Often known for the bountiful meals and decadent desserts served to foreign dignitaries and other important people, the White House has become synonymous with great chefs and bakers, and on Friday, longtime White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier passed away.
Mesnier, who passed at the age of 78, served in his role for five different presidents. George Mesnier, his son, shared the news of his passing with The Washington Post.
His son said that chef died due to complications from cancer that he had been fighting. Mesnier was living in an assisted living home in Burke, Virginia, at the time of his passing.
First hired at the White House in 1979, the pastry chef was brought on by then-first lady Rosalynn Carter, according to his website. He then continued to serve until 2004, when he retired while former President George W. Bush was in office.
But his work wasn’t over as the Bush family would bring Mesnier back from 2004 to 2006 to work on “special projects” when the family needed him.
Mesnier wrote several books about his more than a quarter-century of work in the White House. His memoir discusses his time at the famous house, “All the President’s Pastries: Twenty-Five Years in the White House, a Memoir.”
The pastry chef holds the record of being the longest-tenured chef to ever work at the White House. The Post also reported that while in his role, he would make large gingerbread houses which have become a part of the White House’s Christmas tradition.
He was so dedicated to making the holiday great that he would start planning it six months in advance at the beginning of summer.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton shared her condolences to Mesnier's family on social media, sharing that she would never forget the great times she interacted with the chef.
"I have such fond memories of Chef Mesnier," Clinton wrote. "He loved making people smile with his beautiful creations, including his famous gingerbread houses at Christmas. He will be missed!"
Former President Bill Clinton and former President Ronald Reagan's foundation also shared their thoughts on Twitter.
Mesnier shared on his website that his motto was “perfection is no accident,” as he tasted every dessert to leave his kitchen to make sure they were perfect.