Traditional recipes

President Obama’s Favorite Dishes (And the Ones Michelle Won’t Let Him Eat)

President Obama’s Favorite Dishes (And the Ones Michelle Won’t Let Him Eat)

What does a day on the plate of the president of the United States really look like?

President Obama’s Favorite Dishes (And the Ones Michelle Won’t Let Him Eat)

Broccoli

Cheeseburgers

Cheese Toast

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Obama is certainly very proud of his “cheese toast,” one of his specialty dishes. Though we don’t know his exact method or preferred ingredients for making this comfort food, we’re glad to know that he loves this simple dish as much as the rest of us.

Fresh Apples

Guacamole and Nachos

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Homemade Chili Con Carne

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MET-Rx Bars

ItemMaster

Obama tends to keep quiet about what brands or exact food products he really likes or dislikes, but he can’t resist sharing his love of the chocolate roasted peanut protein MET-Rx bars with the world.

Nuts

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Almonds, pistachios, and macadamias are all enjoyed by the president on a daily basis. And he loves them even more when they’re chocolate-coated. Although it has now been revealed that he doesn’t count out seven almonds before he goes to bed, he does snack on these nuts throughout the day.

Popcorn

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Salmon Dinner

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Shaved Ice

Thinkstock

Thin-Crust Pizza

Trail Mix

Tuna Salad


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


Plate of the Union: The Picky Presidential Palate

Check out what these leaders of the free world loved to eat.

To land the job of "First Chef" you definitely need culinary chops. And while haute cuisine may be a job requirement, the White House chef takes orders, literally, from the prez. From creating ethnic menus to impressing heads of state to whipping up White House kids' favorites, First Chefs must be quick on their toes. Especially for the ever-changing palate of the most powerful (and sometimes picky) diner they'll ever have: the president of the United States of America.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the first president to shine a spotlight on the White House chef. His staff approached chef Jacques Pépin, but having already served for France's President Charles de Gaulle, he turned down the generous offer. "I loved Kennedy, but I had no inkling for the potential publicity in the White House," recalls Pépin. Turned out John Kennedy wasn't a big foodie instead, he often had to be reminded to dine. When at the table, President Kennedy was true to his New England roots, munching on New England clam chowder, corn muffins, and baked beans.

Lyndon B. Johnson might have been famous for his ability to cajole lawmakers, but a foodie he was not. Johnson's love of Fresca was so deep that a soda dispenser was even installed in the Oval Office. Other favorites included some simple pleasures: canned peas, tapioca pudding, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. Don't we all wish we could have marshmallows on sweet potatoes even when it's not Thanksgiving?

Believe it or not, Richard Milhous Nixon might have been at the forefront of the spa food craze. The president requested that fresh yogurt be flown in from California daily, and when it came to breakfast he also favored lighter options. Cottage cheese and fresh fruit were the norm, though sometimes he chose to garnish his morning meal with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Rumor has it, a simple breakfast of cottage cheese and pineapple was his last presidential meal before resigning from office.

In his biography, Gerald Ford said that when growing up, his mother's major rules were to "tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time." If dinner at the White House included Ford's favorite meal of savory pot roast, red cabbage, and butter pecan ice cream, we'd definitely be on time.

Prior to moving to the White House, Jimmy Carter hailed from Georgia, so it's no surprise he's a fan of comfort food classics like corn bread and sirloin steak (cooked medium rare) after all, the Carter family had a dog named Grits. Let's not forget, being a former peanut farmer, he loved his nuts. Drawing on his heritage, White House pastry chef Henry Haller developed a signature cookie recipe loaded with pecans and peanuts that quickly became a First Family favorite.

By now we all know that Ronald Reagan was a big fan of jelly beans &mdash licorice-flavored ones, in fact. His sweet tooth went beyond candy to pumpkin pecan pie, monkey bread, ice cream, and a whole lot of chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, and Nancy's fudgy brownies. If Reagan thought of this menu when he declared "All great change in America begins at the dinner table," well, we're all for it!

One of George H.W. Bush's presidential decrees left schoolchildren everywhere cheering: During a news conference he stated, "I do not like broccoli and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it." He ruffled a few parental feathers when he finished the statement by saying, "And I'm president of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." Extending his executive privilege to hot sauce, which he liked just as much as he disliked broccoli, President Bush topped off everything from eggs to pork rinds just like a good ole boy from Texas.

President Bill Clinton's administration was the first to put a spotlight on authentic American cuisine. Unfortunately, this caused a clash with Pierre Chambrin, the White House chef who preferred to serve high-end French fare. His replacement, Chef Walter Scheib, focused on America's rich culinary traditions with a healthy bent. While First Lady Hillary and daughter Chelsea loved Scheib's smart dishes, President Clinton had a slightly different take. Remember his love of burgers from McDonald's? When Hillary was out of town, Scheib made sure to send Clinton a steak and onion rings for his White House Happy Meal.

Chef Walter Scheib might have had the same job when George W. Bush and his family entered the White House, but it was a whole new ball game. "It was the single strangest day of my life," Scheib recalls. "I had to literally start from scratch." Scheib and his staff studied the new First Family's preferences and adjusted according to their Texas ranch tastes. How did the Bushes differ from the Clintons? Hummus was definitely out. Tex-Mex and beef tenderloin was in. Like his father (and president) before him, George W. didn't care much for green foods.

Michelle Obama told Paula Deen that one of her husband's favorite foods is chili, prompting endless unsolicited recipes to the presidential inbox. But aside from a craving for chili, the prez's plate also includes tons of veggies given the First Lady's campaign to get everyone in the country to eat better. The White House chefs source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients whenever possible. In fact, most of what winds up on the First Family's table is grown right there in the White House Kitchen Garden. Including the honey, which is produced by the resident beekeeper.


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