All We Can Eat
Posted at 07:45 PM ET, 09/05/2012

Follow the AFJ conference via tweets

In an afternoon panel, White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses explained the painstaking process of planning for a State Dinner. (Tim Carman/The Washington Post)
The annual Association of Food Journalists conference officially got underway today at the Hotel Palomar, and what a day it’s been for many of the nation’s finest food writers and editors.

Former Food staff writer Jane Black moderated a panel on food policy reporting, which included Barry Estabrook, author of “Tomatoland,” the righteous indictment of the Florida tomato industry.

Two afternoon panels followed, including a delightful one in which four former and current White House chefs provided insights on what it’s like to cook for the most powerful family on Earth. Former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier was really dishing it; at one point he essentially dismissed the hype around the current White House garden.

“We always produced a certain amount of fresh vegetables at the White House,” he told the group. “This is not new.”

Then Palena chef and owner Frank Ruta told a devastating story about feeding broccoli to George H.W. Bush, the man who hated the stuff. It didn’t go well. (I’ll relate that story later.)

In the meantime, you can catch up with the conference tweets below. (Or if you’re a participant, you can add your voice to the AFJ conversation under the #afjdc hashtag.)

By  |  07:45 PM ET, 09/05/2012

Categories:  Media | Tags:  Tim Carman

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