Roland Mesnier, White House Pastry Chef

Every now and then in life we meet someone who is so very gifted, so extraordinarily skilled at what they do, that it takes one’s breath away. Roland Mesnier is one of those people.  He is a genius. I had the privilege of working with him at the White House, and it was a memorable experience for me. Roland was the Executive Pastry Chef in the White House from 1979 until 2004. His creations were so technically perfect, culturally astute, […]


All Hallows Flowers

Halloween is HUGE. It appeals to people in such a way that it brings out crazy, feverish, joyous creativity. Pumpkin-carving has reached such a level of artistry that it should probably have a museum, to preserve the art being made with squashes, gourds, and the simple orange jack o’ lantern. Halloween floral ideas are also extraordinary; it’s as if Halloween raises everyone’s creative game for no better reason than because we like it. And the costumes – Sigmund Freud could […]



A menucard is like a perfect bow on a little gift. If a hostess has gone to the effort of creating a menucard, you know you’re in for a special meal. A menucard provokes a sense of anticipation, and they are useful things. They can pull together the décor for a dinner, tell guests what they’ll be eating and drinking, and provide a conversation starter for dinner partners who have just met. It’s also a place for a hostess to […]