Thursday, October 23, 2008

RECONSTRUCTING GEORGE W.

Photograph by Christaki at flickr.com

The watchful eyes of President George W. have never been so evident as they were this last weekend when I took part in a fundraising dinner at Mt. Vernon. No, I am not referring to the current George W. All visitors to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center are greeted by a concave sculpture of George Washington. Go anywhere in the room and he appears to be gazing directly at you.

The museum is literally a time-travel phenomena. It takes historical Colonial preservation to new high-tech heights. The curators have employed the help of "CSI" specialists to reconstruct George Washington. You can visit a forensic lab that is complete with vials, photographs, castings of body parts, pin-up boards, and a lab reproduction. The History Channel film "The Search for George Washington" also highlights the entire process.

Upon visiting the museum, you can expect to have an interactive history lesson. This museum goes beyond standing behind the velvet ropes to catch a glimpse of artifacts. Visitors can experience the holographic transformation of Washington as statesman, soldier, farmer, and private citizen. Even the Revolutionary Theater takes 3-D to another level by releasing smoke drifts and vibrating seats when canons are fired on the screen.

If you have a chance to visit the Mt. Vernon, don't miss the Donald W. Reynolds forensically correct museum. It will be well worth your while.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

SEARS WISH BOOK COMMERCIAL

Any kid who is old enough to remember the big fat Sears Wish Book catalog will also remember the hours they spent dreaming about, and highlighting, each item of personal choice. I recall a set of pots and pans that my mother got when I was about 6 years old. My mom, who was a wonderful home cook, helped to inspire me with this new cooking gear. It was my first exposure to the joys and fascination of cooking.

The newest Sears online Wish Book catalog intends to re-inspire a whole new generation of holiday dreamers. The commercial is about gifts people have received when young that sparked their passion and lead to future successes. The accompanying slogan reads, "Don't just give a gift, grant a wish." Because I have such great memories of the original Wish Book, you can imagine I was very pleased to be a part of this new campaign.


I'll be appearing in an upcoming Sears commercial that was shot at Surfas store (nicknamed: Chef's Paradise) in Culver City, California. The store itself is an absolutely incredible restaurant supply house that sells genuine cooking supplies used in actual operating kitchens (sans all the cutesy Rachel Ray, Emeril, Mario, or Wolfgang tags).





All photographs courtesy of Michael Sikov

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

THE TIMES-TRIBUNE

Josh McAuliffe/STAFF WRITER - This is a recent article from the Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Here’s a little White House dish, courtesy of Walter Scheib.


Hillary Clinton is a rack of lamb fanatic.
George W. Bush enjoys a good peanut butter and honey sandwich. And Bill Clinton? Well, he’s a famously unfussy food lover from way back, or, as Mr. Scheib puts it, "a famous food eater."

Indeed, Mr. Scheib has the presidential palate down pat, having spent 11 years of his life as the White House’s executive chef. The first seven years were spent with the Clintons, while the final four were with the Bush family.
All that time spent serving the most powerful people in the world will get you plenty of colorful anecdotes, and Mr. Scheib will be sharing several when he visits the Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple on Thursday at 7 p.m. as part of the Lackawanna County Library Lecture Series’ fall lineup.

Mr. Scheib, author of the memoir, "White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen," left his post at the White House after President Bush’s first term. These days, the Great Falls, Va., resident runs his own company, The American Chef, which allows him to alternate lucrative speaking engagements with consulting work at restaurants, hotels and resorts around the country. In addition, he serves as the culinary director of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts in Hershey. "It combines the best of both worlds," Mr. Scheib said during a recent phone interview. "As my wife says, I get to go to cocktail parties across the country and get paid for it."

Growing up in Maryland, Mr. Scheib was first exposed to fine cookery through his mother, an exceptional "hobbyist cook" who enjoyed experimenting with different ethnic cuisines. He jokes that his friends often declined to stay for dinner, afraid they would be served something like "beef tongue."
Mr. Scheib, on the other hand, wasn’t the least bit timid when it came to mom’s food, and before long he was helping her prepare her innovative meals. "I’m not sure why, but I seemed to have a natural talent and desire to be around food and cooking," he said. After a year at the University of Maryland, Mr. Scheib dropped out to learn the restaurant business firsthand at a series of restaurants and hotels. Ultimately, he did his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America. By the time the mid-1990s rolled around, Mr. Scheib was working as the executive chef at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Meanwhile, the Clintons had just moved into the White House, and Mrs. Clinton was on the hunt for a new chef. Since the Jacqueline Kennedy era, the White House kitchen staff had been devoted to a Continental European approach to cooking. Mrs. Clinton was looking to shake things up through finding a chef with a flair for innovative regional American cuisine.

To continue reading the rest of this Times-Tribune article click here.

Contact the writer: jmcauliffe@timesshamrock.com