Japan State Dinner at The White House
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I recently received one of the greatest honors of my life. I was asked to join White House executive chef Cris Comerford and executive pastry chef Susan Morrison to create a one-of-a-kind menu for the State Dinner honoring Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japan’s first lady Akie Abe.
Together we blended a combination of East meets West to create a unique menu to celebrate both cultures. Here is a glimpse of the menu we created:
The first course, a Toro Tartare and Caesar Sashimi Salad, was wrapped in clear acetate and tied with a Mizuhiki cord, symbolizing a gift to be opened.
The second course, Vegetable Consomme En Croute and Shikai Maki incorporated bok choy, is a tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden that she recently planted with school children. It also included hearts of palm and bamboo shoots from Hawaii. A garnish of pineapple tempura with a sliver of cured Virginia ham completes the broth.
The main course is American Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with spring vegetables, including young carrots, baby cauliflower and ramps from the farmers’ market. The roasted beef is topped with a Maui onion veal jus. The main course wine is a Morlet Family Vineyards Pinot Noir.
The dessert included a beautiful blown sugar teapot decorated with edible cherry blossoms and surrounded by petit fours as well as cheesecake made of silken tofu and soy milk with Florida berries and White House honey.
It was such a wonderful experience to work with chef Comerford and chef Morrison. Here are a few photos from the kitchen. Enjoy!