We already knew Hip Chick Farms was doing big things, which is why we named co-founders chef Jen Johnson and Serafina Palandech two of The Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink in 2015. Now we’re not the only ones recognizing their impressive work creating artisan, sustainable and ethically-sourced poultry products. Since we last chatted with them, their products have gone from being in 300 to 3,000 grocery stores nationwide and eager investors have poured $2.5 million into the company. Hip Chick's mission, however, has remained the same: to bring high-quality foods to busy families. And this is why the White House invited them to serve lunch to 300 staff members. We spoke to Palandech for the full scoop.
On the invitation
We had the opportunity to guest-chef at the White House, which came as a result from Jen being at the Getty’s (Chef Jen worked as the personal chef in Ann and Gordon Getty’s kitchen). She’s worked there for a very long time and had the opportunity to meet the folks from the White House at the Getty home. The people at the White House are really interested in learning and building their organic initiative.
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On the hospitality
It’s super cool in the White House, of course. I don’t know what I expected, but everyone was so kind and thoughtful and generous. We actually got to meet Cris Comerford, the private chef for the Obamas, who has been there for over 21 years. She was lovely. We got to tour the Oval Office. I just got shivers. I was so moved by the whole thing. We are very big fans of our current president and just to be there in his office was incredibly moving. His steward took us around and showed us Michelle Obama’s garden, too, which was beautiful.