White house state dinners

First Lady Melania Trump Releases Details for the Trump Administration’s Official Visit and State Dinner with Australia

First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump will welcome Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison of Australia to the White House for an Official Visit and State Dinner on September 20, 2019.

Tonight, the First Lady will open the Rose Garden for a press preview of the State Dinner table setting and décor. The Office of the First Lady shares the following details, which were all carefully selected by the First Lady to reflect the strong ties between the United States and Australia. The First Family warmly welcomes the Prime Minister and Mrs. Morrison and looks forward to strengthening one of America’s most important and enduring relationships.

Arrival Ceremony
On Friday morning, the President and First Lady will welcome the Prime Minister and Mrs. Morrison of Australia during the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. The Trump Administration is proud to carry on the traditional military arrival ceremony, which has been part of our Nation’s history for centuries. Nearly 500 members of the United States Armed Forces from the five military branches will be present on the South Lawn for the “Review of the Troops.” Those invited to attend the arrival ceremony include the President’s Cabinet, Members of Congress, military families, and guests of the Australian Embassy.

State Dinner
The colors chosen for this visit are green and gold, which are the Australian national colors. These colors were derived from the national flower of Australia, the golden wattle, which has a yellow flower and green foliage. The dinner is being held in the Rose Garden, which will be filled with American varieties of yellow and white roses. Gold woven baskets filled with yellow garden roses and golden wattle signify the combined friendship and long-lasting relationship between the United States and Australia. Ombré shades of yellows and greens were chosen for the table linens, and the tables will be illuminated with gold oil lamps. Golden champagne grapes will be placed on top of the tables, highlighting the richness of each of the countries’ wine industries. The china settings for the baseplate and dinner service will consist of alternating patterns from the administrations of Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush.

Entertainment
The evening’s performance will be the largest gathering of premier military musicians for a State Dinner at the White House. The entertainment will feature musical groups from the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force:

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra
The United States Army Chorus
The United States Army Herald Trumpets
The United States Army Strings
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters
The United States Air Force Strings
The United States Air Force Singing Sergeants

Floral Arrangements
The Cross Hall urns will be filled with pear branches from New England.

The dinner centerpieces will feature more than 2,500 roses from California in shades of yellow and Australia’s national floral emblem, the golden wattle. The Ground Floor Corridor will feature garden roses, jasmine vines, and dahlias, all grown in the United States.

Menu
The menu for the State Dinner with Australia highlights the lush, late summer season across the vast lands of America. The menu pays homage to Australia’s special blend of culinary adaptations from its various cultures, not unlike the diverse food traditions of the United States.

The first course will be Sunchoke Ravioli with Reggiano Cream and Shaved Summer Vegetables. Sunchokes, known as “earth apples,” are native to North America and will be roasted and puréed to give creaminess and sweet notes to the ravioli. The pasta is drizzled with a lemony Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese emulsion and topped with shavings of sun gold carrots, baby kale, and sunchoke chips.

The main course will be Dover Sole, roasted whole, then fileted and accented with Fennel Mousseline. Adding color to the plate will be the tender green and yellow summer squash blossoms, which will be picked the day before the dinner. The combination of the mild and sweet Dover Sole, the creamy fennel, and the citrusy garlic rouille is finished with an abundant variety of perennial herbs from the White House Kitchen Garden.

Dessert will be an American classic: Lady Apple Tart with Calvados Ice Cream. The dessert will be made of layers of sliced apples with a flaky crust. The Lady apples are sourced from Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic orchards. The filling combines unique flavors of sweet and tart with caramelized apples, cinnamon, lemon zest, vanilla, and brown sugar with hints of molasses.

Wines
The Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is the product of Spring Mountain Vineyard located in Napa Valley, where wine grapes have been cultivated since the 1800s. Bright floral aromas characterize this wine, and its notes of lemon zest and green grass complement the Sunchoke Ravioli.

The Argyle Pinot Noir “Reserve” 2016 is the heralded result of a combination of Australian innovation and American ingenuity. Innovation and technological advancement have long been hallmarks of Australia’s winemaking culture. The light and lively red fruit notes of cherry and raspberry pair well with the subtle sweetness of the Dover Sole. Notes of green herb heighten the anise flavor of the Fennel Mousseline and the fragrant flavors of herbs fresh from the Kitchen Garden. The well-integrated tannins and minerality from the volcanic soil of the Willamette Valley add balance and smooth complexity to this Reserve Pinot Noir.

Finally, the J Demi-Sec NV partners well with the Lady Apple Tart. Notes of ripe pear and acacia honey are perfect accompaniments to the autumnal caramelized apples featured in the tart. The creaminess of the Calvados Ice Cream is pleasantly counterbalanced by the Meyer lemon curd acidity that appears at the first sip and lingers through the intriguingly long finish.

Full Menu
First Course
Sunchoke Ravioli
Reggiano Cream
Shaved Summer Vegetables

Main Course
Dover Sole with Parsley Crisps
Zucchini Squash Blossoms
Fennel Mousseline
Baby Garlic Rouille

Dessert
Lady Apple Tart
Calvados Ice Cream

Additional Information
The guest list and First Lady’s gown details will be released at the beginning of the dinner.

Australia PM Scott Morrison meets Trump for White House state dinner

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy has Australia’s PM been invited for a state dinner at the White House?

President Donald Trump has welcomed Australian PM Scott Morrison on a week-long visit to the US which includes a state dinner at the White House.

The pair met at the White House where Mr Morrison was greeted with a military band and a 19-gun salute.

The two are close politically and have lavished praise on one another.

Mr Morrison is just the second world leader to be given a state dinner by President Trump after France’s Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Morrison and Mr Trump both heralded the decades-long relationship between their two countries as the Australian PM arrived at the White House.

Image copyright Alex Wong/Getty Images Image caption The two men and their wives met outside the White House

“Australians and Americans understand each other like few other people,” Mr Morrison said. “We have done what true friends do: stick by each other.”

What’s their relationship like?

The two conservative politicians spent time together at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June as well as earlier that month at the at D-Day event in Portsmouth, England, leading some to speculate about a budding “bromance”.

During a dinner with Mr Morrison in Osaka, Mr Trump praised his counterpart, and boasted that he had predicted his victory at the ballot box.

“He didn’t surprise me but he surprised a lot of other people. See, I knew him. So I said he’s going to do very well and he did,” Mr Trump told US and Australian officials.

