Photo Courtesy georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov
My Note to Former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier
Sharing with you a note I sent to Retired 26-year (five Presidencies) White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, guest speaker at yesterday’s Fabulous Event: Jewish Cuisine Throughout the Ages, at the Omni Hotel New Haven (Sunday March 23rd). He regaled us with endearing anectodes about Presidential quips, pranks, pets, quirks and of course dessert predilections. The following note is about what caused his downfall, all the way at the end, just when he should have quit while he was ahead: his antisemitism.
Chef Roland It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday, and I enjoyed immensely your mini demo and your talk, that is, until your closing remarks (you know what they were, I am omitting them here for kindness’s sake. Just a hint: They were severely off-color and bigoted), which caused total consternation.
I always wonder how the same remarks that would seem rightfully unacceptable if directed at blacks, gays and lesbians, etc… suddenly would seem acceptable, even entertaining, if directed at Jews. So brave of you, just one Gentile guy addressing a distinguished crowd of a few hundred Jewish guests. So, let me get this: Diplomacy in the White House doesn’t reach in the Kitchen, does it? Quel dommage!
The good cheer and laughter your charming presentation caused and the sweet taste of your dessert were totally eclipsed by your appalling remark. Although I strongly feel this was the overwhelmingly prevailing feeling, I will speak only in my name: you disappointed me. This is why I didn’t visit your booth, and didn’t buy your book, not by the copy and not by the case: I am just too afraid of developing the proverbial Freudian aversion for your beautiful and delicious creations.
Chef Roland, it might be time to retire altogether, from the White House, from the Kitchen, and from the Podium! Antisemitism is antisemitism, even the chocolate- and joke-coated variety!
PS: your dessert was slightly below nondescript, not worth the antisemitism and the impudence we endured from you. Like I said, time to retire!