Item description for All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir by Roland Mesnier, Christian Malard & Louise Rogers Lalaurie...
Overview Offering intimate details about the First Families and life behind-the-scenes at the White House, a former White House pastry chef describes his personal journey from rural France to the power heights of Washington, D.C.
Publishers Description This extraordinary success-story-told by the hero himself-of a young French pastry chef who climbed his way to the top, embodies the great American dream. After working at the Savoy in London, the George V in Paris, the Princess in Bermuda, and the Homestead in Virginia, Roland Mesnier took on the job of a lifetime as pastry chef to the White House. He provides behind-the-scenes insight into the characters, tastes, and obsessions of the five presidents and first ladies he served during his 25 years in Washington. Having witnessed major world events from the hub of the world's superpower, Mesnier has unique perspective on both crises and celebrations. He recounts stories such as Carter's incessant battle for the return of American hostages in Tehran, the aftermath of the attempt to assassinate Reagan, Bush senior's doubts after the war in Kuwait, and the shock of September 11. He uncovers intimate details such as Mrs. Reagan's bad moods and Prince Charles's embarrassment at not knowing how to use a tea bag. Fiercely loyal to each of the first families, Mesnier's bipartisan message is positive and inspirational. Twelve easy-to-follow recipes include the favorite desserts of presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Roland Mesnier, a Frenchman and naturalized American, has experienced the highest echelons of power firsthand. Born into a working-class family in France and one of nine children, Mesnier is a self-made man par excellence. Christian Malard, who co-wrote the book, is a journalist for France Télévision and an expert on international relations.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Release Date Feb 13, 2007
ISBN 208030559X ISBN13 9782080305596
Availability 0 units.
More About Roland Mesnier, Christian Malard & Louise Rogers Lalaurie
Roland Mesnier is the former Executive Pastry Chef of the White House. He developed the first professional pastry program in the Washington, D.C., area, at L'Academie de Cuisine, in Bethesda, Maryland. He is also the honorary president of the World Cup of Pastry, and every year L'Academie de Cuisine awards a scholarship in his name. He lives in Virginia.
Roland Mesnier currently resides in Fairfax Station.
Reviews - What do customers think about All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir?
Pefect View of inside the Nations First Family Home Jun 7, 2008
Roland did a perfect job detailing every event he baked for. Without favoring or dishing any real dirt the book was a winner. Roland would be a pefect employee for any company in the world. Integrity is the word I think of when I think of this book/
A true artist. Sep 1, 2007
When I checked this book out from the library, my intention was only to check out the recipes in the back. But I started reading Roland Mesnier's life story, and found myself totally engrossed in it. What an inspirational life story this is.... Mr. Mesnier grew up poor in France, and through talent, determination, and a lot of hard work, he became probably one of the best pastry chefs on the planet.
Several things stood out for me in this book. The first was how interesting his early life was.. how he grew up with basically nothing, became an apprentice, perfected his craft, and continually pushed himself to become better and better--even during his later days at the White House. He never once rested on his laurels, although he easily could have.
The second thing that stood out for me was how he regarded each of the "first families" he worked for. He clearly grew very attached to whoever he worked for, and through his eyes I was able to see the various Presidents and First Ladies as the normal human beings they are. That's an interesting perspective you don't usually see.
Thirdly, I could barely keep my mouth from watering while reading about all the amazing desserts that were prepared over Mr. Mesnier's 40-something year career! Note: don't read this if you are hungry.
One last note: One of the reviewers mentioned a left-leaning slant to Mr. Mesnier's politics. I simply did not see that. In fact, he seemed particularly attached to the family of Bush Sr. And when the Iraq war was looming, he was in full support of it, so much so that he couldn't believe that his home country of France was against it. There are many other examples, but the point is, Mr. Mesnier was very loyal to whomever he served, whether Democrat or Republican.
Through the Looking Glass Jul 2, 2007
In All the Presidents' Pastries, Roland Mesnier provides a glimpse into a hidden world of White House power through the eyes of its renowned former pastry chef. For those of us outside the concrete street barriers of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the cocktail circuits of policy wonks, pundits, and political celebrity, his memoir makes us feels privy to select secrets of the rich and famous even as he respectfully shrouds prominent indiscretions and missteps. They were there, and no doubt they would offer tantalizing fodder for curious gossip mongers. Instead Mesnier's enthusiastic recollections of his White House adventures read as delectably as President's Reagan's favorite chocolate mousse tastes rich, but without the bite and heat of the crystallized ginger melded within the mix. For those seeking to recreate executives' favorites, there is a small collection of recipes at the end of the book.
Similar to Mesnier's first successful book, Dessert University, one discovers within the pages of All the President's Pastries, a mind that thrives on continual challenge, creates success through extensive thought and preparation, and moves on when an occasional snag clutters his mindscape. In preparation for Tony Blair's White House visit in 1998, Mesnier envisioned London's parliamentary clock, Big Ben, as the dessert's stunning chocolate centerpiece. Unaware that logistics and time would become formidable obstacles to execution of the Big Ben replica, he "decided to take the bull by the horns and invent a new way of molding chocolate." In his characteristic humility, Mesnier shares that he and his staff "pulled off this minor tour de force thanks to a great deal of extremely fast work"; therefore, saving themselves from a metaphorical Go Straight to the Tower of London jail card.
I hope you all will enjoy reading Mesnier's Upstairs/Downstairs disclosure of White House anecdotes to discover the convivial yet complex Roland I know.
Light and Fun Jun 1, 2007
I enjoyed reading about the pastries that were prepared in the White House. It was very light hearted reading and I thought that Mesnier's life journey from a small village in France to the White House made for good reading. When I noticed that there were glossy colored pages in the middle of the book, I became very excited. All along he states that the desserts he prepares are photographed. Yet, most of the photographs in the center of the book were of the presidents and their wives. Every glossy page could have been a picture of a delectable delight. What a disappointment.
Review of R. Mesnier's book on serving for 25 years as the White House pastry chef May 28, 2007
Roland Mesnier's book is on his career as a pastry chef, from his early years working in France, Germany, England and Bermuda and culminating as serving for 25 years as the White House pastry chef was a good read. He is a talented and driven man. I enjoyed the book for its historical context (the presidents and their families and significant events that took place during their presidencies) to detailed descriptions of his fantastic dessert creations.