Saturday, December 11, 2010

Video: HGTV's "White House Christmas 2010" Features First Lady, White House Chefs

A close-up view of this year's very foodie decorations, with a peek inside the White House Kitchen...
With the holiday splendor of the "People's House" on full display this holiday season, HGTV's popular series White House Christmas 2010 will first air on Sunday, December 12, at 8:00 PM ET/7 Central. Host Genevieve Gorder will give viewers a detailed look at First Lady Michelle Obama's "Simple Gifts" decorating theme, which contains an unprecedented amount of foodie elements woven into the decorations. Mrs. Obama makes a cameo in the episode, as do some of the White House chefs, other staff, and the hard-working volunteers who decorated the White House for the holidays. (Above: Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, left, in the China Room as the holiday Gingerbread House is being constructed, with Gorder and pastry assistants Susie Morrison and master chocolatier Chris Phillips)

Second Lady Jill Biden also makes a cameo in the one-hour segment--and there's a peek inside the Vice Presidential residence, the Naval Observatory. Other White House residence staff, including Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and chief usher Stephen Rochon and florist Laura Dowling are also featured.

Kitchen visit...
Gorder goes into the kitchen with Chef Comerford as she displays the foods that are being served at the many White House receptions that are being held this holiday season. There's also a behind-the-scenes look at Yosses' fabulous, record-breaking white-chocolate-covered White House Gingerbread House, at more than 400 pounds the biggest creation in White House history. It features First Dog Bo, as well as a marzipan rendition of Mrs. Obama's Kitchen Garden. Above: The Diplomatic room, which features trees and garlands with pomegranates and dried fruit.

There will also be interviews with some of the 100 volunteers from 29 states who worked work with the White House staff to implement the decor theme. Above: The Red Room features cranberry trees and garlands, as well as last year's magnolia wreaths, lacquered for re-use this year, in an eco-savvy move.

A special feature this year is the Military Appreciation Tree, an idea from Mrs. Obama that is designed to honor the contributions of America's military personnel. The ornaments and ribbons each signal a branch of America's armed forces, and the tree stands in the East Entrance Landing.

The one-hour holiday visual feast includes a lovely stroll through the White House halls, which are loaded with decorations made from natural materials such as wood, paper, leaves, and thousands of dried fruits and vegetables. Above: The Military Appreciation Tree.

: The East Wing Colonnade features hand-made wreaths that contain 500 pomegranates, 400 yellow pear gourds, 450 artichokes, 350 purple dipper gourds, 350 green dipper gourds, 400 green pear gourds, and 400 orange pear gourds.

HGTV airs the annual special each year; check your local listings.

*Photos by Mary Katz for HGTV; a full photo gallery is here.