Bayless, who specializes in Mexican cuisine, was chosen to cook for the second White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderón. However, until Bayless returns to the Frontera Grill, his Twitter account, if inside the White House, has officially turned black as mole sauce.
Rick Bayless was asked to come to Washington DC to prepare “elegantly balanced, many layered Mexican food for which he has become famous.” The chef was chosen on date night criteria and based on “adventurous” foodies Shelley and Barry claiming to “many times” enjoy the “tasting menu at [Bayless’s] restaurant Topolobampo.” Thus Chicago’s way, way, way north of the border Mexican chef, Rick Bayless was given the Obama sombrero of epicurean approval.
While Mr. Bayless may be adept at chopping chipotle peppers, it appears the chef could be clueless to White House etiquette and state dinner confidentiality.
Apparently the Chicago chef has been bubbling over with excitement sending Tweets out to friends and fans, like a pot of appropriately diverse 28-ingredient, Oaxacan mole negro. Which by the way, Bayless prematurely revealed he plans to serve at the state dinner, as well as green ceviche with cucumber made with “herbs and lettuce” from Michelle’s garden.
Problem is, the menu and ingredients are supposed to be remain confidential. “Mrs. Obama requested secrecy so the first family’s 200 guests won’t feel as if they’d eaten the meal before they got there.”
One can imagine First Lady Michelle’s surprise when it was reported Bayless was ebulliently “babbling” away on Twitter and according to the Washington Examiner had “done interviews with the New York Times and NPR, revealing bits and pieces of the menu.”
Citing recent interviews Bayless apparently shared, “cooking at the White House does have some restrictions,” one of which is White House “officials have to know where all the ingredients come from.” Additionally, Chef Bayless also disclosed he was told “he couldn’t bring his own knives.”
Regardless, the Chicago chef was impressed as well as pleasantly surprised that, “his type of modern cooking [would] be served at the White House” and lauded the forward thinking Obama’s for “taking the wraps off everything and saying what’s appropriate for right now.”
The chef’s presence on the White House premises when, Obama signed the Press Freedom Act this week, must have caused the chef to wrongly assume freedom also included speech through Twitter.
Unaware, Rick twittered “The White House staff could not be nicer&more professional! Most worried about ingredients, but all will b here 4 big day!”
Tweeting will full abandon, Rick was accused by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet, and reprimanded by the Obama administration, for twittering from the White House kitchen. Bayless was told, “The kitchen is for cooking.”
In truth Bayless had been tweeting “about the upcoming dinner and about the White House kitchen, but not from the White House kitchen.” [Emphasis mine.] Lynn Sweet officially clarified the false statement and apologized for the misinformation.
Not in the kitchen, but on the White House lawn, Felipe Calderón openly “knocked Arizona law” with nary a response from President Obama. Meanwhile the Chicago chef received a stern admonishment prohibiting tweeting about the state dinner from the White House kitchen and was sent back without a Blackberry or cell phone to silently stir the Mexican president’s simmering mole sauce.