All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir
All the Presidents' Pastries Twenty-Five Years in the White House A Memoir Author:Roland Mesnier, Christian Malard 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 Ho... more »use. 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.« less
Beth reviewed All the Presidents' Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, A Memoir on
All the Presidents Pastries starts off slow with Roland Messnier's humble beginnings and his entry into the pastry world bouncing back and forth between kitchens which was demonstrating his rise to stardom. I started to skim. What I found most interesting about this book was when Mesnier told stories about the 5 Presidents and how they and their families lived at the White House. It was like getting a private peek of the goings on inside. He seemed fair in his descriptions and remained fairly neutral politically which was refreshing. I was surprised when Mesnier wrote about Thomas Jeffersons purchase of the state of Louisiana. His editors obviously need to brush up on American History. A dumb comment he made that blew my mind (no pun intended) was calling the Monica Lewinsky scandal minor. Must be the French in him.
There were times when he could have embellished on a story but dropped it like a lead balloon. For instance, when Mrs. Clinton sent him a Sachertorte asking him his opinion of it. Instead of sharing his response, he goes into a diatribe about good and bad hotels. Sharing the discussion of the cake would have been delightful. My guess is he didnt want to share his negative opinion of the cake with the public.
This book was a huge Horn Toot but I guess he has that right due to his hard work and successes but, I heard myself utter blowhard under my breath a few times while reading it.
With the thousands of desserts he baked, you would think there would have been more photos of them. After a while, I caught myself skimming dessert descriptions. He never used names but I think he was also using this book as an opportunity to call people he didnt enjoy dealing with, a-holes. This was an okay book but I am so glad it is over.