It’s no secret that New York City’s most notorious food cop, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, doesn’t always practice the nutritional advice he preaches. And now the latest shoe has dropped in Bloomberg’s hypocrisy saga: While taxpayers are financing Bloomberg’s new PSAs warning about the evils of sugar, they’re also footing the bill for a trio of high-priced personal chefs to feed Hizzoner’s sweet tooth.
Local media exposed Bloomberg recently for employing three personal chefs at Gracie Mansion (the mayor’s official residence) costing taxpayers nearly $250,000 annually. It’s a tough bagel to chew on for the city’s teachers and emergency responders, already threatened with layoffs due to budget cuts. While NYC’s finest, bravest, and smartest struggle to serve the needs of New Yorkers (and, recently, plow the roads…), Gracie Mansion’s top chef says he and his boss are performing critical work, too:
Feliberto Estevez has been Bloomberg’s Executive Chef for nearly nine years. He says he “enjoys the variety of foods we make [for the Mayor and his guests]” especially the “scones, pound cakes and muffins.”
And celebrating diversity is a frequent request of Bloomberg to his kitchen staff. Whether it’s showcasing Manhattan’s signature cheesecake or toasting Italian-American Heritage Day with a salty feast of olives and cured meats, none of the Mayor’s nutritional “suggestions” he’s made to his city’s restaurants seem to apply to his own kitchen.
When Estevez isn’t tickling his boss’ taste buds, he can be found volunteering at public schools teaching children how to prepare calorie-and-fat-laden desserts like “flan, cheesecake, chocolate ancho-chili cake and brie with brown sugar.”
We don’t fault Bloomberg’s taste in food, of course. And he’s free to indulge in his high-priced kitchen’s less-than-healthy taxpayer-provided smorgasbord of sweet treats and salty meats. But we find it distasteful that Bloomberg would simultaneously jump into fear-mongering with grim anti-sugar TV ads and restaurant harassment—generally making the once sweet Big Apple a lot more bland.
We suppose it’s par for the course at this point—after all, it’s hardly Bloomberg’s first trip down “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Avenue.