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.
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
Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce
Petits Fours and Coffee
Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelees
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.)