Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Menu: The State Dinner In Honor of President Hu

Let's Move! State Dinner Style: A "quintessentially American" menu, with a focus on "affordability, sustainability, health, and delicious foods"...
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's State Dinner menu in honor of President Hu Jintao is, as noted here, "quintessentially American." It's a fabulous, artisanal and regional surf n' turf: A lobster appetizer, a steak entree, lovely but hearty vegetable sides (buttermilk fried onions, double-stuffed potatoes!). White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses created the menu; the Chinese delegation requested the All-American feast, according to the East Wing. They've got it, from sea to shining sea, with foods sourced from the coast of Maine to Washington State. (Above: In the afternoon before the dinner, a Butler arranges place settings at the Presidents' table in the State Dining Room)

The farmers and vineyards selected as providers all have an interest in "affordability, sustainability, health, and delicious foods," according to the East Wing. That's in keeping with Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! initiative; on Thursday morning, when the stardust of the State Dinner has barely been swept from the White House floors, Mrs. Obama will make a major announcement about food access and affordability, which could profoundly and fundamentally alter the nation's foodscape.

>Download the full White House book on the menu, entertainment and decor

As predicted, Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage from Mrs. Obama's White House Kitchen Garden were used for sauce reductions. The Chef's Garden, in Huron, Ohio, provided the other produce; the 40-year-old family operation focuses on food access and affordability, and sells their wares to an urban population in Cleveland. The All-American ending: Yosses' Old Fashioned Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Made with White House Bee Hive honey, of course. The South Lawn hive produced 160 pounds of honey in 2010.

State Dinner Menu In Honor of President Hu Jintao

D'Anjou Pear with Farmstead Goat Cheese
Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic

Poached Maine Lobster
Orange Glaze Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Wine: DuMol Chardonnay "Russian River" 2008 (California)

Lemon Sorbet
Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions
Double Stuffed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach

Wine: Quilceda Creek Cabernet "Columbia Valley" 2005 (Washington State)

Old Fashioned Apple Pie
with Vanilla Ice Cream

Wine: Poet's Leap Riesling "Botrytis" 2008 (Washington State)

Other dishes being served: Not listed on the official menu, but being served this evening is a selection of fish from across America, too. Northern shrimp from Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts and smoked rainbow trout from fish raised in Idaho are featured as canapes.

225 guests are expected this evening, and they will be dining in the State Dining Room, the Red Room, and the Blue Room. The Presidents and First Lady will be seated in the State Dining Room. Their remarks will be "beamed into" the Red and Blue rooms via flat screen TV (Above: A table in the Red Room; the TV monitor is visible at right).

*Photos by EGK/ObamaFoodorama