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Frank L. White: Story of the Chef behind the Cream of Wheat's Mascot

Cream of Wheat never stated the name of the chef whose image is used in the current chef image. However, the company stated that the current chef image is based on a photo of a chef working in a Chicago restaurant. Frank L. White, a Michigan chef described as “well-traveled” by the university, is said to have told friends and neighbors he was the model for the Cream of the Wheat chef. According to a local newspaper, he posed for a well-known breakfast food advertisement before he died in 1938.

In 1875, Frank White immigrated from Barbados to the U.S., where he became a citizen in 1890. While photographed for the 1900 cereal box, he worked as a master chef in a Chicago restaurant. During his last decades, White lived in Leslie, Michigan. He died in 1938 at about 70 and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Leslie. The concrete marker on his grave was replaced with a granite marker in June 2007.

A number of companies re-evaluated their branding following widespread protests against systemic racism in June. B&G Foods announced in September 2020 that images of the Cream of Wheat chef would be removed from packaging. In a statement, B&G Foods said the image might be based on an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, but it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive. “Thus, we are removing the chef image from all Cream of Wheat packaging.”

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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