Obama’s State Department Advocates Using Food To Foster Foreign Relations
Who needs strategic defense and counter-intelligence when you have french fries? The State Department is enlisting the help of more than 80 chefs from the United States to help foster diplomacy with foreign countries.
A newly-christened arm of the State Department – the American Chef Corps – will convene starting Friday, under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. These chefs will be in charge of preparing the meals that are served when foreign dignitaries visit our country, in an effort to share good food with them.
Interestingly enough, American-style cuisine will not be on the menu. The American Chef Corps will primarily serve food that’s native to the visiting dignitaries countries.
At a February luncheon for Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Marshall called on Chinese-American chef Ming Tsai, who owns the Wellesley, Mass., restaurant Blue Ginger. He created a special menu fusing Chinese and American cultures that included an “eight treasured rice packet” with a variety of flavors and gingered Swiss chard.
To feed British Prime Minister David Cameron in March, diplomats chose Chef April Bloomfield, owner of New York’s Spotted Pig, who was born in Britain. The menu included slow-cooked Atlantic salmon, herbed lentils, roasted fennel, cauliflower and petite carrots.
The State Department also offers snacks or tea to jet-lagged guests with a flavor from their homes to make them comfortable.
Each chef receives a jacket that signifies them as members of the American Chef Corps.