Bon appetit! White House to throw an all-American state dinner for French president
When President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and French President Francois Hollande gather at the White House for the state dinner Tuesday night, they will not go hungry.
On the menu: An all-American four-course spread including American caviar, rib eye and chocolate malted ganache.
Grammy award winner Mary J. Blige, who performed during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is slated to sing at the event, which will take place in a tent on the South Lawn. It is the first state dinner of Obama’s second term.
“The state dinner celebrates the best of American cuisine,” the White House wrote in a press release. “This event highlights the talents of our nation’s cheese artisans, as well as the bountiful produce grown by farmers across our country.”
The White House has prided itself on serving locally sourced ingredients for state dinners thus far in Obama's presidency.
To set a mood for the meal, White House chief floral designer Laura Dowling created French-inspired arrangements with "free-flowing vines of lines and flowers emanating from the classical bouquets."
For a brief, glorious moment, first dogs Bo and Sunny got to stand in for guests at a beautifully set table Monday.
Unfortunately, the pooches likely won't enjoy dinner. Which is a shame, because the first course includes American Osetra Caviar from the estuaries of Illinois and quail eggs from Pennsylvania, accompanied by 12 kinds of potatoes grown in New York, Idaho and California. A "winter garden salad" follows, with vegetables that pay tribute to the first lady’s kitchen garden.
The main course is dry-aged rib eye from a family-owned farm in Colorado, served with a blue cheese crisp from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont.
Ending on a sweet note, dessert is “a celebration of American traditions and produce.” The president and his 354 guests will dine on a geometric chocolate malted cake made with Hawaiian chocolate, Florida tangerines and vanilla ice cream churned in Pennsylvania.
Afterward, they can nibble on fudge made with Vermont maple syrup, lavender shortbread cookies, and orange zest-dusted cotton candy.
On Monday, Hollande and Obama visited Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate, Monticello, to honor the "Francophile" president. President Hollande's three-day visit will culminate on Wednesday evening at the Hilton Union Square Hotel.