© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

The pastry chef, who joined the White House staff in 2007, told The New York Times he's been adjusting his own recipes to be leaner and more healthful. But he hasn't given up on traditional sweets.

Each Christmas, Yosses takes charge of building an elaborate replica of the White House from gingerbread. President Obama is so fond of Yosses' pie crust that last Thanksgiving, the first family had nine pies to choose from. (The options? Huckleberry, pecan, chocolate cream, sweet potato, peach, apple, banana cream, coconut cream and pumpkin.)

"I don't want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs," Yosses told the Times — a quote that was taken completely out of context by the Daily Caller.

In an article on Yosses' departure, the conservative media outlet suggested that the first lady's push for more healthful eating had driven Yosses out of the White House kitchen.

But it turns out the "controversy" was as much a confection as one of Yosses' desserts. (Although not as sweet.) In fact, Yosses told the Times he wants to build on Mrs. Obama's efforts. His next project will involve teaching both children and adults how to eat better.

It's a bittersweet decision," Yosses told the Times of his move.

In New York, Yosses will join his husband, Charlie, whom he married in 2011.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.