At tonight’s White House Hanukkah party, where President Barack Obama will light the menorah for the last time as Commander in Chief, the festive food being served will come out of a kitchen that meets the highest standards of kosher observance. So how is this feat accomplished?
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who oversees the kasherizing process, told Mishpacha magazine that Marines or Navy personel employed by the White House scrub the ovens, which are then heated to 500–600˚ F. Every kitchen surface is cleaned and boiled, according to White House Executive Chef Christeta Comerford, then wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
A couple of helpful videos let us in on the process:
And here, you can watch the action at high speed:
Tonight, President Obama will enjoy kosher food with honored guests. Tomorrow, the White House kitchen will return to its regular state of treyf.
Liza Schoenfein is food editor of the Forward. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner