First Lady Melania Trump Unveils State Dinner Details: American Cuisine, Fine Wine, Opera

Melania Trump
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The White House has posted online the details of the Trump administration’s first official state dinner on Tuesday, revealing an elegant event featuring American cuisine with a French twist, fine wines, and a performance by the Washington National Opera.

First Lady Melania Trump is responsible for planning every detail of the event, placing a high priority on the traditions of the ceremonial dinner while breaking with her predecessors by taking on the task without the help of an event planner.

The White House announcement said:

The color scheme is cream and gold and the china settings consist of the Clinton china for the baseplate, along with both Bush (43) and Clinton china for the dinner service. The First Lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room.

Mrs. Trump has also selected pieces from the extensive Vermeil collection as well as American Silver from the White House Collection—from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons—to add to the décor in the State Dining Room.

The Cross Hall will feature over 1,200 branches of cherry blossom, all grown in the United States.

The State Dining Room will feature more than 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and nearly 1,000 stems of white lilac—both California and Dutch-grown mixed.

The posting also reveals that opera will be the entertainment for the evening — a sharp contrast with the President Barack Obama final state dinner, which featured lots of Hollywood celebrities, including Gwen Stefani, Chance the Rapper and Jerry Seinfeld.

The State Dining room seats up to 150, while the Obamas entertained almost 400 guests in a tent erected on the White House South Lawn.

“The menu will be a showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences prepared by the renowned White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford,” the White House announced.

“The first course celebrates the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden,” the announcement said.

The main course for the state dinner will be a rack of spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya, with the latter prepared in a “New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn.”

Ahead of the main course, the first course will feature goat cheese gateau, tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles, and young variegated lettuces.

The nectarine tart dessert will be infused with honey from the White House beehive, which along with the kitchen garden was put in place by Trump’s predecessor first lady Michelle Obama.

The wines being served — chosen to complement the menu — includes one born from a collaboration between the United States and France.

“The Domaine Serene Chardonnay ‘Evenstad Reserve’ 2015 is the product of American and French collaboration—a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures,” the announcement said.

The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014 that will be served is also from that collaboration and has a motto that reads “French soul–Oregon soil.”

Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” is a staple for such ceremonial dinners, according to the White House, and will be served with dessert because “the subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart.”

On Tuesday morning, Trump and Melania, who speaks several languages including French, hosted a state arrival ceremony on the south lawn that included the traditional “review of the troops.”

But another tradition was not followed, the Associated Press reported.

President Donald Trump did not invite any Democratic lawmakers or journalists to the state dinner.

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