Here’s info the White House released about the food and decor at tonight’s State Dinner at the White House.
Warning to my vegetarian and vegan followers: This menu is so not veg friendly!
The President and Mrs. Obama will host Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs. Cameron for a State Dinner this evening. The State Dinner will be held in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses have carefully constructed the evening’s menu using local ingredients, including produce grown in the White House Kitchen Garden.
A Winter Harvest Dinner
The United Kingdom State Dinner takes its inspiration from the Kitchen Garden’s late winter harvest and some early spring greens, which chefs harvested the day before the dinner. The White House Kitchen Garden uses hoop houses—simple metal frames covered by plastic tarps—to grow produce throughout the winter months.
During the day, the plastic traps heat from the sun, and at night that heat protects plants from freezing temperatures. Using this method, produce thrives in the White House Kitchen Garden throughout the year.
Local Menu Selection
The First Course, Crisped Halibut with Potato Crust, will be served on a bed of braised baby kale fresh from the White House garden, shaved Brussels sprouts and micro cabbage sprouts. A hint of applewood smoked bacon from a local smokehouse ties the dish together.
The Salad Course, Spring Garden Lettuces with Shallot Dressing and Shaved Radish, Cucumbers and Avocados, is light and crisp and includes different types of greens, which are also from the Kitchen Garden.
The Main Course, Bison Wellington, is a perfect pairing of US and UK cultures. The Wellington is a classic English dish given an American twist with the use of buffalo tenderloin.
The dessert is Steamed Lemon Pudding, a nod to the traditional British treat. The pudding is prepared with Idaho Huckleberry Sauce to unite the British and American flavors. At the bottom of the pudding are Newtown Pippin Apples, which are believed to have been developed in Queens, New York in the early-18th century, and were grown by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Newtown Pippin Apples serve as a symbol of the American-British partnership—the apple was so favored by Queen Victoria that she had the customs duty on them eliminated.
Décor and Arrangements
The theme of the décor for the United Kingdom State Dinner is “America’s Backyard.”
Traditionally, America’s backyards are places of gathering and entertaining close friends and family. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom makes this “backyard” celebration a quintessentially American event.
Located in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, the State Dinner encouraged a celebration of American gardens. The grounds of the White House are in clear view through the 150 foot-wide glass wall of the dinner tent. In honor of our guests, the beauty of countryside English gardens is also incorporated into the
design by Rafanelli Events. Planters and centerpieces used at the dinner are intended to emulate nature and the flowing “landscape gardens” that are common in England. The English have also become widely known for their flower borders, with perennials, annuals, and sometimes shrubs combining to form masses of color.
The design of the tent embraces this passion for color in the floral arrangements, lighting, amethyst linens and matching carpet.
Roses—the national flower of both countries—play a major role in the floral arrangements.