In this memoir and cookbook, Roland Mesnier, executive pastry chef to five presidents, tells the story behind each of the holiday gingerbread houses he created for display in the White House State Dining Room. Chef Mesnier also provides step-by-step instructions and templates for constructing and decorating a gingerbread house in the home kitchen. During the holidays, thousands of guests are served freshly made cookies and desserts at buffet events and private receptions. More than thirty of Chef Mesnier's White House favorite holiday recipes are featured including such cookies as coconut chocolate squares and linzer stars and trees; traditional holiday recipes such as buche de Noel, fruit cake, and egg nog; cakes and soufflés such as orange sabayon, spice cake, and gingerbread soufflé; and lastly, meringues, mousses, fillings, frozen desserts, and fresh fruit. The book includes a foreword by First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who hired Chef Mesnier in 1979, and a foreword by First Lady Laura Bush, who was in the White House when Chef Mesnier retired in 2004.