Published January 10, 2012
Just how much did President Bill Clinton eat while he was in office?
Roland Mesnier, the former White House pastry chef from the Carter Administration through George W. Bush, said he was astonished at Clinton's big appetite, calling it "scary."
“He could eat five or six pork chops,” Mesnier said, speaking at the annual Washington Winter Show, adding that the White House kitchen staff “had to be ready.”
Clinton, 65, who after leaving office famously became a vegan, had a quadruple bypass in 2004. But his reputation as an unhealthy eater was sealed in 1992, when as a new presidential candidate he took reporters on jogs to McDonald's. Those habits continued while in office, and he was known for his penchant for high calorie snacks, sweets and burgers.
Mesnier, who for 26 years made presidential pastries, told the Washingtonian magazine that cooking for Clinton was not always easy, beginning with the fact that Clinton is allergic to both flour and chocolate.
“But he loved dessert,” says Mesnier. “It made it very difficult for a pastry chef.”
The French chef recalled the time when he made a strawberry cake one evening. Clinton ate half of it all by himself, and the next morning he wanted more. “No one could find the cake,” said Mesnier. “Clinton was pounding on the table and shouting, ‘I want my goddamned cake.’”
Mesnier said after the cake could not be found, they could come up with just one conclusion. “We decided [Vice President Al] Gore must have eaten it.”
“Every story I tell you is true,” said the affable chef, who is now a lecturer and author of three books.
Clinton has lost more than 20 lbs. since changing his diet. As well as embracing a vegan lifestyle, he's also a believer in the raw food movement to better his health.