Bizarre Rules Trump's Kitchen Staff Is Forced To Follow

When it comes to members of the White House staff, the more unusual jobs one could find for themselves have nothing at all to do with politics; instead, they can be found in the kitchen. 

The people who cater to the nourishment of President Donald Trump not only have a number of seemingly bizarre restrictions placed upon them from the get-go — including receiving high security clearances, having their food screened before it is served, and be ready to make whatever the president wants at any given moment — but also have to contend with the much-scrutinized diet of the commander-in-chief himself. One only has to recall the time Trump served platters of McDonald's hamburgers to the members of Clemson University's football team in January 2019 to get an idea of what that diet might look like.

So when it comes to (literally) serving the president, what other weird habits do the White House kitchen staff have to factor in before they begin their shift? Read on after the jump to find out.

Trump has an "executive pastry chef" who makes a gingerbread house

While First Lady Melania Trump's taste in Christmas décor might be up for debate – one critic on Twitter called her 2018 theme for the holiday called her decision to line the halls of the White House with red evergreens a "dystopian nightmare" — the same doesn't necessarily extend to the annual tradition of creating a gingerbread house to serve as a decorative centerpiece. The tradition is so important, in fact, that the White House employs someone to spend the year planning for the cookie-centric occasion. 

According to a 2017 piece published in Oprah magazine, that person is the current executive pastry chef Susan Morrison, who dished on how much of her job is consumed by the once-a-year event. While she noted that most of her "day-to-day focus is on desserts for White House events," the construction of the annual gingerbread house is one she thinks about all year round.

"I spend all year thinking about the White House gingerbread house," Morrison told the magazine, "but we don't begin baking until November. Then, for about four days after Thanksgiving, we work tirelessly to build the house before moving it to the State Dining Room, where more than 60,000 guests will cycle through."

Trump has his kitchen staff recreate meals from McDonald's

According to a November 2017 article by the foodie website Eater, Donald Trump's love of fast food — more specifically, McDonald's — extends far beyond the occasional Big Mac. His appetite for fast food fare is pronounced enough that he has the White House kitchen staff recreate meals from the fast food chain specifically so that he can eat it on an almost daily basis. 

In a piece published by Politico in November 2017, the president's former bodyguard Keith Schiller divulged that a routine part of his job was to make McDonald's runs on behalf of his boss during the 2016 presidential campaign — namely for Egg McMuffins for breakfast and a quarter-pounder and large fries for meals later in the day. He also told Politico's Annie Karni that after assuming office, Trump would routinely order his kitchen staff to recreate his favorite menu items, and that if they didn't live up to the president's satisfaction, then Schiller would be sent on "stealth fast food [runs]" to retrieve an order of "a quarter-pounder with cheese (no pickles, extra ketchup) and a fried apple pie."

Trump's all-meat diet includes the occasional steak...with ketchup

As media outlets have noted throughout the course of Donald Trump's first term as president, the commander-in-chief is hardly known for his healthy eating habits. Aside from his well-known love for McDonald's, experts have also dissected other aspects of Trump's day-to-day diet — namely that his love of red meat, processed bacon, and disdain for vegetables can increase his chances of developing heart disease and cancer, per The Guardian. Some have also gone as far as suggesting that Trump's regular consumption of junk food is highly at odds with claims made in the past by Trump's personal physicians, who have made repeated claims of the president's "glowing" good health.

Nevertheless, Trump's continuous consumption of red meat and fast food has remained in place throughout his White House term. One staple includes steak, which his kitchen staff has been ordered to cook well-done and served with ketchup.

As the food blog Culture Trip noted, an unnamed waiter who once served food to Trump at a BLT Steakhouse recalled that "the President ordered a well-done steak," but before doing so polished off "three jumbo shrimp cocktails" with guests "delivered before the meal." The Washington Post noted in March 2016 that a former butler of Trump described his steak as so well-done that it "would rock on the plate." How...appetizing.