November 24th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
8 years ago

Resplendent colors highlight setting for state dinner


The president, first lady and their guests will dine on pumpkin pie tart or pear tatin with whipped cream and caramel sauce for desert during Tuesday night's state dinner at the White House. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Tables set in resplendent colors - apple green, ruby, gold - with floral arrangements of roses, hydrangeas and sweet peas in plum, purple and fuchsia awaited guests to Tuesday's White House state dinner.

The place settings in fine china from three previous administrations - Eisenhower, Clinton and George W. Bush - are flanked by crystal glasses and five pieces of silverware. Place cards are handwritten - "The President" and "Mrs. Obama" read two.

The first state dinner of Barack Obama's presidency, in honor of visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will take place in a tent set up on the White House South Lawn, with a view of the Washington Monument.

Guests will sit at round tables for 10, with the flower arrangements intended to pay homage to the state bird of India, the Indian peacock, and the dinner featuring a seasonal menu reflecting both American and Indian flavors, according to the White House.

The first course will be a potato and eggplant salad made with White House-grown arugula and accompanied by an onion-seed vinaigrette. Red lentil soup with fresh cheese follows, and then a choice of entrees - roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra for vegetarians, or green curry prawns and caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens.

Dessert will be pumpkin pie tart or pear tatin with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Each course is paired with its own wine, all of American vintage.

According to the White House, Michelle Obama worked with guest chef Marcus Samuelsson and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford 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."

The herbs and lettuces were harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden started by Michelle Obama, and honey from the White House beehive is being used to poach the dessert pears.

Filed under: Obama administration • White House
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    I prefer my tax dollars funds programs like this, and not wars.

    November 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Hungry

    First, ,, who cares?

    Second, while Obama is stuffing his face with fancy food,,,, others in this country go hungry and can not afford to have any type of Thanksgiving dinner because they are not employed.

    November 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. mjm

    And three weeks from know Obama will decide what to order.

    Bidden ordered a hot dog with no bun cut up into little pieces with some ketchup.

    November 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. demogal

    What a wonderful and tasteful showcase for our country and its leader. Carp away, enemies of Obama–this guy and his wife are a class act!

    November 24, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Scott L


    Love the new Tax on Stock transactions being proposed by Democrats. LOVE IT! They are just taxing Americans every way they can.


    Glad you buffoons voted these idiots into office so when your pay gets taxes more and more and you are working twice as hard you will finally wake up and smell the stuff they've been shoveling you this whole time.

    November 24, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Marie Laveaux

    Sounds yummy.
    i really feel for those who will go hungry on thanksgiving day. Are those of you who are putting the President down on here going to donates to a food bank or serve food to the needy this week, or are you just going to spew hate and eat your dinner? Do you think GW wouldn't doing the same if he were still in office? Can you imagine what the McCain's would be serving? Stop with the hate, please?

    November 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Jack in Florida

    Class and elegance has finally returned to the White House!!! Enjoy your first State Dinner President and Mrs. Obama!!! Here is to many more that strengthen our relationships around the world.

    November 24, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Dave

    Picking on this is a bit unfair, since other presidents have been talked about before or after state dinner. The issue is somewhat with the publicity and the picture, since with the current president everything is turned into a PR campaign. Also, it is hard to understand what is the purpose of this at this point of time, when many others find it hard to put simple bread on the table and yet many others are worried the skewed set of priorities of our government will make it more difficult to realize the American dream they have been cultivating all their life and career.

    November 24, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Throw out all incumbents

    Yes, and once again we focus on the important issues that need immediate attention.

    November 24, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. D.

    And... if a guest does not like the food, just simple "blame Bush" !!!

    November 24, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Ted

    I hear there will be a "Curry Prawns for Clunkers" program where any guest having any entree that they feel will cause them excessive emissions can trade it in for the prawns. They will be given the new entree and a credit of several desserts, and the traded-in food will be thrown into the garbage.

