President Needs a Hot Dog Helping Hand

Local helps cook hot dogs at White House picnic

President Obama may be from Chicago, but he still needs some help when it comes to cooking up Chicago-style hot dogs.

The White House was preparing for its annual congressional picnic  for last Tuesday and they wanted Chicago-style hots on the menu. Only catch, the staff didn't know how to make them, reports Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times.

So the White House staff got in touch with Byron's Hot Dogs owner Mike Payne and flew him to the White House to assist the kitchen staff in preparing hot dogs for Tuesday’s annual congressional picnic.

“Everybody there was really, really nice,” Payne told the Chicago Sun-Times, “like they were treating us like a guest.”

Payne got the job based on Sen. Dick Durbin’s recommendation and sent a grocery list with all the traditional fixings to White House chief chef Cristeta Comerfeld, who did her best to find everything needed for a Chicago dog.

The theme of the picnic was “Taste of the States,” with each dish featuring food from a region of the United States. The Vienna hot dogs represented the Midwest.

They must have been a hit, as the Obama’s themselves put in a Presidential “to-go” order for four hot dogs.

As Payne told the paper, “A little bit of home cooking came all the way to the White House.”

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