''I really do believe if you have a wonderful meal, things and conversations are so much better,'' White House chef tells Reuters TV. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Hard at work in the White House kitchen as a battery of chefs prepare dinner for nearly 50 heads of state from Africa. It's part of the diplomatic effort explains White House chef Cristeta Comerford. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE CHEF CRISTETA COMERFORD SAYING: "Food sends such a wonderful message. You know we have here such a thing (called) culinary diplomacy. Because I really do believe if you have a wonderful meal things and conversations are so much better. " President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama will host the leaders Tuesday evening. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE CHEF CRISTETA COMERFORD SAYING: "What we are working on today are all the preparations for the Africa Summit Dinner. We are incorporating some of these wonderful vegetables from the (White House) garden, and also some of them are locally-sourced as well. And we are adding these to salads. These guys are working on a spring onion that we will be grilling momentarily. So, we are pretty much just highlighting whatever is wonderful and seasonal out there, and things that we think the guests will really, really enjoy." All part of the U.S. effort to court Africa -- a potential just desserts after some say the world's richest nation was slow to come to the African party.