Friday, July 02, 2010

What Are The White House Chefs' Salaries?

White House releases annual multimillion dollar salary report to Congress...
Plenty of readers want to know what kind of financial compensation the culinary geniuses who work in the White House kitchen receive--it's a frequent search topic here at Ob Fo, especially for Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass. (Above from L: Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, Comerford, assistant chef Adam Collick; assistant chef Tafari Campbell)

But the salaries of the White House chefs are not included in the Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff [PDF], which discloses the salaries of all the White House Office employees who work for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The 2010 Report was released yesterday, but because White House chefs are classified as Residence Staff, their salaries are not included, despite their new and expanding position in this administration as food policy wonks and global ambassadors for healthy eating. The White House chefs are priceless, as is beekeeper Charlie Brandts, and Chief Horticulturalist Jim Adams, who oversees the Kitchen Garden. (Kass, above)

$38,796,307.00...including Social Office staff
The total price tag for the 469 employees who are listed in the report is $38,796,307.00. The salaries of the Social Office staff, who have everything to do with White House foodie activities, are listed in the report. Social Secretary Julianna Smoot is earning $150,000; her predecessor, Desiree Rogers, who departed in late March, made $113,000 per year. She lasted just slightly longer than a year...

President Obama earns $400,000 a year as Chief Executive, but that doesn't include income from his bestselling books and other activities, which he reported on his 2009 income tax return. Mrs. Obama receives no salary as First Lady; she's also priceless. The 2010 Report also includes administration officials who work at the Office of Policy Development, including the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council.

Since 1995, the White House has been required to deliver a report to Congress listing the title and salary of every White House Office employee. (Above: Comerford, foreground, briefs kitchen staff on dinner service for the State Dinner honoring Mexico. The dinner for 206 guests was held in the East Room, and plating was done in the State Dining Room).

*Top two photos by Obama Foodorama; second photo by Pete Souza/White House.