The folks at NJ.com are reporting this morning that “The longtime chef at New Jersey governor’s mansion in Princeton has been replaced by a Red Bank restaurant owner who is taking over a new position with a salary that is about $40,000 more than the former cook’s wages…” The new chef’s salary is $110,000. For the record, $110,000 is more than double the maximum salary allowed for a player on the Governor’s professional women’s soccer team.
According to the report the previous chef, who has been at Drumthwacket for nearly 17 years, was “pushed out of the position in April.”
The administration attempted to explain away the pushing out of the old chef and hiring a new chef by telling the reporter:
A spokeswoman for Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration said the recent hire is filling a newly created role at the mansion to help accommodate more public events, like holiday open houses and dinners with different constituencies.
“To accommodate this increase in programming, the job of executive chef was changed to executive chef and program coordinator, which requires a different skillset and expertise than the previous position. The job no longer consists of solely cooking, but has been expanded to include coordination and development of additional programming,” Murphy spokeswoman Alexandra Altman said in a statement.
Not to be cynical, but I am fairly certain former Governor Chris Christie had holiday open houses and dinners with different constituencies at Drumthwacket. I wasn’t invited to any (even though I did stellar work for the former guv on the 2009 campaign), but my co-host Bob Greco was. Other governors had events at Drumthwacket. So, I really don’t see what the “additional programming” is.
The report goes on to say:
As executive chef and program coordinator, the new chef will develop menus and serve as the point of contact for event caterers at the mansion…
Point of contact for caterers! What the hell? Caterers prepare and cook food. That’s what a chef does. Why would a chef need a caterer to do what the chef is paid to do?
Maybe Phil Murphy’s new chef who owns a restaurant less than two miles from Murphy’s home, who the Governor’s people claim is not “known to Murphy” even though the new chef obviously met Murphy in 2018 when he cooked for the Governor can cook for Murphy’s Sky Blue soccer team and explain to the players who make far less money than the new chef how New Jersey is “stronger and fairer.”
Speaking of “stronger and fairer” I think it’s a safe bet the income level at the chef’s house is stronger because his wife got a job at Drumthwacket too.
I guess it pays to not be “known to Murphy.”