Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Fave Foods

Hillary Clinton is hungry for the Democratic presidential nomination, but what does she want when she's plain hungry?'s Mimi Sheraton has been digging into Hillary's culinary closet, and this is what she found.

A quick excerpt:

When, in May 2007, Associated Press reporters asked the presidential hopefuls to name the single item that most recalled their back-home origins, Hillary Clinton chose the Oliveburger served at the Pickwick, her high-school hangout in Park Ridge, Ill. This Greek coffee shop is still in business, next door to a landmark Art Deco movie house, also called Pickwick.

To find out just what an Oliveburger might be, I called the owner, George Paziotopoulos, who bought the restaurant from his cousin about eight years ago.

"It's 6 ounces of grilled ground beef sirloin on a toasted hamburger bun with a thick topping of chopped, pimento-stuffed green olives," he said, pointing out that he was not the owner during Hillary's time.

However, in May 2003, he welcomed her back with Barbara Walters and a local friend in tow, and while filming an interview, they all ate (reportedly "with great relish") what had been renamed the Hillaryburger, seasoned with Dijon mustard, a pretty fancy condiment for a Greek diner.

. . . I interviewed Walter Scheib, who worked as the White House chef for the Clintons (and, briefly, for the second Bushes). Scheib recently published a cookbook memoir, White House Chef, which offers many clues to Hillary's preferences. Had she ever asked for an Oliveburger or Hillaryburger, I asked?

"No, but I always kept Boca Burgers in the freezer," he said, referring to a brand of soy protein patties. "She liked them for snacking." When I obtained some Boca Burgers and pan-grilled them, as directed, they turned out to be miserably limp, grassy-tasting little disks that might have been produced by Rubbermaid.

And so, the question remains: How could the lover of the lusty Oliveburger ever settle for a Boca Burger?

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