For Sam Morgante, there’s no higher office than cooking food for the President of the United States. As a White House chef for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the former Navy submarine culinary specialist manned the kitchen and traveled to more than 70 global destinations. “We’d have to prepare for any possibility the president is going to wish for,” Morgante says. After leaving the White House in 2005, Morgante was a chef at Pennsylvania State University for eight years but recently relocated to Sagamore Hills. We caught up with Morgante, who now co-owns a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, on what it means to feed the leader of the nation, Trump’s inauguration cake and more.
On Cravings: “President Clinton craved chocolate chip cookies but he was allergic to chocolate chips. We always had to fight with him. President Bush’s craving was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He couldn’t get enough of them, whether it was 2 a.m. or in a limousine ride or in Air Force One — we were always making him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”
On Trump’s Inauguration Cake: “Buddy Valastro and I were talking to the Trump administration about doing it. [Valastro] won’t know it’s official until right before the inauguration because the Secret Service won’t allow it. With Trump, you have to go big. This thing is going to be huge, and it’s going to be gorgeous. It’ll be a cake like no other.”
On Cleveland’s Dining Scene: “I’m a steak connoisseur, and so far the best steak I’ve ever had in Cleveland was at Dante. Anybody can throw a steak on the grill, but it’s about cooking it to the right temperature and seasoning it at the right time.”