By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers
The prez sure has been giving a lot of love to Pittsburgh lately. He announced he'll hold the next G-20 summit in the Steel City, entertained the Pittsburgh Steelers at the White House (he divulged to the Super Bowl champs that he has a "terrible towel," the black-and-gold rag fans wave in the air), and even invited the owners of local fave Pamela's to help make Memorial Day breakfast.
Why bring in out-of-towners to do the job? One word: pancakes.
The president loved Pamela's unique, crepelike pancakes when he wolfed down a platter while campaigning for the Pennsylvania primary. So when the White House needed to make a top-notch breakfast for families who have lost a loved one at war, it was Pittsburgher Gail Klingensmith of Pamela's P&G Diners who got the call. "I thought it was a joke, everybody thought it was a joke, and it wasn't a joke," Klingensmith tells Whispers.
She and co-owner Pamela Cohen were in a frenzy at the prospect, but they quickly began making arrangements to get themselves and their secret ingredients to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. When the pancake supplies arrived, Klingensmith received a text message from White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford: "The Eagle Has Landed."
And pancakes are just the beginning. There has been a lot of talk about the Obamas bringing all sorts of culinary talents into their kitchen. Most who have prepared food so far have been big names. Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame and Spanish chef José Andrés cooked outside at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Art Smith, Oprah's former chef who now operates Art and Soul in Washington, was there for Easter, too. And we hear that he returned to the White House recently to whip up a lunch.
Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR
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