Tafari Campbell: 5 Things About Barack Obama’s Personal Chef Who Drowned In Martha’s Vineyard

The professional chef was found dead in a Martha’s Vineyard pond after he went out paddleboarding on Jul. 23. Here are five things to know about Tafari Campbell.

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Image Credit: Courtesy of Youtube

  • Tafari Campbell was a professional chef who worked for former President Barack Obama & his family.
  • After his time at the White House, he went on to become the Obama family’s personal chef.
  • Most recently, on Jul. 24, 2023, the Massachusetts State Police confirmed that Tafari had died after being reported missing the day prior.

Tafari Campbell was reported missing on Jul. 23, 2023, only to be confirmed dead the following day, per the Massachusetts State Police website. After the professional chef had gone out paddleboarding that Sunday, he was reported missing in the early hours of that night, per CNN. After officials confirmed that the body that had been recovered from the Edgartown Great Pond in Martha’s Vineyard was Tafari’s, former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, released a statement on the matter to PEOPLE. The famous couple proudly employed the late 45-year-old as their personal chef.

Tafari Campbell 5 things
Tafari Campbell was the personal chef to the Obama family. (Courtesy of Youtube)

“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House — creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together,” the pair said in a joint-statement. “In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.” Barack and the former first lady also expressed their condolences to Tafari’s loved ones. “Today we join everyone who knew and loved Tafari — especially his wife Sherise and their twin boys, Xavier and Savin — in grieving the loss of a truly wonderful man,” they concluded. Below are five things to know about Tafari amid his passing.

Tafari Campbell Worked For Barack Obama

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Tafari Campbell pictured at the White House in 2012. (Courtesy of Youtube)

As previously mentioned, Tafari was a proud personal chef. The food-lover worked for the former U.S. president during Barack’s time in the White House, but also in the years that followed. In the 61-year-old’s statement, he and his wife expressed that they asked Tafari to become their personal chef after they had made their lives shine more. “That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed,” they said their statement. “He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”

He Was A Chef At The White House

Tafari was a sous chef at the White House prior to becoming the famous family’s personal chef. During his time with the former first family, Tafari brewed the famous White House honey ale beer, as per the official White House archives. The late food connoisseur used honey from Michelle’s South Lawn. The honey used was extracted from the first-ever bee-hive at the White House. The video linked above showed Tafari creating the beverage and also includes footage of Barack enjoying the beer.

Tafari Campbell Was Married

Although he was known for his mouth-watering creations, Tafari was also a proud husband. He and his wife, Sherise, has been married for over 23 years. He took to his personal Instagram in Oct. 2020 to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary. “Happy 21st Anniversary!!!! @foodforthought1 #spendmylifewithyou #coupleofforevers,” he captioned a carousel of photos of their loved-up moments.

He Also Had 2 Kids

In addition to being a devoted spouse, Tafari was a proud dad to two sons. He and Sherise welcomed their sons Xavier and Savin during their decades-long romance. He took to Instagram a few times to share photos with his sons and celebrate their moments. “I’m getting old. High school homecoming game. Can see my grey hairs? #fatherandson #homecoming #burr #fridaynightlights #PotomacPanther,” Tafari captioned a selfie with one of his boys in 2016. A few days prior, he shared another adorable photo with his mini-me. “He makes me laugh #fatherandson #homecoming #burr #fridaynightlights #PotomacPanther,” he wrote in the caption of the post.

Tafari Campbell Loved To Swim

Tafari also loved to be physically active. He even dedicated a portion of his Instagram Story Highlights to a category titled “Fitness.” In the first video on the high lights page, Tafari added footage of himself swimming laps in a large pool. He captioned the post, “#progress #fitchef.” He also included videos of himself lifting weights, playing golf, riding bikes, and more.