Sunday, August 16, 2009

November 28, 2000 From the original Chocolate Diaries

Well, here we are in sleepy little Tallahassee, and it's not so sleepy these days! We don?t remember ever getting this much attention down here before. Perhaps now when we travel, people will realize that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, not Miami! Anyway, we chuckle sometimes when we see one of our local officials or citizens on TV, knowing that they have had many of Pierre's chocolates before. We can't help but think that they probably could use a box of chocolates to help ease them through the situation! Even more important now, since research shows that chocolate has a high content of phenlethylamine (PEA) a chemical said to mimic the brain chemistry of a person in love!

Another good way to lift spirits is to put our CHOCOLATE WALLPAPER on your computer screen. Just go to Your screen may even begin radiating that wonderful chemical!

Quite honestly, last weekend between the voter re-counts and the FSU-University of Florida football game, we were happy to be quietly working in our chocolate kitchen, getting ready for the holidays!

And, ready we are!!! We have so many beautiful chocolates ready to send as gifts or to order for your own private supply, to help get you through the season. The 28 ounce box is two scrumptious layers, featuring a full selection of Pierre's creations. This is definitely the gift for THE CHOCOLATE LOVER in your life.
Chocolates in the White House
Executive Pastry Chef, Roland Mesnier has been making chocolates and desserts for the residents and guests of the White House since 1976, when he came to work for President and Mrs. Carter. Even though at this moment we don't know who will be living there next year, we believe Chef Mesnier will be there to carry on his tradition of serving beautiful, original and delicious pastries and desserts.

Last February, Chris Sherman, food editor of the St Petersburg Times wrote a very nice article about Pierre and his chocolates. Chef Mesnier's son, who lives in Tampa saw the article and sent a copy to his father. He knew that his father would be interested in learning about another French pastry chef and his accomplishments. And, indeed he was. Chef Mesnier called Pierre to compliment him on the article and find out more about Pierre's chocolates. During the conversation, the two chefs found that they had many things in common, including their rigorous training in France. As we can see, rigorous training, dedicated work and creative talent has paid off for both of them!

Chef Mesnier suggested to us that if we were in Washington, DC, that he would give us a private tour of the White House and the Executive kitchens. We couldn't resist, so we made arrangements to go the end of September. What a great experience this was! We were able to spend time (two hours!), visually taking in the details and asking questions. We came away truly in awe of the national treasure that America has in this beautiful home and building! We suggest that you go to and take the online tour.

Our tour started in the State Dining Room, where we took the above photo of our daughter, Dominique and Chef Mesnier standing under the beautiful portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Chef explained some of the intricate planning that it takes to put together a state dinner. There is much too much to explain here, but let us say that we were totally impressed! Before a dinner, Chef Mesnier does intensive research in order to be able to decide what he will serve. Just look at the white chocolate tigers he made to serve at the dinner for the Prime Minister of India recently. He made seventy tigers, all individually molded, decorated and beautiful!
We saw the Red, Blue, Green and East Rooms. Each one with an interesting detail or story. He explained to us in detail, the extensive planning that goes on before each event. When we saw the kitchen, we began to really appreciate the effort involved. The kitchen is not nearly as big as we expected! The pastry kitchen was even smaller. It was up there that we met Susie Morrison, who is an assistant pastry chef. Susie had baked some cookies and gave us a sampling. They were all delicious! Our favorite? The crispy little ginger cookies with a dot of tart lemon sauce. Yum!

We headed back downstairs (on the staff elevator...we felt so cool!) to the "chocolate room". A recent addition, the chocolate room is the size of a large closet. But, Chef Mesnier is so glad to have it! This gives him a quiet place to work on his chocolate creations. At this point, Pierre and Chef Mesnier lapsed into a lively discussion of chocolate and chocolate making. Two artists talking about their shared passion. It was great!

Dolley Madison would be proud. It is said that Dolley, who was a wonderful cook and hostess, said: "Some people say chocolate is my greatest weakness. I say chocolate is my greatest strength." We agree Dolley.

We then met Chris Comerford, who is an assistant chef in the main kitchen. Chef Mesnier had to excuse himself at this point, and left us in the capable hands of Susie and Chris. They continued our tour, complete with details and more stories in each room.We can't thank Chef Mesnier, Susie, and Chris enough for the hospitality they showed us. We have memories to last a lifetime, as well as a renewed appreciation for the national treasure we have in the White House.

The winter holiday season is here and, for us, the year 2000 has gone by so quickly. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to each of you for your support, your friendship and your encouragement. We send you all "Our Best Wishes and Season's Greetings". If you're traveling, we wish you safe travel. For all of you as well as for us, we hope we have good times, filled with good health, fine food, fun, family, and friends. But, mostly we hope that we all have an open heart that can recognize and be grateful for the bounty that is ours!

Bon Appetit! Pierre and Rainey

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