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Menus

Menus

Research by Steven L. Brawley

According to the John F. Kennedy Library, when planning a menu, Jackie kept an eye on cost and tried to select foods that were in plentiful supply and in season. She also kept the number of courses to four although the previous White House dinners ran to five and six, and during the Grant administration ran as high as twenty-nine.

Jackie’s streamlined menus consisted of either a fish or soup course first, then the main dish, salad and dessert.

She followed the same menu pattern for her family meals, except that then, she usually eliminated dessert and ended with salad and cheese.

Early on, she had the menus printed in French, but fearing negative feedback, the President encouraged them to be printed in English, unless a "French" word was necessary.

René Verdon was the French chef hired by Jackie to work at the White House. He received the title Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur for his contribution to French cuisine. During the Kennedy administration he became an American citizen.

Steven L. Brawley has utilized the following sources to document the Kennedy White House menus (1961-1963): The JFK Library; In the Kennedy Style by Rene Verdon and Letita Baldrige; White House Parties by Anne Lincoln; White House Chef Cookbook by Rene Verdon; Entertaining in the White House by Marie Smith; and White House Chef by Francois Rysavy.

Copyright Steven L. Brawley, 2002-2015. All Rights Reserved.