Wednesday, March 2, 2011

White House Governor's Ball

In case you weren't at the
Governor's Ball at The White House
on February 21st, today the place-setting du jour
is from that lovely evening.

  Sunday night's annual Governors Ball dinner at the White House had a fairly straightforward four-course menu that featured some crowd-pleasing classics like french onion soup, a 'sea-to-shining-sea'-invoking surf-and-turf course of Rib Eye roast with shrimp scampi, and Baked Alaska for dessert.

The dinner was prepared under the supervision of White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosse, who appeared together just last week on the Martha Stewart Show sharing some of the Obamas' favorite recipes.

According to Obama Foodorama, an East Wing spokesperson said that due to recent snowfall, no produce from the White House garden was used for Sunday's dinner, although White House honey from the South Lawn beehive was used by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses in the baked Alaska dessert.


French Onion Soup with Croutons
Rib Eye Roast with Shrimp Scampi
Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Mushroom Caps
Seven Layer Salad
Baked Alaska

A heated-meringue-coated ice cream dessert, although not called a "baked Alaska" until 1876 in honor of America's acquisition of the territory of Alaska from the Russian empire, was perhaps first served in the White House at banquet in 1802 during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. It was described at the time as "ice cream very good, crust wholly dried, crumbled into thin flakes; a dish somewhat like a pudding..."

The election-year-centric trio of American wines offered was as
nationally diverse as the food they accompanied:

Sugarleaf Vineyard's 2008 Petit Manseng (Monticello region of Virginia),
Landmark Vineyard's 2006 Steel Plow Syrah (Sonoma Valley, California),
and a 2008 Fenn Valley dessert wine (Fennville, Michigan).

Obama Foodarama elaborates further:

The wines deserve particular notice; each vineyard is an award winner, and in keeping with the White House practice of highlighting regional American offerings, these represent both coasts and as close to the middle of the country as is possible, for wine making. Each vineyard state, in a hilarious side note, also has either a 2010 gubernatorial race or a Senate race that is critical for White House interests. Also, Sugarleaf Vneyard is a boutique winery that is African American owned, and that's something of a rarity among American wineries.

Something I know Susan would enjoy knowing,
the names of each service piece used at each place setting:

SERVICE PLATES - CLINTON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Lenox Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, 2000. Commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

KING CHARLES SILVER FLATWARE, made by Gorham, Providence, Rhode Island, 1974; supplemented in 2006 by Lenox Inc., owner of the Gorham molds.

KENNEDY GLASSWARE, made by the Morgantown Glass Guild, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1961; supplemented in 1991 by Lenox, Inc.

CREAM SOUP CUP AND SAUCER - JOHNSON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Castleton China, Inc., New Castle, Pennsylvania, 1968

WATER GOBLET - FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT STATE GLASSWARE SERVICE, Tiffin Glass Co., Tiffin, Ohio; cut by T.G. Hawkes & Company, Corning, New York, 1938-1955; and later reorders

please join the others at
Between Naps on the Porch
Tablescape Thursday...
icon & link at bottom



  1. First of all, your blog looks AWESOME! Quite the event I stepped into here :) LOVE it! And your table scape is going to lead the pack for lunch/dinner!! XO

  2. Thanks for taking us inside this marvelous dinner!! I think the beautiful patterned tablecloth sets off the classic tablesettings perfectly. And I 'm going to have to check out the Landmark Syrah - love that varietal!

  3. Looks like they used Pieter's floral centerpieces!


  4. Hello my dear Marsha!
    I am so happy you posted this! My invitation must have been lost in the mail. I was very impressed with the menu. It was very "not shee-shee". Great food, not too constructed or deconstructed, but delicious straightforward. I am so happy to see our White House serve just great food!
    Wonderful post! Lot's of fun!

  5. Would not be bad to be a guest on thet ball. Nice to see the tablesettings and flowerdecorations to. Of course im gonna try to install the translator on my blog. Until then there is always possible to read my posts on english in the end of (mostly) every post :) XO Katta

  6. These table settings are awesome! And P.S. - your blog redesign looks amazing. Just perfect!

  7. Dear Marsha, I love the orange flowers. The menu has made me really hungry! I'm off to have my dinner. Hope you've had a good week my friend xx

  8. The gold chargers really give the pable a true glamour. Elegant tbcloth and great menu and beautiful flowers. Thank you so much for sharing such a treat. I'm your newest follower, I love your blog. I would love your visit.

    Lots of hugs.


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