White House Mourns Departure of Obama’s Personal Chef

Sam Kass and Michelle Obama share a nibble. (AP)

The capital of the free world teeters on the edge of darkness. Black-clad mourners huddle under frigid, overcast skies; children weep without knowing why.

One of the most beloved members of the Obama administration, Sam Kass, has decided to abandon his post. Historians will remember Kass as the Executive Director of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, as well as the first-ever White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition. The rest of us will always remember (and love) him as the personal chef to the Obama family and husband to MSNBC host Alex Wagner.

According to a White House press release, Kass is leaving to pursue his dream of "[living] full-time in New York City." The White House praised Kass’s "tenure of dedicated service not only to the First Family, but also to the Obama Administration as a key player in the development of nutrition policy."

President Obama and the First Lady offered kind words [emphasis in original]:

"From constructing our Kitchen Garden to brewing our own Honey Brown Ale, Sam has left an indelible mark on the White House," said President Obama. "And with the work he has done to inspire families and children across this country to lead healthier lives, Sam has made a real difference for our next generation.  Over the years, Sam has grown from a close friend to a critical member of my team, and I am grateful for his outstanding work and look forward to seeing all that he will continue to achieve in the years ahead."

"Sam has been an integral part of Let's Move! from its very beginning — from discussions about children's health around my kitchen table in Chicago, to setting the strategic vision of a national campaign in the White House, to spearheading efforts with the private sector across the country," said First Lady Michelle Obama.  "Sam leaves an extraordinary legacy of progress, including healthier food options in grocery store aisles, more nutritious school lunches, and new efforts that have improved how healthy food is marketed to our kids.  I wish Sam success in all his future endeavors, and I know he will continue to be a leader in the vitally important work to build a healthier country."

Kass will remain engaged with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative and the continuing effort to advance childhood nutrition.  His successor will be named in the new year.

The full statement clocks in at 322 words, which is almost double the length of the White House statement marking the death of Margaret Thatcher.