Kitchen Pantry

Chef Cris Comerford and staff in, 2009 (New York Times - Stephen Crowley)

Kitchen Pantry

The Kitchen Pantry is a space that allows food prepared in the kitchen to be raised to the Butler's Pantry on the first floor, where it can be delivered to the State Dining Room or the Family Dining Room. The Kitchen Pantry includes two dumbwaiters for raising food (and lowering dishes) as well as a small elevator and spiral staircase to allow staff to discreetly go up and down between pantries (including the Pastry Kitchen on the mezzanine, the Family Kitchen on the second floor, and the third floor hall).

Before the 20th century, this space was divided into a small pantry and a scullery, or small kitchen for everyday use. The main Kitchen was used for large dinners. In 1971, the space was renovated and the Kitchen Pantry was made smaller so the main Kitchen could be enlarged. A short wall was also added on the north side of the Kitchen (by the windows) so staff could pass through to the Refrigerator Room without disturbing the chefs.



More Images

View to the southwest, 1992 (HABS)

View to the north, 1992 (HABS)

White House chefs have lunch, around 1984 (Roland Mesnier collection)

View to the north in 1971, shortly before renovation (White House curator)

View to the south in 1960 (National Geographic - Thomas Nebbia)

Mamie Eisenhower in the Kitchen, looking into the Pantry toward the west in 1958 (Life)

The 1948 space before the Truman reconstruction (Truman Library)

View to the south in 1935, shortly after renovation

View to the north in 1935, shortly before renovation

The Kitchen Pantry in the Taft era, around 1909, showing the White House silver;
the silver was purchased in 1833 from the estate of Baron de Tuyll, and were kept in the trunks he had custom-made

Dolly Johnson in the old White House Scullery, or "small kitchen,"
circa 1892, looking south (Library of Congress - Frances Benjamin Johnston)