January 6, 2016

Food Science Students Meet Former White House Chef

Montevallo, Ala. –The American Village hosted Former White House Chef Roland Mesnier for A White House Christmas Coffee and Dessert Brunch on December 5, and two University of Montevallo students were guests at the special event.


Traci Silloway and Leah VanDeren, UM Family and Consumer Sciences students studying Food Science, attended the event held at Liberty Hall and had the opportunity to meet the Chef that served five United States Presidents and First Ladies over his 26-year tenure.


The opportunity allowed the students a chance to get a behind-the-scenes personal glimpse of how America’s first families celebrate their own Christmases in the White House and enjoy some of the past presidents favorite desserts and dishes.


“The White House Christmas Coffee and Dessert Brunch was an amazing experience,” said Silloway. “Hearing Chef Mesnier’s stories of his time at the White House and experiencing the favorite treats of the First Ladies and Presidents under which he served was a great way to start the Christmas season!”


The guests enjoyed the chef’s most famous recipes including Ronald Regan’s favorite Chocolate Soufflé Cake, President George Bush Sr.’s Blueberry Cake, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter’s Spiced Linzer Cookie and Nancy Reagan’s favorite Coconut Chocolate Bar.


However, one student’s favorite stories were what the presidents ate away from the First Family’s dinner table.


“I loved hearing the food stories of past presidents, their likes and dislikes, and what they ate for a midnight snack,” said VanDeren. “It made me want to work in the White House kitchens!”


After dessert and coffee with Chef Mesnier, guests toured the National Veterans Shrine, the Lucille Ryals Thompson Colonial Chapel, and the Estes Theatre, which houses a very special miniature Christmas Village.