Filipino Top Chef at the White House is Honored by UP
The University of the Philippines on Monday conferred the honorary the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa on White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford. Comerford is an alumna of the state university. She took up BS Food Technology, but did not have the chance to finish the course when she had to migrate to the U.S. at the age of 23.
In 1995, the White House recruited Comerford to work as a sous chef to the Clintons. In a report by the Washington Post, her predecessor Walter Scheib, who also happened to be the person who hired her as sous chef, said, “Comerford is known for her even-tempered, unflappable demeanor.”
According to Scheib, the executive chef has an extraordinary ability to adapt from “...a late-night peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a state dinner for 900.”
Comerford became the White House’s first female executive chef in 2005 after former U.S. first lady Laura Bush fired Scheib. Comerford has been one of the longest-serving executive chefs in the White House. She was retained by President Barrack Obama in 2008 and by President Donald Trump in 2016. Comerford has been the executive chef for 14 years, but has been a chef at the White House for over 24 years.