Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Washington, D.C.
As executive director of Let’s Move! and White House Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Sam Kass leads First Lady Michelle Obama’s work to help America raise a healthier generation of kids and ensure that kids have the opportunity to live the long, healthy lives they deserve. One of the First Lady’s longest-serving advisers, Sam helped her create the first large-scale vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden. To date, the garden has yielded thousands of pounds of produce that has been used to feed event guests, staff and the First Family at the White House, with some of the harvest donated to local food shelters.
Q&A Sam Kass
Describe the Southeast: Food renaissance
What is your favourite ingredient to cook with? That’s impossible to answer – I love so many of them!
What is your favourite regional dish? Maryland crab.
What tasty bite should travellers to the Southeast not miss? Crab cakes.
What inspires you about your region? The farmers, but that’s true in all regions.
What inspires you about your work? I am inspired by families all over the USA and the world who are working hard to put healthy and delicious meals on tables day in and day out. Every day, both in the kitchen at the White House and through First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, I strive to ensure that the family I serve here and all families have good food that nourishes their health.
Where is your favourite city to eat in the US? Chicago, Illinois!
Who/What inspired you to become a chef? To be able to cook for my future family and a longing to travel the world.
How are you inspired by your environment and the seasonal foods in the US? I have the great honour of being able to cook straight from the First Lady’s garden. This allows all the food we cook to be seasonal and incredibly fresh. So seasonal food inspires everything we do.
How has American culture shaped the way you cook? Food is culture. It is impossible to distinguish between the two.
What international influences have inspired your cooking? I trained in Vienna, Austria, and have travelled extensively to Italy, Mexico, New Zealand Thailand, etc. Those experiences shaped my understanding of food deeply.
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