Feature

The chef who lost Clinton’s cake

Roland Mesnier, the White House’s head pastry chef for 26 year, said his most demanding diner was Bill Clinton.

Roland Mesnier has satisfied the sugar cravings of some of the world’s most powerful men, said Carol Ross Joynt in Washingtonian. During his 26 years as the White House’s head pastry chef, Mesnier served up delectable deserts to five presidents, making pecan bourbon pie for Jimmy Carter, orange chocolate cake for Ronald Reagan, baked apple soufflé for Bush senior, and buttered brioche pudding with dried blueberries and lemon sauce for Bush the younger. His most demanding diner, though, was Bill Clinton. “He had a big appetite, scary,” says Mesnier, 67. “He could eat five or six pork chops.”

Clinton was also allergic to a stack of foods, including chocolate and flour. “But he loved dessert. It made it very difficult for a pastry chef.” One evening, Mesnier crafted a low-calorie strawberry cake for Clinton, who ate half the dessert in a single sitting. The next morning, the president woke up craving a slice or two more. “[But] no one could find the cake,” says Mesnier, who had to face the furious commander in chief. “Clinton was pounding on the table and shouting, ‘I want my goddamned cake.’” When the missing cake couldn’t be found, there was only one conclusion to be made: “We decided [Vice President Al] Gore must have eaten it.”

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