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White House Kitchen Welcomes Brainfood


White House chef Sam Kass, far left, shucks corn with members of Brainfood; Andre Monroe, 17, Stephanie Blyskal, volunteer, and Carina Gervacio, program coordinator. (Melina Mara / The Washington Post)

By Jane Black
You can use all the help you can get when you're making dinner for 1,200. Even if you are Cristeta Comerford. This week, the White House executive chef got 10 extra pairs of hands to prepare for the Obamas' Fourth of July extravaganza.

No. It wasn't those kids, the lucky fifth-graders from Bancroft Elementary School who have helped to prepare, plant and harvest produce from the garden on the White House lawn. In the kitchen this week were Washington area high school students and graduates of the Brainfood program, an area nonprofit organization that helps teach teenagers life skills through cooking.

The invitation to come cook for an official event is a first for the White House kitchen. It is part of a broader East Wing strategy to turn students into what Michelle Obama has called "little ambassadors" for the cause of healthful food. Last week, nine Brainfood students helped make strawberry tiramisu and chocolates topped with gold leaf for the White House luau. This week, the chosen ones are readying a menu for the first family's first Independence Day.

"It's not like they're here only because we're trying to do the right thing," Comerford said. "They're helping. For me, it's really good to have them."

Continue reading at All We Can Eat»

Posted at 4:40 PM ET on Jul 2, 2009  | Category:  Washington Life
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