+
Food Media

Tribute to Zephyr Wright, White House Chef for LBJ's Administration

Melanie Wong | Mar 5, 201902:06 PM     1

" . . . Zephyr Wright’s legacy is among the longest-lasting in the White House Kitchen. Unlike Verdon, Wright’s debut didn’t make the front page of the New York Times. Julia Child never mentioned Wright’s influence. And perfectly cooked spare ribs weren’t considered the vanguard of American cuisine. But the American public was still interested. . .

. . . Several years later, on July 2, 1964, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. He gave the pen he used to sign it to Zephyr Wright, telling her she '[deserved] it more than anyone else.' Many believe that Wright explained the realities of racism to him, and, as Miller notes, Johnson used examples of the racism Wright faced when pressing for the bill. She used her proximity to the powerful family to make her experience of inequality legible and human. As the woman in charge of their table, she had that ability."

When The President And His Chef Feuded Over Cold Beans

It was part of an “enduring rivalry” between African-American and French cooking in the White House.

www.atlasobscura.com
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners
Guides

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners

by Greg Stegeman | The weather is getting nicer, Memorial Day is on the horizon, and summer is right around the corner...

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories
Guides

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories

by Jen Wheeler | If you're in the market for a new grill, grill brush, or basically any other BBQ tool, grill accessory...

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country
Guides

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country

by Greg Stegeman | Barbecue sauce is a blanket term that doesn't necessarily do justice to all the regional styles of...

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?
Guides

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?

by Joey Skladany | As a self-proclaimed sauce connoisseur and fan of barbecue varieties specifically, I was more than...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.