In the kitchen, there’s close scrutiny but no official tasting.

“There was one Secret Service agent in a black suit assigned to me, like my shadow,” says Scott Drewno, executive chef at the Source. “He watched everything I cooked for them. He was also a chef, so he knew his way around a kitchen.” The chef/agent expressed culinary interest in the food but declined offers to eat anything, Drewno says.

As with any VIPs or friends who dine at the Source, Drewno sent signature items to the Obamas’ table: tuna tartare cones, squares of suckling pig, tandoori Arctic char. The first couple make a point of having those items added to the bill. (We clearly travel in different circles.) Drewno made sure to take the beets off that Arctic char dish because the president doesn’t like them, a tidbit he had known beforehand.