William Yosses, White House pastry chef, leaving to become health advocate

Bill Yosses will leave his post as pastry chef at the White House in June.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  March 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM
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William Yosses, the pastry chef at the White House since 2007, has announced his decision to depart in June to become a healthy eating advocate.

Yosses, who credits first lady Michelle Obama's influence in piquing his interest in the relationship between food and health, will step down as the dessert maker to the nation in June.

“It’s a bittersweet decision,” he said.

Since the Obamas moved in, Yosses, 60, has been tasked with making desserts without "the usual blitzkrieg" of butter and cream. He says he now swaps out butter with "fruit purée, which gives some body" and uses honey and agave instead of sugar.

“She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom in chief’ would do,” Yosses said of Obama's influence. She is “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

Yosses said part of the decision to move to New York is to be with his husband, a teacher, whom he married in 2011.

While details on his next venture were slim, Yosses hinted he might be moving in on his husband's educational territory.

“There’s much talk about STEM in schools -- science, technology, engineering and math,” Yosses said.

Instead, he says it should be STEAM: science, technology, engineering, (culinary) arts, and math.

“Food knowledge should be part of a complete curriculum,” he said. “We used to learn about food as a part of everyday growing up, but I think we’ve lost that. I think it has a place in schools.”

New York Times

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