President Obama’s First State Dinner

Photo courtesy of the AP

The President and First Lady held their first state dinner last night at the White House, welcoming India’s Prime Minister, Manmoahan Singh, and his wife Gursharan Kaur to a night of elegance, glamour, and prawns. This dinner was the hottest ticket in town. Some how my ticket got lost in the mail (maybe it’s because I haven’t updated my blog in awhile) but the guest list included Oprah’s BFF Gayle King, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra, Senator John Kerry (minus the fabulous Teresa), Director Steven Spielberg, and many others.

The First Lady once again stole the show with her enchanting gown by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.

Photo courtesy of the AP

And now on to the thing you care most about….the food. The White House brought in celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson (of Aquivit fame) to cook the night’s vegetarian menu. Samuelsson’s menu used seasonal vegetables found in the White House garden, as well as honey from the garden’s beehive. He also incorporated Indian spices in to the American menu. Jane Black published the full menu on the Washington Post’s website:

Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House Arugula with Onion Seed Vinaigrette

Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Cheese

Roasted Potato Dumplings with Tomato Chutney, Chickpeas and Okra
Green Curry Prawns with Caramelized Salsify, Smoked Collard Greens and Coconut Aged Basmati Rice

Pumpkin Pie Tart
Pear Tatin
Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce

Photo courtesy of Brenda Smialowski of Getty

Petits Fours and Coffee
Cashew Brittle
Pecan Pralines
Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelees
Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

The elegance of such affairs is a welcome distraction and I personally hope the Obama’s plan to host many more exciting events in the future (and feel free to invite me next time…I promise to behave myself.)

5 responses to “President Obama’s First State Dinner

  1. Great post! That dessert looks delicious!

  2. I love how the White House wove in elements of Indian culture – from Michelle O’s outfit and traditional bangles to the mostly vegetarian menu to Obama using some Hindi in his speech, it’s really nice to see! Oh, and feel free to invite me as your +1 should you ever get that invite! 😉

  3. I thought that was really classy as well. A way to make the Prime Minster feel comfortable while also promoting a vibrant culture (that exists both abroad but in America as well). I always think these dinners can be used as a teaching moment in America. That’s what the Kennedy’s use to do and I like that the Obama’s are putting so much thought in to it as well.

  4. Various of folks talk about this issue but you wrote down really true words.

  5. Pingback: White House State Dinner with China | State Dinner

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