Mr Trump has frequently lavished praise on Mr Morrison – who became prime minister in August 2018 and won a surprise re-election in May – as well as his controversial immigration positions.

Mr Morrison has in turn praised the American president as “a strong leader who says what he’s going to do and then goes and does it”.

“I get on very well with him,” he said in a recent interview, adding that they have a “straight-up relationship”.

What will Morrison be doing in the US?

The Australian prime minister nicknamed “ScoMo” will visit the headquarters of Nasa, the US space agency, and will travel to Chicago to meet tech entrepreneurs during his visit from 19-27 September.

After a joint press conference on Friday, Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny will be hosted at the state dinner.

On the menu is Jerusalem artichoke ravioli, Dover sole with fennel mousseline and apple tart with calvados ice-cream for dessert.

The events are rare, largely owing to the months of planning that go into them. They are designed to showcase America’s closest diplomatic relationships with foreign allies.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPresident Macron arrives for a state dinner

On Sunday, Mr Morrison travels to Wapakoneta, Ohio, to tour a “new, Australian-owned manufacturing facility” with President Trump, the White House said in a statement.

Two days later, Mr Morrison will travel to New York City for the UN General Assembly meetings to deliver an address that will cover “the protection of the oceans and preventing terrorist use of the internet”, his office said.

How significant is this to Australia?

Beyond the bromance, there’s plenty at stake. Australia has typically shown steadfast loyalty towards the US, its key strategic ally – a point which Mr Morrison emphasised before his trip.

“We are an alliance partner that the United States knows they can rely on, a partner that pulls their weight in the alliance,” he told parliament this week.

It’s particularly relevant now, experts say, as Australia balances the primacy of its US alliance against its crucial relationship with China, its largest trading partner.

Australia remains economically reliant on China but is openly debating its influence on local society, amid concerns about security and freedom of speech.

  • Australia to tackle foreign interference in unis
  • ‘I’m in Australia but I feel censored by Chinese students’

The Trump-Morrison discussions are likely to be watched for any mention of Beijing and the US-China trade war, as well as other economic and security matters.

A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes

by Mary Brigid Barrett

• The White House Kitchen
• White House Menus
• See and Read More
• A Sampling of Recipes from the First Ladies and a Few from the Presidents, too!
• Activity Ideas for Young People
• Discussion Questions for Young People at Home and in the Classroom
• Reference Sources

The White House Kitchen

When she toured the White House kitchen in 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt’s housekeeper Henrietta Nesbitt found cockroaches crawling in its cupboards. In her book White House Diary she describes her first inspection of the premises—“I can’t work up any charm for cockroaches. No matter how you scrub it, old wood isn’t clean. This was the ‘first kitchen in America,’ and it wasn’t even sanitary. Mrs. Roosevelt and I poked around, opening doors and expecting hinges to fall off and things to fly out. It was that sort of place. Dark-looking cupboards, a huge old-fashioned gas range, sinks with time-worn wooden drains, one rusty wooden dumb waiter. The refrigerator was wood inside and bad-smelling. Even the electric wiring was old and dangerous. I was afraid to switch things on.”

“There is only one solution,” she told Mrs. Roosevelt. “We must have a new kitchen.”

Public Works Project No. 634 was instituted; demolition and new construction on the kitchen began in the summer of 1935. During the Depression, the jobless rate was exceedingly high and Franklin Roosevelt insisted relief workers be employed for the reconstruction whenever possible. The renovation, planned by the White House staff and engineers from General Electric and Westinghouse corporations, reconfigured the working space, replaced rusted pipes, put in a whole new electrical system with all-new electric appliances, and installed more efficient dumbwaiters to transport the food to the State Floor dining rooms above. New equipment included six roasting ovens, a sixteen-foot-long stove, eight refrigerators, five dishwashers, a soup kettle, a meat grinder, waffle irons, multiple mixers, a thirty-gallon ice-cream storage freezer, and a deep fryer that held five gallons of fat. Stainless steel storage and counter tops were installed throughout.

The President and Mrs. Roosevelt were delighted, but Mrs. Nesbitt reported that the staff was overwhelmed by the latest technological innovations. They continued to do things the way they had been done in the past: washing dishes, as well as chopping and slicing food—by hand. And unfortunately for President Roosevelt, a new kitchen did not improve the quality or variety of Mrs. Nesbitt’s menus. Mrs. Nesbitt believed in economical, simple, American fare: cheap cuts of meat including brains, sweetbreads, and beef tongues; mashed potatoes; flavorless canned vegetables; molded gelatin salads dotted with marshmallows; and insipid desserts. Franklin Roosevelt once joked that the only reason he sought a fourth term of office was so that he could return to the White House to fire Mrs. Nesbitt! Although Roosevelt won his fourth election, Mrs. Nesbitt and her bland menus remained, for Mrs. Roosevelt ran the household staff. In her biography Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume Two, author Blanche Wiesen Cook writes, “ER’s curious disregard for her husband’s tastes suggests an explanation for her persistent defense of Henrietta Nesbitt: The housekeeper was one expression of her passive-aggressive behavior in a marriage of remarkable and labyrinthine complexity.”

Irwin “Ike” Hoover was the White House usher when the Roosevelts moved into the house in 1933. “Republicans dropped out of sight overnight. Those who were left seemed to have changed into Democrats,” he observed. During his forty-plus years of service he had only served under two democratic administrations, that of Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson. When he began his stint in the White House, the basement kitchen was blackened with dirt and grime, the floor covered with slimy bricks. In his memoir Forty-Two Years in the White House, he wrote that he found, “the old open fireplaces once used for the broiling the chickens and baking the hoecakes for the early Fathers of our country, the old cranes and spits still in place. Out of the door to the rear there yet remained the old wine-vault, the meathouse, and the smokehouse . . . you could still almost smell the wine odors and the aroma from the hams and bacon that must have been so deliciously and painstakingly prepared here.”

