What’s Cooking at the White House?

President and Michelle Obama host their first state dinner
President and Michelle Obama host their first state dinner
 by Jeff Hoyt
Who wants to cook a big dinner right before Thanksgiving? Last night, President and Michelle Obama hosted their first state dinner for more than 300 guests, honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The First Lady, chef Marcus Samuelsson (Aquavit in New York, C-House in Chicago) and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford designed a menu “to showcase the best of American cooking,” she said at a press preview.


“It’s going to include the freshest ingredients from area farmers and purveyors,” she added. “And because of all of the hard work of some other kids in the community, we’ve got this wonderful White House kitchen garden out in the South Lawn and we’re going to use some of the herbs from that garden in tonight’s dinner as well.” Even honey from the White House hive was used in the desserts.


Here’s the menu:


Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House Arugula with Onion Seed Vinaigrette


Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Cheese


Roasted Potato Dumplings with Tomato Chutney, Chickpeas and Okra
Green Curry Prawns with Caramelized Salsify, Smoked Collard Greens and Coconut Aged Basmati Rice


Pumpkin Pie Tart
Pear Tatin
Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce


Petit Fours and Coffee
Cashew Brittle
Pecan Pralines
Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelées
Chocolate-Dipped Fruit


Maybe after all that hard work, the president will take his wife and kids to one of our top Thanksgiving restaurants tomorrow. If someone else is cooking for you, why not bring them one of our top Thanksgiving wines? Happy holidays!


PS: Check out our interview with White House consulting chef Marcus Samuelsson, who just published New American Table.

You can click on each photo to enlarge.  




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