November 26th, 2009
09:16 PM ET
13 years ago

On the menu last night: Haute cuisine...and culinary typos?

The devil's in the details, as the White House found at last night's state dinner. The admission of a pair of party-crashers wasn't the only unplanned misstep Wednesday, apparently: The New York Times pointed to a string of typos in the evening's menu. Can you spot the errors below? (Answers after the jump)


–The Riesling was bottled in “Willamette Valley, Oregon” not “Wilamette Valley”; guests were actually offered a “2007 Grenache” (not a “2007 Granache”) and a “Thibaut-Janisson Brut” (not a “Thibaut Janisson Brut”)
–The meal featured “chick peas” (not “chickpeas”)
–The dessert “Gelees” were missing an accent on the final “e”

Filed under: Extra • White House
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. ajones

    maybe they plan on making the case to import more 'skilled' spellcheckers from India like they do to replace our tech workers

    November 26, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Ilia Orkin

    First CNN helps Sarah extend her 15 minutes of fame... now this...? Whatever happened to being a news network with substance? Is this seriously an article that might interest anyone? Sorry, I just don't see myself having a conversation with a friend and bringing up "Oh hey Mike, have you heard that the White House forgot to put an accent on the french word Gelees???"

    Ditch this article.

    November 26, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. rocklobster

    Total agreement – why is this a story? Of course, I read it and am now commenting on it. I am guilty too.

    This has nothing to do with former Vice President Quayle and that silly story that came out of what some consider an error. Actually, though I found him as a Vice President to be a factor for concern, I defended him for the silly attacks, which many of my friends even made. Also, he spelled the word the same way I was taught. Granted, as an army brat I grew up mostly in Europe, maybe we just learned the alternate spellings.

    Today's news should be about all we have to be thankful for and still acknowledge the work we have to do to get food and homes for the very poor and health care (no matter how one thinks it should be done) to those who need it.

    This is a truly great country, but we still have work to do to take care of our own and it is not a strictly government job. We all should care and help in however we can.

    Have a joyous and bountiful Thanksgiving.

    November 26, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Gerry from Montana

    ...and with all that is going sideways these day, these typos effects us HOW??"!!

    November 26, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. scully

    .........or serving a wine from Oregon......
    Aside: the gate-crashers should be arrested for illegal entry. This is just what the nation needs....DC Housewives? Another peep into the shallow, useless lives of useless, uninteresting, pandering people. Any "real Housewife" show is a disgrace to any REAL American housewife.

    November 26, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. jaywingfuller

    You have got to be kidding! Bush lies and sends us into an unnecessary and costly war that destroys hundreds of thousands of lives, and CNN sits on their hands and keeps quite. Someone (not Obama) messes up a menu and CNN is all over it. What are you bozos at CNN thinking? Have you decided that you're going to kill real journalism for ratings? Good god get a clue!

    November 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. margy

    With so many people out of jobs, and so many problems we have in this country.Obama should stop fooling with this stupid formal state dinner!
    The rest of the country have no JOB, NO JOB, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE NO JOBS,
    This administration is all crap!

    November 26, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Mark

    Hugging the Queen, bowing to the floor in Japan, jogging up to the podium like a second string player; now security issues at a tent revival style State Diner. The psuedo sophistication revealed by these harmless typos will be dismissed as the former, by supporters who regularly type there for they're, tho for though, etc. These are people who believe that shortcuts to anything, including the White House are okay, if you KNOW you are right.

    The Inquisition knew they were right too.

    November 26, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Anne-Marie

    Actually, gelees is "Gelées", the accent is not on the last E, they even made a mistake in their corrections!!!

    November 26, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Gary M

    What is misspelled isn't significant. The significance of the typos is this: you are SUPPOSED to get this right. The protocol officer of the highest office in our country is supposed to know about spelling, bowing, or gift-giving ($59 boxed CD's for a Prime Minister of England???)

    The fact that there have been so many highly-visible errors and gaffes is an indication of either a) the cavalier attitude of amateurs or 2) the lack of competency, at the highest levels of government. And for those who don't think spelling on the menu of a state dinner, I suppose they also don't think spelling on a résumé is important...

    November 26, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Matthew Anderson

    If only some Golman Sachs employees were able to correct them. They would undoubtedly be familiar with all of those spellings from their many social events.

