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Its always interesting to know that the President serves up to this guest.



November 24, 2009 Overview Official Visit State Dinner

The first State Dinner for a foreign head of state was held by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant on December 12, 1874 for King David Kalakaua of Hawaii. Since that first dinner, many traditions have been added to State and Official Visits – yet the common theme of forging friendships, exchanging knowledge and building bridges that last for years to come remain unchanged.Tonight’s State Dinner will be held under a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. The décor will reflect the Obamas’ dedication to green and sustainable elements and will feature a garden theme. Through the tent, guests will have views of the South Lawn Fountain, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Monument.

The South Grounds of the White House were completed during the Grant Administration and it was President Grant who commissioned the building of the fountains on both the North and South Grounds of the White House.

Settings and Arrangements

Guests will sit at round tables for ten. Tables will be covered in apple green linens. Deep purple flower arrangements at each table will pay homage to the state bird of India, the Indian Peacock.

The centerpiece bouquets are composed of flowers that are evocative of the classic American garden: hydrangea, garden roses, and sweet peas in a rich palette of deep plum, purple and fuchsia.

Arrangements of magnolia branches will surround the walls of the tent. MagnoliasarenativetobothIndiaandtheUnitedStates. Themagnolia,ivy,andnandinafoliageusedfor the occasion are locally grown and sustainably harvested. After the dinner, the bouquets will be recycled and re-used throughout the White House.

Services and Place Settings

The tables will be set with the following china from the White House’s historic collection.

Service Plates – Eisenhower

Porcelain, 1955, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Castleton China, Inc. U.S. Government purchase, 1955.

Service Plates – Clinton State China Service

China, 2000, Trenton, New Jersey, Lenox, Inc. Gift of the White House Historical

Association, 2000. Commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

Dinner Plates – George W. Bush State China Service

China, 2008-2009, Kinston, North Carolina, Lenox, Inc. Gift of the White House Acquisition Trust, 2009. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first American President to visit India after its independence.

Dinner Menu

Potato and Eggplant Salad White House Arugula With Onion Seed Vinaigrette 2008

Sauvignon Blanc, Modus Operandi, Napa Valley, California

Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Cheese

2006 Riesling, Brooks “Ara”, Wilamette Valley, Oregon ≈ Roasted Potato Dumplings

With Tomato Chutney Chick Peas and Okra or Green Curry Prawns Caramelized Salsify With Smoked Collard Greens and Coconut Aged Basmati 2007 Granache, Beckmen Vineyards, Santa Ynez, California

Pumpkin Pie Tart Pear Tatin Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce Sparkling Chardonnay, Thibaut Janisson Brut, Monticello, Virginia

Petits Fours and Coffee Cashew Brittle Pecan Pralines Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelees Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

Menu Selection

Mrs. Obama worked with Guest Chef Marcus Samuelsson and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and her team to create a menu that reflects the best of American cuisine, continues this White House’s commitment to serving fresh, sustainable and regional food, and honors the culinary excellence and flavors that are present in Indian cuisine. Herbs and lettuces are harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden.

White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses and his team created the desserts. The pears are poached in honey from the White House Beehive. Desserts will be garnished with mint and lemon verbena grown in the White House Kitchen Garden.

Guest Chef Marcus Samuelsson

At the age of 39, Marcus Samuelsson has received more accolades than many chefs receive in a lifetime. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, France and the U.S. In 1995 he was hired as Aquavit’s Executive Chef. Just 3 months later, Aquavit received a three-star review from The New York Times. Samuelsson was honored with the James Beard Foundation Award for ‘Rising Star Chef’ in 1999 and ‘Best Chef, New York’ in 2003. He was also celebrated as one of “The Great Chefs of America” by The Culinary Institute of America.