Sunday, April 11, 2010

Best White House Foodie Photos Of The Week

Chirping eggs, WH seeds, Sam Kass & Timothy Cipriano
There was big foodie action at the White House this week, from Monday's 2010 Easter Egg Roll to Friday's Childhood Obesity Forum. The events bookended a period that also included President Obama attending a ceremonial luncheon in Prague, following the signing of the START treaty, and holding a special dinner for European leaders. Herein, a look at some highlights.

When First Lady Michelle Obama turned the South Lawn into one giant playground for the 2010 Easter Egg Roll, there were numerous efforts to make the event accessible to all kinds of kids. Above is Best Foodie Photo #1, one of the "chirping" eggs used during the traditional egg rolling races, which involves pushing hard boiled eggs across a grass course with big wooden spoons. The noisy plastic "eggs" released high-pitched "chirping" noises, so visually impaired kids could participate in the race.

Your intrepid blogger noticed many kids at the Roll with white canes, but no guide dogs. One dog who was spotted rolling: First Dog Bo. Other accessibility efforts: Seven American Sign Language Interpreters were on duty around the South Lawn for hearing impaired visitors (here's Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, reading in the Storytime Garden, with her ASL interpreter in action).

Kids who romped through the Play With Your Food area of the Roll were given packets of green bean seeds to take home to plant, in Best Foodie Photo of the Week #2, above.

At a station sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, kids could learn all about the growing cycle of green beans, including dissecting these and viewing them under microscopes. Kids were then given their own seeds, and a diary booklet, to monitor home growth. The Play With Your Food area was equal parts cooking school and food science education station; it also featured White House Beekeeper Charlie Brandts discussing bees and pollination.

In Best Foodie Photo #3, above, White House assistant chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass (L), who oversees all angles of Mrs. Obama's food agenda, chats with chef Timothy Cipriano of New Haven Public Schools, during Friday's Childhood Obesity Forum at the White House. Cipriano masterminds a pathbreaking school food program in his hometown, and was among the many citizen participants invited to the White House to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming report from the Child Obesity Task force.

Hmm, yes, none of these photos is actually food, but that's in keeping with unintentional White House "policy" of leaving photos of plated dishes out of the historic record. The President's official photographer, Pete Souza, rarely gets plated food shots either, wink wink wink. Souza has better subjects to capture....

*More on the 2010 Easter Egg Roll: The President and First Lady welcome the guests. The First Family Egg Rolls and then hops into the crowd to say hi. The full foodie recap; more on the White House Chefs rolling is here. Reese Witherspoon rolls here. New Social Secretary Julianna Smoot rolls into action. Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' Chocolate Farm is here. The Roll started early and went late this year.

*Photos by Obama Foodorama. With thanks to the hand models; top is a Roll volunteer, bottom is a fun journo who'd flown in from California to cover the event...