Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Menu, Placesettings, Decor: The State Dinner In Honor Of President Felipe Calderón Of Mexico

Monarch butterflies, marzipan roses and dahlias, and the colors of Mexico...
The White House has just released the official dinner menu for this evening's State Dinner in honor of Mexico's President Felipe Calderón. Two hundred guests will dine in the East Room, and an additional one hundred are invited for dessert and entertainment afterward, in the South Lawn Tent.

The menu was created by Chicago chef Rick Bayless in consultation with the First Lady and Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, and cooked with the White House chefs. Some produce from the White House Kitchen Garden was used, as well as honey from the White House Beehive. Above, a place setting in the East Room, which looks gorgeous. Descriptions below are provided by the White House; photos by Ob Fo. The guest list is here.

From the East Wing, about the menu:
"Mrs. Obama worked with Guest Chef Rick Bayless and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford to create a menu that reflects the best of American cuisine, continuing this White House’s commitment to serving fresh, sustainable and regional food, and honoring the culinary excellence and flavors that are present in Mexican cuisine. Herbs, radishes, and lettuces used in preparing tonight’s dinner were harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden. White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses and his team made desserts using White House honey in the Graham Cracker Crumble and Goat Cheese Ice Cream."

The State Dinner Menu
in honor of

President Felipe
Calderón

First
Jicama with Oranges, Grapefruit, and Pineapple
Citrus Vinaigrette

Wine: Ulises Valdez Chardonnay 2007 “Russian River”

Second
Herb Green Ceviche of Hawaiian Opah
Sesame-Cilantro Cracker

Main
Oregon Wagyu Beef in Oaxacan Black Mole
Black Bean Tamalon and Grilled Green Beans

Wine: Herrera Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 “Selección Rebecca”

Dessert
Chocolate-Cajeta Tart
Toasted Homemade Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumble and Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Wine: Mumm Napa “Carlos Santana Brut” N/V

Décor and Floral Arrangements...
Guests will sit at a combination of rectangular and round tables set for ten. The two presidents and two first ladies will sit at a head table of twenty. Tables will be covered in boldly striped linens made in three hues of Mayan blue. The colors resemble ripples of water.
(Above: The East Room; the Head Table is in the center)

Services and Place Settings
The tables will be set with china from the White House’s historic collection.

Clinton – China, 2000
Trenton, New Jersey, Lenox, Inc. Gift of the White House Historical Association, 2000. Commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

Eisenhower – Porcelain, 1955
New Castle, Pennsylvania, Castleton China, Inc. U.S. Government purchase, 1955.

Floral Arrangements and Centerpieces
The colorful centerpieces are arranged in handmade woven baskets that have been gilded. Bouquets of fuchsia flowers, including seasonal Yves Piaget garden roses, Amnesia Roses (grey-purple in color) and Fuchsia Cattleya orchids, are mixed with scented geranium foliage and prickly pear cactus.

Performance Décor and Arrangements In The South Lawn Tent...
The décor is designed to honor President Calderón and his birthplace of Michoacán, Mexico. The Monarch butterfly makes its annual migration from Canada to Michoacán in early spring each year and guests walking into the room will experience the sense of Monarch butterflies in flight.

The tables are decorated in natural shades of oranges and greens. The focal point of each table is a bouquet of marzipan and chocolate flowers. The flowers are made into marzipan roses, the national flower of America, and dahlias, the national flower of Mexico.

*Previous State Dinners at the White House in honor of Mexico include those hosted by the following Presidents and First Ladies:

v President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush in 2001

v President William J. Clinton and Mrs. Hillary Clinton in 1995

v President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush in 1989

v President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan in 1984

v President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter in 1977

v President Richard M. Nixon and Mrs. Patricia Nixon in 1972

v President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson in 1967