White House State Dinner Features Ethiopian-born Chef

Above: Marcus Samuelsson prepared the Obamas’ first State
Dinner. And in a major security breach, a Virginia couple
(shown at the bottom right) apparently sneaked into the
party without an invitation.

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Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New York (Tadias) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday hosted their first State Dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The evening of pomp and ceremony featured the guest chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose menu included vegetables from the First Lady’s famous White House garden. Prior to the event, Michelle Obama said that Marcus was “one of the finest chefs in the country” and the State Dinner included “the freshest ingredients from area farmers and purveyors.”

And Politico reports: “The importance was not lost on Samuelsson. Waking up on Wednesday morning, after about three hours of sleep, he had not yet come down from his high. ‘It was the biggest dinner I cooked in my life — in terms of the occasion,’ said the chef, born in Ethiopia, raised by a Swedish couple in Sweden and now a naturalized American.”

Here’s the complete menu per NYT:

Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House argula with onion seed vinaigrette
Wine: 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Modus Oprendi, Napa Valley, California

Red lentil soup with fresh cheese
Wine: 2008 Riesling Brooks “Ara” Willamette Valley, Oregon

Roasted Potato Dumplings with tomato chutney
Chick peas and okra
Green curry prawns
Carmelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati
Wine: 2007 Granache, Beckman Vineyards, Santa Ynez, California

Pumpkin Pie tart
Pear tatin
Whipped cream and caramel sauce
Wine: Sparkling Chardonnay, Thibaut Janisson Brut, Monticello, Virginia

Petits Fours and Coffee
Cashew Brittle
Pecan Pralines
Passion Fruit and Vanilla Gelees
Chocolate dipped fruit

Video: Obamas Host First State Dinner

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Video: Obama Makes State Dinner Toast

Video: PM-Obama: The next step NDTV.com

7 Responses to “White House State Dinner Features Ethiopian-born Chef”

  1. 1 Leilt Nov 25th, 2009 at 12:26 pm


  2. 2 Jara Nov 25th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Marcus, why did not you use “Berbere”? To ad flavor and spiced it up a bit :-)

    Congratulations my brother. I rise my glass to you! This is a great honor and mark of a wonderful accomplishment for you and all that you represent.

    And wow, what an elegant dress by an Indian-American designer. It speaks a great deal about First Lady Michelle Obama who also happens to be the gardener where part of the food came from. Fabilous, fabulous!!

  3. 3 Merry Nov 25th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Fabilous!! Loved the dress too. And from the looks of it, the food must have been exceptional.

  4. 4 BEN Nov 27th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Priceless!! Ethiopian-born, Swedish raised New Yorker. Who else could be as American as Marcus. Great choice and good job!!

    Unbelievable how the revered U.S. Secret Service dropped the ball on the party crashers. I am mean, I am glad that The President, The first Lady and the vice president, and the Prime Minster of India are sound and safe. Can you imagine the Nightmare?


  5. 5 martha Nov 30th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Good job Marcus! You’re the man!

  6. 6 melaku Jan 20th, 2011 at 4:09 am

    i am proud of you brother,continue to do so.

  1. 1 Notable Ethiopian Americans of the Year at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Dec 4th, 2009 at 5:50 pm
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