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Presidential Food
Selected Resource Guide

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Science, Technology & Business Division
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Hand drawn diagram of "maccaroni" maker, with notes.
Thomas Jefferson’s "maccaroni" machine.

Library of Congress Website.

Books on Presidential Food

Allman, William G., Margaret Brown Klapthor, and Betty C. Monkman. Official White House china: from the 18th to the 21st centuries. 3rd ed. Washington, The White House Historical Association, 2016. 241 p.
   NK4427.W3K55 2016

Bauer, Linda.  Capitol Hill cooks: recipes from the White House, Congress, and all of the past presidents. Lanham, MD, Taylor Pub., c2010. 384 p.
   TX715.B3492 2010 <SciRR>

Cannon, Poppy, and Patricia Brooks. The Presidents’ cookbook: practical recipes from George Washington to the present. New York, Funk & Wagnalls, 1968. 545 p.
   TX715.C218 <SciRR>

Ervin, Janet Halliday. The White House cookbook. Chicago, Follett Pub. Co., 1964. 510 p.

Famous White House recipes. New York, Paradyme Pub., 2000. 199 p.
   Favorite recipes of presidents from Washington to Clinton.
   TX715.F19484 2000

Gillette, F. L. The presidential cook book. Chicago, New York, The Werner Company, c1895. 440 p.

Gillette, F. L. The White House cook book: a comprehensive cyclopedia of information for the home, containing cooking, toilet and household recipes, menus, dinner-giving, table etiquette, care of the sick, health suggestions, facts worth knowing, etc. Chicago, New York, The Saalfield Publishing Company, c1900. 590 p.
   TX715.G482 1900

Jones, Robert. The Presidents’ own White House cookbook. Edited by Melanie H. De Proft. Chicago, Culinary Arts Institute, 1972. 110 p.
   TX715.J82 1972

Klapthor, Margaret Brown. The First Ladies cook book: favorite recipes of all the Presidents of the United States. New Presidential ed. New York, Parents’ Magazine Enterprises, 1982. 238 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TX715.K628 1982 <SciRR>

Landau, Barry H. The president’s table: two hundred years of dining and diplomacy. New York, Collins, c2007. 292 p.
   Bibliography: p. 288-290.
   E176.1.L244 2007

Mesnier, Roland. The White House in gingerbread: memories and recipes. Washington, White House Historical Association, 2015. 207 p.
   TX771.M3936 2015

Mitchell, Patricia. Plain food & high thinking: an anecdotal history of White House entertaining, 1901‐1953. Chatham, Va., Patricia B. Mitchell, 2005. 37 p.
   TX715.M683777 2005

Mitchell, Patricia. That palace in Washington: an anecdotal history of White House entertaining. Chatham, Va., Patricia B. Mitchell, 2004. 37 p.
   TX715.M684 2004 FT MEADE

Rysavy, François, and Frances Spatz Leighton. A treasury of White House cooking. New York, Putnam, 1972. 352 p.    TX731.R88

Salomon, Sarah Hood. Politics & pot roast: an unofficial, unauthorized & completely unclassified cookbook. Albany, TX, Bright Sky Press, c2006. 208 p.
   Bibliography: p. 200-203.
   TX714.S23 2006

Smith, Marie D. Entertaining in the White House. Washington, Acropolis Books, 1967. 320 p.
   Bibliography: p. 302-312.

Sommer, Beulah Munshower, and Pearl Dexter. Tea with presidential families. Scotland, CT, published and distributed by Olde English Tea Co., c1999. 96 p.
   Bibliography: p. 96.
   E176.1.S692 1999

Spillman, Jane Shadel. White House glassware: two centuries of presidential entertaining. Washington, the White House Historical Association in cooperation with the National Geographic Society and Corning Museum of Glass, 1989. 148 p.
   NK5112.S68 1989 FT MEADE

Young, Bev. Presidential cookies: cookie recipes of the Presidents of the United States. 2nd ed. Sacramento, CA, Presidential Pub., c2005. 168 p.
   TX772.Y65 2005

White House history: journal of the White House Historical Association. White House kitchens and cooking. Washington, The Association, 2007. 90 p. (White House history, no. 20, spring 2007)
   F204.W5W64 no. 20
   Partial contents: Kitchen past: thoughts on open hearth cooking for the Presidents.--A look at the White House kitchen, by Lydia Barker Telerick.--My White House years, by Roland Mesnier.--Preparation of the menu for the Prince of Wales dinner in 2005, by Cristeta Comerford.--A bit of architectural history comes in from the cold, by William G. Altman.--White House wines, by Daniel Shanks.--Home cooking in the White House, by Barbara Haber.

