The President's Kitchen Cabinet

The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas

by Adrian Miller

The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas
US$19.99
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781469632537
  • 9781469632544
An NAACP Image Award Finalist for Outstanding Literary Work—Non Fiction

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.


  • The University of North Carolina Press; February 2017
  • ISBN: 9781469632544
  • Read online
  • Title: The President's Kitchen Cabinet
  • Author: Adrian Miller
  • Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781469632537
  • 9781469632544

In The Press

Miller opens a door into a fascinating world that few ever think about: the White House kitchens. There, he brings to light a realm shaped by an often-ignored group of African Americans who have nurtured the first families so they could lead a nation.--Booklist

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781469632537
  • 9781469632544