"I could not be prouder of you," President tells junior chefs, and lauds First Lady for Let's Move! campaign...
President Obama made a surprise appearance at the Kids' State Dinner luncheon on Monday, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room. As the guests were finishing up the salad course, the President entered to squeals of excitement from the 54 junior chefs, ages 8-12, who won the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a recipe contest run by Epicurious.com to support the Let's Move! campaign. recipe contest. (Above: The President shakes hands with guests)
"Usually I get invited to the state dinners," the President said to laughter and applause as he joined Mrs. Obama on the colorful stage. "So this time I just had to crash--I had to crash the party because I did not want to miss out on all the fun."
The President was supposed to be having a private luncheon with Vice President Joe Biden in another part of the White House, but instead he was making an historic day even more memorable for the kids and their parents. He congratulated his wife for her efforts with the Let's Move! campaign and praised the kids for their recipes. (Above: Mrs. Obama laughs as her husband speaks)
"I do want to say I couldn't be prouder of my wife, Michelle," President Obama said. "She's helped to mobilize a movement around the country to give parents more choices and more information so that they can work with their kids to make sure their kids are healthy."
"In addition to being proud of her, I could not be prouder of you, the young people, because it's hard enough to follow a recipe and make something good to eat," President Obama said.
"For you guys to actually come up with recipes that are healthy and tasty, and to do it in a way that helps to contribute to spreading the word about healthy eating among your peers--that's a really big deal."
The President asked a favor of the guests.
"I only have one request for you, and that is try not to drop any scraps on the floor because Bo-- Bo is on a diet right now and he will eat anything that he sees, especially some of the tasty meals that you guys have prepared."
After, the President worked his way through the crowded room, where Mrs. Obama's 140 guests were seated in tight quarters. He shook hands with everyone--literally--saying "How ya doin'?" and "Nice to see you." Noticing one young lady clad in a summery black dress with an island-style print of bright yellow flowers, the President asked "Hawaii?"
When 11-year-old Stefani Shimomura-Sakamoto, nodded, thrilled, the President casually flashed her the "shaka" sign. Her recipe for a Strawberryanna Smoothie was served as dessert.
A couple hours later, the President made another surprise stop inside the White House, showing up in the press briefing room for the first time in months. (Above: The President greets iCarly co-star Reed Alexander, a teen ambassador for the Let's Move! campaign)
The transcript of the President's remarks.
The menu was made with winning recipes and served on Ronald Regan State china. CLICK HERE for a downloadable book with the winning recipes [PDF].
The winners' list.
CLICK HERE for all posts about the Kids' State Dinner.
*Top photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House; others by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama; White House video