Open hearth cooking—cooking in a fireplace—was the only way to cook in the White House up until Millard Fillmore’s administration (1850-1853). Meats sizzled on spits over cracking flames or roasted within tin reflecting ovens in front of the hot fire. Iron and bronze pots suspended from a swinging crane held stews, soups, and vegetables. Bread was baked first in the bake ovens built into the back of the hearth wall, and as the temperature dropped inside the oven, in went the pies, and later the cookies and custards. Knowing how to control the cooking temperatures was an art. A cook had to have an understanding of coal and woods and their burn properties. Coal was the hottest and burned the longest. Hard woods—ash, oak, hickory, maple, and dogwood gave good heat, burned evenly, and lasted a long time. Pots and pans were moved in and out of the heat, moved close to the fire or away to control cooking time. A kitchen inventory during James Monroe’s administration included, “1 large copper soup kettle, 1 Large ham boiler, 1 large preserving kettle, 1 ditto fish kettle, with drainers, 1 Large coffee boiler, 1 Brass stew pan, 3 Large sauce pans, 19 Of different sizes . . . 2 Griddles, 1 Toasting iron, 1 Frying pan, 5 Jack spits, 3 coffee mills, 1 Old dripping pan, 2 Spit stands, 4 Trivets, 1 Marble pestle and mortar, 4 Sheet iron cake bakers.”

Today the chefs, cooks, dishwashers, and waiters in the White House kitchens must prepare and serve meals for the President and his family, as well as guests from many countries around the world. Sometimes they create meals and refreshments for five or more social events a day, ranging from family meals, to teas, to private parties, to formal state dinners, to larger receptions for hundreds of people. Many of those who have served our nation cooking for “America’s First Dining Table” feel the same about their experience as did Henry Haller, the Executive Chef for five presidential families from the Johnsons to the Reagans: “My own role as the Executive Chef of the White House has certainly been the most rewarding position I have ever held.”

See and Read More

To view historic pictures of the White House kitchen, go to: WhiteHouseMuseum.org.

For information concerning open hearth cooking, check out “Cooking – Open Hearth” on nps.gov and The New York Times article “Open-Hearth Cooking: Why All the Fuss Over Hot Ashes?“

For videos demonstrating open hearth cooking, go to:

  • “Hearth Cooking” by the Carroll County Times
  • “Open Hearth Cooking in Camden, New Jersey“

Many early American historical societies and house museums offer open hearth cooking classes for young people. Using the search engine of your choice, type open hearth cooking classes along with your state’s name and you will find classes near you.

White House Menus

Thomas Jefferson was many things—writer, scholar, horticulturist, architect, interior designer, paleontologist, inventor, philosopher, politician—and an expert of wine and fine cuisine. He preferred to be addressed as Mr. Jefferson, not Mr. President, and criticized both George Washington and John Adams for their “imperial” federalist ways. He advocated a plainness of manner in presidential style; but his table was set for a king. Margaret Bayard Smith, a Washington hostess and wife of Samuel Harrison Smith, the publisher of the National Intelligencer newspaper, was often a guest of Mr. Jefferson’s. She described Jefferson’s dinners as “republican simplicity . . . united to Epicurean delicacy.”

Jefferson loved all things French and employed a French cook, Honoré Julien. Patrick Henry once remarked that Jefferson, after serving as minister to France, “came home from France so Frenchified that he abjured his native victuals.” But Jefferson loved native-grown fruits and vegetables—corn, black-eyed peas, huckleberries, turnip greens. Invitations to the Jefferson’s dinner parties at the White House were coveted not only for social and political reasons, but because the food was delectable. Congressman Manasseh Cutler of Massachusetts wrote this of the dinner menu he attended at the White House on February 6, 1802. “Dined at the President’s—Rice soup, round of beef, turkey, mutton, ham, loin of veal, cutlets of mutton or veal, fried eggs, fried beef, a pie called macaroni, which appeared to be a rich crust filled with scallion onions or shallots, which I took it to be, tasted very strong and not very agreeable. Mr. Lewis told me there were none in it; it was an Italian dish, and what appeared like onions were made of flour and butter, with particularly strong liquor mixed with them. Ice cream very good, crust wholly dried, crumbled into thin flakes; a dish somewhat like a pudding—inside white as milk or curd, very porous and light covered with cream sauce—very fine. Many other jimcracks, a great variety of fruit, plenty of wine and good.”

“Plenty of wine” was a correct assessment, for Jefferson drank one to four glasses of wine a day, ordering it by the barrel from Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, and served four to six wines with dinner. His wine bill exceeded $10,000 for his eight years in the presidency, a princely sum in the first decade of the 19th century.

Today, White House menus and wine lists from small dinner parties to large state dinners are much discussed by the first lady, her social secretary, and the White House chefs. The type and style of the meal or event, the special guests and their country or state of origin, the social and political goals of the event, the world and local atmosphere surrounding the meal, the availability of fresh ingredients, the season of the year, the guests’ attitudes toward alcoholic beverages, and guests’ food allergies—all these things must be assessed before planning a White House menu.

After significant research by the executive chef, the pastry chef, their staffs, and the White House social staff, a menu is developed that is appropriate for the proposed social event. The first lady, and sometimes the president, reviews the food and wine choices that are proposed and give their opinion and approval. For important occasions, like state dinners, the chefs will actually cook menu items so that the first lady and her social secretary can taste foods and work with the chefs to refine the menu.

Menus may be printed, but more often than not White House calligraphers hand-letter individual menus for guests. Guests can then take their menus home with them as a souvenir of their experience. Some guests even circulate their menus at their table requesting the autographs of their table mates. You never know who you will be sitting next to when you dine at the White House!

Menu for the James Buchanan Inaugural Ball—March 4, 1857

400 gallons of oysters
60 saddles of mutton
4 saddles of venison
125 beef tongues
75 hams
500 quarts of chicken salad
500 quarts of jellies
A four-foot cake
$3,000 worth of wine

James Buchanan, the only bachelor president, thought that multiple inaugural balls were outrageous wastes of time and energy. He reinstated the single inaugural ball concept, but had to construct a new $15,000 building* on Judiciary Square in Washington to accommodate his 6,000 guests. Guests were served on long tables set against red, white, and blue walls, and when their appetites were satiated they danced beneath a white ceiling glittering with hundreds of gold stars.

You can see pictures of Buchanan’s Inaugural Ball on the Library of Congress website loc.gov:

Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Luncheon Menu, March 4, 1861

Mock Turtle Soup
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Parsley Potatoes
Blackberry Pie
Coffee

Abraham Lincoln was not known for his culinary sensibilities. His was more of a “food for fuel” perspective. He often got so caught up in his work that he forgot to eat. He was partial to cornbread drizzled with honey and good cup of strong coffee. He did have a sweet tooth. A Washington, D.C. baker claimed the president was one of his best pecan pie customers. Despite his apparent lack of interest in cuisine, Lincoln did plan the menu for the luncheon that followed his inauguration. It was served midday at the Willard’s Hotel in Washington after the ceremonies at the Capitol had ended. Immediately after the luncheon, Lincoln and his family moved into the White House.

