Cristeta Comerford

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Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta comerford.jpg
Comerford in July 2002
Cristeta Gomez Pasia

(1962-10-27) October 27, 1962 (age 56)
EducationUniversity of the Philippines, Diliman (major in Food Technology)
Spouse(s)John Comerford
Culinary career
Cooking styleFrench

Cristeta Pasia Comerford (born October 27, 1962) is a Filipino-American chef who has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman and first person of Asian descent to hold the post.

Early life[edit]

Cristeta Comerford was born as Cristeta Gomez Pasia in the Philippines to Honesto Pasia, a public school assistant principal, and Erlinda Gomez.[1] She grew up on Cataluña Street (now G. Tolentino) in 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.


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 woman to hold this position.[2] 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.[3]

White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and children make White House honey tea stirrers, Nov. 28, 2012

On January 9, 2009, the Obama transition team announced that Comerford would be retained as the administration's head chef.[4] 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."[5]

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.[6]

As chef to a head of state, Comerford is a member of Le Club des Chefs des Chefs.[7]

Personal life[edit]

She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her husband, John, and their daughter Danielle.[8]


  1. ^ Romero, Paolo (November 19, 2006). "Pinay chef gives Bush a paunch". The Philippine Star. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  2. ^ Office of the First Lady (14 August 2005). "Cristeta Comerford Named White House Executive Chef". Press Release. The White House. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  3. ^ Candy Sagon (15 August 2005). "Toque of the Town: White House Names 1st Female Executive Chef". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
  4. ^ Stacy Finz (17 January 2009). "Bay Area foodies ask: What will the Obamas eat?". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ Lisa Tolin (9 January 2009). "Obama mother-in-law to join family in White House". New York Post. Associated Press.
  6. ^ Reid, Tim (4 January 2010). "White House cuisine put to reality test with Iron Chef appearance". TimesOnline. London. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  7. ^ Buffery, Vicky (24 July 2012). "Presidential chefs swap recipes for world diplomacy". Reuters. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Chef Cristeta Comerford". Food Network.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Walter Scheib
White House Executive Chef