VIP guests for dinner; WWYS?
Forget the pomp and circumstance. Put on your think/food caps. The leader of the People's Republic of China is coming to your very nice house for a fancy meal. Do you rustle up food that makes him feel at-home comfortable or do you give him a taste of bold/melting-pot American flavors? What Would You Serve?
The White House won't release its official menu for Wednesday's official U.S.-China state dinner till the day of the event, but the state dinner for Mexico back in May, and a comment made by Diana Kennedy in Bill Booth's profile of her, got us wondering about the right way to go. (We're not suggesting exec chef Cristeta Comerford needs any help with this, by the way.)
In the spring, celebrity chef Rick Bayless was invited to work on the state dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala. He created a menu of jicama with fruit, a green ceviche, wagyu beef with black mole and a chocolate tart with goat cheese ice cream. And last November, chef Marcus Samuelsson helped put together the dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manhoman Singh, which included green curry prawns, chickpeas and okra, and red lentil soup with fresh cheese. Will the White House reach out for experts this time as well?
The last time the White House hosted an official meal for the Chinese, it was a lunch, in April 2006. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Madam Liu Yongqing were served:
Butter Heirloom Corn Broth with Scallions
Seared Ginger-scented Dumplings
Wild-caught Alaskan Halibut with Mushroom Essence
Sugar Snap Peas, Spring Legumes and Sweet Carrots
Freckles Bibb Lettuce with Grilled Eggplant
"A Good Fortune" Melon Three Ways
Candied Ginger and Orange Peel
Warm Almond Cakes
Newton Chardonnay "unfiltered" 2002
And in 1997, the Clinton White House state dinner for Jiang Zemin limited Chinese references to the dessert course:
Orange Blossom Surprise
Mandarin Tea Tartlet
Chocolate Tea Candy
And so the big question to consider is: What Would You Serve?
Of course, free speech reigns and so you can use the handy form after the jump to promote your political beliefs, or crack wise. But we're interested in the food, to be honest. If there are many responses, perhaps we'll call for votes to choose the best.
Bonnie S. Benwick
| January 12, 2011; 8:11 PM ET
Tags: Bonnie S. Benwick
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