Here’s What Really Happens Inside The White House Kitchen – And The Bizarre Rules Chefs Must Obey

Working as a chef at the White House is obviously an incredibly prestigious job. But it’s far from easy. Not only is the place pretty chaotic, but the cooks must also meet the highest possible standards. And to ensure that the top dog and his team are chowing down on nothing but the best, there are a bunch of strict rules that the kitchen staff must follow.

20. You’re always on call

Just like the doctors in the ER, a White House cook must be available at pretty much every hour of the day. Former pastry chef Bill Yosses confirmed as much in February 2020. He told HuffPost, “In theory, we were working 24/7.” And even though you’re probably imagining the president tucking into a midnight feast in his pajamas, there are actually more official reasons for this.

Rise and shine

Yosses, who worked in the White House from 2006 to 2014, went on to explain why the chefs have to be available all of the time. “There could be a national emergency, and the people involved have to get up at 3:00 a.m. and handle a crisis.” So, while these top White House employees may not be hungry then, the kitchen staff have to be prepared just in case.

19. Be in the right kitchen

It seems that one kitchen just isn’t enough in the White House. Instead, there are three. First, you have the principal kitchen. Then there’s another that’s dedicated solely to making pastry, desserts and sweet treats. Plus, the First Family also have a place where they can prepare and cook their own food. After all, everyone enjoys a spot of baking every now and again, don’t they?

18. Strange food could be on the menu

Presidents can order pretty much whatever food they want – even if it is a tad weird. Take Richard Nixon, for instance, who used to ask for cottage cheese slathered in ketchup. He ate the dairy product because he thought that it was good for him, you see, but apparently wasn’t partial to how it tasted. And George Bush used to request a dish that’s even more unhealthy: cheeseburger pizza. Yep, that’s exactly what it sounds like: a burger and cheese on top of a pizza base. He obviously wasn’t counting the calories.