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tv   The Presidents Kitchen Cabinet  CSPAN  June 25, 2017 12:44am-1:23am EDT

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nunn and. >> good morning i n the supervisory archivist and onard
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behalf of the libraryevelt welcome to the 2017 roosevelt reading festival of your plan to become the research institution for studying the entire era research river is consistently one of the busiest and this year's group of authors reflect the wide variety of research if you love the roosevelt reading festival and want to support other programs i encourage you to become a library member enjoy today -- join today or on line. n please see the new temporary exhibition with the incarceration of japanese-americans during world war ii i will quickly go over the format today. at the top of each hour a
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session begins with a 30 minute talk with 10 minutes of question and answer and then the author will move to the lobby to sign books and talk further if you have questions so this session will be taped for c-span so t please approached the microphone that is at the edge of the room for any questions. now is my pleasure to introduce our next speaker adrian miller living in denver colorado currently the executive director of the colorado council of churches and the first african-american to hold that position he previously served as a special assistant to bill clinton and a senior policy analystlso n
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and also a board member his first book soul food won the james beard foundation awardrd in 2014. [applause] and his second book "the president's kitchen cabinet" the story of the african americans who have fed our first families, from the washingtons to the obamas" published on president's day 2017.t' [applause] >> good morning it is great to be europe of rooseveltt my b presidential library but just do talk about my background how we came to write this book bin instead of my typical presentation i was just focused on
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roosevelt because i have some great stories are was born and raised in denver colorado i wrote a book on the history of soul food that gave me street creditme immediately but i have to southern parents from tennessee and arkansas but this is the food i grew up reading and while i was researching that book that african-americans started to pop up in my research so i could find enough stories to cobble together i will do a infortune the aisle was able to do that to write this book "the president's kitchen cabinet". i am a lawyer by training for i did not like practicing law. it was not for me i was going to open a soul food restaurant in denver then a classmate called me up out of the blue to say i am working on an initiative of the white house and i have a
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friend thiamine denver she is washington d.c. so i said tell me more it was the initiative of one american of the outgrowth of the initiative on race with a wild and crazy a deal if we just talking and listen we may realize we have more in common. so then i did the same thing that dick cheney did i was the head of the search committee putting my name ond the list so i got the job and moved at the end of the second term bin i started this interest in food writing and then that led to this book. what i love about the roosevelt presidency in encapsulates so many things -- themes to have this celebrated:berry artist tolt
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keep them healthy also the interplay where presidents want to play hooky from their diet normally it is the first lady that keeps the president from himself mende african-americans caught in the middle so i will primarily focus on three personalities equity roosevelt administration one was named alonzo in one wast named the lizzie she was a maid but also help to cook and then another who would cook over long periods of time in georgia.with so because i deal with so many people i eventually found 150 people food cooked from our our presidents i finished during the obama administration but there are
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holdovers now into the trump whitehouse i decided the best way to tell a story was to create different categories and then tell those i start with the ingredientsof e of all the things that arere created then i started offfstewr with the presidentialhe steward those in charge of all domestic operations now called the chief usher the do the shopping, play and the menus, then i move to the enslaved people because a lot of the presidents were slaveholders then they talk about the cooks and thenso when the president is traveling if he is on a o train or boat or air force one then an entire chapter
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on drinks one of the longest catch and mouse games is what the president drinks so this is the strategy is to number one tonight it but then say not that much thenth negritude denied that there is even though white house wine cellar then say there is not much in it. [laughter] so i would say fdr was the bartender in chief throughout presidential history and then i ends. talking about the future of african-americans there is nothing stopping them to be named to the of chief executive chef is just a matter of presidential taste so first to begin with a catn and mouse game so as to know eleanor roosevelt was not interested -- was interested in food.
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on sunday nights she would have scrambled a extenders called scramble days with brains because she willev invite intellectuals over there is controversy whether she took to them or just served to them at the last minute so the white house housekeeper was in charge of the food but president roosevelt was on a diet and we're like to stray so the white house physician and eleanor roosevelt would team up to make sure he stayed on the diet so in her diary she memorialized in exchange between eleanor and the doctor. i will read that now. so what mcintyre said was colony if you need help. dr. mcintyre said to mrs. roosevelt.
