Roland Mesnier, White House pastry chef for 5 U.S. presidents, dies

Roland Mesnier, who created often-magical desserts for 5 presidents and their visitors because the White House’s govt pastry chef, has died. He was 78.

Mesnier’s dying was confirmed Saturday by the White House Historic Assn., which mentioned he died Friday after a brief sickness.

One of many longest-serving White House cooks, Mesnier was employed in 1979 by First Girl Rosalynn Carter and retired in the course of the George W. Bush administration practically 27 years later.

Answering questions in an internet “Ask the White House” discussion board in 2004, he defined that in making ready desserts not only for the primary household however for events, receptions and dinners, he was usually known as on to make 1000’s of pastries. He mentioned he deliberate the quantity in keeping with who can be in attendance.

“Over the 25 years I’ve been here, I’ve noticed that Democrats usually eat more than Republicans,” Mesnier mentioned. “I’ve also observed that if the guests are mostly ladies, they will usually eat more pastries than men.”

Among the many a whole lot of pastries he made — from beautiful truffles to decadent goodies — he claimed he by no means served the identical dessert twice.

At Christmas, he was recognized for the flowery gingerbread homes he made to assist enhance the White House. He mentioned he additionally wanted to make extra pastries than ordinary for vacation events as a result of some tended to “disappear into pocketbooks or pockets” and sometimes ended up as Christmas tree ornaments in folks’s houses.

Mesnier grew up in Bonnay, a village in jap France, in a household of 9 youngsters and started his profession as an apprentice at age 14. White House archives describe him leaving dwelling with a cardboard suitcase and 5 francs to start his apprenticeship on the Patisserie Maurivard in Besançon, France.

He later labored in Paris and the German cities of Hanover and Hamburg earlier than touchdown a job on the Savoy Lodge in London.

In 1967, he grew to become a pastry chef at a resort in Bermuda and whereas residing on the island met his future spouse, a vacationing schoolteacher from West Virginia. A decade later, he was working on the Homestead Resort in Virginia when he heard that the White House was in search of a brand new pastry chef.

First Girl Laura Bush with White House chef Roland Mesnier in 2006.

(Ron Edmonds / Related Press)

When requested in 2004 about working on the White House, he mentioned: “You don’t think about free time, spare time, et cetera. Because your time is at the White House. Anytime you are needed, you have to be there.”

“It could be Christmas Day, Easter, your birthday, your mother’s birthday, your child’s birthday — you are going to be at the White House if you are needed,” he mentioned.

“The White House always comes first.”

After retiring from the White House, Mesnier printed a memoir, “All the President’s Pastries,” in English and French. Two cookbooks adopted.

He’s survived by his son, George Mesnier. His spouse died in January.

A Instances workers author contributed to this story.