White House Pastry Chef Resigns - What Do You Think?

Lounge By -K8memphis Updated 20 Jul 2014 , 2:07am by costumeczar

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:11pm
post #1 of 14

 the white house's pastry chef bill yosses has left his position due to fundamental differences in philosophy with michelle obama's desire to get away from cream, butter, sugar, eggs -- there are a lot of peripheral issues in this story but in focusing on the 'cream butter sugar eggs' what say you --


Quote: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2014/03/18/white-house-pastry-chef-bill-yosses-leaving/

... Yosses’s successor hasn’t been picked, and that it isn’t clear what direction the First Lady will take in hiring his replacement: a chef with a traditional French background like Yosses or one with an established bent toward lighter dishes, in keeping with Michelle Obama’s focus on healthy eating...



 WASHINGTON — The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses. And she is partly to blame...
...after Mrs. Obama arrived at the White House. He was directed to make more healthful desserts, and in smaller portions, that were to be served only sparingly to the first family.
...Nonetheless, Mr. Yosses has hardly turned his back on his old, sweet life. “I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” he said. 

13 replies
dynee Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:20pm
post #2 of 14

I read both articles and it seems to me that he is quitting more for personal reasons than professional differences with Michelle Obama.  I saw nothing to suggest that he did not like changing his focus in developing more healthy desserts.

gatorcake Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:40pm
post #3 of 14

Read both articles, don't think either frames the departure as due to philosophical differences between the first lady and her pasty chef. Indeed while the the New York Times piece indicates she is "partly to blame" it is not because he wants to make desserts with cream, butter and eggs but because:


        "[s]he has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, he

        said in a recent telephone interview, so the man who made the Hawaiian

        chocolate-malted ganache for the White House state dinner for the president

        of France is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults

        about eating better."


While the chef did change his offerings due to the requests of the first lady for less heavy desserts nothing indicates that he objected to the request. Indeed the article goes on to note this "directive" opened up an opportunity to experiment with all sorts of fruits, herbs and flowers gown in the White House garden. 


The Washington Times article emphasizes that he is leaving for personal and not professional reasons. I don't take much from the line he does not want to demonize cream, sugar and butter. Being inspired to create "more healthy desserts" does not mean one has to demonize cream, sugar and butter. Put another way, the statement is not a sign that he had a philosophical difference with the first lady.

reginaherrin Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:42pm
post #4 of 14

After reading those articles, I too think it was a decision based on his personal reasons instead of butting heads with the first lady.  In fact, it seems like he is starting something based on how he has been having to cook for them and doing more healthy meals instead which seems great. 

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:44pm
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by dynee 

I read both articles and it seems to me that he is quitting more for personal reasons than professional differences with Michelle Obama.  I saw nothing to suggest that he did not like changing his focus in developing more healthy desserts.


i did too at first because he himself has become a healthier eater --so i was initially confused by these statements that i quoted, where the ny times says 'michelle is partly to blame' -- that she has a focus to healthful eating and he says that 'he does not want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs' but...

reginaherrin Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 5:51pm
post #6 of 14

They said she is partly to blame because she is the reason he is cooking more healthy and now he wants to do more for healthy eating and will be expanding on that in whatever endeavor he plans on. 

MBalaska Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 6:39pm
post #7 of 14
  • when you can't say publically without punishment, that your boss is frustrating you.......you say publically that you quit for personal reasons.
  • when you are the first and foremost specialist in any field, let's say automobile racing:  and your new boss tells you that you will now be caring for and driving only bicycles. You're in trouble.
  • when your bosses joke publically that you have put poison illegal substances in the food that you serve, It's time to go.

    Best Wishes to the White House Pastry Chef and much future success.

Seatac123 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 7:23pm
post #8 of 14


Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 he says that 'he does not want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs' but...


Pastry is cream, butter, sugar and eggs and a Pastry Chef is a Master of those ingredients.  Please don't demonize them.

They can go to the big box store and buy portion controlled low calorie pudding cups and diet cookies to achieve their goals.

reginaherrin Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 7:25pm
post #9 of 14

He didn't really say he was leaving for personal reasons (except to say part of the reason was to be with his husband) he said "he hopes to put together “a group and foundation of like-minded creative people” for promoting delicious food as healthy food". Also, comparing a race car driver being told to only look after bicycle's is nothing like what this chef went through.  He was politely asked to make healthier meal choices but was still able to cook.  It wasn't like he was told to be a butler instead of cooking.  I don't him personally so all he said in the article could be false but just going by those articles it looks like he is leaving amicably and is taking her health attitude of cooking and running with it. 

MimiFix Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 7:56pm
post #10 of 14

I have a strong background in journalism and I'm always skeptical about news articles, especially ones with direct quotes. As interested readers we might be reading too much into these kinds of food-related stories. Journalists without specialized knowledge or insight often misunderstand or misinterpret the finer points of issues. (It appears that Emily Heil, Washington Post, is more familiar with politics than food or interpersonal relations.) While Marian Burros, NYTimes, has a food background, she has her own vision of the food industry. Also, to capture more readers, editors (also with no specialized knowledge) can change wording and/or add a headline that puts a spin on the article. 


I once worked for a national snack food company. The newspaper published a story about competition affecting my employer and the entire company was abuzz with rumors of doom and gloom. My boss gave me a copy of the article (published in the financial section), similar products from our new-found competitor, and instructions to figure out their formulas so we could copy and market their products. I read the article and laughed. It was a filler - a fluff piece. After investigating, I learned it was written by a student intern from the newspaper's fashion department and the short poorly written article made no fiscal sense.     

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:23pm
post #11 of 14

Aall that very true, mimi -- it's worthwhile to be skeptical of everything the media presents for sure -- that's why I quoted two sources --

I am just north of chef yosses' 60 years of age -- there's no way in the world I would leave arguably one of the plumbest pastry gigs on the planet without a tremendous compelling reason -- like I died -- or something majorly major --

him being within spitting distance of retirement -- this is the job one attains to-- it's a pinnacle of achievement -- and sure all I know is what I can find to read but if part of this is distancing himself from the demonization of ingredients that's sad and weird --

thankfully ny lifted the ban on super size drinks but I'd still like access to trans fat shortening --

reginaherrin Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:07pm
post #12 of 14


Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 -- like I died --

too funny

maybenot Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 1:14am
post #13 of 14

I like the articles--both tone & content. 


I'd guess that the poor guy is just burned out and wants to do something else before he does retire.  It’s a stressful job and a new administration is just around the corner.  It sounds like he learned some new tricks trying to keep up with the dietary requirements of the FFOTUS and it’s to his credit that he sees value in that and wants to spread the word.


I’d think that if he thought he was being stifled by the requests for changes, he’d have left years ago—and perhaps complained about it loudly.


The FLOTUS has every right to ask for whatever foods she wants.  After all, the family pays for its own food while in the White House.

costumeczar Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 2:07am
post #14 of 14

Depending on what news outlet has written the articles, it's either his personal decision to go do something else, or it's all Michelle Obama's fault and she's a health demon that hates butter. Considering that he's going to go do something realted to eating in a more healthy way, I doubt that he feels that way about her, it's just that certain media outlets like to blame her for everything.

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