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Cristeta Comerford - White House Executive Chef

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Cristeta Comerford - White House Executive Chef

Cristeta Comerford - White House Executive Chef

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Early Life:

Cristeta Comerford was in the Philippines and grew up in Sampaloc, Manila. Comerford is the second youngest of 11 children, with six half brothers, one half sister and three full sisters. She attended the University of the Philippines-Diliman and majored in food technology. Comerford's emigration to the U.S. interrupted her studies and she did not complete her degree.

Career Start:

When Comerford first came to the U.S., she worked as a chef in Chicago's Sheraton and Hyatt Regency hotels. She then moved to Washington, D.C. and worked as a chef at Le Grande Bistro at The Westin Hotel and also at The Colonnade at the ANA Hotel. She also spent six months in Vienna, Austria as a "revolving chef" at Le Ciel.

White House Chef:

In 1995, Comeford was hired as an assistant chef by White House executive chef Walter Scheib. Ten years later when Scheib resigned, First Lady Laura Bush appointed Comerford as the new executive chef. The Obamas could have appointed a new executive chef when they moved into the White House in 2009, but they chose to retain Comerford in the position.

As executive chef, Comerford holds the top position within the White House kitchen. She is the White House's first female executive chef and the first minority to hold the position.

Becoming an American:

Comerford's brother Juanito was the first to settle in the U.S. He petitioned for his family to join him and Comferford entered on a family visa.

Personal:

Comerford lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband, John and their daughter, Danielle.

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