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Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta comerford.jpg
White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford working in the White House kitchen
Born 1962 (age 47–48)
Cooking style American, French, and ethnic
Education University of the Philippines, Diliman (Attended)

Cristeta Pasia Comerford (born 1962) has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman to be selected for the post, and also the first of Filipino descent.


Early life

Cristeta Comerford was born as Cristeta Pasia in Philippines and grew up in Sampaloc, Manila. She completed her secondary education at the Manila Science High School. She attended the University of the Philippines, Diliman in Quezon City and majored in food technology. However, she did not earn her degree as she left school to migrate to the United States.


She immigrated to the United States at the age of 23. Her first job was at the Sheraton Hotel near O'Hare International Airport. She also worked at the Hyatt Regency hotel. After Chicago, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as a chef at two restaurants. She additionally spent six months in Vienna as a rotating chef. Comerford was recruited by executive chef Walter Scheib III in 1995 to work in the Clinton White House.

Scheib resigned as executive chef in February 2005. Comerford was appointed by First Lady Laura Bush on August 14, 2005. She is the first female executive chef and the first person of ethnic minority origin to hold this position.[1]

She reportedly was appointed to this position due to her handling of a large dinner that was held in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[2]

She was referred to when George Bush mentioned his "Philippine-American chef" to visiting Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in June 2008.

On January 9, 2009, the Obama transition team announced that Comerford would be retained as the administration's head chef.[3] Michelle Obama stated, "Also the mom of a young daughter, I appreciate our shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families." [4]

Comerford appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America, originally broadcast on January 3, 2010. She was teamed up with Bobby Flay and competed against a team of Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali.[5] Comerford and Flay were triumphant.

Personal life

She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her husband, John, and their daughter, Danielle.

External links


Further reading

Preceded by
Walter Scheib
White House Executive Chef
Succeeded by


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