I read once that during the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy met Norman Mailer, already a lion of American letters. If I remember correctly, Kennedy let slip that his favorite novel was Mailer’s The Deer Park — thus establishing his impeccable taste and intellectual rigor in the eyes of that mercurial novelist. Mailer went on to write about Kennedy as a kind of existential hero, doing his bit to burnish the Camelot mystique.

A similar event has evidently happened regarding Barack Obama and the sustainable-food movement. Check out the video below — Berkeley icon Alice Waters regaling a crowd about her encounters with Obama. Money bit: Obama has read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma!

Waters goes on to suggest that, if elected, Obama should appoint a “kitchen cabinet” to advise him on what chef to hire for the White House. She even volunteers to serve on it. That would be great; but I also hope the Kitchen Cabinet gets Obama’s ear on farm policy as well.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.