President Barack Obama temporarily set aside the pressures of trying to calm the world’s trouble spots and assumed the role of spectator on Aug. 30 for something more joyous: the wedding of the Obama family’s longtime chef and friend, Sam Kass.
Kass, 34, and MSNBC host Alex Wagner, 36, tied the knot at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a farm-to-table restaurant in Pocantico Hills, just north of New York City.
Obama and Kass, who grew up in a Jewish family in Chicago, have a close relationship — which Obama highlighted earlier this month by spending several hours at dinner at Kass’ apartment amid the turmoil in Iraq, Ukraine and Ferguson, Mo.
It’s long been said that time is a president’s most precious commodity. That Obama would spend five hours at Kass’ home on one of the aide’s final evenings as a bachelor was a testament to their bond.
Obama, wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha attended the ceremony and reception at the restaurant, which is a favorite of both Kass and the first lady, who hosted the spouses of world leaders there in 2010.
The first family spent about six hours at the wedding.
Kass began preparing meals for the Obamas when the family lived in Chicago, and the Obamas persuaded him to join them at the White House. He is now among the Obamas’ longest-serving aides.
Besides preparing the family’s meals most weeknights, Kass also serves as senior nutrition policy adviser and executive director of the first lady’s anti-childhood obesity initiative.