Women We Admire By Julia Burgi
Chef Cristeta Comerford is living the dream - not only is she the first female to hold the Executive Chef position at the White House, she is also the first ethnic minority. After impressing First Lady Laura Bush, she moved up from an Assistant Chef position in 2005 and was kept in the position by the Obama family because of her passion for delicious, healthy eating.
After growing up in the Philippines and earning a degree in Food Technology at the University of Philippines, Chef Comerford moved to the United States. She started out in Chicago and worked in Napa Valley, France, and Vienna before settling down in Washington D.C and working her way to the top.
Besides cooking for two First Families, Chef Comerford has appeared, and left victorious, on the popular TV show Iron Chef on a team with Bobby Flay against Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.
Chef Comerford is really a perfect fit for the Obama Family, with a daughter of similar age as Malia and Sasha Obama. The inclusion of a garden at the White House has also been a thrill for Chef Comerford, who has said it reminds her of the one she used to help her grandmother with as a child.
Far from letting her success go to her head Chef Comerford has demonstrated her desire to continue the cycle of inspiration. She has spoken to her fellow countrymen, many women's groups, and even included culinary students in the preparation of the Governor's Dinner.