Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sophmore Season

The State Dinner for President Calderón of Mexico got off to a slippery start for White House veteran and current State Department Chief of Protocol, Capricia Marshall. Both of the Obamas admonished the press NOT to print the picture of her falling in a lovely pink gown on the White House steps. That fall is nothing compared to Desiree Rogers freshman and final State Dinner featuring the security gaffe seen round the world. This is Take Two in the Obama Administration on many fronts. But there is one dessert that is making a first appearance: Goat Cheese Ice Cream. One thing that remains a trend for the Obamas is a guest Executive Chef that specializes with a particular type of cuisine. In this case a hometown fave of the president's and first lady, Chef Rick Bayless. He last tweeted about his sauces and mole earlier this morning before rushing off to the siren call of his pots and pans at the White House.

Another signature hallmark that is appearing from the first lady for her state dinners are bold color palettes for the table settings. This state dinner is half the scale of the November Dinner for Prime Minister Singh of India. Two hundred guests for dinner in the East Room with the historic paintings of George & Martha Washington overseeing the festivities from their gilt frames and then a fabulous switch to the outdoor entertainment tent/building which will see a glamorous Beyoncé. This dinner has a better weather forecast than the November diplomatic soirée that took place on one of DC's most rainy fall days. Prickly pear is making an appearance in the floral arrangements along with fuschia and delicate roses.

Photo courtesy of Getty
Another signature hallmark that is appearing from the first lady for her state dinners are bold color palettes for the table settings. A mix of rectangular and circular tables allow the room to squeeze in a couple hundred perfumed and tuxedoed guests. The gold rimmed table settings look like the Clinton china which will be filled with Wagyu beef in black mole sauce with grilled beans. This will be Juliana Smoot's first time out on managing a State dinner as the new Social Secretary with a much lower profile. This also a first for the Francophile, new White House Chief Florist, Laura Dowling who breached protocol by announcing her new high profile job on facebook before the first lady released a statement.
President Calderon, his wife Margarita Zavala with President & Michelle Obama in the North Portico of the White House.
First Lady Pat Nixon was the most active with dinners beating out all others since the first state dinner held on behalf of the King of the Solomon Islands which included the now state of Hawaii back in the days of Ulysses S Grant. The guest list includes a two-time appearance by Gayle King - accompanying avid tweeter and Newark's mayor, Corey Booker. Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles was present as was the resplendent Eva Longoria Parker sans hubby. Another 100 people get in for the after dinner entertainment on the South Lawn.

More to come...
Confirmations: saw up close it IS the Clinton China.
This was the first State Dinner where the Obamas as First Couple descended the Grand Staircase for a State Dinner in public view. The Staircase was designed specifically by President Truman for formal entrances of the American Head of State


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