New White House Chef Resigns Amid Rumors of Sub-Par Cuisine

United Press International

Recently appointed White House chef Jon Hill is quitting and returning to the hotel business, First Lady Nancy Reagan's press secretary, Elaine Crispen, announced Friday.

"It was a personal decision," Crispen said of the resignation of Hill, 33, who replaced Henry Haller last September as chief of the White House kitchens.

Unconfirmed reports had indicated that Hill was not working out and that the food at state dinners did not measure up. When asked about the First Lady's opinion of Hill, Crispen said, "I know of no complaint that she had."

In a statement released by the White House, Hill said: "It has been a pleasure to serve the President and Mrs. Reagan, and I especially enjoyed preparing the meals associated with the December visit of General Secretary (Mikhail S. Gorbachev) and Mrs. Gorbachev."

During his brief tenure, he oversaw the preparation of White House meals for leaders of Sweden, Spain, El Salvador and Israel also.

Crispen said assistant chef Hans Raffert will serve as executive chef until a replacement is found for Hill, who she said wanted to go back into the hotel business.

The date of Hill's departure is being worked out by White House chief usher Gary Walters, she said.

Hill was executive chef at the Cypress Creek Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and spent more than two years at the Arizona Biltmore as the executive chef. He had also worked for six years at the Westin Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Kamuela, Hawaii.

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