Smith, personal chef to talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and owner of Chicago's Table Fifty-Two restaurant.
  • Rick Bayless, owner of two Chicago Mexican restaurants the Obama family is said to frequent.
  • Daniel Young, personal chef to the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony.

Though some bloggers suggest the current White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford shouldn't be cut from the speculative shortlist just yet, others note that new first families tend to favour hiring a new chef to mark a new beginning.

Walter Scheib, who preceded Comerford, said he was asked to leave because was so closely linked with the Clintons. But Scheib, who later wrote about his experiences in White House Chef, said food preferences between Republicans and Democrats actually don't vary dramatically.

"There is no red state food and blue state food," he told The Baltimore Sun in an interview.

What qualities would you look for in a personal chef? Which executive chefs would make your personal short-list?

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You want someone who is uber-creative, has a focus on local, in-season organic foods, and can create a menu equally as succulent for two or 2,000 people.

My top 3 choices for a personal chef would be Lynn Crawford, Jamie Kennedy, and Anthony Sedlak. To choose one would be a difficult task...

Posted November 11, 2008 01:13 PM

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Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

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