    This is of course a good thing because it produces improved consumption and more jobs. When reported next week the Administration will pump up those results ten-fold.

    November 24, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    Just what millions want to read about as they experience job loss or the prospect of it.

    November 24, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Steph

    I can't believe people can complain about a state dinner...ALL previous presidents have had them. By the way, thanks to President Obama's leadership, there is a safety net for people without jobs...that darn big government you all are constantly complaining about. Without it right now, the selfish bankers who ran around creating mortgage backed securities and selling them to suckers without fear of any government oversight would have forced millions to soup lines!

    Geez people, you don't want big government, but then you complain when the government isn't doing enough for you. The same thing is true for health reform. You can't spread fear about a government run public option by saying it might possibly reduce another government run public option (medicare). I've had enough!

    I hope President Obama, the First Lady and their distinguished guests have a wonderful evening tonight.

    November 24, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. will

    A class act! I couldn't be more grateful to have President Obama leading this country. The right wingers could never appreciate the level of global sophistication exhibited by our President. All they know is BBQ. Funny how we never heard such anger, hate and fear from them when the loser Bush was in office spending money on wars and creating the deficit we are now burdened with. But to see our brilliant President have a positive effect on global issues makes them nuts. Cheers to President Obama. I hope they all have a great time tonight!!!!

    November 24, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. catmom

    Oh, for goodness sakes Some people act like there has never been a state dinner. Why is it that some people expect that President Obama should not participate in the same activities that all other Presidents have? No one worried about what any other President did regardless of what was happening in this country until now. Never have I heard so many people complain about how their tax dollars are being spent in regards to the President and how he is living. Now for some reason President Obama is not supposed to do anything because of all of the problems this country has, get real. People act like he is in some kind of prison and shouldn't come out for any reason. The complaints that I have read in the various blogs are really very pathetic and unfortunately quite racist. And I know, I'm pulling the race card but what else is it?

    Guess what people, we have a BLACK President, First Lady and First family. They will have all the same advantages and participate in all the same activities and spend the same money that is allocated to all of the past Presidents and their families before him. This BLACK President is representing OUR country whether you like it or not. They WILL spend your tax dollars doing the same thing Bush 1 &2, Clinton, Reagan and all other President's have. Get over your hatefulness or don't. just know it is not becoming, your ignorance and pettiness is showing and really making our country look bad.

    November 24, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. DJ

    Dang that looks good – why wasn't I invited

    November 24, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Begrudging the POTUS a State dinner? You're kidding right? Hate clouds many things, among them the ability to think logically and rationally. Which is why GOPers have NOTHING to bring to the table, so to speak.

    November 24, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Realist

    Better than paying Halliburton to maltreat our soldiers.

    November 24, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Mark

    What a wonderful change from the GW years. Thank God Obama is mending the International fences that the Republicans had distroyed.

    November 24, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Will in Carson City

    And this is news because.............

    November 24, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Lilarose, Bandon, Oregon

    Here are the cry babies who protest this dinner!

    What do you want them to serve? McDonalds or Pizza Hut?

    Do we want the world to think we are so poor we can't welcome foreign dignitaries in a classy way?

    If you are going hungry, get off your computer and go find a dang job!

    Our presidents have entertained this way since George Washington (he was our first president, remember?).

    What was wasteful in my opinion was when GW Bush flew in Air Force one accompanied by a huge cargo plane housing his helicopters, cars, and whatever else he needed a plane that big for.

    The Event? "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" at a NASCAR race!

    November 24, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Halimah bint David

    'Let them eat cake,' right.

    November 24, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. felicia

    well hungry people didn't start starving just because President Obama is in the whitehouse. Don't hate just congradulate.

    November 24, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. SeaPeace

    Before all you righties get your knickers in a knot, ALL presidents have had state dinners. No need to ask how much it costs, where are the jobs, taxes, bla bla bla. And I resent being called a baffoon.

    November 24, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Fed Up

    There's a hard-hitting news story!

    November 24, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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