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he cooperated in try to get the president back to normal finally he brought in doctors from the navy hospital the present eight every thing he was told simply because of the orders by the navy so to cut out all fried foods that was one directive from the doctor but typically the president will get what they get in the african-american staff is caught in the middle helping the president out. so i love the exchange sold is the was the wife of the president's longtime valet so she comes to the white house as a maid and often get a company resolved on a long trip but what was
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interesting about this the she had a big personality she would entertain the president with puppet showsy shows, and early version of the muppets called a suicide. [laughter] and the president would love them so she was a favoritet. and actually she would campaign for the president. so in 1936 she was on the stump in major cities this is from these baltimore african-american newspaper that said over 350 years to be above the statement they have debated on both sides but last week white house cut can wife of the ballet
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took an audience of 700 here is the wife to home -- to her husband's employer but that is the white house cook during a swell job she was cheered in st. louis and chicago and gary indiana she went out to make one speech and made three in could have made 24 more. she went to a lot of cities with large african-american constituencies to campaign for the president might you no forever reason nobody tried to prosecute her but she made such a difference thatov after the election was over roosevelt actually calledov her to the oval office to thank her personally sell another interesting thing is
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during one of the warehouse dinners he took one look ever is that i want her in my next movie. anybody want to guess? gone with the wind so she was in consideration for the oscar-winning role and actually eleanor roosevelt wrote a letter on her behalf . yes. and newspaper reports of herk getting the part because i think that was the neckgh without verifying the sources. so there is a story she got the part but obviously she did not she would accompany him to georgia where he would stay to get treatment for his polio he started going there as governor of new york and there he met
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daisy. she was the private cook for a local family and when she would go to ruin georgia they would ingratiate themselves with the president and they would loan daisy to her and she would stay in a little cottage she introduced him to specialties like a dish that is very popular in georgia but it is the essentially chicken curryuld joe she and president roosevelt would joke about a secret recipe with 45 ingredientsalso o but she also cooked southern delicacies but the one paying he loved was a pig's feet.wa she would boil them then take the amount to broil
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them and better them.. it will get worse for arse for second. [laughter] so one of the other interesting stories that he serve these to winston churchill and they were sweet and sour so long time butler starts to work in the hoover administration and then wrote about this sos this is the scene that he paints. w >> this type of pigs feet he j requested just for the prime minister. who a cook often prepared in the style and she brought the president this dish. he had a twinkle in his eye
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he said have it for the luncheon tomorrow for these prime minister he started to help himself what is this? he was told this is a pig's feet he said i have never heard of them and helped himself he said very good pot slimy after tasting them the president said they are a bit sometimes they are fried then the prime minister says i do not think i would care for them fried, ine but one interesting dish was a cheese souffle. is anybody here a cook? what is the big concern of a souffle? so ladies and gentleman i will tell you about a miracle. [laughter] belly
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this miraculous cheesese souffle she made for him on the last day of his life. get she told the of ballet get the president to the table he said never put this souffle in the oven until like amount of room he was reading the atlanta constitution the paper hadad come late because of badan weather he asked for the paper for the third time so he went right to reading he would never set for her she s would just have to catch him then he said that was terrific and slumped over in never eight the souffle but it did not fall for two
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hours until he died so as a side note souffle making is a strong concern the white house cook for jfk had in this strategy because he was chronically late so he would make for an time them at 415 minute intervals hoping he would arrive on time but that is the perils to make souffle with our presidentmaking but daisy was very moved by his death and she had a very close relationship did you ever go to georgia in the kitchen area she wrote on the wall cut the first and last meal for the presidentt. it is encased in plastics you could see how moved she was she wanted to be considered the first lady of presidential cooking and had
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plans to open a museumcookin entirely dedicated to president roosevelt but died before she could put that together. there is a cat and mouse about drinks but i talked about several alcoholic beverages wine, cocktails and eggnog this is from a long time made in the white house to give is in sight out eggnog plays out in the white house she observed once more the recipe of one of the a other drinks so the cocktails and highballs were served upstairs but pitiers eggnog was traditional the entire weight lighthouse was concerned the punch bowl was
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carried before the president and each time the president said two of the united states as a toast. they declared that what president eisenhower made upstairs was very strong but what roosevelt had was also very strong ccf lot of strong eggnog even through the present day but even what obama is served in president clinton so that is a tradition bentinck he is most known for a the martinilill so fdr claimed he did not know the exact formula because that was worked on by a family committee his
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son mike to the mild one and then frankly got old enough to speak up that johnnie shot up so tall insisted on a martini so dry it could be mistaken all the time mixing and for ruth and gin so nobody could know the formula and when finished he would say as chairman he of the power to decide your ultimate fate in and would add more to the concoction at this point some were not sure they wanted a martiniis after all. f sometimes he would make some old-fashioned bin fdr would insist on mixing for everyone and would bernanke was the best mixer in the east now there are references to the haitian
