February 10th, 2014
06:08 PM ET
9 months ago

No detail spared for French president's arrival at the White House

Washington (CNN) – The White House social secretary and executive chef are working late into the night and all day Tuesday to put the finishing touches on the first State Dinner at the executive mansion in over two years.

Tuesday night, the President and Mrs. Obama will host French President Francois Hollande, and an official familiar with the process of preparing the feast says the first family will include treats "from farmers and growers across the country." White House chefs say they hope to, "honor our guests by showcasing the best of American Bounty."

The evening begins with a reception in the State Dining Room on the second floor of the White House, where there will be offerings of cheeses and fresh vegetables from growers from across the country. A source says that, "smoked Maine trout actually smoked in Maine hardwood," will be among the hors d'oeuvres.

From the reception, guests will head downstairs and take trolleys from the White House south portico, across the South Lawn to a tent that has been erected that reportedly includes chandeliers. If you are one of the 350 invited guests, you'll be pleased to know that the first course will include a serving of American Osetra Caviar, Fingerling Potato Veloute, and Quail Eggs.

A menu provided by the White House shows the second course is made up of a winter garden salad, they say will have vegetables grown in a hothouse, and the salad will be, "served in a wonderful glass bowl to make it look like a terrarium."

The main course is dry aged beef, raised on a family-owned farm in Greeley, Colorado. The entree will also include Jasper Hill Farm blue cheese from Vermont, charred shallots, oyster mushrooms and braised chard.

Dessert will include Hawaiian chocolate malted grenache, followed by vanilla ice cream and tangerines. A source says that petit fours will also be served including, "typical American sweets like cotton candy, and maple fudge from Vermont, along with lavender shortbread." Wines from California, Washington state and Virginia will accompany the meal.

As for the very delicate issue of protocol and who will be sitting where, sources in the Social Secretary's office say they are still working out the details of who will sit with whom. They would confirm, however, that the Obamas will be seated at the same head table.

Following dinner, the first lady's office says guests will be treated to a musical performance by R&B singer Mary J. Blige.


Filed under: Francois Hollande • White House
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    It's good to have allies. No more of that doctrine, "Yer either fer us or agin' us" that made Freedom Fries famous.

    February 10, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. S. B. Stein

    Sounds like a good meal. The joy of having a state dinner.

    February 10, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  3. Eric

    Going all out with Mary J Blige huh? Will she pose with President Hollande and give the camera a signature 'duck lips'? Hey, maybe she'll sing "Next Level" and Busta Rhymes can join her....it'll be great! Way to stay classy!

    February 10, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Sounds like obama is not very popular. First State Dinner in 2 yrs.

    February 10, 2014 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. Monomachos

    The french elected an incompetent socialist who is unable to stay loyal to any woman. The WH invites him for dinner. Yawwwwwwwwwn. Paris is a beautiful city, though. I think that covers it.

    February 11, 2014 12:29 am at 12:29 am |