Nellie Grant’s Wedding Breakfast Menu, May 21, 1874
State Dining Room

Woodcock and Snipe on Toast
Soft Crabs on Toast
Chicken Croquettes with Fresh Peas
Aspic of Beef Tongue
Lamb Cutlets
Broiled Spring Chicken
Strawberries with Cream
Wedding Cake iced with Doves, Roses, and Wedding Bells
Ice Creams and Ices
Fancy Cakes
Punch • Coffee • Chocolate

Nellie Grant, the charming and vivacious daughter of President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, was sent off on a tour of Europe in the hopes of removing her from the public’s eyes and press’ grasp. Bad idea; Nellie made even more news across the ocean. She was wined and dined all over Europe and presented to Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace. And at age seventeen, on the voyage home, she fell madly in love with a young, handsome English diplomat, Mr. Algernon Sartoris, the nephew of a famous actress. The whole White House staff prepared for her wedding. It was to be “one of the most brilliant weddings ever given in the United States.” The bride wore a gown of white satin edged in Brussels lace; a crown of orange blossoms held her tulle veil to her head. She carried a bouquet of tuberoses and orange blossoms and in the cluster of pink rosebuds at the center of her bouquet was a small flag with the word “Love” printed on it. The wedding breakfast menu was printed in gold on white satin and given to guests as souvenirs of the occasion. Gifts poured in from all over the world, but the most unique gift was a poem, “A Kiss for the Bride” written by Walt Whitman. Unfortunately, Nellie and Algernon did not live happily ever after. Algernon became an alcoholic and Nellie left him, taking their four children with her.

A Kiss to the Bride

by Walt Whitman

Sacred, blithesome, undenied,
With benisons from East and West,
And salutations North and South,
Through me indeed to-day a million hearts and hands,
Wafting a million loves, a million soul-felt prayers;
—Tender and true remain the arm that shields thee
Fair winds always fill the ship’s sails that sail thee!
Clear sun by day, and bright stars at night, beam on thee!
Dear girl—through me the ancient privilege too,
For the New World, through me, the old, old wedding greeting:
O youth and health! O sweet Missouri rose! O bonny bride!
Yield thy red cheeks, thy lips, to-day,
Unto a Nation’s loving kiss.

President and Mrs. Eisenhower’s Dinner Menu

in Honor of King Paul and Queen Frederika of Greece, October 28, 1955

Shrimp Cocktail
Cocktail Sauce Saltine Crackers
Sherry
Clear Consommé
Sliced Lemmon
Celery Hearts • Assorted Olives
Fairy Toast
White Fish in Cheese Sauce
Coleslaw
Boston Brown Bread Sandwiches
White Wine
Crown Roast of Lamb Stuffed With Spanish Rice
Mint Jelly
French Peas • Braised Celery
Bread Sticks
Orange and Roquefort Cheese Salad Bowl
French Dressing
Toasted Triscuits
Champagne
Caramel Cream Mold
Burnt Caramel Sauce
Lemon Iced Diamond Shaped Cookies
Nuts • Candies • Demitasse

Mrs. Ike, as President Eisenhower affectionately called his wife, was a “girlie” girl. She loved hair curls and bangs, the color pink, sparkles, tulle, flowered hats, long gloves, flounced skirts, and—at age fifty-six—she had no problem wearing sleeveless gowns that bared her less-than-firm upper arms. 1950’s America adored her because she was open, unpretentious, and genuinely loved people. Seeing themselves in her, many women viewed her as a kindred spirit, a wife dedicated to home and family. But she was far from the typical housewife. The White House staff nicknamed her “Sleeping Beauty” because she was known to lie in bed for long hours in her favorite pink negligee. The truth was she suffered from asthma and heart palpitation and needed to rest. Mamie Eisenhower was not fond of cooking; her husband was the culinary expert in the family. Nevertheless, it was Mrs. Eisenhower, having successfully managed thirty households in her thirty-seven years as a military wife, who approved the menus for events large and small, including her husband’s many stag dinners. Her food choices reflected both the times and her Iowa upbringing.

President and Mrs. John Kennedy’s Menu
for a Luncheon with Princess Grace, May 24, 1961

Soft-Shell Crab Amadine
Puligny-Montrachet 1958

Spring Lamb Á La Broche Aux Primeurs
Château Croton Grancey 1955

Salade Mimosa
Dom Pérignon 1952

Strawberies Romanoff
Petits Fours Secs
Demi-tasse

Joining President and Mrs. Kennedy and the Prince and Princess of Monaco for lunch were Senator and Mrs. Claiborne Pell, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. (the third of Mr. Roosevelt’s five wives), movie producer and director Fred Coe and his wife, and Mr. William Walton, a journalist, painter, and close friend of the president. Princess Grace, the actress Grace Kelly before her marriage, wore a fringed green jacket over a matching sheath dress, white gloves, and an unusual white turban featuring a froth of curled feathers or ribbons. (The hat was a definite fashion faux pas.) Mrs. Kennedy’s social secretary, Letitia Baldrige, in her conversations with the President the week before the luncheon, had jokingly referred to Prince Rainier of Monaco numerous times as Prince Reindeer. At one point during lunch the president turned to respond to Prince Rainer and out slipped “Prince Reindeer.” For a few days after the luncheon, Miss Baldrige was not one of the president’s favorite people. Four years later in an interview, Princess Grace was able to recall every detail of the lunch including all the dishes she had eaten. By that measure, the lunch was a huge success.

A Sampling of Recipes from the First Ladies, and a Few from the Presidents, too!

The George Washington Administration: Martha Washington and Nelly Custis Lewis

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was a plump widow with two children when George Washington married her. She not only brought property and elite social status to the match, she brought vast property holdings, too. A self-described “old-fashioned Virginia house-keeper,” she was experienced in handling a large household and was a much admired if somewhat reserved hostess. At fifty-eight, Lady Washington was a grandmother when her husband became president. She never resided in the White House, but she managed the first two presidential mansions, first in New York City, and later in Philadelphia, with a the help of many servants as well as her own personal slaves brought north from Virginia. Her “receipt book” was filled with directions for making cakes, fools, hartychoakes, oly-kocks, possets, trifles, and chickin frykasies.

Read Martha Washington’s Recipe for Black Great Cake.

