Walter Scheib Defends the Local and Organic Cuisine of the White House

The endlessly self-promoting, ex-White House Chef Walter Scheib has a bone to pick with Ruth Reichl, Alice Waters and Danny Meyer, and darn it, he's going to write a stern letter to the New York Times.

In a Times article published December 23, 2008, "Is a New Food Policy on Obama’s List?" (link), Reichl was paraphrased as saying, "A chef who cooks local and organic food and picks some of it from a presidential garden could change things faster than any cabinet appointment."

But Scheib would like you to know that she's wrong, that the White House has been mainly local and organic for years, starting with his tutelage in the Clinton and then the Bush administrations:

[N]early all the product used was obtained from local growers and suppliers. There was a small garden on the roof of the White House where produce was grown.

The ethic of the purchasing and the cooking at the White House under my direction and under the continuing direction of Cris Comerford is one of respect for the pedigree of the product and manner it is grown, gathered, raised or caught...

The presumptions of Ruth Reichl, Alice Waters and Danny Meyer, that the admirable agenda they espouse is not currently the practice in the White House kitchens, are false.

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