Jackie Kennedy Fired Her Chef for Sharing Recipes With Weight Watchers

Jackie Kennedy was known for her timeless style and grace. She curated a certain image of herself for the public, and she upheld that image until her death. Though she was poised and soft-spoken, she was also very protective of her image.

She once fired her personal chef for sharing recipes with Weight Watchers.

Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy | CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Jackie Kennedy was meticulous about her appearance

During her time in the White House, and afterward, Kennedy was very particular about her image and appearance. Though the former first lady was a smoker who adored Newports, she was careful never to be photographed smoking. According to FirstLadies.org, she prohibited the staff from taking photos of smoking.

After John F. Kennedy’s death, she was even more meticulous about shielding herself and her young children from the spotlight.

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Jackie Kennedy’s chef Annemarie Huste shared her recipes with Weight Watchers

With such a public life, Kennedy was very protective of certain details of her life, and she did her best to stay out of the tabloids. However, in 1968, she found herself thrust into the spotlight once more when Weight Watchers Magazine published an article titled, “Jackie Kennedy’s Gourmet Chef Presents Her Weight Watchers Recipes.”

An editor for the magazine met Kennedy’s personal chef, Annemarie Huste, during a ski weekend and asked her to share some of her recipes. Huste agreed but begged the magazine to make no mention of her employer. After all, she’d signed an NDA two years prior when she began working for Kennedy.

However, Weight Watchers magazine ignored Huste’s request publishing her recipes for lemon broiled chicken, Spanish melon, raspberries à l’orange, baked tomatoes, and a Bibb salad. Later the magazine’s editor argued, “Mrs. Kennedy wasn’t even mentioned in the article.” That was true but she was the draw of the article since her name was in the title.

Jackie Kennedy fired Annemarie Huste over the Weight Watchers drama

Though Huste was horrified that the Weight Watchers magazine editor had conned her and she’s retained her own legal counsel, her apology to the first lady was not enough for her to hold on to her job.

“I was so humiliated and furious. I called my lawyer and he told me to just apologize to Mrs. Kennedy,” she told a reporter via Town & Country. Kennedy’s response was “You should have known better.” However, Kennedy did not fire Huste immediately, that came later after the philanthropist spotted the article in all of its glory.

Weight Watchers claimed that Hauste’s recipes had helped Kennedy drop two dress sizes. “It was all made up, and I was scared to death,” the chef told the press. Huste immediately called Nancy Tuckerman, Kennedy’s secretary, who told Huste, “Under the circumstances, Mrs. Kennedy felt you had better not come back to work.”

In the end, Kennedy felt that Huste was too ambitious. However, the chef did eventually write her own cookbook in 1968 titled, Annemarie’s Personal Cookbook. The book included the loin lamb chops recipe seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon. Huste also wrote about working for a little boy — John F. Kennedy Jr. — who adored artichokes.