First chef shakeup on the horizon?
Monday, November 10, 2008 | 12:27 PM ET
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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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
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 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.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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