Dinner with the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House (Hardcover)
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A sumptuous narrative history of presidential food--from Washington starving at Valley Forge to Trump's well-done steaks with ketchup--from the co-author of My Life in France.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is perhaps the most important house in the world, which gives the food on the Commander-in-Chief's table unprecedented significance. What our leaders choose to eat, how the food is prepared and by whom, and the context in which these meals are served speaks volumes not only to the country, but often to the world at large. These gustatory messages touch on everything from personal taste (Jefferson's love of eggplant, FDR's terrapin stew, Nixon's daily lump of cottage cheese topped with barbecue sauce, Obama's arugula) to local politics, national priorities, global diplomacy, climate change, and war--not to mention race, gender, class, money, and religion. In The First Kitchen, Alex Prud'homme explores the fascinating stories of first families through the food they ate and served, and in doing so paints a unique picture of the institution of the presidency--and its place in American history.
About the Author
ALEX PRUD'HOMME is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. He is the co-author of Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France, and has authored or co-authored The French Chef in America, The Ripple Effect, Hydrofracking, The Cell Game, and Forewarned. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
"A deeply researched and beautifully written book about how the presidential palate has helped shape America. I found it fascinating." —Stanley Tucci
Dinner with the President is a splendid and captivating book about the power of food in American politics. “Breaking bread” around the table creates a unique and powerful setting to bring conflicting people together and achieve positive outcomes." —Jacques Pépin
"Mr. Prud’homme has come up with a slew of entertaining believe-it-or-not tidbits...Dinner With the President opens with an epigraph by Anthony Bourdain: “Nothing is more political than food.” Mr. Prud’homme’s fascinating book drives the point home." —Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
★ "With much insight into human behavior, Prud’homme has confected an appealing, panoramic history of power dining for both foodies and students of politics and statecraft." —Mark Knoblauch, Booklist; starred review
"An entertaining, well-researched, politically tinged gastronomic history." —Kirkus Reviews