The Gourmet Q + A: Joshua Viertel

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TM: So, what about the White House Farm?

JV: I think it’s a great idea. I think we should do it, and we probably will do it. And it’s something we’d love to help do.

There’s a real value to symbols, especially coming from leadership. The way we perpetrate inequity and the way we perpetrate justice are typically not major decisions—they’re small everyday acts. If our commander in chief can model that to us, I think it will help each of us as a citizen make positive decisions in our everyday lives.

And I want Obama to enjoy himself. I want him to have a really good meal when he’s home, and I want him to be able to know it’s connected to the place where he lives. The idea that the salad on his plate and the beet in his soup comes from his yard—even if it’s an important piece of real estate—I think will help him. And I hope that will be able to help him take pleasure in his everyday life. And I really think that’s important. I‘d hate to have him not be happy; he worked so hard to get the job, you know? He deserves a good meal based on local produce.

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