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Yes, we can cook

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

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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.

artsmith1.jpg

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.

Contributors

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.
 

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