News / USA

White House Africa State Dinner is Part of 'Culinary Diplomacy'

FILE - White House chef Cristeta Comerford holds produce in the kitchen of the White House in Washington.
FILE - White House chef Cristeta Comerford holds produce in the kitchen of the White House in Washington.
Reuters

A battery of chefs are hard at work in the White House kitchen in preparation for a dinner for nearly 50 heads of state from Africa.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host the leaders Tuesday evening.

For White House chef Cristeta Comerford, what is delivered to the table is all a part of "culinary diplomacy.''
    
"Food sends such a wonderful message. You know we have here such a thing [called] culinary diplomacy," she explains. "Because I really do believe if you have a wonderful meal things and conversations are so much better. ''

Backed by about two dozen chefs, Comerford is crafting a meal that
will showcase American food, including produce from the White House garden.

"We are incorporating some of these wonderful vegetables from the [White House] garden, and also some of them are locally-sourced as well. And we are adding these to salads," she explained. "These guys are working on a spring onion that we will be grilling momentarily. So, we are pretty much just highlighting whatever is wonderful and seasonal out there, and things that we think the guests will really, really enjoy.''

While the official menu is still under wraps, Comerford offered a few clues.

"We are also adding a hint of some of the wonderful African spices and different things that would be dear and near to all our guests,'' she said.

For the U.S. Africa Summit, the White House Kitchen faced a logistical challenge.

"We have to take into consideration all of the dietary restrictions, the religious preferences of each country,'' Comerford said. "So a lot of research and hard work are put into everything.''  

In some ways the White House kitchen is like many others in the United States, there are notes on the refrigerator, and the size of the kitchen falls well short of an Olympic sized pool.

The kitchen might be small, but it's efficient,'' Comerford noted.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Erick from: Brea
August 05, 2014 1:15 PM
Efficiency and hardwork are the essence, keep up the wonderful service ma'am Comerford

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More