Ann Amernick, probably the first Jewish woman to cook in the White House, was an assistant pastry chef for presidents Carter and Reagan. Amernick recalls the state dinners with multiple Kosher meals which started during the Carter administration. "The entire White House kitchen had to be kosherized at the last minute. The mashgiachs came with blowtorches as big as they were. They spent all day burning and covering surfaces with aluminum foil. The kitchen was unbearably hot. I felt it was a historical moment and at the same time it was comical. Roland Mesnier, the pastry chef, was desperately trying to get the sorbets made and one of the mashgiachs was following him around with the blowtorch. Every time Roland turned around the mashgiachs was there. While some of the cooks had a partial understanding of kashrut from past experience in hotels and lessons in cooking school, the reality in the White House was another story."

Ann Amernick


Episode 9, Season 1: The Nosh: Jewish Fast-Food


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