See What Top Chef Masters Champ Floyd Cardoz Is Cooking for President Obama

10/07/2014 at 04:41 PM ET

President Obama White Street NYC
Daniel Krieger; Inset: Earl Gibson III/Getty

You would think that having the President of the United States, the First Lady and 250 guests over for dinner would make any chef really nervous. Well, not if you’re White Street N.Y.C.’s executive chef Floyd Cardoz.

“We’re going to cook our asses off,” Cardoz told Grub Street about the dinner he’s preparing for a Democratic fundraiser on Tuesday night. “Because how often do you get to have the president in the same zip code as you, let alone the same space?”

The former Top Chef Masters winner is preparing a meal of Long Island fluke, short-rib dish with grits, pumpkin-ricotta soup and a chickpea cake with avocado.

When creating the menu, Cardoz didn’t tailor his dishes specifically for President Obama’s palate (no burgers and fries here!), but tried to respect Michelle Obama’s healthy-eating initiative.

“I want him to understand that my philosophy is pretty close to his philosophy, and want to showcase what we do at White Street,” he said of the downtown New York spot he opened last month.

Cardoz even revealed that he’s not including any cream or butter in his dishes for the night. But that doesn’t mean they will let the guests leave without a sweet treat.

“We’re going to get every guest to leave with a bag of cookies,” he said. “I’ve asked for chocolate-chip cookies because that’s what I like. No nuts.”

If your invitation got lost in the mail (tickets ranged from $1,000 to $25,000), you can still have a taste of presidential flavor. Cardoz shared the soup recipe he’s whipping up for the glamorous event tonight.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6-8

4 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. coriander, roughly ground
3 pieces allspice, roughly pounded
2 cloves, roughly pounded
½ tsp. cumin, roughly pounded
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 cup each onions, carrots and celery root, diced
1 inch. ginger, peeled and spiced
½ tsp. turmeric
1 large Mutsu or Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
2 qt. vegetable stock
2 cups roasted pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. each freshly ground black pepper and salt

1. Place a large stew pot over moderate heat. Add the canola oil and heat until it shimmers.

2. Add all roughly pounded spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery root, ginger and turmeric. Continue to cook until soft and tender. Add apples and the vegetable stock and bring up to a boil.

3. Add the pumpkin puree, cider vinegar, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft. Puree in a blender and strain through a soup strainer.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish 
with diced candied ginger, seasoned ricotta and toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

—Ana Calderone

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Showing 36 comments

ds on

I had hamburger helper tonight for dinner

Shea on

Leftover pizza for me. On my dime, but hey, they’re also eating on my dime too.

Guest on

How much is this costing us in taxpayer $$$ when he takes the plane to NYC with the misses?ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!Let him stay in Washington D.C. The air is cleaner when he’s not there.

H2O on

Wonder what dem poor black folk is the ghetto are hav’n tonight?

Guest on

Jealous much

HILLARY 2016 on

President Obama and the First Lady are a class act.

Michele Belanger-McNair on

Must be nice…Air Force One to NYC, private motorcade to the restaurant; no traffic and VOILA…No bill! Enjoy yourselves while the rest of us eat cake…or less.

norosecoloredglspls on

hotdogs, but hey, they’re chicken!

Sara on

Something tells me this wouldn’t fit into Michelle’s diet for us. I don’t care what they eat as long as they leave what my family eat alone.

DJ on

I’m hoping tainted shellfish. But, that’s me.

bill on

Is Obama going to sneak out for a post meal ciggy?

Guest on

I had a sandwich because I can’t find a job thanks to this bafoon.

KeepingItClassy on

It’s “palate”, not “palette”, for Pete’s sake!

Guest on

This article is in really poor taste, People. You’ve got people out there that can’t even afford a loaf of bread for their children. Nobody cares what the President and First Lady are eating. We DO however care about how much of our money was spent to get him and her to and from NYC (and everywhere else they travel to). How about you do an article about that?

Truthfinder on

$1.00 Taco Tuesday for me.
This president has no shame, no limits and no apologies.
Can’t wait until he is gone and our National Nightmare is OVER!

Marilyn on

And she wants school children to eat rabbit food (even though she was elected to NOTHING). She’s such a hypocrite.

Heather on

I doubt either one of them will be eating this tonight, they are already stuffed. The saying is you are what you eat, so it seems logical they’d be full of sh*t.

Magge on

Meanwhile military personnel in theater are eating MRE’s and homeless people are digging through garbage cans for dinner.

Kay on

What are the homeless vets having for dinner tonight?

sdad on

who cares… Obama is a disgrace to our country

JP on

Worst president ever!

Sharon Dunfee on

Choke choke

Lisa on

I’m glad to see, I’m not the only one who finds the article to be distasteful. People in America are without jobs, and can barely afford to eat. My family lives paycheck to paycheck, and we eat off the dollar menu, but yay for them. I can’t wait for his term to be over.

AA on

Gee. I had potted meat on crackers for supper tonight, because I can barely afford groceries any more. I have to pinch pennies to feed my family any way I can. Fourteen months ago, my husband lost his job of 28 years and with that, we lost our health insurances, life insurances and all other benefits. He has another job now, making 1/3 of his former pay, spending 1/4 of his weekly salary in gas to get to said job, and we can’t afford any insurance. but make too much for any EBT benefits. Go figure. Enjoy that dinner, Bummer and Mooch.

RedHotRash on

they make me sick….hope they enjoy their last days in la casa blanca…time for impeachment

AnnG on

I had a hot dog…….why didn’t that make headlines?????

Anonymous on


mimi1211 on

Wonder if there meal was only 850 calories? That all Mrs. Obama allows my kids to have for lunch.

AngelJD on

Pumpkin soup sounds perfect! Thanks for the recipe.

US economy is the only one the IMF declared the other day was the strongest of any nation in the world, and the Obamas are setting a positive example for people to enjoy dining out. Almost 5 million job openings reported yesterday – the most in 14 years. More Americans will soon be back at work.

First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing Laura Bush’s healthy eating, and exercise initiative that Mrs. Bush cited often in her speeches. Good for both of them!

Jenny on

Wait. I thought Obama hates the 1% and is all about the working man? The working man isn’t shelling out 25k on a dinner. What a pathetic hypocrite.

NaturallySonja on

It’s nice to see our president and First Lady enjoy themselves.

I cannot believe that some buffoon is blaming the President because he/she can’t find a job. I’m sorry but that’s no one’s fault but your own. How about”personal responsibility” because there is no excuse for you not to have a job in this economy/country. Another idiot talked about the First Lady’s initiative to have children eat better. How do you condemn a healthier lifestyle for our children? Another idiot is wondering who is shelling the bill? He is our PRESIDENT! Did you wonder who paid the bill when both George Bush’s took vacations and ate lavishly? #IThinkNot
Ignorant and stupid people scare me.#ThatIsAll

Jon Bodack on

No offense, actually, I take that back, why is this so important about what The Obamas, Michelle & Barack, eat?

CJ on

Come on People… do you really think anyone gives a rats a$$ what these 2 morons eat for any occasion.

AJ on

I loved watching Top Chef Masters, and am happy the chef is getting lots of good press, and hopefully, a fully booked restaurant.
Barack and Michelle Obama have good taste!

DJ on

Love the articles on the Obamas! They are a classy First Couple, and are doing a lot to improve this country. Thanks for the coverage.

Natures Healing Food on

Reblogged this on Natures Healing Food and commented:
Get Rid Of Belly Fat

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