Former White House chef Walter Scheib was found dead Sunday in a hiking area near Taos, N.M., after he was missing for a week, The Taos News reported today.
He was 61 years old.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Scheib became a national celebrity while cooking for President Clinton and his family in the 1990s. He was applauded by peers and food enthusiasts for using his high-profile perch to promote American cuisine, ending a long run of classicists in the White House kitchen.
He wrote a strong-selling book about his experiences at the White House, The American Chef.
Members of the foodservice industry knew of Scheib before his White House gig because of his work in the kitchens of the Greenbrier, the classic American resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Scheib had modernized the menu there with several American touches.
After 11 years as White House Executive Chef, Scheib was asked to resign by First Lady Laura Bush.
Scheib was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.