Who Will Be Donald Trump’s White House Chef?

Chef David Burke helped open BLT Prime in DC's new Trump Hotel. Photography by Jeff Elkins

Everyone’s busy debating who will be in Donald Trump’s cabinet, but what about his kitchen? We’ve got some ideas about who could potentially end up serving the next president his well-done steaks as White House chef.

Cristeta Comerford

It’s common for White House chefs to serve under multiple administrations. Comerford, for example, started working in the White House during the Clinton years as an assistant chef. In 2005, First Lady Laura Bush promoted her to executive chef, and the Obamas have kept her on.

The Filipino-American chef, the first female in her position, has been involved in Michelle Obama‘s Let’s Move! campaign to get kids to eat healthier. It seems unlikely that healthy eating will continue to be a cornerstone of the presidency under Trump, who’s known for his love of Big Macs and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Still, Comerford has worked for three different First Families, all with varying tastes, why not one more?

It’s also possible that Comerford could stay on as White House executive chef, but the Trumps could hire an additional personal chef. That’s what the Obamas did with Sam Kass, who had cooked for the family in Chicago and later became the White House’s first senior policy advisor for nutrition policy and the leader of Let’s Move!

David Burke

After José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian backed out of restaurants in the Trump International Hotel, celebrity chefs weren’t exactly lining up to take their spots. But when BLT Prime finally signed on, it brought in Burke, who embraced the opportunity to attach his name to the restaurant. In a lot of ways, he’s the perfect match for Trump. Both men share outsized personalities, backgrounds in TV competitions, and a penchant for absurd extravagance. (One of Burke’s namesake restaurants features a dry-aging meat room lined with pink Himalayan salt and a 3,000-bottle wine tower.)

Plus, the two have some history: The chef first met Trump in 1988 when he was hired to cater 4th of July festivities on the real estate developer’s new yacht, the Trump Princess.

Joe Isidori

The New York chef worked for Trump from 2003 to 2008, both as his personal chef and as a corporate executive chef overseeing Trump hotel restaurants and golf clubs throughout the country. Now, he’s owner of Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in New York, which is known for its over-the-top $15 milkshakes. You know who loves milkshakes

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

The Michelin-starred chef has his flagship restaurant in Trump Tower and even catered the wedding of Donald and Melania in 2005. That said, he’s likely too famous and successful to bother with the White House. Opposing politics could also be a turnoff: Vongerichten gave money to Obama and the Democratic National Committee in 2012.

Melania Trump’s Personal Chef

The future First Lady has said she already has a personal chef, although it’s unclear exactly who it is. Maybe a move to the White House will elevate him or her from obscurity?

Ronald McDonald

But he’ll have to fight Colonel Sanders for the gig.


Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.