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The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story…
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The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who… (edition 2017)

by Adrian Miller (Author)

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485433,734 (3.5)None
Award winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation's history.… (more)
Member:DocHath
Title:The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas
Authors:Adrian Miller (Author)
Info:The University of North Carolina Press (2017), 296 pages
Collections:Your library
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The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller

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Immediately after reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, I wanted to listen to this book which I owned in audio.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama planted the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn in the spring of 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our country. In time, that conversation led to Let's Move!, which Mrs. Obama launched in 2010 to help kids and families lead healthier lives. The garden has provided fresh, seasonal produce for the First Family, guests at White House events, and for those in need in the local community. Students from across the country helped Mrs. Obama plant and harvest the garden throughout President Obama’s Administration.

Two African American cooks warned my attention for further information/research : 1) Hercules, one of Washington’s slaves, was the chief cook at Mount Vernon, and was given special privileges, and sold leftovers from the presidential kitchen and earned enough monies to buy expensive clothing and luxuries. Hercules escaped to his freedom. 2) Lizzie McDuffie, who’s weight went well beyond the White House, was a part-time cook for Franklin D. Roosevelt. McDuffie went on the campaign trail for Roosevelt to gin up votes among African American voters, and wrote some of his speeches.

This book is full of history and information past and present. The audio was well done. I wish this book was required reading in schools. The recipes at the very end was a wealth of information being that I own a bed and breakfast and like serving traditional meals to my guests. ( )
  Onnaday | Apr 27, 2021 |
The President’s Kitchen Cabinet is a history of African Americans who have worked in the White House kitchen from the time of George Washington through Barak Obama. Rather than being organized chronologically or by cook (the author uses cook and chef interchangeably), it’s organized by topic, like food, drink, etc. It seemed somewhat scattered and disorganized.

This book was not what I was expecting based on the title. I thought it would delve more deeply into the personal lives of the cooks and how being a cook in the White House affected it. It seemed like most of the information was either about the food itself or the president the cook worked for. While I enjoyed the book, I wanted more. Some of the people included in this book were also in The Residence: In the Private World of the White House. I wish I had a copy of that book to cross-reference with this one but unfortunately, I checked that book out of the library when I read it way back when.

Miller included recipes that were either directly from or inspired by the cooks in the book. It was interesting to read about the different cooking techniques that were used. Some were pretty complicated!

I did learn a few things from this book and if you are really interested in African American or presidential history, then it’s worth a read. ( )
  mcelhra | May 10, 2017 |
An interesting look at the African-Americans who have cooked for the president, but the transitions were choppy. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Apr 5, 2017 |
641.50922 M6471 2017
  ebr_mills | Mar 23, 2017 |
In days gone by, African Americans were regarded as having a natural aptitude for cooking. A select few found themselves at the White House, preparing food for the President and his family. I hesitate to write that those few were lucky. Some were slaves, and even after the Emancipation the pay wasn't all that great. Moreover, for many years the White House's kitchen facilities were suboptimal, and even infested with vermin at times. Workplace rivalries were common, as Southern cooks were pitted against classically-trained European chefs. The usual compromise was that French chefs took charge of big state dinners, while "down home" cooks fixed the simple comfort food the Presidents and their families loved.

After a slow start, this book becomes more interesting as author Adrian Miller shares anecdotes about the presidents, their dietary preferences, and their relationships with the kitchen staff. Unfortunately, little material about the individual personalities of the employees has survived, and newspaper accounts of the White House kitchen often relied on the "Mammy" stereotype to characterize the female workers.

Still, this book is a generous tribute to the unsung men and women who have kept the Presidents well-fed through the years. Recipes for Presidential favorites past and present such as Zephyr Wright's Popovers and Minted Green Pea Soup are included. Recommended for those who enjoy behind-the-scenes peeks at life in the White House. ( )
  akblanchard | Feb 22, 2017 |
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Award winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation's history.

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