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A Meal Fit For A Candidate: John McCain

Audio Slideshow: Watch Chef Jim Eriksen prepare Haitian-Creole seafood gumbo.

Can we learn anything about the presidential candidates from what they like to eat? As a public service, NPR asked some of their favorite chefs to teach you how to cook the kind of food that graces the candidates' plates when they eat out.

When Sen. John McCain visits his old stomping grounds in Annapolis, Md., he often eats at a restaurant called Pusser's Caribbean Grille. We headed straight to the city — where four generations of the Republican candidate's family have trained at the U.S. Naval Academy — to investigate what he's been eating.

When you stroll into Pusser's, it's easy to see why locals sometimes spot McCain and his son Jack, who attends the Naval Academy, there at lunch or dinner. There are huge models of ships scattered throughout the restaurant, including an aircraft carrier in the lobby. The dining room is festooned with maritime mementos and replicas of leaping fish.

In Annapolis, everybody knows the food at Pusser's. Chef Jim Eriksen offers his recipe for Haitian-Creole seafood gumbo, which generally wins first or second place each year in a regional competition.

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Daniel Zwerdling
Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR's Investigations Unit.