LIFETIME ACHIVEMENT AND LOCAL FOOD HERO AWARDS 2016
the recipients of these awards will be named later
TRIBUTE TO KATHY BUCKLEY "KATHY WHITE HOUSE" - EVENT OF LFF2015
The story of Listowel woman Kathy Buckley who became Cook for three American presidents in the White House, is a remarkable one.
Born in 1885 at 26 Upper William Street, Listowel, Kathy was educated at the Convent Primary School in Listowel and afterwards secured employment as a trainee cook from the Huggard family at the renowned Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville. In the early years of the 1900s an entourage of wealthy Americans, led by the famous banker and financier J.P. Morgan, visited the hotel. Morgan was so impressed by the quality of the cuisine that he offered Kathy a position at his own mansion in Connecticut. She rapidly progressed to become head chef at Morgan’s home and from there was invited by his personal friend, incoming President Calvin Coolidge, to become head of the White House kitchens. Kathy retained this position during his and the subsequent terms of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt. From various anecdotes Kathy appeared to have a good personal relationship with the Presidents.
Thanks to local historian Vincent Carmody, many stories prevail about ‘Kathy White House’ as she became known on her visits back to Listowel. Kathy returned to her beloved home on the banks of the River Feale in retirement in the early fifties. Kathy Buckley, cook extraordinaire to three American Presidents, died on July 19th 1969.
This remarkable lady will be honoured with the unveiling of a plaque in her memory by U.S. Ambassador Mr. Kevin O'Malley, at her original home, 26 Upper William Street at this year's Listowel Food Fair.
This event took place at 26, Upper William Street Thursday on June 18th 2015