Book

President's Kitchen Cabinet

Adrian Miller

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9781469632537
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781469632551
President's Kitchen Cabinet

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This book provides a historical survey of African Americans involved in food service for U.S. presidents and the First Families. The main themes of this book are that these African Americans were culinary artists, family confidantes, and, at times, civil rights advocates. Instead of going by chronological order through each presidential administration, the book is organized by investigating different categories of presidential food service professionals: bartender, butler, caterer, chef, cook, guest chef, maid, maître d'hôtel, steward, and usher. Within each category, select African Americans are profiled. The profiles detail: the personal backgrounds of the presidential cooks; how they entered presidential food service; the material conditions of their workspace; what their typical day was like; how the racial attitudes of the president, the First Family, in Washington, D.C. and the broader society and the society around them have affected their status as White House workers and their workplace; and how they related to the presidents for whom they worked. The book also illuminates the different approaches that U.S. presidents have had towards the food operations at the executive residence, whether that be at the White House, or when the president travels elsewhere. The book concludes with a look at how the contemporary White House kitchen operates, how it inspires young people to the profession, and the prospects for future African American presidential chefs. Each chapter ends with actual presidential recipes or some inspired by select U.S. presidents.

Keywords: African Americans; African American presidential chefs; African American presidential cooks; Presidential chef; Presidential cook; Presidential foodways; Presidential food service; Washington, D.C.; White House kitchen; White House workers

Book.  296 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Table of Contents

The Key Ingredients of Presidential Foodways in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Feeling at Home in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Bittersweet in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Semisweet in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Eating on the Run in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Seeing through a Glass Darkly in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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Above Measure in President's Kitchen Cabinet

Chapter

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