Hiding the Greens From the Obama Daughters

Chefs try to please entire first family

It's not easy being green at the White House dinner table.

While giving a group of culinary students a tour of the first family's kitchen, Michelle Obama talked about the challenges the White House chefs have when trying to please the whole family.

"Sometimes kids are like, 'It's green,' and that bright green color is horrible to them," she said. "So they have some interesting challenges, just meeting the taste issues of a 7 and 10 year old, and making food that's healthy and delicious."

A good example:  The first lady said she is fond of a White House creamed spinach soup.

"That is an amazing spinach, a creamed spinach without cream," she said. "There is no way you would eat that and not think that it wasn’t filled with cream and cheese."

White House chef Cristeta Comerford said to keep calories down the soup is made with sauteed spinach, olive oil and shallots and at the last minute is whipped into a puree.  She called it "delicious."

Nonetheless, Michelle Obama said, “Sasha still didn’t like it.”

The students from the L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md., got a look at what it takes to become a White House chef and how the chefs prepare some of the Obamas' favorite dishes.

"There hasn't been anything I don't like," Michelle Obama said. "There's some mean waffles and grits that are made in the morning that have become a regular staple for some of us. I don't eat waffles everyday."

Kaitlin Giuffre, 22, of Bethesda, a pastry student who works in a Bethesda bakery said, “I guess I did not realize how much planning goes into every little detail of the menu.”

Other facts from the kitchen:

-- “The president loves scallops,” according to the first lady.

-- The White House Huckleberry Cobbler is “one of the first family’s favorites.”

-- Mrs. Obama is contemplating coming up with her own china. “I think so, I think that’s, that’s part of the job,” she said.

-- The White House partners with local growers, farmer and purveyors. For security reasons, vendors “don’t know that it is going directly here,” Comerford said.  The produce comes from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

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