President Donald Trump might have a famously limited palate when it comes to dining, but he still apparently admires a chef known for whimsical, high-end cuisine. Patrick O'Connell, the owner and top toque at the Inn at Little Washington, is among those the president selected to receive the prestigious National Humanities Medal, a recognition of those "whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities," according to the National Endowment for the Arts.
The White House on Sunday night announced the recipients of the Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts, a list that includes actor (and a rare Trump supporter in Hollywood) Jon Voight, singer and musician Alison Krauss, and thriller author James Patterson. The medals will be presented at a ceremony Thursday at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
It's the first time in his presidency that Trump has offered the medals, which are typically given out annually. But Trump is considered radioactive for many artists and celebrities, who have often shied away from Washington events that might put them in proximity to the divisive chief executive, for fear of alienating their fans.
But O'Connell, reached via email while traveling, says that he "look[s] forward to attending" the ceremony and that he is "immensely honored" by the recognition.
His luxurious rural restaurant and inn has long been a magnet for politicos from both parties and for dignitaries from Washington and around the world. O'Connell even cooked for Queen Elizabeth during her 2007 visit. And the Inn is known as a destination for power engagements and weddings: NBC's Andrea Mitchell and former Fed chair Alan Greenspan tied the knot there, and it's also where Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., popped the question to his now-wife.