Monday, February 02, 2009

Homo Chefian - I Have Genus Envy

I have given this a lot of thought and there's just no way around it. I'm jealous of Michelle Obama.

While Air Force One tethered to my back porch railing would be quite handy, what I really covet is having a private chef at my disposal who can whip up spa food with one hand while preparing a banquet for 50 heads of state with the other.

I considered this grave matter while making a salad of baby spinach and strawberries, blood oranges and toasted pine nuts with a light Meyer lemon vinaigrette. I pondered it as I waited for my pumpkin souffle to rise and I brooded over it crafting raspberry mustard-crusted chicken breasts with rice pilaf and honeyed baby carrots.

And what I came up with was this:

I want someone else to do it.

At least some of the time.

And better than I can.

What excruciating bliss to slouch in my favorite chair for hours until the last page of my book, secure in the knowledge that through no fault of my own, an exquisite meal awaits.

I do not require sparrow's tongue on a bed of candied violets or pheasant under glass, but I love meals made of fresh organic ingredients that look as good as they taste. It is not necessary that I claim credit for their preparation.

I would be perfectly happy to arrive at the dinner table, freshly showered and glowing in a gorgeous dress that competes with the floral arrangements, and to wait with a fine linen napkin across my lap for the most sublime delicacies to arrive.

The Obamas decided to retain Cristeta Comerford, the Executive Chef in the Clinton and Bush White Houses. She is the first woman to hold that position. Ms. Comerford will be responsible for every family meal, formal state dinner, and even the children's after school popcorn and hot chocolate.

The sweetness of it all will never be mine.

If I had realized the ramifications of running for political office, the fringe benefits, the possibility of a personal chef, I would have made different life choices.

I would have run for Senator from New York. After all, I am actually from New York, unlike Bobby Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, those impostors. After six months or so, I would run for President on a platform promising good and healthy food for all Americans.

The Fresh Party.

Dishes of all ethnicities would vote for me.

It would be a landslide.

I guess I could run the country if I had to. Presidents have phoned it in before.

Just show me the chef.


Molly said...

I think you'd have made a name for yourself, if you'd chosen to go into politics! I've read your stance on many issues, and if I had a vote you'd get it! Too bad you chose a different path. And have to be your own chef! I agree that food should be as pleasing to the eye as the tastebuds......

thailandchani said...

My God! You cook like that often? Heavens! I can't imagine anything more complicated than some rice out of the rice cooker and veggies out of the microwave!

I can see why you would want a private chef. Sheeeeesh!

I don't even need the White House chef. I'd be happy with you! :)


nick said...

Oh yes, a personal chef, that would be divine. Mind you, I have the next best thing, as Jenny loves cooking and prepares the most delicious dishes. I did try sharing the cooking once but it simply wasn't up to her high standards and she took over. In return I do all the washing up, which can be quite hard work after she's used virtually every pan and dish in the kitchen....

I think running for high office would be rather a heavy price for some tasty food, though.

Pam said...

Private chef and staff. You don't want to be stuck with the clearing and washing up.Nick and I sound like we're the "wind beneath the sails".Heaps of praise for the chef,our praise often the loudest, but oh the work afterwards...and that linen napkin across your lap? Bet it'll be you soaking and destaining it, and picking off candle wax, if you don't insist on chef AND staff.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that be great? I'd settle for soemone who just cooked for me a few days a week, even.

Cecilieaux said...

Two responses:

1. A personal chef? It's a called a "wife" or "committed SO" -- and, yes, most women I know would die for one.

2. Here's a slogan for The Fresh Party" "the party of risqué humor."

Cecilieaux said...

Oh, forgot ... now I'm off to duck the rotten tomatoes ...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Don't get me wrong - I love to cook and consider it a form of artistic expression, which is why I would especially appreciate the talents of a professional.

And I wasn't made for politics - or poker. It's impossible for me to be secretive.


I enjoy the whole process, selecting food as well as preparing it, even growing it when possible.

So is that a job offer?


Flip and I have the same division of labor, and I also tend to use every pot and utensil in the kitchen.

If I ran for office, I wouldn't have time to do anything I really like so it won't happen in this lifetime.


You make an excellent point. I'm sure the White House chef doesn't do any cleaning up, so maybe I should reconsider my aversion to political life.


That would be blissful as long as he or she prepared the kind of food I like.

I could get Flip to do it if I liked Kraft mac & cheese. He reads boxes well.


Good slogan. Would you consider running my campaign?

Tomatoes don't stay around here long enough to get rotten so I'll have to throw other things.

Chris said...

Who says salad from the store isn't nice and fresh? (*shivers at that picture*)

Los Angelista said...

I would like the Chef, the Chief of Staff and the Social Secretary! But more than that, I want to eat your salad because it sounds delicious!

