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Paris - A US "taster" tested the food being dished up to President Barack Obama at a dinner in a French restaurant, a waiter said Sunday.
"They have someone who tastes the dishes," said waiter Gabriel de Carvalho from the "La Fontaine de Mars" restaurant where Obama and his family turned up for dinner on Saturday night.
In his 2005 book Standing Next to History, former Secret Service agent Joseph Petro - who spent 23 years in the suit and shades - writes, "In principle nothing edible gets near the President unless we know where it comes from and who has handled it." When the president digs in at a state banquet, Petro informs us, he's eating basically the same stuff as everyone else in the room, but his helping has been prepared specially by White House stewards, who suit up to match the other servers at the event and carry his plate out themselves.
For events in foreign countries, it's the same thing but more so. Petro writes: "Stewards find out what's being served at the banquet and bring the ingredients with them from the United States."
What seems clear is that when the president eats somewhere other than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., tasters — in the form of Secret Service agents or military personnel — are likely to be involved. According to a Washington Post article from July 1990, George H.W. Bush ate out at Washington restaurants a lot by presidential standards, about once a month, and when he did he brought along his own condiments, bottled water, and a taster. On at least one occasion the taster was seen to personally wash all of George and Barbara's tableware before use and subsequently monitor its whereabouts, sample the food, supervise its service, and uncork and taste the first couple's wine.
Reports from early in Bill Clinton's first term suggest inconsistent taster use: a March '93 Post account of an impromptu dinner with the Gores at a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, has a trio of Secret Service agents scrutinizing the preparation of Clinton's food but not actually trying any. But an "official" food taster (described as a "veteran of three presidencies") turns up in a local paper's feature on a Clinton get-together with Silicon Valley types in Los Gatos, California, a month earlier. And lest you think tasters are deployed only when the president ventures off government turf, a detachment of navy culinary specialists did the tasting (per the New York Times) at a congressional lunch held at the Capitol during George W. Bush's inaugural festivities in 2001. One presumes security has gotten tighter since (a) the 9/11 attacks and (b) the descent of W's approval ratings to depths previously plumbed only by hostage-crisis Jimmy Carter and athlete's foot
Originally posted by eradown
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
How do they stay so thin? I hope they have smaller portions. Come to think of it I usually do eat all that I am served in French restaurant.
Originally posted by Oatmeal
reply to post by eradown
Its all the red wine they drink that keeps em thin...