Food - Drink
This President May Have Been The Most Difficult To Cook For
By LAUREN CAHN
From Joe Biden’s ice cream fixation to Donald Trump’s preference for well done and ketchup-drowned steak, U.S. presidents have had their fair share of notable food preferences — like squirrel stew, prune whip, and hard cider for breakfast. However, no President has quite the unique track record like Lyndon B. Johnson.
During President John F. Kennedy’s tenure, he and his wife Jackie hired French-trained chef René Verdon to prepare rarified meals from beef filet au jus to crème brûlée. However, after Lyndon B. Johnson stepped into office, Verdon quit in 1965 after being forced to make dishes such as barbecued spare ribs and tapioca pudding.
Lady Bird Johnson quickly found a replacement in Swiss-born New York hotel chef, Henry Haller — whom she forewarned herself that President Johnson was a tough man to please. It didn’t take long for Haller to experience Johnson’s displeasure first-hand when he forgot to remove the stringy stems from some Florida pole beans.
Johnson responded by taking the strings off himself and handing a fistful of beans to Haller with a warning — never do it again. To his credit, Haller had no problem with Johnson's brusqueness, saying, "I mean, the President was right, but he was very polite, he called me 'Mr. Haller.' He could have called me something else, you know."