The White House, Washington, D.C., installed a new MIWE oven in its pastry kitchen last month. The installation was the highlight of a long process, which included special considerations because of the layout of the White House, according to Harry Jacoby, President of MIWE America, Hillsborough, N.J.
The installation needed to occur while the First Family was out of the house and before prime baking season.
"They wanted the oven now to get ready for the holidays," Jacoby said. "Once they were ready, we had to be ready to go in when they called."
MIWE worked with White House Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois to design the oven and prepare installation. The custom designed oven includes three electric deck ovens, a convection oven and a cooling rack in one unit.
Once DuBois called with the time window for the oven delivery, the disassembled oven went through a clearinghouse for security checks and was delivered on a government truck. Built in the late 1700s, the White House's small pastry kitchen (about 200 sq. ft.) and a small elevator proved challenging for the installation, but all went relatively smoothly, Jacoby said.
He said the pastry kitchen, main kitchen and chocolate room serve about 2,000 guests a month. The pastry kitchen gets most of its action during holidays, including the White House's famous Easter egg hunt celebrations and during the Christmas holiday season, producing cookies.
"They do very little bread baking in the White House," Jacoby said. "It has always been that way, so the oven will be used primarily for cookies, cakes, sweet goods and pastries."