Individual Presidents

Baldrige, Letitia. In the Kennedy style: magical evenings in the Kennedy White House. Menus and recipes by White House Chef René Verdon. New York, Doubleday, c1998. 144 p.
   TX737.B38 1998

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. An invitation to the White House: at home with history. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2000. 311 p.
   F204.W5C58 2000

Connolly, Neil, and Elizabeth Benedict. In the Kennedy kitchen: recipes and recollections of a great American family. New York, DK, c2007. 255 p.
   TX715.2.N48C645 2007

“Coolidge-country” cookbook: early recipes of the Coolidge family, their Plymouth Notch, Vermont neighbors and friends. Edited by Kathleen E. Donald and John Almon Waterhouse. Plymouth, VT, Friends of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, c1988. 96 p.
    TX715.C7862 1988

De Guzman, Ariel. The Bush family cookbook. New York, Scribner, c2005. 308 p.
   TX715.D28 2005

Dining at Monticello: in good taste and abundance. Edited by Damon Lee Fowler. Charlottesville, VA, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2005. 202 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TX715.D58422 2005

Dining with the Washingtons: historic recipes, entertainment, and hospitality from Mount Vernon. Stephen A. McLeod, editor. Mount Vernon, VA, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association; Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
234 p.
    Essays by Carol Borchert Cadou and others, contributions by Steven T. Bashore and Esther Whit, recipes by Nancy Carter Crump, foreword by Walter Scheib.
    TX715.D58664 2011

Dyer, Ceil. The Carter family favorites cookbook. New York, Delacorte Press, c1977. 244 p.

Eighmey, Rae Katherine. Abraham Lincoln in the kitchen: a culinary view of Lincoln’s life and times. Washington, Smithsonian Books, 2013. 270 p.
   TX715.E3368 2013 <SciRR>

Eisenhower Medical Center Auxiliary Cookbook Committee. Five-star favorites: recipes from friends of Mamie and Ike. New York, Golden Press, 1974. 272 p.
   TX715.E35 1974

Haber, Barbara. Home cooking in the FDR White House. In her From hardtack to home fries: an uncommon history of American cooks and meals. New York, Free Press, c2002. 244 p.
   TX360.U6H33 2002 <SciRR>

Hailman, John R. Thomas Jefferson on wine. Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 2006. 457 p.
   Bibliography: p. 431-437.
   TP547.J44H36 2006

Haller, Henry, and Virginia Aronson. The White House family cookbook. New York, Random House, c1987. 441 p.
   Bibliography: p. 426-427.
   TX715.H179 1987
   Henry Haller, Executive White House Chef, 1966-1987.

Hanny, John R. Secrets from the White House kitchens. Gordonsville, VA, LaMarque Publications, 2010. 451 p.
Covers administrations from Franklin Roosevelt through Barack Obama.
   TX715.H2425 2010

Jaffray, Elizabeth. White House menus and recipes. In her Secrets of the White House. New York, Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1927. p. 133-200.
   White House Housekeeper from the days of Taft to Coolidge.

The James K. Polk cookbook. Columbia, TN, James K. Polk Memorial Auxiliary, c1978. 254 p.

Jetton, Walter, with Arthur Whitman. Walter Jetton’s LBJ barbecue cook book. New York, Pocket Books, 1965. 77 p.

Jones, Evan. Another debt to Jefferson. In his American food: the gastronomic story. 3rd ed. Woodstock, NY, Overlook Press, 1990. p. 34-43.
   TX715.J76 1990

Kimball, Marie Goebel. Thomas Jefferson’s cook book. Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press, 2003, c1976. 122 p.
   TX715.K478 2003 <SciRR>

Leaves from the Wilson family cook book. In The Economy administration cook book. Edited by Susie Root Rhodes and Grace Porter Hopkins. Hammond, IN, W. B. Conkey Company, c1913. p. 27-51.

Lee, Ping-quan. To a president’s taste: being the reminiscences and recipes of Lee Ping Quan, ex-president’s steward on the presidential yacht, U.S.S. Mayflower, as told to Jim Miller. Emmaus, PA, Rodale Press, 1939. 278 p.
   Ping-quan Lee was Chief Steward to Presidents Harding and Coolidge.
   Includes representative menus.

Martha Washington’s Booke of cookery. Transcribed by Karen Hess. New York, Columbia University Press, 1981.
518 p.
   Bibliography: p. 469-489.
   TX705.M368 <SciRR Desk>

Mesnier, Roland, and Christian Malard. All the presidents’ pastries: twenty-five years in the White House, a memoir. Paris, Flammarion; London, Thames & Hudson distributor, c2007. 343 p.
   TX649.M48A3 2007
   Translated from the French.
   Roland Mesnier, Executive White House Pastry Chef, 1979-2004.

