Book Review: Breaking Bread at the White House – Food, Politics, and the Tradition of Dining with the President

Presidential palates have been shaping the American diet for centuries, and Alex Prud’homme’s latest book, The Presidents’ Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas, tells us all about it. From the grim meals eaten by George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge to Bill Clinton’s love for fast food, this book covers it all.

But this isn’t just some boring history book. Prud’homme’s writing style is both informative and entertaining, making it easy to dive into the stories of each president and their culinary preferences. Plus, with fun anecdotes and fascinating tidbits, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud and surprising your friends with fun facts.

One of the best things about this book is the focus on the African American chefs who have played a crucial role in the White House kitchen for generations. From Hercules Posey, George Washington’s enslaved chef who narrowly escaped to freedom, to Zephyr Wright, who cooked for Lyndon B. Johnson and influenced his stance on civil rights, these chefs have not only fed presidents, but also helped shape America outside the kitchen.

The accompanying recipes in the book are also a major highlight. Whether you’re a foodie or someone who only knows how to make toast, you’ll enjoy trying out the dishes that have graced the plates of presidents from Martha Washington to Lady Bird Johnson. And who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite recipe.

Prud’homme’s writing truly shines when telling stories about the lesser-known figures in the White House kitchen. For example, he details the story of Sam Kass, a chef who started cooking for the Obamas during Barack Obama’s Senate campaign and continued to cook for them while they were in the White House. Kass became a close friend of the Obamas and even helped Michelle Obama with her Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Overall, The Presidents’ Kitchen Cabinet is a fun and informative read, perfect for anyone interested in food or American history. With its mix of stories about presidential palates and the African American chefs who have made it all possible, it provides a unique perspective on America’s culinary and cultural history. So grab a copy, whip up some Martha Washington’s preserved cherries, and settle in for a fascinating journey through the White House kitchen.
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Price: $15.99
(as of Mar 25, 2023 02:41:37 UTC – Details)

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