A Brief History of the White House Kitchen

history of white house kitchen Cristeta Comerford Sam Kass meal prep facilities
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Callie Shell / Aurora for Time

First Dining
Barack Obama has said one of the best parts about living in the White House — as opposed to campaign trail hotel rooms — is that he often gets to have breakfast and dinner with his family (In this photograph, the Obama family eats breakfast around the table at their home in Chicago). A spokeswoman for the First Lady says it's too soon to know how involved, if at all, Michelle Obama might get in the affairs of the White House kitchen. In 2007, Mrs. Obama told the Washington Post "cooking isn't one of my huge things." But even if the White House staff prepares their meals, as with other First Families, the Obamas will pay their own grocery bills.

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