Meet White House Chef Thaddeus DuBois
Thaddeus Dubois spends his days at the White House whipping up mouth-watering delicacies to satisfy the sweet cravings of the first family and visiting heads of state.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
Thaddeus Dubois spends his days at the White House serving the first family and visiting heads of state. But when he cooks for himself, he prefers simple fare. Like steak.
"I don't cook any pastries," he said. "I eat enough here. I don't need to have it at home."
Dubois is the executive pastry chef at the White House, the man who makes sure that holidays at the presidential mansion are filled with cookies, cakes and other sinful delights. The Los Angeles native was hired in 2004 and almost immediately began prep work for the Christmas holiday season. Because the first two weeks of December are so busy, there is little time for baking, so most of the holiday treats are made in advance. The cookies — 24,000 are needed — are made two months ahead of time. The raw dough is frozen, then taken out and baked just in time for the parties. Cakes also are made two weeks in advance and put in the freezer until needed.
One of Dubois' biggest challenges was the gingerbread replica of the White House on display in the State Dining Room. Everything in the house is edible. To get the look and taste that he wanted, Dubois used 100 pounds of gingerbread, 150 pounds of chocolate and 50 pounds of marzipan. He spent two months on the decorations that surround the house. It took two days just to put the house together, he said.
Dubois is considered one of the world's top chocolatiers and he saw to it that the gingerbread house contains a lot more chocolate than in previous years.
"I just like the way white chocolate kind of sharpens the corners of the house," he said. "You can color white chocolate so you can get a lot of different colors with it. That adds an interesting element to it."
Chocolate is also fun to work with, he said.
"It's a pasty chef's dream because there are so many things you can do with it," he said. "You can spread it thin and fold it around different things. You can do different types of flat cutouts. You can carve with it. And besides that, it tastes good."
Dubois, 44, is the White House's first American-born executive pastry chef since the Kennedy administration. He replaced the French-born Roland Mesnier, who retired after more than two decades in the job. The two had worked together in the past and Mesnier recommended Dubois apply for the position.
Before he came to the White House, Dubois held a number of executive pastry chef positions, most recently at The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. He received his training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and the International School of Confectionery Arts at Gaithersburg, Md.
"This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me in my career," Dubois said of the White House job. "I look forward to spending many years here."
— From Scripps Howard News Service
Find out about the family who supplied the official White House holiday tree for 2005.