Meet Cristeta Pasia Comerford is a Filipino-American chef who has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman and first person of Asian descent to hold the post. To her left is my wife Cheryl, Michael J and Assistant Chef Adam Callick!
One of my favorite moments at the White Hosue yesterday was meeting Cristeta Comerford.
Born in the Philippines to parents Honesto Pasia, a public school assistant principal, and Erlinda Gomez, she grew up in Sampaloc, Manila. She completed her secondary education at the Manila Science High School. She attended the University of the Philippines, Diliman in Quezon City, majoring in food technology. However, she left school before completing the degree when she immigrated to the United States at the age of 23.
Comerford's first job was at the Sheraton Hotel near O'Hare International Airport. She also worked at the Hyatt Regency hotel. After Chicago, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as a chef at two restaurants. She additionally spent six months in Vienna as a rotating chef. Comerford was recruited by White House executive chef Walter Scheib III in 1995 to work in the Clinton White House.
After Scheib resigned in February 2005, Comerford was appointed White House executive chef by First Lady Laura Bush on August 14, 2005.
Comerford is the first woman to hold this position. She reportedly was appointed to this position due to her handling of a large dinner that was held in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
On January 9, 2009, the Obama transition team announced that Comerford would be retained as the administration's head chef. Michelle Obama stated, "She is also the mom of a young daughter, and I appreciate our shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families.
Comerford appeared on a special two-hour episode of Iron Chef America, originally broadcast on January 2, 2010. She was teamed up with Bobby Flay and competed against a team of Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali.
As chef to a head of state, Comerford is a member of Le Club des Chefs des Chefs.Her assistant is Chef Adam Callick.
photo credit iHeartradio
(L-R) Executive Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford, Mrs Michael J, MJ and Chef Comerford's assistant Chef Adam Callick