The guests invited to President Barack Obama’s state dinner in honor of Chinese President Hu Jintao will be served a “quintessentially American” meal, including “old-fashioned apple pie with vanilla ice cream,” according to the menu released by the White House.
The main course for the third state dinner hosted by the president and Michelle Obama will feature poached Maine lobster, dry aged rib eye with double stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach.
Among the 225 invited guests are actor Jackie Chan, Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
They will begin the meal with a D’Anjou pear salad with farmstead goat cheese, fennel, black walnuts and white balsamic. In keeping with the theme, the meal will be accompanied by American wines: the lobster will be served with Dumol Chardonnay “Russian River” 2008, the steak with Quilceda Creek Cabernet “Columbia Valley” 2005 and the apple pie with Poet’s Leap Riesling “Botrytis” 2008.
Some of the ingredients in the evening’s meal are from The Chef’s Garden, a vegetable-and-herb supplier in Huron, Ohio, that focuses on sustainability and affordability. Herbs from the White House garden are also being used in the meal. The honey in the dessert also comes from the first lady’s White House kitchen garden, located on the South lawn of the White House.
Instead of inviting a guest chef to add to the glitz of the evening, tonight’s meal is being prepared by White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses.
Guests will sit at round tables of 10 spread out between the Blue Room, Red Room and State Dining Room on the main floor of the White House. Dinner linens feature pheasants in jewel tones that reflect the work of American artist John James Audubon. The floral arrangements include feathers in honor of the pheasant, China’s native bird, and are a mix of flowers and berries.
Trumpeter Chris Botti, singers Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater will entertain the guests in the White House’s East Room with “An Evening of Jazz.” Singer Barbra Streisand is among the invited guests.
Dinner will be served on china from the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan.
The dinner tops off a busy day for the two leaders which included a meeting with more than a dozen business leaders and a press conference. Earlier today, the White House announced an agreement between the U.S. and China on a package of export deals worth $45 billion, including a $19 billion purchase of Boeing Co. aircraft.