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The Toledo native — another descriptive we always use, and with great pride — sent me a review copy of a new book recently, but it’s not a cookbook. Instead, it’s West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House, edited by Gautam Raghavan, which goes on sale Tuesday.
“It’s a collection of reminiscences by former Obama staff, myself included,” Mr. Yosses said.
West Wingers is a behind-the-scenes look at — and from — those whose names are usually not recognized but who played critical roles regarding national security, health care, immigration, marriage equality, combating violence against women, and so many more initiatives.
And yes, that group includes Mr. Yosses, even though he was not in an administrative role.
Initially, his work at the White House involved preparing pastries for state dinners and other official events. He and his team also made desserts for the residential quarters. Mr. Bush’s favorites were a seven-layer chocolate cake and peach pie. Mr. Obama enjoyed Mr. Yosses’ pies so much that he nicknamed him the Crustmaster and joked that crack might be the secret ingredient.
But Michelle Obama “was focused on healthy eating,” Mr. Yosses writes.
His sweet treats weren’t banished from the White House, though. Instead, he was excited to meet the challenge of using fruits and whole grains to maximize flavor while reducing sugar, sodium, and fats.
Mr. Yosses writes that the kitchen staff was charged with making nutrition “a priority, not just in [the Obamas’] home, but throughout the country.” Having long been involved in projects focused on “sustainability and healthful eating,” he had found a kindred spirit to help promote these passions.
A garden on the South Lawn came next, followed by improving school lunches. Students were encouraged to enter a healthful recipe competition that offered a prize of attendance at the annual Kids’ State Dinner.
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