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Alton Brown Visits White House

Grandma Maud’s CEO Paul Fregia and Alton Brown are attending the SFA 15th annual Symposium. Alton Brown is one of the guest speakers. While researching Alton Brown’s accomplishments I found his highest rated Iron Chef episode, that happended to be taped in the White House.

This Iron Chef episode at the White House featured Mario Batali, Bobby Flay,  Emeril Lagasse and the White House’s very own Chef Cristeta Comerford. Michelle Obama joined the three chefs in the White House garden. They were allowed to use anything they found in the famous garden. It was Michelle Obama’s idea to use fruits and vegetables from the garden because she  is an advocate for a healty Amercia and was said to have wanted to add a healthy element to the show. The White House garden was planted by by local school kids and only cost $200 to plant. Mrs. Obama said in a few months that same garden produced over 1000 pounds of produce. Imagine the money a family could save if they implemented this same technique! 

After the trip to the White House  the competition went  back to New York. This is a rerun you must see, because back in New York Bobby Flay and White House chef Cristeta Comerford faced off against Mario Batalia and Emeril Lagasse.

Of course the White House team Bobby Flay and White House chef Cristeta Comerford won. One of their winning dishes was a Sweet Potato Pie with Honey Meringue. Here is a link to the winning recipe. Sweet potatoes happen to be one of President Obama’s favorite root vegetables and  Michelle Obama was the person who suggested the chefs use them.  I’m sure President Obama and the first lady would love Grandma Maud’s Sweet Potato Pie Fixin’, it’s a homemade sweet potato pie in a bag. All you have to do is add the potatoes, butter, eggs and water. There is no measuring and minimum mixing and you end up with a product that is essentially homemade, without two thirds of the work. It’s also perfect for busy families like themselves who still love sit at the dinner table with their immediate family.

Another dish prepared by the winners was broccoli chowder and there were ingredients from the White House garden is this dish as well.

The Iron Chef  White House episode was a history maker for Food Network, it was a record breaker in ratings. The combination of First Lady Michelle Obama, White House Chef Cristeta Comerford and chefs Bobbly Flay, Mario Batali, and Emeril Lagasse  brought in lots of viewers.  Add in the fact that they were in the White House and there are more ratings to be counted.

It would have been a treat for the Southern Foodway Alliance 15th annual Symposium attendees to have witnessed an Iron Chef episode right there. Those would have been great ratings, not as great at the White House episode with Michelle Obama, but great indeed. The  SFA’s Symposium theme “Barbeque” sufficed for not having the episode there because the tickets sold out in 12 minutes!

Stay tuned to Paul Fregia’s blog for more updates on SFA 15th annual Symposium.




Post by Lashondra Graves,


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