Nelly Custis was Martha’s granddaughter, George Washington’s beloved step-granddaughter. She described the average day for George Washington at Mount Vernon: “He rose before sunrise, always wrote or read until 7 in summer or half past seven in winter. His breakfast was then ready—he ate three small mush cakes (Indian meal) swimming in butter and honey, drank three cups of tea without cream . . .”

Read Nelly Custis Lewis’s Recipe for Hoecakes.

The Thomas Jefferson Administration: Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Jefferson

The Virginia Housewife was Martha Jefferson Randolph’s cookbook. As one of Thomas Jefferson’s daughters, Martha Randolph occasionally acted as the White House hostess for her father during his time as president. The cookbook was published as a gift of her sister-in-law, and her father could not help but jot down his own recipes on the some of the blank pages in the book.

Read Martha Jefferson Randolph’s recipes (including Macaroni, Chicken Pudding, and Gooseberry Fool) and Thomas Jefferson’s recipes (including Cabbage Pudding and Ice Cream).

The Rutherford B. Hayes Administration: Lucy Web Hayes

Lucy Hayes was the first first lady to graduate from college at nineteen with high honors from the Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although she believed in women’s intellectual abilities in an era when women’s capabilities were questioned by many, she, like many women in the 19th century, was not yet liberated. She wrote, “Woman’s mind is as strong as man’s—equal in all things and his superior in some.” Mrs. Hayes promoted simple American fare in the family’s private dining, but state dinners were executed and served in the French style with one exception; no wine or alcoholic beverages were given to guests at the White House. Her temperance attitude earned her the nickname Lemonade Lucy, and many a White House visitor was disappointed that the president approved her stance.

Read Lucy Web Hayes’ recipes (which include Corn Bread and Oyster Stew).

The Franklin Roosevelt Administration: Henrietta Nesbitt

When meat was rationed during World War II, the White House had to stretch its meat allotment, too. But Mrs. Nesbitt, Roosevelt’s housekeeper, said that she would not skimp on the president’s food if she could help it; others would have to sacrifice because she did not want to worry him about food. According to Mrs. Nesbitt, favorite White House meat-stretcher foods were: “stuffed peppers, stew, ham scallop, noodles and mushrooms with chicken scraps, spaghetti with meat-cakes cut down from the ‘good old American size’ to mere marbles, curries or omelets with meat tidbits; croquettes for a sustaining meal in themselves; minestrone soup or fish chowders, ‘both good meals in themselves;’ creamed cheeses (soft ones weren’t rationed) for a satisfying light meal; gumbo z’herbes (good light meal for children if less spiced); stuffed eggs (meat bits for stuffing); baked beans, deviled meats and casseroles.”

Read Henrietta Nesbitt’s recipes (which include “Cheapest Soup” and Lismore Stew).

The Dwight Eisenhower Administration: Dwight Eisenhower

As mentioned, Mamie Eisenhower was not interested in cooking, but her husband was an enthusiastic cook. He had been taught to cook, sew, and clean by his mother who believed that all her sons should be well versed in what she considered to be essential life skills. The following recipe of President Eisenhower was included in a menu for a dinner given in honor of the prime minister of Canada and the president of Mexico in April, 1956.

Read President Eisenhower’s recipe for Green Turtle Soup.

The John F. Kennedy Administration: Chef René Verdon

René Verdon was the French chef hired by Jacqueline Kennedy to work at the White House. He received the title Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur for his contribution to French cuisine. During the Kennedy administration he became an American citizen.

Read two of Chef René Verdon’s Recipes (Strawberries Romanoff and Boston Clam Chowder) from In the Kennedy Style.

Activity Ideas for Young People

Find a White House cook book—a few are listed in the reference section below—at your local library and try to create some of the dishes at home with the children and teens in your family. Cooking with recipes will increase your child’s and teen’s reading and comprehension skills, as well as challenge their math skills. It also introduces your child to chemistry. And most importantly, it is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy together! For more information on literacy/cooking activities, go to “Cooking with Cookbooks: Teaching Your Child Basic Cooking and Kitchen Safety” on the NCBLA’s website thencbla.org.

For a classroom activity choose an international event from the era of America history your class is studying. Have students research the event and the countries involved in the event. They could also research a county’s culture with the goal of planning a menu for a state dinner that would help America build a working relationship with that nation. The menu should also reflect the social and cultural norms of that time period.

To get young people excited about different eras in American history, include information and projects that address domestic history, too. We recommend two great online sources for incorporating food and recipes, both of which reveal so much about any era of history.

  • The first is The Food Timeline. The Food Timeline was created by Lynne Olver, reference librarian and International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) member, in response to students, parents, and teachers who frequently asked for help locating food history and period recipes at the Morris County Library (Whippany, NJ). The site is an independent research project and is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, any food companies. Information is checked against standard reference tools for accuracy—Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (Smith), The Oxford Companion to Food (Davidson), The Cambridge World History of Food (Kiple & Ornelas), Larousse Gastronomique (Revised/Updated English edition, 2001), The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink (Mariani), Food in History (Tannahill), History of Food (Toussaint-Samat), and other sources as needed.
  • The second site is Feeding America: The Historic America Cookbook. The Michigan State University Library and the MSU Museum have partnered to create an online collection of some of the most influential and important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The goal of this project is to make these materials available to a wider audience with digital images of the pages of each cookbook as well as full-text transcriptions and the ability to search within the books across the collection.

Discussion Questions for Young People at Home and in the Classroom

  • What do food and menus tell us about people, countries, and eras of history?
  • Can food and menu choices tell us anything about historical figures’ personalities?
  • In this piece, it’s mentioned that President Eisenhower’s mother thought it important to teach him how to cook. Should everyone learn to cook? Would cooking have been an important skill for President Eisenhower to learn? Why?
  • Although some presidents have been concerned with food issues at the White House, historically it has been the first ladies who have had most influence and have controlled White House menus. What do you think will happen when a woman becomes president of the United States? Will the “first gentleman” be in charge of food, menu, and dinner planning at the White House?

Reference Sources

Books

Baldrige, Letitia. In the Kennedy Style. New York: Doubleday, 1998.

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume 2. New York: Viking, 1999.

Ervin, Janet Halliday. The White House Cookbook. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964.

Haller, Henry. The White House Family Cookbook. New York: Random House, 1987.

Klapthor, Margaret Brown. The First Ladies Cookbook. New York: GMG Publishing, 1982.

Landau, Barry H. The President’s Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.

McCully, Helen and Bullock, Helen Duprey. The American Heritage Cookbook. U.S.A.: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1964.

