What They Ate: The Obamas’ First State Dinner


While much of America was watching this years’ Oscars, with its awkward montages and musical numbers, on Sunday night, the Obamas were, of course, hosting their first state dinner for the country’s governors and their spouses.

A staff of ten, including White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford, White House pastry chef William Yosses, and Sam Kass, the Obama’s personal chef in Chicago whom Michelle Obama brought with, prepared a four course meal for about 130 guests. Food was paired with domestic wines from California, Michigan, and Oregon.

Scallops, which Michelle says the president “loves,” and creamed spinach were on the menu. Michelle is a big fan of Comerford’s creamed spinach, which has a creamy texture without the unhealthy cream. She says it’s “an amazing spinach, a creamed spinach without cream. There is no way
you would eat that and not think that it wasn’t filled with cream and
cheese.” Comerford makes it by sautéing the spinach and shallots in olive oil, then whips them into a puree at the last minute to preserve the nutritional goodies.

The full menu, with wine pairings, for the state dinner is after the jump.

Chesapeake crab agnolottis with roasted sunchokes, paired with a 2007 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc from California

Wagyu beef and Nantucket scallops with glazed red carrots, portobello
mushroom and creamed Spinach, paired with the 2004 Archery Summit
“estate” Pinot Noir, from Oregon

Winter citrus salad with pistachios and lemon honey vinaigrette

Huckleberry cobbler with caramel ice cream, paired with a 2007 Black
Star Farms “A Capella” Riesling ice wine, from Michigan.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 24, 2009

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