Months ago, Gael Greene started the rumors that Art Smith, Oprah’s favorite chef, might find himself in White House whites. Now the NPR blog Monkey See tosses in some speculation about what an Obama presidency might look like in terms of dining. Bill Clinton’s McDonald’s fetish became a Saturday Night Live joke, and the fact that both Bushes, senior and junior, hate broccoli, made the media rounds. What will Obama be known for?
So far, he seems to be bipartisan in his tastes. Todd Kliman at Monkey See breaks it down. Obama “hates beets and asparagus. His favorite food is fried chicken, his favorite recipe is chili, and he’s no stranger to the foods of deprivation. In Dreams from My Father, he confessed that he ate grasshoppers, dog and snakes during his boyhood in Indonesia.” However, he also has a “1,000-bottle wine cellar at his Hyde Park home. What is not known is what the contents of that cellar are—assuming there are contents.”
Obama has written about his love of soul food. However, his favorite restaurant is said to be Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo, “a high-end homage to regional Mexican cooking,” and for their anniversary in October he and Michelle dined at Cafe Spiaggia, “the luxe Italian restaurant with a commanding view of Lake Michigan that Esquire food critic John Mariani has called one of the top destinations for Italian cooking in the country.”
He’s more likely, Kliman guesses, to follow the Clintons’ lead in dining out more often, and in planting a vegetable garden at the White House.
Kliman’s conclusions? Obama has eclectic tastes. Wine “appears to be his drink,” the wine cellar suggests Obama may be an ” aesthete,” but at the same time he’s a “restaurant centrist” and a “pragmatist.”