Truman, Margaret. The President’s House. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003.

Whitcomb, John and Claire. Real Life in the White House. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Periodicals

Haber, Barbara. “Home Cooking in the White House.” White House History Journal (Journal of the White House Historical Association) no. 20 (Spring 2007).

Ross, Alice. “Kitchens Past: Thoughts on Open Hearth Cooking for the Presidents.” White House History Journal (Journal of the White House Historical Association) no. 20 (Spring 2007).

Tederick, Lydia Barker. “A Look at the White House Kitchens.” White House History Journal (Journal of the White House Historical Association) no. 20 (Spring 2007).

©2016 Mary Brigid Barrett; The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance

Donald and Melania Trump are hosting their first state dinner tonight, honoring French president Emmanuel Macron, and the menu that the White House has released is not what you might expect from a teetotalling president who has sung the praises of well-done steak, ketchup, fast food (paywall), and chocolate cake.

State dinners are far larger, more formal affairs than the hosting the Trumps have done at Mar a Lago, and they’re generally seen as an opportunity for the first lady to practice the soft diplomacy of wine, table china, and sparkling conversation.

The images and publicity materials that the White House has released so far have touted the flower arrangements—1,500 cherry blossom branches, and more than 1,000 stems of white lilacs—far more than the food, and it’s impossible to know whether the Trumps themselves offered much input on the menu.

In any case, Cristeta Comerford, the White House executive chef since 2005, will serve a meal that tells its own story. This is not the traditionalist meat-and-potatoes feast you’d expect at a Trump-owned hotel. Instead, the menu brings French influence to bear on American ingredients, in dishes that call back to both countries’ proud, complex histories. The wine pairings follow suit, highlighting American winemakers, and all three—a chardonnay, pinot noir, and a sparkling wine that uses French winemaking techniques with a grape developed in California—are a thoughtful mix of old and new world styles.

Taken as a whole, the menu tells a nuanced story of global mobility, the back-and-forth flow of cultural influence, and hard-scrabble ingenuity. Let’s take a look, course by course.

First Course:

Goat Cheese Gateau
Tomato Jam
Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles
Young Variegated Lettuces

This is straight-up Brooklyn, farm-to-table cuisine—circa 2011. A goat cheese gateau is hard to resist. The lettuces are from the White House kitchen garden. And “buttermilk biscuit crumbles” sound like the buttery, baking-soda-leavened American bread is given the crouton treatment. These dishes would be at home at any new American bistro in a city today, and the whole thing sounds pleasant enough to satisfy all but the most jaded kale salad aficionado.

Main Course:

Rack of Spring Lamb
Burnt Cipollini Soubise
Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya

Spring lamb is a traditional delicacy on both sides of the Atlantic. Burnt cipollini soubise, a charred variation on the French sauce that combines onions, butter and cream, is a nice way to fancy up the meat, and a nod to classic French technique.

But jambalaya is not lamb’s natural sidekick, and this is where things really get interesting. The Louisiana rice dish, like a paella or a biriyani, is usually served as a one-pot meal, containing various meats, sausages, shrimp, or other seafood. There are as many ways to make a jambalaya as there are cooks, and recipes are often jealously guarded by generations of families. The ingredients and techniques show a mix of French, Spanish, Cajun, and Creole cultures. Depending on who you ask, the dish is either a luxurious banquet food or a cheap way to feed a lot of people—or both.

The choice to highlight the Carolina Gold rice in the dish is also telling. A long-grain rice that became a staple crop in the Carolinas in the 18th century, Carolina Gold helped define Lowcountry cuisine. But there’s also a dark side to that history: The grain’s success created more demand for African slave labor on rice plantations. Gold rice fell out of favor as new strains that could be machine harvested were planted, slavery ended, and a series of hurricanes changed the growing conditions. Now prized as a rediscovered heritage grain, the inclusion of Carolina Gold in a state dinner underscores how food can speak to identity and history, and the way staple crops can shape a society (paywall).

Dessert:

Nectarine Tarts
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

This sounds very delicious, and the ice cream is a clear French-inflected twist on pie à la mode, but the nectarines are a cipher. Nectarines are not yet in season in the US, not even in Southern California or Texas. It’s a delicious stone fruit, yes, but why not strawberries? They are in season in the country’s south, and would dovetail nicely with the jambalaya and the kitchen garden greens. Rhubarb is also in season right now, and can be exceedingly elegant.

Maybe Comerford—or the Trumps—just felt like nectarines. And thanks to the wonders of today’s global economy, that was possible.

Here’s the Menu for Tomorrow’s State Dinner Honoring France

Photo © Tim Robison

First Lady Melania Trump has picked the menu for the first state dinner hosted by the Trump administration: She’ll be serving rack of lamb and a nectarine tart to President Emmanuel Macron of France, and his wife, Brigitte.

According to the Associated Press, 150 guests will attend a reception at the Washington National Opera following dinner. President Macron arrives in the United States today, where he and his wife will join the Trumps at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.

The main course of rack of lamb will be served alongside Carolina rice jambalaya and cooked in the “New Orleans tradition” with herbs grown in the White House gardens. The tart will be served with honey made at the White House, and crème fraiche ice cream. Perhaps surprisingly, the meal will be served with American wines, a move that the White House says is meant to “embody the historic friendship” between the two countries.

State dinners are, predictably, served in the State Dining Room. The First Lady decorated the dining room with a truly awe-inspiring number of flowers: 2,500 white sweet pea flowers and around 1,000 white lilacs. Dinner will be served on china from the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

This is a historic moment for this administration: President Trump is the first president in nearly 100 years to end his first year in office without hosting a state dinner. In another break with tradition, no Democratic members of Congress or journalists were invited. However, Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, who is a Democrat, will be in attendance.

For now, the White House is staying quiet about the full guest list for the dinner and the reception (and there’s still no word yet on what the First Lady will be wearing) but if all goes well, the dinner is intended to reinforce a strong bond between two countries that have long been allies.

In the Trump White House, normality is the new scandal. Or rather, it feels almost unnerving when the president and his ilk throw a relatively low-key state dinner, particularly in the midst of an unfurling scandal with Ukraine. Friday night in the Rose Garden at least, the Trumps played host to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and spouse Jennifer Morrison, alongside a diverse and oddball guest list that included Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, Stephen Miller and reported girlfriend Katie Waldman, and Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy.

