President Donald Trump, who has been outspoken against the concept of White House dinners in the past, will host French President Emanuel Macron and French First Lady Brigette Macron at his first state dinner on Tuesday night—and the meal will follow the upscale tradition of his predecessors.
“Forget the state dinners—that cost, by the way, a fortune,” Trump said on the campaign trail in Iowa in 2016. “We shouldn’t have dinners at all. We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table.”
Rather than Big Macs, though, the evening’s three-course menu consists of gussied-up American comfort food with some classic French culinary terms thrown in for good measure.
To start, guests will be served a savory goat cheese gateau (a fancy word for cake) with tomato jam, biscuit crumbles and “young variegated lettuces.” The main course is a rack of spring lamb (we assume Trump will ask for his well done), burnt cipollini soubise (a traditional French sauce of onion, butter and cream), and gold rice jambalaya. Rounding out the menu is a nectarine tart with crème fraîche ice cream for dessert.
Whet your appetite. WH announces menu for Tuesday night's State Dinner for French Pres and Mme Macron: pic.twitter.com/AHzVE9iUlN— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 23, 2018
According to a press release from the Office of the First Lady, the menu is meant to “celebrate the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden.” Melania Trump has notably embraced the precedent Michelle Obama set with the White House Kitchen Garden, and will also be using Hillary Clinton’s china for the affair.
The dinner menu has the stamp of approval from at least one high-profile chef, José Andrés, who was previously embroiled in a bitter lawsuit with the President after pulling out of a restaurant project in the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“Menu looks great!,” he tweeted at the President and First Lady.
Dear @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP Menu looks great! Remember to honor Honoré Julien who was the first known French chef at the White House and Virginia wines, that are full of French influence.... https://t.co/TGxigXb4pa— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) April 23, 2018
The Macrons landed in D.C. on Tuesday morning and were greeted with an official arrival ceremony followed by a day of activities with the President and First Lady. In addition to the upscale fare, Tuesday night’s dinner will feature a performance from the Washington National Opera.