The Secret Service, by the way, has not restricted flaming desserts. But I do restrict it, because on one Christmas a lady caught on fire. She was wearing a fox shawl around her neck, she leaned over on the dessert table and whoops she was on fire.1
One of nine children and born in a small village in France, Bonnay, Roland Mesnier has worked his way up and through the kitchen, eventually becoming the Executive Pastry Chef for the White House. Mesnier began cooking at the age of 14 as an apprentice and worked his way through Europe cooking in various kitchens and countries. Mesnier decided to travel the world, cooking and improving his skills. One of those places was Bermuda, where he met his wife Martha. After nine years there, they moved to Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.
In 1979, Rosalynn Carter hired Chef Mesnier to be the sole pastry chef for the White House. He has served in that role ever since. Mesnier insisted that if a desert was going to represent the White House, it would be created there. Over the years Mesnier has had some unusual experiences, including making 1500 cookies at one, and in another instance making a half ton of fruitcake. Over the years of his service, he has never made the same dessert twice. 2004 marks his last year serving in this role.
In an "Ask the White House" section, found at www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20040727.html, some interesting stories and highlights of his career can be found. He notes that Democrats tend to eat more then Republicans and often his deserts find their were into pockets or pocketbooks.
More information can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/chef/