    November 26, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Brendan Newhart

    So let me get this straight...they couldn't manage a guest list of around three hundred people...and no on proof read the menu. I work in a hotel and these two things are basic day one tasks. This concerns me because if they can't do simple tasks like these how are they going to properly manage health care?

    November 26, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Jane/Seattle

    Show us a government official who cares more about the starving souls of this world and I'll show you one that I will Respect! All this pomp and circumstance makes me sick! We all are "The Body Politic" and we all have the right to live sustainably. We All have the right to life. We all have the responsibility to serve and protect one another, our fellow-living beings and this environment called our Home-Universe-All ONE. CHANGE is up to us all and as simple as changing our collective minds, implementing LOVE in our Actions. All of the rest is just further FEAR that we choose in our own self-destructive RESULT-a Wrong CAUSE. Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, House the Homeless (which these systems create), Correct those who act in error. Time is NOT Equal with Correction. ALL of this is just one Giant Shell Game for Making more MONEY, Having Control, and all the rest! Take this opulent wealth and Share it with those who have nothing. Little drops of giving are another smokescreen to rationalize man-made Constructs (the guilt of gluttony) that clearly are not working. What man constructs CAN be De-Constructed. There, I said it! Here is my Menu for today! I am Thankful this Day to grow in Love and Compassion. Peace to all.

    November 26, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. bill

    If you're using french Gellees has an accent on the 2nd "e" not the last one, the second "e" represents the feminine gender of the word "Gelle"

    November 26, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Penny - Canada

    Okay, so there are two typos in proper names of the wines, and one piece of anti-evolution pedantry on the part of the critic over the naturally occuring inclination of regularly used adjectives and nouns to conglomerate into single words, like chickpeas.

    I am getting really tired of the petty teardown of the Obama administration.

    Get a life.

    November 26, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. rob

    You want to let this group of people spend a trillion dollars on health care and they cannot even spell words correctly. With a spell check program this could have be fixed right away. No more of this group of people for me thanks.

    November 26, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Latigo

    IIsn't it amazing how many absolutely raving idiots there are in the country today?

    On a menu, typos are probably not really important. It just shows a lack of attention to detail and sloppiness. However, typos in a treaty or a piece of legislation (i.e. the healthcare bill that nobody much in Congress in bothering to read and doesn’t want the people to read) or an order to go to war might be a bit more serious, don't you think?

    It's all part of a pattern. Those who love Obama’s can't see the forest for the trees, and those who hate him see trees everywhere. What happened to Americans getting together to work for America without sniping about everything? Even on Thanksgiving we snipe.

    November 26, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Dave C - NJ

    Think Bush could have written out a menu? lol

    By the way, those "gatecrashers" are the two biggest attention grabbing loser wanna-be's I have ever seen...almost as bad as Octo-loser or Balloon Loser.

    November 26, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. ww

    Find a real issue to report, please!!!!!

    November 26, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. GMJH

    This is the biggest pile of idiotic nothingness I've ever seen, The ultimate in a 'non news story'. Congrats CNN, you've reached the nadir of journalism.

    November 26, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Jon

    who cares???

    November 26, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. democrackpipe

    Arrogant half wits in the White House, top to bottom. What is stunning though is that CNN would actually do a negative story about the Obamists. Your political czar must have not received this mornings dicatatum from Rahm.

    November 26, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Over 40

    I have a large screen monitor–and the print on the scan is too small to bother trying to read but–this is news? Correct spelling is a sign of education so it does matter to other educated people. How we present ourselves in public is important. "The devil is in the details" may be an old idiom, but it's generally still accurate. We might excuse poor spelling on a foreign-born restaurateur's menu or sign, but at a White House dinner? Worse still, it appears frequently in the online articles published here and on other sites. Everyday, I see poorly spelled articles, headlines, reader postings...and while it is difficult to always catch every error in print, it still matters. Because poor spelling now seems to be commonplace, and none of the profit-hungry mega-publishing media companies can be bothered to pay for good reporters, this story is simply the type of news we can expect, even from prominent news agencies like CNN.

    November 26, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. C. Wagner

    Why isn't anyone worried about the fact that this was made public to begin with? Whatever happened to having respect for the office of the President, and the President himself? It's not a news issue, it's a few typos. There are so many more important things that we need to have made public, and dealt with. The press needs to stop distracting everyone from the real problems and talk about what is important instead.

    November 26, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. MsDp

    Wow, and why do we care about this? New York Times, this is not news. I wish all of you perfectionist would stop with the childish cramp!!!!

    November 26, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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