Cristeta Comerford

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Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta comerford.jpg
Comerford in July 2002
White House Executive Chef
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 14, 2005
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Walter Scheib
Personal details
Born Cristeta Pasia
1962 (age 51–52)
Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Alma mater University of the Philippines, Diliman

Major in Food Technology

Cristeta Pasia Comerford (born 1962) is a Filipino-American chef who 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 Asian descent.

Early life[edit]

Cristeta Comerford was born as Cristeta Pasia in the Philippines and grew up at Cataluña St., (now G. Tolentino) Sampaloc, Manila. She completed her secondary education at the Manila Science High School. She attended the University of the Philippines, Diliman in Quezon City, majoring in food technology. However, she left school before completing the degree when she immigrated to the United States at the age of 23.

Career[edit]

Comerford's first job was at the Sheraton Hotel near O'Hare International Airport. She also worked at the Hyatt Regency hotel. After Chicago, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as a chef at two restaurants. She additionally spent six months in Vienna as a rotating chef. Comerford was recruited by White House executive chef Walter Scheib III in 1995 to work in the Clinton White House.

After Scheib resigned in February 2005, Comerford was appointed White House executive chef by First Lady Laura Bush on August 14, 2005. Comerford is the first female White House executive chef and the first person of ethnic minority origin to hold this position.[1]

She reportedly was appointed to this position due to her handling of a large dinner that was held in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[2]

She was referred to when George Bush mentioned his "Philippine-American chef" to visiting Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in June 2008.

On January 9, 2009, the Obama transition team announced that Comerford would be retained as the administration's head chef.[3] Michelle Obama stated, "She is also the mom of a young daughter, and I appreciate our shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families." [4]

Comerford appeared on a special two hour episode of Iron Chef America, originally broadcast on January 2, 2010. She was teamed up with Bobby Flay and competed against a team of Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali.[5] Comerford and Flay were triumphant.

As chef to a head of state, Comerford is a member of Le Club des Chefs des Chefs.[6]

Personal life[edit]

She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her husband, John, and their daughter, Danielle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Office of the First Lady (2005-08-14). "Cristeta Comerford Named White House Executive Chef". Press Release. The White House. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  2. ^ Candy Sagon (2005-08-15). "Toque of the Town: White House Names 1st Female Executive Chef". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  3. ^ Stacy Finz (2009-01-17). "Bay Area foodies ask: What will the Obamas eat?". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ Lisa Tolin (2009-01-09). "Obama mother-in-law to join family in White House". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-01-09. [dead link]
  5. ^ Reid, Tim (4 January 2010). "White House cuisine put to reality test with Iron Chef appearance". TimesOnline (London). Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Presidential chefs swap recipes for world diplomacy" Reuters. Retrieved 6 October 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Walter Scheib
White House Executive Chef
2005–present
Incumbent