Sam Kass, personal chef of U.S. President Barack Obama and also a senior adviser for nutrition policy at the White House, is set to hang up his boots by the end of this month after a six-year-long association, The Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday. Kass, who recently got married to MSNBC host Alex Wagner, said he decided to leave the White House to stay with his wife who is based in New York.
Kass reportedly started working for the first family before the 2008 elections when he was hired to prepare healthier food. "I love this family and believe in everything the president and first lady are doing and this has been the greatest job of my life and I assume will be the greatest job of my life," Kass reportedly said in an interview. "But I'm going to be with my wife. Once you're married you kind of need to be together."
Kass, who also went on to become the executive director of Mrs. Obama’s anti-childhood obesity campaign, "Let's Move," often traveled with Obama. The White House said that Kass will continue his association with the campaign and will also put in efforts to improve childhood nutrition.
In a statement released by the White House, Obama said that Kass "has grown from a close friend to a critical member of my team" and has left "an indelible mark on the White House." Obama reportedly took out several hours from his busy schedule to attend Kass’ wedding in late August.
“Sam has been an integral part of Let's Move! from its very beginning -- from discussions about children's health around my kitchen table in Chicago, to setting the strategic vision of a national campaign in the White House, to spearheading efforts with the private sector across the country,” Michelle Obama said in the statement. “Sam leaves an extraordinary legacy of progress, including healthier food options in grocery store aisles, more nutritious school lunches, and new efforts that have improved how healthy food is marketed to our kids. I wish Sam success in all his future endeavors, and I know he will continue to be a leader in the vitally important work to build a healthier country.”
Kass said that after leaving the White House he plans to get some sleep, and "I guess I'll also be the chef for my wife,” AP reported.
The White House said that Kass' successor will be announced next year.