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Chicago hot dogs come to White House

UPI News Service, 06/10/2010 

The owner of a Chicago hot dog eatery was brought to the White House to represent Midwestern food at the annual congressional picnic.

Mike Payne, the owner of Byron's Hot Dogs in Chicago, said he was contacted by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and brought to Washington to work Tuesday's event, making hot dogs from 7 a.m. until nearly 10 p.m., the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

Payne said White House chief chef Cristeta Comerford had to order all of his ingredients because outside ingredients are forbidden at the picnic. He said Comerford was able to track down Vienna dogs, yellow mustard, shredded lettuce, diced onions, sliced cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, hot peppers, celery salt and dill pickles.

"Everybody there was really, really nice," Payne said, "like they were treating us like a guest."

Payne, said he also got to meet President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who sent for a "to go" order of four hot dogs.

"A little bit of home cooking came all the way to the White House," Payne said.

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