His belly full of Korean tacos on Tuesday afternoon, chef Adam Pechal announced he was in a hurry.
"Sorry guys, gotta go," he said. "I've got to get ready to feed Bill."
The "Bill" in question was former President Bill Clinton, who appeared Tuesday night at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium for a speech on current affairs.
Pechal, executive chef and co-owner of Sacramento's Tuli Bistro and Restaurant THIR13EN, had the job of feeding Clinton and the former president's staff before the appearance.
He was referred by organizers of the Sacramento Speakers Series, which hosted the event, and Pechal didn't know he would be cooking for Clinton until the day before the appearance.
Pechal, who had to submit his Social Security number and other information for a background check, wasn't given many directives for feeding the former president.
However, the meal had to be vegan, given that Clinton stopped eating meat and dairy following two heart surgeries a decade ago.
"Cooking vegan is not my forte, but I love a challenge," Pechal said. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Pechal cooked primarily from ingredients sourced from Feeding Crane Farms, an organic operation that's a short drive from downtown Sacramento. From that, he created two courses for Clinton and vegan appetizers for the former president's staff.
"Feeding Crane sent me a big box with all kinds of goodies," Pechal said.
"That's where I do my best work. I get some amazing product, and it all starts to happen."
The meals were delivered to Clinton and staff at the auditorium, and Pechal didn't get a chance for a photo op. However, he is expected to receive a letter from Clinton thanking Pechal for the meal.
Word from organizers was that Clinton "loved it."
"I wanted to hear that from the horse's mouth, but that totally made my night," said Pechal, who watched Clinton's speech. "I've got to feed the mayor a bunch of times, and fed Jerry Brown a little bit, but a president? I didn't see this one coming."
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