Moeller, John, and Mike Lovell. Dining at the White House: from the President’s table to yours. Lancaster, PA, American Lifestyle Publishing, 2013. 396 p.
   Chef Moeller served three First Families in the White House from 1992 until 2005.
   TX731.M554 2013

Nesbitt, Victoria Henrietta Kugler. The Presidential cookbook; feeding the Roosevelts and their guests. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1951. 246 p.

Obama, Michelle. American grown: the story of the White House kitchen garden and gardens across America. New York, Crown Publishers, c2012. 271 p.
   SB466.U7W4835 2012

Provisions & politics: recipes honoring First Lady Sarah Childress Polk from the James K. Polk Memorial Association. Columbia, TN, James K. Polk Memorial Association, c2003. 192 p.
   TX714.P8 2003

Rothman, Hal K. A slice of real America: showcasing the ranch during the presidency. In his LBJ’s Texas White House: "our heart’s home". College Station, Texas A&M University Press, c2001. Chapter 7.
   E847.2R68 2001

Russoli, Edward, and Candace Russoli. Dwight D. Eisenhower: general, president and cook. Allentown, PA, Benedettini Books, c1990. 119 p.
   E836.R825 1990

Rysavy, François, and Frances Spatz Leighton. White House chef. New York, Putnam, 1957. 286 p.

Sangamon County historical cookbook: a taste of Lincoln’s era. 4th ed. Springfield, IL, I. E. R. C. Production, 2002. 1 v.
   TX714.S2825 2002
   A compilation of recipes from 1838-1887 with stories and facts by and about Lincoln arranged in chronological order.

Photo: chefs gathered around an elaborate cake.
Chefs preparing cake for the wedding of Tricia Nixon and Edward Cox, 1971. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Scheib, Walter, and Andrew Friedman. White House chef: eleven years, two presidents, one kitchen. Hoboken, NJ, J. Wiley, c2007. 327 p.
   Bibliography: p. 303-305.
   TX731.S292 2007
   Executive White House Chef, 1994-2005.

Schifando, Peter, and J. Jonathan Joseph. Entertaining at the White House with Nancy Reagan. New York, William Morrow, c2007. 223 p.
   Bibliography: p. 222-223.
   E878.R43S35 2007

Statesmen’s dishes; and how to cook them: Practical autographic recipes by Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, and more than two hundred other women prominent in official and social life at the national capital. Washington, The National Tribune, 1890. 222 p.
   TX715.S797 <Bitting Coll>

“The Taste is in my mouth a little...”: Lincoln’s victuals and potables. Compiled and edited by Wayne C. Temple. Mahomet, IL, Mayhaven Pub., c2004. 702 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TX715.T21265645 2004 <SciRR>
   Includes facsim. of 1843 ed. of Directions for cookery, in its various branches, by Miss Leslie. p. 209-676.

Verdon, René. The White House chef cookbook. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1968, c1967. 287 p.
   Executive White House Chef, 1961-1965.

Wan, Rosana Y. The culinary lives of John & Abigail Adams: a cookbook. Atglen, PA , Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2014. 152 p.
   TX715.W2379 2014 <SciRR>

Related Titles

Anderson, Barbara. Karnack, its recipes, landmarks & memories: birthplace of former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Collierville, TN, Fundcraft Pub., 2000. 64 p.
   TX715.A56615 2000

Caroli, Betty Boyd. Inside the White House: America’s most famous home, the first 200 years. Garden City, NY, Doubleday Book & Music Clubs, c1992. 224 p.
   F204.W5C27 1992

Clifford, Marny. Washington cookbook. New York, E. P. Dutton, 1972. 541 p.
   TX715.C635 1972

Fields, Alonzo. My 21 years in the White House. New York, Coward-McCann, c1961. 223 p.

Harbury, Katherine E. Colonial Virginia’s cooking dynasty. Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, c2004.
479 p.
   Bibliography: p. 445-457.
   TX715.H258 2004 <SciRR>

Hoover, Irwin Hood. Forty-two years in the White House, by Irwin Hood (Ike) Hoover, chief usher. New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934. 332 p.

Jeffries, Ona Griffin. In and out of the White House. New York, W. Funk 1960. 404 p.

McCreary, Donna D. Lincoln’s table: Victorian recipes from Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois to the White House. Zionsville, IN, Guild Press of Indiana, c2000. 107 p.
   Bibliography: p. 104-105.
   TX715.M474314 2000

Randolph, Mary. The Virginia house-wife. With historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess. Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, c1984. 370 p.
   Bibliography: p. 301-321.
   TX715.R215 1984 <SciRR>
   "A facsimile of the first edition, 1824, along with additional material from the editions of 1825 and 1828, thus presenting a complete text."

