Company’s coming to a State Dinner at the White House. As the White House welcomes President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the first state visit of the Trump administration, the dining, dishes (china and cuisine) and decorating details intrigue me. The White House released the details of the State Dinner complete with china settings, color scheme, and menu selections, and I do color myself impressed by it all. Let me assure you this post is apolitical in nature, opinion and content. Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton will be referenced, but only in terms of presidential china patterns, a State Dining Room renovation and the present First Lady’s attention to detail selections for the State Dinner. Months of preparation, tasting, placing, selecting and practice makes perfect pays off in a grand and regal way.
Dinner (see menu below) will be served in the State Dining Room. Former First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the renovated State Dining Room in 2015, and the room is well-appointed in an updated color palette of light and peacock blue, ecru and various shades of white.
Gold accents and accessories lend a new traditional tone while the look of the dining armchairs and side chairs emulate similar design traits of dining chairs designed by Georgetown cabinetmaker William King, Jr. in 1818 for President James Monroe. The dining table and chairs will be removed and replaced with skirted round tables and gold Napoleon Chiavari chairs- ten to the table.
A color scheme of cream and gold takes the predominant palette lead.
Spring colors of green and white will be represented by the green color palette detailed in the Bush china and spring green and white flower centerpieces and arrangements placed on the fireplace mantle flanking the portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
American Silver from the White House Collection and pieces from the Vermeil collection from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons will complete the place setting and tabletop presentation.
I would love to show actual sneak peek images of the place settings for the state dinner, but those pesky copyright laws do get in the way of that idea. For that reason some of the images in this posting are in the style of interpretations of the actual pieces.
The large gold rimmed plate from the Clinton Service will serve as the baseplate. Pieces from both the Bush and Clinton service will complete the dinner service.
A trio of gold candlesticks will be placed on most of the guest tables while the tables towards the front of the State Dining Room will have a centerpiece candelabra carrying the desired look of elegance that is befitting such a stately occasion throughout the State Dining Room.
The Bush Service ~ Architectural Digest
Cherry blossom branches grown in the United States and placed in black urns atop pedestals will line The Cross Hall.
More than 2,500 white sweet peas stems will share the fragrant spotlight with approximately 1,000 stems of white lilac in the State Dining Room.
Stephanotis vines from California along with a variety of mixed garden flowers will be featured in the parlors.
Edouard Manet ~ Lilacs In A Vase, c.1882
The menu for the State Dinner is a mélange of America’s dishes and traditions deliciously seasoned with flavor hints of French influences.
Goat Cheese Gateau
Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles
Young Variegated Lettuces
Rack of Spring Lamb
Burnt Cipollini Soubise
Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
USA Today has shared the following video on their Facebook page. I am thrilled to share it with you all, and may I just say the room is stunning!
New Orleans celebrates its Tricentennial this year. New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, and remained a French ruled city until 1763, when the city was taken over by the Spanish. In 1803 the French took back control of New Orleans, and in the same year sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.
The French influence runs deep throughout the city of New Orleans as well as the whole of Louisiana as seen in its historic homes, notable architecture, and regional dishes.
The c’est si bon taste of Louisiana and the French-infused heritage of New Orleans will be well represented at tonight’s State Dinner. Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles, Tomato Jam, and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya tempt the Southern, French and Creole taste of Louisiana. White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford, will prepare the main course of Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya in a true New Orleans seasoning tradition. The dishes will feature the spice trio Cajun trinity of celery, peppers, and onions, and will be spiced with herbs from the South Lawn.
C’est si bon!
Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015, Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014, and Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” will be served. Selected to complement, these wines emphasize tradition, provenance and the historic friendship between the United States and France will pair well with the menu.
From a state dinner at the White House to a dinner soirée at your house, attention to detail and good taste influence the selections we make when we entertain. An impressive presentation with the accent mark on attention to detail never fails to make a lasting impression.