Tafari Campbell Obama’s Chef and His Remarkable Legacy

Tafari Campbell Obama’s Chef and His Remarkable Legacy: Tafari Campbell, a distinguished culinary artist and the former chef to President Barack Obama, tragically died in a paddle boarding accident on Martha’s Vineyard this past Sunday. The Obamas, profoundly impacted by the loss, referred to the 45-year-old as “a part of our family” in a heartfelt statement. They described Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef for over ten years — as a remarkably talented and passionate professional, who left an indelible mark on their lives with his creativity, kindness, and warmth. 

Tafari Campbell — Obama’s Chef: Brewer at the White House

Among the numerous achievements of Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — was his contribution to the creation of Obama’s Honey Ale beer in 2011. Inspired by the brewing traditions of homebrewers nationwide, Obama bought a home brewing kit for the White House kitchen. Despite no prior brewing experience among the kitchen staff, they ingeniously brewed the White House Honey Brown Ale using tips from homebrewers.

Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — was instrumental in this endeavor. A 2013 White House YouTube video features Campbell actively engaged in brewing the ale. According to White House Archives, this was the first-ever beer brewed on White House premises, although past presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were known to have brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and made wine at the White House, respectively.

An Established Chef Before the White House

Before working for the Obamas, Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — had an illustrious career that included owning a restaurant and culinary schooling in Virginia. A 2009 article in The Sun Sentinel revealed that Campbell was first hired to work at the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency. As one of the four cooks retained by the Obamas, Campbell’s culinary prowess was clear.

His father, Trevor, spoke about his son’s passion for cooking and how he often cooked for large family gatherings. Under both administrations, Campbell worked with Cristeta Comerford, the first woman and first Asian White House executive chef appointed by Laura Bush in 2005.

A Continued Culinary Journey Post-White House

Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — left such a lasting impression on the Obamas with his culinary skills and affable personality that they asked him to continue working for them after leaving the White House. They admired his creativity, his passion for food, and how he used his culinary skills to bring people together. His death has deeply saddened them.

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A Culinary Duo: Tafari Campbell and Sherise Campbell

Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — was not the only culinary artist in the family. His wife, Sherise, owns Sweet Sage Baking and Catering, a bakery and catering service serving Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. In a 2021 interview, Sherise recounted her love for cooking and how positive feedback from coworkers at culinary school encouraged her to start her own business. The couple, proud parents of twin boys Xavier and Savin, frequently cooked together for large family gatherings.

Conclusion of Tafari Campbell Obama’s Chef and His Remarkable Legacy

Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef — was a passionate chef who enjoyed showcasing his culinary creations on his Instagram account, “Thymeless Creations”. From Mayan chicken to peach fosters, he delighted followers with pictures and videos of his gastronomic art. He occasionally shared photos of his golfing adventures and intimate moments with his wife, Sherise.


Q: Who was Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef?

A: Tafari Campbell was a professional chef who served as Barack Obama’s chef for over a decade. He tragically died in a paddle boarding accident.

Q: What was one of Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef’s major achievements at the White House?

A: Tafari Campbell was instrumental in creating the White House Honey Brown Ale, the first beer ever brewed on White House premises.

Q: What did Tafari Campbell — Obama’s chef do after leaving the White House?

A: Campbell continued to work for the Obama family even after their tenure at the White House ended, due to his extraordinary culinary skills and the personal rapport he had developed with the family.

Q: Who else in Campbell’s family is in the culinary arts?

A: Campbell’s wife, Sherise, is a bakery and catering business owner, serving Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area.




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