Sgubin, Marta, and Nancy Nicholas. Cooking for madam: recipes and reminiscences from the home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. New York, Scribner, c1998. 224 p.
   TX714.S49 1998

West, J. B., and Mary Lynn Kotz. Upstairs at the White House: my life with the First Ladies. New York, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, c1973. 381 p.
   Bibliography: p. 369-371.
   E176.2.W47 1973
   Chief Usher of the White House, 1941-1969.

Zanger, Mark. The American history cookbook. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2003. 459 p.
   Bibliography: p. 433-438.
    TX715.Z36 2003

For Younger Readers

Larkin, Tanya. What was cooking in Dolley Madison’s White House? New York, Powerkids Press, c2001. 24 p. (Cooking throughout American history)
   TX715.L31824 2001

Larkin, Tanya. What was cooking in Edith Roosevelt’s White House? New York, Powerkids Press, c2001. 24 p. (Cooking throughout American history)
   TX714.L36 2001

Murphy, Frank. Thomas Jefferson’s feast. New York, Random House, 2003. 48 p.
   E332.79.M87 2003

Photo:  Eleanor Roosevelt cutting a very large layer cake decorated with flags an bows.
Eleanor Roosevelt cutting birthday cake. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Representative Articles

Bullock, Helen Duprey. Dining with the presidents. The American home, v. 67, Nov. 1964: 58-74.

Calmes, Jackie. U.S. and Russia focus on trade with burgers on side. New York times, 6/25/2010, v. 159, p. 10.

Carpenter, Frank G. The presidents as gastronomers. Lippincott’s monthly magazine, v. 38, Dec. 1886: 67 (11 p.).
   Microfilm 05422 no. 324-340 AP

Cordon bleu White House, from a guest who went behind the scenes. The Economist, v. 227, Apr. 13, 1968: 26.

Fawcett, Waldon. The White House kitchen. American kitchen magazine, v. 16, Mar. 1902: 207-210.

Photo: President Ford sitting at a table with breakfast, small television and documents.
President Gerald Ford eating breakfast at the White House.
Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

The First Lady’s favorite menus and recipes. Redbook, v. 117, Aug. 1961: 50-57, 88.
   Includes menus and recipes from Jacqueline Kennedy.

Food fit for a king - or president: recipes of White House chef Henry Haller. House & garden, v. 153, Nov. 1981: 58-59.    NA7100.H6

Food fit for a president: J. K. Polk’s Southern favorites. The Ladies’ home journal, v. 99, May 1982: 48-56.

Hatch, Peter. Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vegetables. Twinleaf journal, Jan. 2000. External Link

Heron, Katrina. Heavy is the toque at a state dinner. New York times, Nov. 6, 2009, p. A19B (National Edition).

Home circle: at the White House, domestic life of President Arthur. Ohio farmer, v. 62, Aug. 12, 1882: 90.

Kimball, Marie. Feast days at Monticello. McCall’s, v. 83, Nov. 1955: 42-47.

Obama dines with Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam. Wall Street journal, online ed., 5/25/2016, p.1.

Pomeroy, R. F. Mrs. Johnson talks about her love for the White House. Redbook, v. 127, July 1966: 72-83.
   Includes recipes.

Shapiro, Laura. The First Kitchen. New Yorker. 11/22/2010, Vol. 86 Issue 37, p. 74-80. 5 p.
   Discusses U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and the menus that she created during her life in the White House during the Great Depression.

Straithmore, Muriel. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson is gifted in the art of cooking. Table talk, v. 28, March 1913: 121-124.    Includes recipes.

Thomas, Katherine Elwes. Two famous White House recipes. Good housekeeping magazine, v. 53, July 1911: 109-112.


American Presidential Food Favorites, The Food Timeline External Link

Gerald Ford’s Food Favorites, from the Ford Presidential Library

Hercules and Hemmings: Presidents’ Slave Chefs, by the Kitchen Sisters. NPR, Feb. 2008 External Link

Ike and Mamie’s Favorites, from the Eisenhower Presidential Library

The Kitchen at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon External Link

Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Recipe for Pedernales River Chili, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum External Link

Photo:  Chef stiring a pot on the stove.
Chef Cristeta "Cris" Comerford, the first woman to be White House Executive Chef, prepares a meal in the White House kitchen. From the White House Web site.

Temple, Joseph. Dinging for Detent: the Role Food Played during Nixon’s Trip to China.  The International Wine & Food Society, July 18th, 2014 External Link

Tour of the White House Kitchen - A C-span video with White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford External Link

Truman’s Food Preferences, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum External Link

The White House Cook Book, at Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project, Michigan State University External Link

The White House Historical Association External Link

White House Holiday Recipes, 1996, 1997, 1998, National Archives & Records Administration

The White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest and Grilled Garden Pizza

Dinner at the White House, from the Culinary Arts Museum, Johnson & Wales University External Link

Revised 2017, Alison P. Kelly

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