Chefs Move to Schools, my time at the White House abbreviated

8 Jun





When I was young every night at the dinner table my mom would say, “Would you behave that way at the White House?”She was referring to our manners, it’s like we were groomed to sit at a long fancy table with the president and all the dignitaries. We never took her seriously but maybe we should have. Of the three kids I was voted least likely to be invited to the White House, artist, free spirit, and I live in California to boot! My brothers are the “professionals” the doctor, the historian and then there is me, artist/chef. Well I did get invited, my culinary group IACP was invited and I jumped at the chance. I never got to sit at the long table with the president, which is a good thing because my manners are surly not up to par. I did get to be very close to the First Lady though, just close enough to see her beautiful skin.
So a plan was hatched, go to DC, take the family and make a vacation out of it. Life did get in the way, we had a family tragedy, so we diverted to LA and then to DC. This is why I am so behind on my blogging, I have not read any other posts or done much of anything but the everyday regular stuff. I’m going to tell you about DC in an abbreviated form, so forgive the lack of details. If I don’t just write something now I never will. I am not going to explain the politics, or how we are supposed to go about this huge task because you can read all of that here .

The Let’s Move Initiative was set in motion by Michelle Obama when she planted the White House Garden last year.

This is how it went:
On Friday morning, Sam Kass, White House assistant chef and and Education Secretary Arne Duncan told about 600 of us how we can make a difference in schools at a Share Our Strength breakfast.

After breakfast we all walked over to the White House to pass through, not one, not two but three security screenings. We all had to be pre-screened prior to getting there, I guess they were just checking up on us one more time for good measure.
Once on the lawn we had free regine to walk down to the garden and take photos.
There were photo ops with big cooking celebs like, Cat Cora, Ellie Krieger, Aaron McCargo, Jr. and Anne Burrell, Tom Colicchio, Marcus Samuelsson, and Lidia Bastianich. I think Rachel Ray was there although I did not see her. I was lucky enough to get a photo with Jose Andre

and Tom Coliccho, Carla Hall just to name a few.


Let me set the stage, it’s 95 degrees, about 100% humidity, close to 1000 chefs, in whites are bouncing with excitement. Cute as a button the First Lady steps on to the South Lawn and we stand an cheer, soggy as we were! The call to action has been heard and we are motivating, like a small army, different backgrounds, different skill levels but all for the same cause, the kids. Help us get our kids back on track, healthy eating, playing outdoors and the main goal changing school lunches!!





I love this photo of the first lady, she looks like a warrior, the queen of fennel!

(Photo by Marvin Joseph /The Washington Post)


If you are a chef or culinary educator and want to get involved go here and sign up.


For a creative look at Washington seen through the eyes of Renegade Kitchen click here.







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