Tonight the White House held their third State Dinner, honoring China’s President Hu Jintao. Despite a controversial visit filled with a day of tough talks, President and First Lady Obama (in Alexander McQueen!) spiffed up for a night of food, music, and dignitaries.
Joining His Excellency Jintao were 200 guests including two former U.S. Presidents (Carter and Clinton), fashion designer Vera Wang, reporter Christiane Amanpour, actor Jackie Chan, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, cellist Yo Yo Ma (“Yo-Yo Ma Rules!”), and Queen of Amazingness Barbra Streisand.
For the past two State Dinners, the Obamas brought in guest chefs and celebrated the cuisine of the country being honored, mixed with American ingredients. This time the First Couple decided to keep the cooking in-house with the extremely capable White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses. And instead of opting for Asian flavors they highlighted the classic American meal: steak, potatoes, and apple pie! The full menu is below:
D’Anjou Pear Salad with Farmstead Goat Cheese, Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic
Poached Maine Lobster with Orange Glazed Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Dry-Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions, Double Stuffed Potatoes, and Creamed Spinach
Old Fashioned Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Just like in past State Dinners, ingredients from the White House garden were used, along with vegetables from the Huron, OH-based The Chef’s Garden. Wine pairings from American-vineyards were also served.
After dinner, attendees will enjoy a musical performance from Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, and other musicians from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
The official program for the State Dinner can be found here.