June 29, 2015

Walter Scheib, Former White House Chef who Loved Kosher Dead at 61

Taos, NM - Walter Scheib, the former White House chef who spoke glowingly of his experiences of koshering the White House kitchen for the annual Chanukah party, was found dead after having gone missing for a week. Scheib’s body was found off of the Yerba Canyon hiking trail near Taos in northern New Mexico, where he set off on a solo hiking trip June 13th, state police said. In an interview with KosherToday, Scheib remembered the day a team of rabbis koshered the White House kitchen for the traditional Chanukah party, under the watchful eye of First Lady Laura Bush. Chef Scheib had the distinction of serving two First Families, the Clintons and the Bushes. After leaving the White House, Chef Scheib had developed a successful consulting business and had expressed an interest in bringing his creativity to the kosher world. During his White House tenure, his culinary creations dazzled and delighted White House guests including Nelson Mandela, Emperor Aikihito, Jacques Chirac, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Lady Diana Spencer, Tony Blair, Vicente Fox, and others, not to mention the thousands of congressional members, journalists, and other House visitors who got to know his food. Since he returned to private life, Scheib has founded The American Chef, the company through which he shared his knowledge of the development of American cuisine at the White House, as well as White House remembrances, with audiences across the country. Scheib had also expanded his company into a kosher division but with his life cut short, a major contribution to kosher was similarly snuffed out.