United States: History of White House Executive Chefs

Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford

The White House Executive Chef is responsible for the planning, managing and preparing of all menus and meals for the First Family and their private entertaining, and official state functions at the White House, the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States.

The executive chef heads the three White House kitchens, a staff of four sous-chefs, and reports directly to the chief usher. The executive chef works with the First Lady, Chief Usher, White House Social Secretary and the Executive Pastry Chef to plan menus for State Dinners, receptions, and day-to-day non-official meals. The executive chef officially serves at the president’s pleasure but more commonly works with the first lady, and is appointed, or reappointed, by each administration.

The executive chef holds no purview over any of the desserts or pastries served at the White House. The executive pastry chef operates as a separate entity, but coordinates with the executive chef for all meals and events.

The current White House executive chef is Cristeta Comerford, the first woman to be selected for the post. She was born in the Philippines.  Her cooking style is American, French and Ethnic:

Listing of White House Executive Chefs:

  • Rene Verdon 1961-1965
  • Henry Haller 1966-1987
  • Jon Hill 1987-1988
  • Hans Raffert 1988-1990
  • Pierre Chambrin 1990-1994
  • Walter Scheib 1994-2005
  • Cristeta Comerford 2005-present

*Info from Wikepedia