The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas

The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas

James Beard award-winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation's history. Daisy McAfee Bonner, for example, FDR's cook at his Warm Springs retreat, described the president's final day on earth in 1945, when he was struck down just as his lunchtime cheese souffle emerged from the oven. Sorrowfully, but with a cook's pride, she recalled, "He never ate that souffle, but it never fell until the minute he died."A treasury of information about cooking techniques and equipment, the book includes twenty recipes for which black chefs were celebrated. From Samuel Fraunces's "onions done in the Brazilian way" for George Washington to Zephyr Wright's popovers, beloved by LBJ's family, Miller highlights African Americans' contributions to our shared American foodways. Surveying the labor of enslaved people during the antebellum period and the gradual opening of employment after Emancipation, Miller highlights how food-related work slowly became professionalized and the important part African Americans played in that process. His chronicle of the daily table in the White House proclaims a fascinating new American story.

8 audio discs (9 1/2 hr.)

Title:The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781504794985
Format Type:

    The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas Reviews

  • Stacy

    This book was incredibly fascinating. It delved into the history of a part of the White House few people seldom think about. Back to the days of George Washington, through successive Presidents, as fa...

  • Bonnye Reed

    GNAB I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Adrian Miller and University of North Carolina Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work w...

  • Mandy

    i loved this! miller's book offers exactly the kind of history i prefer: focused on a single topic throughout time (as opposed to a specific period or event); well-researched; full of exciting anecdot...

  • Mary Sanchez

    The author brings to light the contributions African Americans have made to the White House and its residents--especially concerning the eating and drinking habits of the first families and their gues...

  • Jessica

    I really enjoyed Miller's presentation for the Culinary Historians of Chicago, so I checked the book out from the library. Turns out, I'm really only interested in the highlights.This book is very wel...

  • Megan Rogers

    I got to 57% and then found myself no longer interested. I just skimmed the rest until I'd come upon an interesting story to read closer. This book was filled with interesting tidbits and facts but it...

  • Anna

    Did you know that John Adams was interested in a garden like the Obamas and that Johnson decided tocut out most of the cost of the food of his dogs because too expensive, and that black people at the...

  • Julie Bestry

    What's the opposite of damning with faint praise? Praising with faint damnation? I really wanted to give this five stars -- I'd definitely grant it 4 1/2 for the deep dive into a lineage of Americans ...

  • Kevin

    This is one of those fascinating little curiosities that pop up every so often. It's, well it's exactly as the title suggests, the story of African-Americans who have served US Presidents. Except it's...

  • Eden

    2019 bk 251. Miller cover some ground that has been covered before, but goes on to add a wealth of details about the African American cooks who have served in the kitchens of the While House. Of parti...