Sunday, February 23, 2014

The 2014 Governors' Dinner: Menu And Decor

The table settings in the State Dining Room
Executive Chef Cris Comerford's contemporary version of surf & turf is presented on the Ronald Reagan State China...
Washington, DC - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Sunday evening welcomed a bipartisan group of state leaders to the annual black-tie Governors' Dinner, held in the State Dining Room.  CLICK HERE for a full post about the event 

The fete was the sixth the President and Mrs. Obama have hosted for the governors since 2009, and they served Tuna Tartare with a Baby Arugula, Bartlett Pear and Caramel Black Walnut salad and an entree of Petit Filet with Maryland Crab Ravioli, the White House said.

The Ronald Reagan State China was used, perhaps in homage to California's most famous former governor.  The Obamas are beef lovers, and every year the menu for the governors has featured an excellent cut of steak and some kind of seafood, in an embroidery on surf & turf.  This year's menu by Executive Chef Cris Comerford was the same idea.   

Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses created the dessert, a Steamed Meyer Lemon Custard.  He has previously shared his recipe for Steamed Meyer Lemon Pudding.

The White House did not release the names of the wine(s) that were poured; the last time wines were identified on a menu for a Governors' Dinner was in 2010.  

The White House also did not release a guest list or a head count, but guests sat at round tables for ten, covered with brocade cloths.  The President and Mrs. Obama were seated at separate tables; his included Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and his wife Trudi Inslee.  Republicans were seated on either side of Mrs. Obama, who wore a glittering gold and bronze beaded dress:  South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

The State Dining Room was lit a dramatic lavender.   Ronald Reagan State China features a wide red rim, former First Lady Nancy Reagan's favorite color, with a gold border.  Lush and dramatic floral arrangements featuring red roses and other red blooms with loose vines were on each table, as well as on fireplace mantles and windowsills.  Candles in over-sized gold votive holders or in tall crystal holders were intermixed on the tables.  Menus laid atop each place setting were cream card stock with a gold embossed Presidential seal.

2014 Governors' Dinner Menu

Tuna Tartare

Baby Arugula, Bartlett Pears and Caramel Black Walnuts

Petite Filet with Maryland Crab Ravioli

Warm Meyer Lemon Custard

>Wine Omitted< 
Pop singer Sara Bareilles performed in the East Room after the dinner.

An Instagram of the President's chair for Bareilles' performance
Chief White House photographer Pete Souza Instagrammed a photo of the President's program on a chair in the East Room for Bareilles' performance, writing "East Room. Guess who will sit here during the entertainment at the Governors Ball."  

Note: The White House press shop has not referred to the dinner as a "Ball" since 2009, though when Souza worked as Pres. Reagan's chief photographer, the governors' annual gala was called a "Ball."

*The transcript of the President's remarks.

*Instagram photo at top by Pete Souza/White House; second by pool. White House video.