Never Underestimate the Power of Food: Meet America's 'Culinary Diplomats'


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is working on establishing the first American Chef Corps—a partnership of more than 80 chefs and food experts that will help the State Department provide healthy meals for a number of State functions from hosting visiting dignitaries to educational programs, according to the Associated Press.

"By showcasing the best of American cuisine and creativity, we can show our guests a bit about ourselves," U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall told the AP. "Likewise, by incorporating elements of our visitor's culture, we can demonstrate respect and a desire to connect and engage."

Clinton's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership calls on her philosophy of using "every diplomatic tool at our disposal," to help bridge relations with foreign diplomats and even for expanding awareness for U.S. citizens on foods from around the country. And by showcasing America's unique cuisine and top chefs, the program could help foreign friends get to know the U.S. better and on a more intimate level. Likewise, chefs will focus on creating the cuisine from representatives of visiting regions in order to help them feel more at home, too.

From the Organic Authority Files

Among the chefs in the program are: Jose Andres, a D.C.-area chef who also prepared the dinner for the 50th anniversary of the department's Diplomatic Reception Rooms; Ming Tsai, owner of Wellesley, Mass. restaurant Blue Ginger; April Bloomfield, owner of New York's Spotted Pig; Bryan Voltaggio, a Maryland-based chef and runner up on the television show "Top Chef;" and Chicago's Rick Bayless, who has cooked state dinners for President Obama.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Luigi Crespo Photography

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