The event—only the second state dinner for the Trump White House after hosting French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife in 2018 —took place in a Rose Garden adorned with gold and green colors to symbolize the bond between the U.S. and Australia. Even first lady Melania Trump’s off-season muted seafoam green J. Mendel dress seemed to understate the importance of the evening affair. Earlier on Friday Melania donned an ice blue dress by Australian designer Scanlan Theodore to welcome Morrison and his wife.

Also among the evening’s eclectic patchwork of political figures, celebrities and guests were Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News personality Lou Dobbs; Marvel CEO and Trump donor Ike Perlmutter, Attorney General William Barr, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, presidential counsel Kellyanne Conway (sans husband George, a notable Trump critic), and more. Golfer Greg Norman was also in attendance, joking off reporter questions of the president’s golf habit with a quip, “Nobody can golf too much.”

Perhaps in spite of a CNN slip-up admitting Trump’s role in pressing Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Rudy Giuliani joined the festivities with date Maria Ryan. Asked about the infamous interview (once again) implicating his boss in less-than-reputable foreign policy, Giuliani reportedly chuckled off the question.

For the most part, the evening continued apace. Both President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison gave dueling toasts to the 101-year relationship between the two countries, with Trump remarking, “This evening, we honor every Aussie and American hero who has paid the supreme sacrifice so that we might live in safety and in peace.” Morrison compared Trump with former president Teddy Roosevelt—both unconventional New Yorkers—noting “He was no captive of the establishment. He was also accomplished; indeed some might say a maverick. He was his own man, he was a doer.”

The flattery was otherwise peppered by a menu of sunchoke ravioli, dover sole with parsley crisps, zucchini squash blossoms and lady apple tart. No McDonald’s spread or Chick-fil-A for this crowd, it seems.

Melania Trump looked stunning in a seafoam green gown by J. Mendel at the state dinner on Friday night.

The first lady brought high fashion to the table for a dinner honoring Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny Morrison.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny Morrison, as they arrive for a state dinner at the White House on Sept. 20.Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Her ladylike chiffon dress was elegant and breezy, with wave-like ruffles down the front, a pleated A-line skirt and sheer sleeves. The first lady balanced the ethereal beauty of her gown with a pair of patent leather Christian Louboutin heels.

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It was the second state dinner hosted by the Trump administration and the first lady’s attire fit perfectly with the setting for the evening, in the presidential garden.

Instead of dining in the traditional State Dining Room in the White House, guests were invited to eat alfresco in the Rose Garden, surrounded by flowers and decorations in Australia’s national colors of green and gold.

Trump’s eye-catching dress was designed by Gilles Mendel, the creative director of J. Mendel, whose company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and is trying to rebuild.

This isn’t the first time the first lady has showcased the New York-based design house’s fashions. In July 2018, she wore a pale yellow chiffon gown by the designer to a state dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. The yellow color was chosen to pay homage to the queen, as it’s known to be one of her favorites.

Melania Trump wore a pale yellow J.Mendel cape gown for her visit to Blenheim Palace.AFP /Getty Images

Trump was also thoughtful in her outfit selection for the welcome ceremony for Morrison and his wife, Jenny, on Friday morning. The first lady wore an ice blue dress by Australian designer Scanlan Theodore to honor her visitors’ homeland.

Not one to shy away from making a statement, Trump wore a bright tie-dyed denim dress from Calvin Klein when she was in France for the G7 summit last month that was both on-trend and memorable.

First lady Melania Trump wore this tie-dye midi dress from Calvin Klein last month.Bertrand Guay / AFP – Getty Images

Whether she’s channeling “My Fair Lady” in London for a state visit or hosting dignitaries in her own backyard, the first lady always manages to be fashionable. But for fans who want to emulate her state dinner look, you’ll have to wait a while longer. The dress is already sold out on the Bergdorf Goodman website.

PHOTOS: The Decor for Tonight’s White House State Dinner

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Tonight, the Trump administration will host its second State Dinner, for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison of Australia. The evening celebration will cap an all-day series of events, which began with a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House this morning followed by bilateral meetings in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room.

President Trump’s place setting at the head table.

The color pattern for the evening will consist of green and gold, which are derived from the national flower of Australia, the golden wattle. Dinner will take place under the stars in the Rose Garden, surrounded by American varieties of yellow and white roses.

The open air dinner will take place in the Rose Garden of The White House.

The combined friendship between the two countries will literally be on full display throughout the night, with gold woven baskets filled with both yellow garden roses (the United States!) and golden wattle (Australia!) placed on top of tables. Golden champagne grapes scattered throughout are further designed to highlight “the richness of each of the countries’ wine industries.”

Gold woven baskets filled with yellow garden roses and golden wattle are designed to signify the combined friendship and long-lasting relationship between the United States and Australia.

Speaking of wine, the dinner will feature three varietals, including a 2017 Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, a 2016 Argyle Pinot Noir “Reserve,” and lastly a J Demi-Sec NV for the apple tart dessert course.

Entertainment for the dinner will see “the largest gathering of premier military musicians for a State Dinner at the White House” ever.

The menu for tonight’s State Dinner will pay homage to Australia’s diverse culinary heritage, not unlike that of the United States, which combines adaptations of dishes from a variety of different cultures.

The President’s podium.

The first course will be a Sunchoke Ravioli with Reggiano Cream and Shaved Summer Vegetables, followed by a whole fish, roasted Dover Sole with Fennel Mousseline. Lastly, a classic American Lady Apple Tart with Calvados Ice Cream will finish off the meal, with the apples sourced from orchards in America’s Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Tables will be illuminated with gold oil lamps.

The centerpieces located at each table will boast more than 2,500 yellow roses from California accented by branches of golden wattle.

First Lady Melania Trump’s place setting.

The china settings for the baseplate and dinner service will consist of alternating patterns from the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, with ombré shades of yellows and greens chosen for the table linens.

The flags of the United States and Australia adorn the neighboring Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

While The White House has not yet released the guest list for the State Dinner, USA Today reports that several notable Australians will be in attendance, including golfer Greg Norman and Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation.

The china settings will consist of alternating patterns from the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

As for the details behind the first lady’s gown? Those won’t be released until the start of the dinner. The Trumps, after all, like to keep people guessing.

