S’il Vous Plate: The White House State Dinner in Honor of the French President

Last night the White House hosted a state dinner in honor of French President François Hollande. The White House was kind enough to post the full menu on their website along with a video clip (see below) of the chefs making the amazing meal — talk about full disclosure!

According to White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, the idea behind the state dinner was to show the best that America has to offer. Following the fresh trend, “The menu incorporates produce grown by farmers across the country and those grown here at the White House in the White House Kitchen Garden.” The White House kitchen staff probably had Pinterest users everywhere salivating when they talked about pickling the summer vegetables from the White House Kitchen Garden, which were incorporated into the meal.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s signature dish was the “Winter Garden Salad” which was impressively “plated” (or should we say bowled? It’s presented in what looks like a small fish bowl) to look like a terrarium. The salad featured carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and the White House honey as the dressing. Chef Comerford pointed out that the White House Kitchen Garden isn’t just the setting for photo ops or a part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative that’s just for show — it’s the real deal.

The menu also reflected the important relationship between the United States and France. White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses explained in the video that Petit fours (which, fun fact, actually means “small oven” in french) in American-style flavors like cotton candy and maple fudge were featured prominently. White House Assistant Pastry Chef Susan Morrison made hand-pulled sugar flowers in the shape of blooms symbolic of both countries: American red roses for the U.S. and the purple Iris for France. When placed atop what appears to be a marbleized bowl that was actually made from poured sugar they almost look too good to eat — almost. [Source]

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