Chefs Creative Dishes Fit for a Presidential Inaugural Ball

October 24, 2012
Washington, D.C.

Adrienne Richards, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 7223,

Two chefs offered creative dishes they would serve if they were preparing a dish for an inaugural ball. Chefs Rocco Whalen and Mary Sue Milliken might not have been appointed White House Chef, but they shared dishes with the National Turkey Federation (NTF) fit for the President of the United States and his family.

“We wanted to take President-elect Barack Obama’s favorite foods – Italian and Mexican -- and challenge chefs to create a turkey centric dish that had presidential status,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, NTF’s vice president of marketing and communications.

First to the challenge was Whalen, executive chef and owner of Fahrenheit, an urban bistro on the western edge of downtown Cleveland, who thinks his Turkey Bolognese would be perfect for an inaugural event.

“Obama loves Italian food and makes healthful choices for his meals,” said Whalen. “Adding turkey to this classic Italian pasta sauce provides a healthy, flavorful and interesting dish that would satisfy President Obama and his family.”

Whalen’s Turkey Bolognese includes ground turkey and sautéed vegetables, mixed with chopped herbs and crushed chili flakes, which he serves over linguine and tops with a generous portion of parmesan.

Milliken, co-chef/owner of Border Grill Las Vegas, also rose to the occasion with one of Border Grill’s most popular dishes, Turkey Tostada Ensalada. Based on Obama’s love of Mexican food, Milliken, who along with business partner Susan Feniger, has been using turkey at Border Grill ever since it opened decided this protein would be perfect to serve up for the big event.

“Border Grill’s turkey tostada has a combination of wonderful Mexican flavors, including grilled turkey breast,” said Milliken. “Everything that goes into it is healthy and President-elect Obama appears to be a health conscious person.”

Milliken’s turkey tostada includes grilled turkey breast, chunky guacamole, black beans, and a mixture of shredded cabbage and salsa fresca dressed with red wine vinaigrette. It is served on crispy corn tortillas and garnished with a sprinkling of Cotija, a popular Mexican cheese, as well as a touch of crema and chopped cilantro.

Both recipes can be found on NTF’s Web site at and For more turkey recipes visit