|Chef Comerford with First Lady Michelle Obama|
The 2010 March of Dimes Chicago Chef of the Year Award will be presented to White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford. Now in its second year, this honor was created out of a desire to recognize chefs with Chicago ties for their achievements in culinary arts. In 2009, the inaugural award was presented to chef Rick Bayless, who is expected to pass the honor to Comerford during the upcoming March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction of Chicago.
As the recipient of the 2010 award, Comerford is being honored for her commitment to culinary arts; dedication to the environment, the farming industry, healthy eating, and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Accomplishments include bringing nationwide attention to healthy eating and reducing childhood obesity.
Comerford began her culinary career in Chicago when, at the age of 23, she held her first professional culinary positions at two Chicago hotels. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. she became a key member of the White House culinary staff in 1995.
“She is so deserving, Chicago’s own, and will truly come home to a hero’s welcome,” says Bayless, “My experience cooking in the White House kitchen was so amazing and unforgettable because of one person, Chef Cris.”
The Signature Chefs Auction of Chicago will be led by the Honorary Chefs for the evening, executive chef Gabriel Viti of Gabriel’s Restaurant and Miramar Bistro, executive chef Jonathan Lane of Benny’s Chop House, and long-time March of Dimes chef and supporter, executive chef Hans Aeschbacher.