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Who's Going to be Obama's White House Chef?

This morning, President-elect Barack Obama and wife Michelle visited with President Bush and wife Laura at the White House, where the Illinois senator apparently got his first look inside the Oval Office.

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Obama greets supporters in St. Louis in October (Lyle Whitworth)

While Obama was familiarizing himself with his new digs today, rumors are spreading as to who will be his chef.

Sure, Obama reportedly liked the pizza at Pi during his visit here in mid-October, enough to call the owner of the East Loop's upscale pizzeria and tell him personally, but the names being mentioned are from Chicago and Denver, the latter home to the Democratic National Convention.

Numerous blogs are naming Chicago chefs Rick Bayless of Topolobampo, according to the New York Daily News, and Art Smith, who is fellow Chicagoan Oprah Winfrey's chef. Smith operates Table Fifty-Two. The Smith prediction was made by Devra First of the Boston Globe. The Daily News also lists Daniel Young (personal chef for the NBA's Denver Nuggets and its player Carmelo Anthony) as a contender.

Perhaps the most famous White House Chef is Walter Scheib, who wrote White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen, published in January 2007.

- Nick Lucchesi


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