The White House revealed Monday that crab cakes, short ribs, buttered kidney beans, and banana crumbles are on the official dinner menu Wednesday night.
Ice cream is a signature dish of President Joe Biden, who is known for his sweet tooth.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host the second state dinner of their administration on Wednesday for South Korean President Yoon Sok Yul and his wife, Kim Kyun Hee.
About 200 guests are expected to enjoy an enchanting evening of music, dancing and fine dining.
“It’s been a busy week,” said Jill Biden as she previewed the official dinner menu and theme on Monday.
Guest chef Ed Lee was brought in to design the state dinner’s menu on Wednesday, and he worked with First Lady Jill Biden on the dishes
Really busy week.
South Korea country dinner menu
The first seminar
Maryland Crab Cake
Cabbage, kohlrabi, fennel, cucumber slaw
Yellow squash soup with strawberries and perilla oil
Ferdinand Albariño ‘Vista Luna Vineyard’ 2020
the Maine plate
Slow cooked beef ribs
Butter beans, sorghum polished carrots, pine nuts
Janwick Merlot ‘Red Mountain’ 2020
Banana ice cream, lemon bar, fresh berries and mint
Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc 2019
There have been reports that Joe Biden will announce his re-election campaign on Tuesday. He said he intended to run but would not confirm the timing of the announcement. Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of his 2020 campaign announcement.
“I told you I plan to run,” the president said Monday as he left an event in the White House Rose Garden. “I will tell you when soon.”
And on Saturday, the first couple will attend the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner.
But their first official event of the week will be on Wednesday, when they’ll don black tie to dance and dine under the cherry blossoms in the East Room of the White House.
They will take American food with a Korean twist. The first lady said her favorite dish is “crab cake” because it’s “very American.”
“But I love them all,” she said. “Joe’s favorite will be the last.” This is ice cream for dessert.
The dinner will take place in the East Room of the White House, the largest of the formal rooms on the State Floor of the White House.
The menu is designed by Chef Edward Lee, a Korean-American chef known for mixing Korean flavors on traditional American classics.
“That was the first thing I was told — ice cream,” he said when talking about the menu process.
Lee, who has appeared on Top Chef and owns restaurants in Washington, D.C. and New York, created about a dozen dishes for Jill Biden and her team to try in order to make it to the final list.
I wanted to take some of my favorite American foods and play around with them a little bit. This is also the way I cook in my restaurants – to add a little Korean touch to it. Again, familiar yet unexpected, it’s not traditional Korean food, but it does give you a slight hint of Korean flavours.
He said the first person he told him about being asked to be a guest chef for the evening was his mother, an immigrant from Korea.
We have always felt this enormous debt of gratitude to the United States of America for the opportunities that have been given to them, that I have been able to obtain. So, coming full circle, giving back and being able to do that was, you know, a very proud moment for me and also for my mom.
Regarding the advice his mother gave him: “She just said don’t screw it up.”
Cherry blossoms tower over the tables for the next state dinner
Uses Chinese table settings from the presidency of George W. Bush
White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, left, stands with guest chef Edward Lee, center, and White House Executive Chef Chris Comerford, right, talking about the dinner menu
A state visit is the highest diplomatic honor the United States reserves for its closest allies. Biden first went to France last December and happened in a glass tent on the South Lawn. Wednesday night is the first state dinner at the White House.
The First Lady and her staff worked with Fête, an event and event design firm owned by Korean-American Jung Lee, to help create the theme and settings.
Jill Biden said the decor was to “show the harmony between our intertwined cultures and people”.
As guests enter the East Room, they will see stunning landscape designs featuring some of America’s most iconic symbols – the American bison, American bald eagle, roses, and stars – and Korean imagery – the Korean magpie and Korean tiger.
The decorations are inspired by Taegeuk, the symbol in the center of the Republic of Korea flag, which represents balance, harmony and peace, according to the White House.
It pays tribute to the 70-year alliance with the Republic of Korea. It includes platinum-colored table linens and flowers that are important to both countries.
First Lady Jill Biden with (from left) White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison, White House Executive Chef Chris Comerford, and guest chef Edward Lee
Table settings from a state dinner
The decor pays homage to the 70-year alliance with the Republic of Korea
Cherry blossoms decorate the Cross Room of the White House
But the most dramatic features if cherry blossoms over six feet tall are raised above the tables, giving a canopy of pink flowers for guests to dine under.
“You have to admit, this is pretty amazing,” Jill Biden said of the decor.
The table setting uses china from the administration of President George W. Bush. In the center of the dish is a golden eagle. Each napkin has a fresh daisy flower on it.
Some tables are made of teal colored plexiglass, reflecting the cherry blossoms back to the guests.
The wicker chairs have a blue cover that evokes traditional sumukhwa (Korean ink brush painting). The designs are branches with peonies, representing prosperity and joy, and elements of bamboo, representing longevity and strength.
Peonies and the First Lady are South Korea’s favorite flowers.
Small vases of flowers as part of the table setting: peonies, orchids, cherry blossoms, and azaleas (a native Korean flower). They are all pink, red or white. Candles flicker among flower arrangements.
The entertainment portion of the evening will consist of Broadway stars Norm Lewis, Lea Salonga and Jessica Fosk performing American musical classics.