In a sugar floss interview, the Let's Move! Executive Director won't disclose his relationship status, but admits a fondness for Buffalo wings, the Nats, and says he rarely cooks at home...
Washington, DC--The most powerful man in American nutrition policy now has a new title: Sam Kass is one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the nation's capital. Congressional newspaper The Hill on Wednesday released the tenth anniversary edition of its hot list, naming the Let's Move! Executive Director #3 in the rankings and dubbing him, egads, "Kitchen Cutie." (Above, Kass in the photos that appear online)
Kass and and his fellow hotties were selected from a pool of 500 nominees, the most in the paper's history. Only the first ten lookers are ranked, and Kass comes in behind #1, the buff Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R), tagged "Mr. All-American," one of five lawmakers to get the dubious honor, and #2, HHS special aide Kirby Bumpus, tagged "Girl Power." She's the daughter of Gayle King.
The yearly catalog of lawmakers, lobbyists, and 20-something aides who toil anonymously in the halls of power is not quite People
magazine's 100 Most Beautiful list, which Kass, 33, appeared
on in 2009, shortly after arriving at the White House with the President and Mrs. Obama. But he cooperated with The Hill,
giving a cotton-candy interview and posing for photos that do not actually do
him justice, faux-casually leaning on a tree near the White House Kitchen
Perhaps Kass should have worn a blue tie for his photos, because The Hill dutifully records crucial personal stats for each honoree. Kass is of course listed as a Democrat under political party, one of 26 Dems on the list, which also notes relationship status.
Kass lists his hook-up status as "private," a little hilarious in light
of the ongoing revelations about NSA's massive efforts to gather private information about law-abiding Americans. Not much is private in DC with or without data mining, and it's no secret locally that Kass is in a relationship with MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner, 35. The couple--which can now be billed as "Kitchen Cutie meets Newsdesk Beauty"--took their relationship public during this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner, attending events together during the busy weekend of festivities.
Unlike President Obama, who claims his favorite food is broccoli, Kass admits a weakness for Buffalo chicken wings.
"I have trouble turning down a good Buffalo wing," Kass said. "I love Buffalo wings."
Let's Move! has amped up the focus on home cooking this year as a tool to combat obesity, but Kass said he rarely cooks at his own home, thanks to cooking so much at 1600 Penn, where he reportedly makes dinner for the First Family as often as five times a week.
"I don’t do all that much cooking at my house, since I do so much cooking here," said Kass, adding that he also doesn't "have a signature dish as my go-to," instead preferring to create dishes using seasonal bounty.
A native of Chicago, Kass had dreams of playing Major League Baseball when he was a star hitter in high school and college, and thanks to re-locating to the nation's capital he says he now has two favorite teams. He's a diplomat.
"I am a dual citizen of the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals," Kass said. Indeed, he was spotted wearing a bright red Nats warm-up jacket during the Kitchen Garden Spring planting event.
Kass' buff physique routinely causes swooning on social media, and when asked what he does in his free time, he joked "What time are you referring to?," then said he spends it in the gym.
"Before coming to the White House, I loved to go to baseball games or read a book or get some exercise," Kass said. "I still get exercise. Exercise is currently my only way to decompress." The Hunky Hashslinger needs his downtime, thanks to things like this.
Those named to the list are allowed the honor just once,
according to editorial policy. This is the first year White House Executive Office staff were included, so Kass is joined by two colleagues.
West Wing press aide Marie Aberger, 25, who stepped down from her post last week, is tagged "Survivor Skills," and Visitors' Office aide Michael De Moro, 23, is tagged "Swim Fan." Yes, The Hill used the title of a horror movie to describe a White House aide. Press Secretary Jay Carney's wife, ABC reporter Claire Shipman, also made the cut.
This year's 500 nominations were a record breaker for the list, according to features editor Emily Goodin; self-nominations are allowed. The staff reportedly decides solely on the basis of looks.
*Photos by The Hill