Take that, Emeril!

January 4, 2010

We always knew the Obamas were eatin’ good in the neighborhood, but we didn’t realize how good until last night’s special Iron Chef America, which pitted Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali against Bobby Flay and White House Chef Cristeta Comerford.  The secret ingredient: anything from the White House Garden.  The four chefs scavenged the garden for their pick of seasonal produce, then returned to the DC set of Kitchen Stadium to make good on Michelle’s challenge: create a meal that inspires Americans, and focuses on eating healthy and locally.

Fashion faux pas survey: To match your Crocs to the First Lady's dress? (AP Photo)

Team Flay and Comerford won handily with: a fennel and apple salad with oysters; Fresh garden salad with fried lobster and squid in carrot juice, sweet and sour eggplant with pine nuts and currants; Broccoli clam “chowder” with a hint of ginger; all American BBQ with pork, slaw, collard green tamale, cauliflower gratin and watermelon radish pickles;  sweet potato tart with honey, topped with pecan brittle and ginger ice cream.

Isn't it considered cheating to smear caviar all over your dish? (Food Network)

This wasn’t Flay’s first interaction with the Obamas, though.  Our POTUS got a little training in the art of grilling from the master…


Asian Invasian!

November 25, 2009
Last night’s event can’t be considered anything less than success for POTUS’ first State Dinner!  This much glamour hasn’t hit DC since…the inaugural balls? 
The invitation list was a veritable who’s-who of South Asian A-listers, including Deepak Chopra, Bobby Jindal, Kalpen Modi, Sanjay Gupta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amartya Sen, Fareed Zakaria, and M Night Shyamalan.  Other guests included Colin Powell, Katie Couric, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, and Blair Underwood.  In addition to Jennifer Hudson’s vocal stylings, AR Rahman, Oscar winner for the “Slumdog Millionaire” score, also provided entertainment.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Hands down, FLOTUS! (Kamm/Getty Images)

 FLOTUS donned a gorgeous dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.  The dress apparently took 40 people three weeks to custom create for the First Lady.

Is this the Oscars or the State Dinner? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Is Katie wearing a sari??? (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Kalpen really pulled a "Kumar" here--did someone not get the "black tie" memo? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We know who was there, but what did they eat?  Guest chef Marcus Samuellson prepared a mostly vegetarian meal, and used arugula, pineapple sage, fresh dill, oregano and thyme from the White House Garden.  Guests had their choice of roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra or green curry prawns and caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati for the main course, not to mention a bevy of dessert options.  Yum!

Beautiful! (Mandal Ngan, AFP, Getty Images)

Wow, that's TEMPORARY? (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


FGOTUS–First Gardener of the United States

October 30, 2009

Our FLOTUS (dubbed FGOTUS for the day) has outdone the average home gardener with the White House First Garden.   The First Lady invited local DC school children to help her with the fall harvest yesterday, and surprised everyone with the math behind the cost of said garden.  Michelle asked the students how much they thought it cost to start the famous garden, and their guesses ranged from $300-$6000.  In truth, FGOTUS told the crowd that for merely $150 for soil and $55 for seeds, the White House Garden has produced anywhere from 740 lbs to 963 lbs of vegetables, most of which either goes to the White House kitchen or Miriam’s Kitchen.  Students carted away over 240 lbs of veggies yesterday, including carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and fennel.  Now’s that’s a green thumb!

sweet potato

Behold--the world's LARGEST tuber! (Photo from Huffington Post)


Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood

September 18, 2009

Apparently a private vegetable garden isn’t enough for the Obama family.  Their need for vitamins A to zinc drew the First Lady to the newly established FRESHFARM Market on Vermont Avenue “by the White House.”  Only a week ago, our FLOTUS reportedly submitted a request to the city for the appropriate road closures, etc.  Usually, such a request takes months/years to be okayed.  Not the case here!

FLOTUS addressed the 300-person crowd, saying “I’ve never seen so many people excited about fruits and vegetables. Yay for vegetables!!!”

"I'm so excited about vegetables THAT I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF!!!" (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)

"I'm so excited about vegetables THAT I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF!!!" (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)

What did the First Lady purchase, you ask?  For a total of $28, she bought: a wheel of organic Camembert, chocolate milk, eggs, Tuscan kale, cherry tomatoes, Asian pears, “patriotic” potatoes (red, blue and German butterball), and hot peppers.

The Cheese Whisperer (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)

The Cheese Whisperer (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)

At one point, a fellow produce-junkie chided, “Don’t forget the brussel sprouts!,” to which Mrs. Obama replied “I don’t know if the president likes brussel sprouts.”

"Dont forget the brussel sprouts!" (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)
“Don’t forget the brussel sprouts!” (flanked by Sam Kass, White House Chef, and Adrian Fenty, DC Mayor) (Photo by Win McNamee, Getty Images)

When will FLOTUS start hawking the White House Garden wares?