Political party: Democratic
Relationship status: Private
Sam Kass didn’t start his career as a chef, but he had no problem jumping right in.
“I wanted to learn how to cook because I thought learning how to cook would improve not only my own life, but the lives of people all around me and for my future kids. So I was always interested and wanted to learn,” he told The Hill.
Kass mentioned to a friend in his hometown of Chicago that he wanted to go to culinary school. Instead, he ended up as a sous-chef at a local restaurant.
It was through his work as a private chef he met the Obamas. Now Kass serves as a White House chef and executive director of the first lady’s anti-obesity “Let’s Move” program.
But don’t expect to be invited to his home for dinner anytime soon.
“I don’t do all that much cooking at my house, since I do so much cooking here,” said Kass, who was photographed by The Hill near the White House garden.
When Kass does cook at home, seasonal food is usually on the menu.
“I don’t have a signature dish as my go-to,” he said, explaining there are too many good options out there.
Kass, whose athletic physique helped get him named to People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful” list, has a unique role in the Obama administration.
He helped first lady Michelle Obama start the White House kitchen garden and advises on nutrition and health issues.
And he has his weaknesses when it comes to food: “I have trouble turning down a good buffalo wing. I love buffalo wings,” he said.
As for his free time — “What time are you referring to?” he joked when asked — he goes to the gym.
“Before coming to the White House, I loved to go to baseball games or read a book or get some exercise. I still get exercise. Exercise is currently my only way to decompress,” he said.
And the Chicago native is keeping his loyalties to his hometown while embracing his new home.
“I am a dual citizen of the Chicago White Sox and the Washington Nationals,” he said.
— Emily Goodin