Tuesday, May 05, 2009

CNN, Headline News As Obama Foodie TV

Add Washington chef Michel Richard of Georgetown's Citronelle to the list of restaurateurs who dish & tell. This morning on CNN and CNN's Headline news, Richard spilled the beans about The First Couple's Saturday Date Night dinner. The President's motorcade arrival, complete with armed Secret Service members hanging out of the back of a armored station wagon, put the locals on high alert (above: POTUS and FLOTUS stroll the WH grounds after dinner).

According to Chef Richard, the President had braised Short Ribs, and the First Lady had the lobster burger. Each had a martini, and Richard even found it necessary to parse how the First Couple ate their dessert, which was a Napoleon:

"They remove the dough," Richard said (sic). "And ate the cream!"

Richard also told CNN that the Obamas "looked like a couple of teenagers." He was thrilled that FLOTUS kissed him twice on each cheek, and that POTUS thanked him for dinner in French. CNN was quick to point out that the President paid for the dinner with his own credit card, and left a 20% tip.

The crowd of onlookers was reliably reported as about 100 by the White House press pool, but CNN amped it up to 250, apparently to convince news viewers that din-din was a huge event (crowd pic below). Georgetown was described as "toney."

About two seconds later, CNN/Headline News also reported that White House assistant chef Sam Kass will be cooking later today at the Healthy Schools Campaign lunch event, which is taking place at Martha's Kitchen this morning. Kass will be joined by a group of Chicago high school culinary students, who won a contest to create a healthy cafeteria lunch. The event seeks to focus attention on school lunch programs, and the upcoming re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

Both stories went into half-hourly rotation on the newstream.

*Tim Carman of Washington City Paper talks with Michel Richard about his empire building plans, here.