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White House Pride Cookies, the First BBQ, and Culinary Secrets From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

A surprisingly delicious decorative cookie from the White House kitchen, consumed in the West Wing
A surprisingly delicious decorative cookie from the White House kitchen, consumed in the West Wing
Steven Thrasher

Yesterday, we took our first-ever trip inside the White House. There were all kinds of culinary secrets we discovered that we weren't expecting.

First, as we waited to go through security, we saw a lot (and we mean a lot) of staffers coming back from a Mickey D's run. Would Michelle approve of all that McDonald's?

Second, the White House served us a cookie! We were there to cover the White House LGBT Pride Month celebration, and while as press we couldn't eat any of the delicious-looking food or drink (more on that in a moment), they were kind enough to send out rainbow cookies to the briefing room. Now, maybe it's because it's the only thing we ate in a 10-hour stretch of time, but the cookie was really delicious. Often decorative treats are bland and stale but look nice. This was as light and delicious a butter cookie as we've ever tasted--buttery, neither overly moist nor too flaky--with a rich, thick, rainbow-colored frosting.

Third, the White House Press Corps gathers outside of the kitchen before being led off to wherever in the house or on the grounds an event is to take place. It doesn't look so glamorous up close. Here's the First Grill, gas and charcoal versions:

Another journalistic pointed out that, while American presidents have presented American grills while abroad, the First Gas Grill is actually a Canadian model.

One friend told me the combination of gas and charcoal makes for a nice political blend: "There are no red states or blue states" for the Obamas; charcoal grillers and gas can both join forces at the White House. But as a relative pointed out, it does look kind of trashy...more South Oxnard, California, than home of the leader of the free world (especially the...bars on the windows?).

First barbecue, gas and coal versions
First barbecue, gas and coal versions
Steven Thrasher

This is the outside of the kitchen itself, a staging area without any pretensions.

Looks like fish tonight.

This is the kind of food they serve at a White House reception.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler having some appetizers.

Nadler noshing in the East Room
Nadler noshing in the East Room
Steven Thrasher

Read our main story about the White House pride reception at Runnin' Scared.


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