Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Capital Comment Blog > 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Former White House Pastry Chef Recalls Bill Clinton’s “Scary” Appetite

At the Washington Winter Show, pastry chef Roland Mesnier shares anecdotes of the Clinton administration’s culinary demands.

Former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier after his talk at the Katzen Center for the Arts. Photograph by Carol Joynt.

Former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier has fond memories of the Clinton era but says his initial reaction to Bill Clinton was that he was “scary.” It had nothing to do with Clinton’s policies or politics—just his appetite. Famously, before open-heart surgery and becoming a vegan, Clinton was known for his gourmand habits.

“He had a big appetite, scary,” says Mesnier. “He could eat five or six pork chops.” He says the White House kitchen staff “had to be ready.”

Clinton arrived in 1993 with not just his appetite but also some food allergies, including chocolate and flour. “But he loved dessert,” says Mesnier. “It made it very difficult for a pastry chef.” He recalls the episode of a strawberry cake he made one evening. Clinton devoured half of it all by himself, and the next morning he wanted more. “No one could find the cake,” says Mesnier, who had a face-to-face with the distraught commander in chief. “Clinton was pounding on the table and shouting, ‘I want my goddamned cake.’”

The chef, who is given to flights of humor, says that when the cake could not be found, “We decided [Vice President Al] Gore must have eaten it.”

See Also:

An Inside Look at Opening Night of the Washington Winter Show

Mesnier made the remarks at a luncheon at the Katzen Center for the Arts in connection with the Washington Winter Show. He was the White House pastry chef for 26 years, starting with the Carter administration and departing after the second term of President George W. Bush. He’s now a lecturer and the author of three books, and asserts, “Every story I tell you is true.”

Read Next

Norman Scribner, Founder of the Choral Arts Society, Has Died at 79

blog comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular on Washingtonian

The Great Washington Bucket List: 50 Things Every Local Needs to Do

Rabia Chaudry: "Jay Is Close to Whoever Did It"

The Great Burger Battle: Bobby's Burger Palace vs. Plan B Burger Bar

Take a Sneak Peek Inside DC's First Bonchon

29 DC Events You Should Go to This Month

The Town Without Wi-Fi

Things to Do in DC This Weekend: Free Salsa Class, Green Film Festival, and a Lemur Party

50 States Ride

This Mansion Just Became DC’s Priciest Home