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Obama Republic of Korea State Dinner: The menu, decorations

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WASHINGTON--President Obama and First Lady Michelle are serving a fall harvest themed meal for the Thursday State Dinner to honor Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-Bak and his wife, Kim Yoon-Ok.

The White House once again hired Rafanelli Events to help stage the event in the East Room, the fifth state dinner of the Obama administration and the third this year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hosts a dinner for the South Korean leader Friday night in Chicago's Cultural Center.

From the White House on the menu: "The first course, Butternut Squash Bisque, represents the best in local, seasonal fare: the dish is light yet robust and features the scents of fall. It includes squash from the White House Kitchen Garden and honey from the White House beehive. The Early Fall Harvest Salad, featuring daikon sheets and masago rice pearl crispies, is a nod to Korean traditions, and includes greens from the White House Kitchen Garden.

"The main dish features wagyu beef from a Texas ranch, fresh kale from a DC-area source and squash from the White House Kitchen Garden. The dessert features a classic recipe of chocolate cake layered with a harmonious blend of Korean and American pears."

Dinner Menu

First Course

Butternut Squash Bisque, Honey Poached Cranberries,
Virginia Cured Ham, Pumpkin Seed Praline, Crème Fraiche

Second Course

Early Fall Harvest Salad on Daikon Sheets,
Masago Rice Pearl Crispies, Rice Wine Vinaigrette

Main Course

Texas Wagyu Beef, Orange-Ginger Fondue,
Sauteed Kale, Roasted Kabocha Squash


Chocolate Malt Devils Food Layers
With Pear and Almond Brittle
An American wine will be paired with each course

From the White House on the decorations and arrangements: "The inspiration for the Republic of Korea State Dinner is American Hospitality. At State Dinners, we extend our hand in friendship and convey a generosity of spirit designed to welcome guests. In the spirit of that hospitality, some of the design elements are a reflection of Korea's culture and craftsmanship.

"The art of Korean knotting is depicted on the menu card for the evening. The union of string and tassel represents perfect harmony. Bamboo containers are featured on some of the dining tables, and chrysanthemums are included in the floral arrangements. In Korea, bamboo represents integrity and chrysanthemums are a sign of a productive and fruitful life.

"Hibiscus is the national flower of the Republic of Korea and will be featured in an art installation made of paper flowers in the Upper Cross Hallway. Additionally, tonight's design, created by Rafanelli Events, is a celebration of autumn. It embraces a bright fall palette of reds and greens, with apples featured in centerpieces, wall installations and window medallions. The featured chrysanthemums also symbolize fall in Korean culture."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 13, 2011 4:00 PM.

Violinist Jennifer Koh, raised in Glen Ellyn, performs for First Ladies Michelle Obama, Kim Yoon-ok. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama Korea State Dinner Guest List is the next entry in this blog.

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