A Brief History of the White House Kitchen

history of white house kitchen Cristeta Comerford Sam Kass meal prep facilities
executive chef presidential

Home Cooking
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson staffed the White House kitchen with slaves. In later years, following the Civil War, the tradition of African-Americans working in the White House kitchen continued. Dolly Johnson, seen in this 1890 photograph, was recruited to the White House by President Benjamin Harrison. Johnson had previously worked for the Harrison family and the President hired her to replace a French chef whose cooking, he said, was inferior to the "plain dishes" Johnson made.

Get the Latest Photos from Time.com
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.