Another day in Washington, another controversy for Rick Bayless. He may be there officially to cook for President Obama's second state dinner, but you'd think he was trying to go undercover and steal state secrets according to the Sun Times. In a puzzling article, their Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet claimed that he had broken protocol by bringing "glitz" to the solemn occasion and by tweeting from inside the White House.
"Rick Bayless, the Chicago superstar chef, was tweeting from the White House kitchen about today's Obama White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala. Until the tweets stopped. The White House kitchen is for cooking, not tweeting."
Rick Bayless chimed in, claiming that he has been Tweeting only when he is back in hotel room, and asked for an apology. Sweet updated the story and sort of apologized. But that's not where the crazy ends with this article.
Sweet also goes on to talk about the power Rick Bayless has over the White House. "Bayless has so much clout, that the White House came to his Frontera Grill in Chicago for the sample dinner a few weeks ago." It must be a really, really slow news day.
This is in addition to the The Washington Examiner story about how he offended staffers at the White House by revealing the menu. Scott Simon from NPR even had to clear up some confusion from people who thought he was cooking rodent for the meal: "Clarification: @rick_bayless cooking moe-lay, the sauce, not mole, the rodent. Though if he did, it would be exquisite!" At least that led to some good Peter Sagal comedy.
Thankfully the event is today, and tomorrow we can just talk about who crashed the party, or get back to the grand old tradition of just ignoring state dinners altogether.
Rick Bayless, Obama State Dinner guest chef not muzzled, Twittering from White House kitchen [Sun Times]
Rick Bayless, tweeting about being guest chef at Obama State Dinner. Updated
White House Can't Muzzle Bayless? [Gapers Block]