By Glenn Dromgoole
Matthew “Matty” Wendel cooked favorite family meals for George and Laura Bush, first at the Governor’s Mansion and then for eight years at Camp David and Prairie Chapel Ranch.
Recipes from the President’s Ranch: Food People Like to Eat ($45 hardcover, published by the White House Historical Association) tells Wendel’s story about cooking for the Bushes and includes more than 50 of their favorite recipes
Laura Bush, writing the Foreword, praised Wendel’s fried chicken, smoked beef tenderloin, stacked enchiladas, and more. “But,” she added, “cheeseburgers became a tradition for our luncheons with world leaders at Prairie Chapel Ranch. We found that they were a universal favorite.”
In his recipe for what he calls Sweet and Smoky Cheeseburgers, Wendel agreed. “It may be hard to fathom, but world leaders actually love cheeseburgers as much as the rest of us!” He made his burgers the way Mrs. Bush liked them: thin all-beef patties, with a hint of sweet and smoky barbecue sauce, topped with extra sharp cheddar cheese, and served on toasted whole wheat buns.
Matty’s Fried Chicken is pictured on the book’s cover. When he cooked fried chicken at the ranch, Wendel said, “I would always make a little extra so that the President and Mrs. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice could take a doggie bag on Air Force One and have some chicken on the flight home.”
Wendel shares personal stories like that as well as mouth-watering recipes for “food people like to eat.”
This handsome oversized book will make a fine gift for those on your list who like to read and collect cookbooks, especially if they respect and admire the Bush family.