Greens to be served at the dinner were harvested yesterday from the White House gardens. Photograph courtesy of the White House.
The focus of this evening’s White House dinner for British prime minister David Cameron has been sidetracked by debate over whether to call it a “state” or “official” dinner, because by protocol standards a “state” dinner can be only for the head of state, which in England is the Queen. We say tomato, tomahto. Either way it looks to be a delicious and entertaining evening. The program refers to it as an official visit and state dinner.
The White House has released the planned menu, which has the theme of a “winter harvest dinner.” When it was planned, chef Cristeta Comerford likely had no inkling temperatures would be summery. Some of the greens being served were to be harvested yesterday from the White House kitchen garden. Here’s the menu:
Crisped halibut with potato crust
Shaved Brussels sprouts, applewood-smoked bacon
Spring garden lettuces
Shallot dressing, shaved breakfast radish
Cucumbers and avocados
Red wine reduction, French beans, cipollini onion
Warm Meyer lemon steamed pudding
with Idaho huckleberry sauce
and Newtown Pippin apples
There were also minor grumblings over the fact the White House no longer releases the names of the wines to be served. Critics say it is a political decision in a presidential campaign year, not wanting any blowback for serving what may be perceived as extravagant wines. As if that could change the balance of a wobbly global economy. Regardless, the menu says only that “an American wine will be paired with each course.”
The after-dinner entertainment will be provided by British folk rock band Mumford and Sons and American singer John Legend.