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libation. [laughter] by all accounts it was god awful i tried to find the recipe but he really liked on. something else i forgot to mention playing into history was the lead bidder not they have been in charge of beating the animals to make special recipes for the dogs but there was a time when the white house pet messed up plans with a dog named weeks on the scene in according to white house reports the morning of march march 1930 for friday san ham were set up for the resident staff and then the coach stepped away to do something else when they returned there were all gone then they realized because
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weeks have helped themselves to a nice meal actually the press had a lot of fun with this and staged a photo but the white house cook was very upset soon afterwards a was announced he was leaving the white house to spend more time with his family. [laughter] and then came the more familiar dog. so one thing that was interesting is that over time they fit into three boxes as a culinary artist so if you know, anything about the fdr white house it was not great people would discuss if they should come to a state dinner so to engaging in race pride i am thinking they're all
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african-americans on staffre's t but the blade was john henry data into lillian parks inhe her diary sheds light that the african-americans who are the cooks would do their of baying and henry had that would come but behind them to adjust the seasoning soever they were making she would lesseps what would never work out. i did a lot of research in the archives and also the main food for my research that a lot of companies were digitizing if you could figure out the terms that were used then you could find out about the crooks son, i will back up to say thee term white house executive
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chef does not come intono existence jacqueline kennedy what created the term everfo called the head cook for the chief cook and the pantry man leaves during the johnson administration and was a well-known and elisabeth blake and dazed -- daisy in the first jimmy carter in the house before president carter and elisabeth maurer and kathryn smith. >> so when they come to the white house with that
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segregated practice with president taft so even though there was of multiracial cooking staffe time before the day's eight together so by the time inep ellora roosevelt rectifies the situation so i will let you decide if that is progress but it is no longer segregation in to save them notes san skiffs in then
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presidents are terribly moved without residence staff and there are civil rights advocates and the endaf of a broader society we saw what lizzy did warner fdr but another example was a longtime cook for lyndon johnson before the civil rights act actually uses her experience to support the bill because they would drive back and forth fromom texas and suffered so many indignities said i would not make bad ride anymore is a shame that presidents could cast to suffer and when the
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civil rights act is passed he gives her one of the pens . one of the big takeaways that th these african-americans because of their relationship gave the presidency of window of black life many presidents chose not to open the window but those that did our nation has been much better. [applause] >>. >> how did this differed from herbert hoover? so
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what happened with african-american cooks?. >> under roosevelt there was more open and camaraderie. so we did not have that rigidity. so he was berry knows the. and also with the civil service?. >> but wilson was a southerner. and that was different from what was cooked by the white house staff by about zero about the interaction but
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that they love to their food. so it is a feeling of camaraderie. so he would eat a lot of waffles. don't waffle on the waffles. it was a good way. >> did days he or mrs. nesbitt ever meet?. >> i did up when the record of that. f i don't know.
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sole there were a few tussles but that was thefo plain old los issue is:a short time after that. after that alonzo becomes me judy -- maitre d. bat was a pivotal event over a stick of butter you would think of the first lady wants something she would get it. e >> so the position of the chief executive chef do they carry over?. >> mike every betty else
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they serve up the pleasure of the president sone typically the white house kitchen at -- kitchen normally the executive chef for the pastry chef but what has happened the president can decide whose staffs the kitchen most decide to carry over but they may bring in in an additional cut for the family because jacqueline kennedy created a second-floor kitchen and dining space she turned margaret truman's bedroom into a small kitchen and pantry so now there is a dining space on the second floor so lyndon johnson was the last president to have a second cut for the family most have the chief executive chef do everything
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>> including making recommendations for their replacements?. >> sometimes but typically this is somebody a prison knows -- the president knows from their prior life that they bring in if they make a change but since 1960 and most presidents have kept the holdover from themo previous administration. sova one guy served from johnson all the way through reagan bin reagan and bush had the same chaff -- shaft and the assistant was in the clinton administration mortgages promoted and iss w ben there ever since. >> is there a food budget?.
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>> yes. so they had to pay for food out of their own pocket so the air force one that was not a free-for-all. in to have more history is the creation is a reflection of this because in with the intent -- installation of air-conditioning. they called them the deal to nothing which
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so that is why the navy operations saw a lot of the food is not run by the white house kitchen staff but the navy staff. >> is there any more elaborate meal so did somebody ever having an allergic reaction?.at >> so first so created by an african american chef who was offered the executive chef job under president clinton and then turns it
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down because it was a pay cut he was making well into six figures at the hotel across street but at that time the chef was 58,000. that was a definite drop off with several kids but thel clintons ask him to create a meal that was halle bit with lemon grass vegetables i have the recipe in my book bin at the last second they asked him to be the guest of honor with nelson mandela. he did not cook it created it.cook the george herbert walker bush in japan that is the only one that i know of.
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with the offical taster tends to be the opposition leader in congress. [laughter] [applause] actually it is the white house chef is the case's tester. >> so we don't get a lot of information so what i have seen in the press so far he does love me a loaf -- meat loaf in the fast food labels on the campaign trail he
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does like the comfort third we don't get a lot of whatot is going on inside the trumpmp kitchen. [applause] [inaudible conversations]


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