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Honey, you don't have to run for political office yourself. Just marry someone who does. Sure, they might cheat, lie, steal, and do whatever else politicians do, but you can get a PB and fluffer-nutter sandwich at 3AM.

Yes, this means I have a new story. Well, a new chapter to the novel.

the walking man said...

I cook a mean road kill stew. I'll gourmet it up for ya Hearts.

The CEO said...

Would you consider auditioning local personal chefs for a two or three day a week position? Could take a year or two to make up your mind.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I knew there was something wrong around here -- there are no frogs in my salad.

Why didn't somebody tell me?


I just went to the farmer's market this morning so come on over! (Your Social Secretary is also welcome, of course.)


You're channeling my mother again, which is scary. She always told me that I must never marry a diplomat because I couldn't keep my mouth shut -- it never occurred to her that a mere female could BE a diplomat.)

I'll be right there: Ready, set, READ!


Did you know there actually is a Roadkill Cookbook? I once bought it for an idiot ex-boyfriend who kept trying to fatten me up on meat even though I was a vegetarian.

But I'm sure your gourmet roadkill stew is um, killer.


I think my friend here is onto something.

Yes, oh yes, bring on the chefs.

Jocelyn said...

Here's why I want you to be First Lady (or President): you would have the courage of your convictions and would combine organic values with economic savvy to turn several acres of the White House lawn into sustainable food-raising fields.

I would want to be your chef, if I had that kind of garden just out the back door. (they'd have to tether Air Force One elsewhere)

Ian Lidster said...

Actually, what you're offering sounds heavenly. But, if it would be better for you, we could come to your place for appies and then onto Michelle's for the main course.

Maria said...

I'm with you. I want someone to have a little treat waiting for me when I get home from work.

Laurie said...

I think you would be a fantastic President. I love your platform, but I have a we all get personal chefs too?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It sounds like we have a plan.

It's not as if they lack space for a garden. And you're right about the family plane -- who wants diesel fumes wafting over the arugula?


It depends on what she's serving.


Oh, sigh.


Good question. Herbert Hoover (I think) ran for office under the slogan "A chicken in every pot."

How does "A personal chef in every home" sound? Will it fly? (Like a monkey?)

Anonymous said...

I am on a bit of a cooking strike. The novlty is wearing thin on he whose shoulders it now falls. I hope it works ;)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hope that he on whose shoulders it now falls steps up to the (dinner) plate and creates wondrous culinary masterpieces for you.

Rachel said...

im stealing that salad recipe..nom!

meggie said...

Very much on your wavelength about this!
We were once given a go or sack option of living in some GFS hole of a motel. The only small temptation was the thought of the chef.... then I remembered the Chefs we had had, & how they had tantrums, & walked off the job, leaving us to take over.
At least Cristeta sounds as if she has a very good loyalty code.

Voyager said...

I am so with you. Any meal cooked by someone else tastes so much better than the same meal I cook myself. It would alsmost be worth going into politics for. Almost.

On a limb with Claudia said...

I'd vote for you.

But personally? I think it would be cheaper and easier just to hire a chef. Or go on Jenny Craig... ;)

Ian Lidster said...

Tag -- you're it. Please check my blog

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hope you like it!


Chefs are notoriously volatile, but probably not the ones who work at the White House. In a sense, she's a political appointee, really, regardless of party loyalty, and has to please her First Family.


Almost says it all.


I've never tasted Jenny Craig's food. Isn't she a weight-loss guru? I don't mind losing weight but it has to taste good.


I will. I haven't been to any blogs in a few days as I was working intensively on a (non-blog) writing project. Thanks for thinking of me!

Jeannette St.G. said...

I'm not so sure I would like a personal chef - of course for the first 6 weeks it's great. Then the other thing - I don't think I would want to be in the White House - no privacy, everyone trying to run my life - I like my own little house where I can do what I want to :)
Glad I found your blog though! cheers.

Windy Days said...

I have just found your blog through friend blog, friend blog, friend blog, weirdo blog on my friend's blog, etc. You are Awesome! I am, after reading only one article, your loyal follower:)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Your argument has much merit. Perhaps I haven't thought this through as well as I should as I do treasure my privacy.

You are forcing me to make a very tough decision.

Thanks for your visit!


You have totally made my day! I think it's Awesome that you came by and did all that, and I hope you'll come back soon. Thank you.

jameil1922 said...

ahhhhhhh!! do you realize "I would be perfectly happy to arrive at the dinner table, freshly showered and glowing in a gorgeous dress that competes with the floral arrangements, and to wait with a fine linen napkin across my lap for the most sublime delicacies to arrive." is my DREAM!?!? i soooo need a personal chef.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'd be willing to share if I should ever get so lucky. Deal?

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