So, Who is White House Chef Cristeta Comerford?
According to Wikipedia, "Cristeta Pasia Comerford (born 1962) has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman to be selected for the post, and also the first of Filipino descent." She was first appointed White House chef by First Lady Laura Bush on August 14, 2005. "I am delighted that Cris Comerford has accepted the position of White House Executive Chef," Mrs. Bush said. "Her passion for cooking can be tasted in every bite of her delicious creations."
Where did Chef Cris Comerford Come From?
Cristeta Pasia was born in the Philippines and grew up in Sampaloc, Manila. She majored in food technology at the University of the Philippines. She came to the U.S. at the age of 23 and started work right away at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago. After Comerford moved to Washington D.C., she worked at two area restaurants - Le Grande Bistro at The Westin Hotel, and The Colonnade at the ANA Hotel, and did a short stint at Le Ciel in Vienna before coming back to be recruited in 1995 to work in the Clinton White House. Comerford has held the position of White House Executive Chef since 2005.
Iron Chef America Winners Cristeta Comerford and Bobby Flay
White House Chef Cristeta Comerford paired up with Bobby Flay and competed against Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali in last night's episode of Iron Chef America. Chef Cristeta Comerford, Michelle Obama's personal chef, won the challenge along with Bobby Flay, successfully beating out Lagasee and Batali. In the article Michelle Obama Challenges Food Network Iron Chef America, the two teams were pitted against each other and challenged to use only ingredients from the First Lady's White House garden. Obama "suggested" that the President loves his sweet potatoes, and if the First Lady recommends something, the chefs' had better listen.
In the end, Bobby Flay and Cristeta Comerford used Japanese eggplant and sweet potatoes for their winning dish. "Flay said, "It was terrific, because it really created lots of conversation about what the garden really means to the White House. And the first lady really got a chance to talk about her initiative, getting kids to eat better across the country. Flay called the garden "fantastic," reports CBSnews.com. In a friendly but competitive neck-and-neck finish, Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali were defeated by only five points. A $25,000 donation will be made to Meals on Wheels, the charity of their choice.
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Sources: cbsnews.com; foodnetwork.com; wikipedia; georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov
Written by Donna Diegel