Musical groups from the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force will perform. Join the conversation! Share Tweet

Trump hosts second state dinner

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jennifer Morrison, at the North Portico of the White House.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 0223 GMT (1023 HKT) September 21, 2019

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jennifer Morrison, at the North Portico of the White House.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration held its second state dinner on Friday night in honor of the visit of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump opened the doors of the White House to dozens of invited guests to enjoy a seated, black-tie dinner under the stars in the Rose Garden. Melania Trump directed the overall look and feel of the dinner, which took several months to coordinate, from the menu of sunchoke ravioli and Dover sole, to the green and gold décor motif (inspired by Australia’s national colors,) the floral centerpieces of roses and golden wattle (the visiting country’s symbolic flower,) and the entertainment, which included the US Army Strings ensemble, who lined up single file to perform along the lengthy West Wing Colonnade.

Guests arrive at State Dinner wearing their best outfits

The president and first lady Melania Trump greeted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, with handshakes and kisses on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the mansion Friday evening local time.

RELATED: Donald Trump welcomes ScoMo to White House

The worlds of politics, media and even sports collided as a stream of administration members from both countries, aides, lawmakers and even golfer Greg Norman headed outside for the open-air dinner.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny Morrison as they arrive for a State Dinner. Picture: Alex BrandonSource:AP

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny Morrison. Picture: Evan VucciSource:AP

It is only the second such dinner US President Donald Trump has hosted for a foreign leader during his three years in office.

Mr Morrison was dressed in black-tie while his wife wore an elegant Carla Zampatti sequin gown in navy to the dinner. Earlier in the day she wore a black dress by sustainable Australian fashion label Ginger & Smart.

The French Navy Illicit Dress, which retails for $599, has a softly flared sleeve with

subtle splits on the neckline, mid length fluid hemline and a tie neck back.

The 173 guests who will join them to dine al fresco in the historic Rose Garden also include mining magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and media baron Kerry Stokes.

Australian golf legend Greg Norman and his wife Kirsten Kutner were among the first to walk the red carpet hand-in-hand, wearing matching attire — Norman a sleep black suit and Kutner a dark velvet-coloured full-length gown, with a diamante clutch.

Golfer Greg Norman, right, and wife Kirsten Kutner arrive for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House. Picture: Patrick SemanskySource:AP

Norman shared a photo of his invite to his Instagram page, saying what an honour it was to be invited, while boasting about his country’s strong bond with the US.

“Extremely proud of the close relationship of #USA Govt and #australia Govt. May the unbreakable bond of our nations forever remain. @ausintheus,” he wrote alongside the image.

Lachlan Murdoch, eldest son of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch also arrived, together with his partner, Sarah Murdoch.

Lachlan Murdoch, eldest son of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch at the dinner, together with his partner, Sarah Murdoch. Picture: Instagram/ ShanePaishSource:Instagram

Sarah’s classy look is complete with bronzed makeup and an updo. Picture: Instagram/ ShanePaishSource:Instagram

Sarah wore an elegant full-length black gown by Australian designer Alex Perry.

She opted for simple yet subtly bronzed makeup with her hair sleeked back in an updo.

A photo of Sarah’s stunning look was posted by makeup artist Shane Paish which has received plenty of rave reviews from fans on her “stunning” and “chic” style.

Gina Rinehart arrives solo – shortly before her fellow former Ten director Lachlan Murdoch. pic.twitter.com/uvcX5pgPTI

— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) September 20, 2019

Just before the dinner, The First Lady welcomed Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison and his wife Jennifer Morrison wearing a $1180 dress.

Melania Trump, 49, could be seen wearing a pale blue fitted dress by Australian designer Scanlan Theodore. The knitted crepe dress clung to Melania’s figure and the cocoon sleeves added a nice touch. The dress fell just below her knees, showing off her toned legs.

She then slipped into a another, full-length, long-sleeve soft blue gown for the Australian-themed dinner.

I want to express my gratitude to America’s magnificent @FLOTUS for tonight’s exquisite evening where we celebrated more than a century of loyal and devoted friendship between🇺🇸🇦🇺Both of our nations are blessed by uncommon courage, unfailing commitment, and unyielding character! pic.twitter.com/i61cHCZYlD

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2019

But it wasn’t just her fashion choices that made it Melania’s night. Her husband and even Scott Morrison took the time to praise the First Lady.

“I want to express my gratitude to America’s magnificent @FLOTUS for tonight’s exquisite evening where we celebrated more than a century of loyal and devoted friendship between (US and AUS. Both of our nations are blessed by uncommon courage, unfailing commitment, and unyielding character!” Mr Trump posted to his Twitter page on Sunday afternoon (AEST).

Melania, who is responsible for the state dinner, has used Australia’s national colours to set the stage for the state dinner.

It’s something traditionally designed by the First Lady.

She has turned the famous open-air Rose Garden green and gold with her office saying she “carefully selected” the decor for the first state dinner for an Australian prime minister since 2006.

Curtis Stone arrives with wife Lindsay. pic.twitter.com/DcldRQXNeT

— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) September 20, 2019

Dover sole on menu for 8p State Dinner but what’s really on table today:
IRAN.
Trump greets Australia’s PM 9a; press conference 11:45a.
Not on public sched: NSC mtg this afternoon to go over courses of action for retaliation for Iranian attacks on Saudi oil fields, I’m told. pic.twitter.com/pxirHral5o

— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 20, 2019

Guests are sitting at a mix of round and rectangular tables draped in alternating yellow and green tablecloths in tribute to Australia’s national colours and dine on sunchoke ravioli, Dover sole and apple tart a la mode. Temporary flooring was laidover the grass.

Dinner centrepieces feature more than 2,500 yellow California roses and Australia’s national flower, the golden wattle, while the garden itself will be decorated with white and yellow roses.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jennifer Morrison, stand for the National Anthems during an arrival ceremony. Picture: SAUL LOEB / AFPSource:AFP

Here they all are as ScoMo and Jennifer arrive just before entering the White House for the Australian-themed State Dinner. Picture: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.Source:AP

Most of these business leaders attending the state dinner at the White House will also attend the business roundtable the following night, The Australian reported, but they will be joined by senior US business leaders. These include the founder and chairman of Fedex Fred Smith and the co-CEO of the Carlyle Group Glenn Youngkin.

Australia State Dinner guests:
—Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart; billionaires Kerry Stokes and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest
—Trump aides Robert O’Brien, Steph Grisham, Max Miller, Derek Lyons, Emma Doyle
—Wilbur Ross
—Marc Short
—VP himself entered past cameras at booksellers pic.twitter.com/JoJhXzNTrj

— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 20, 2019

Many of these business leaders are expected to also attend a garden party early Sunday (AEST) hosted by Australia’s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey at his “White Oaks’’ Washington residence.