FW: In-town Pool Report #6

-----Original Message-----
From: Freedman, Dan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2016 8:22 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO ; Barnes, Desiree N. N. EOP/WHO
Subject: In-town Pool Report #6

A few extra notes about the North Portico greeting. President and FLOTUS were chatting in an animated fashion before and between the individual limo arrivals, as if they were genuinely enjoying themselves. FLOTUS gown, already described by White House as ``blush -colored . . . designed by Naeem Khan,'' was off the shoulders, pretty impressive. (Pooler repeats denial of any fashion cred). After the arrival of each limo, the Obamas greeted each individual Nordic leader and spouse, then arranged themselves to pose for pictures by the photogs on a riser opposite. A military escort then took each couple inside while the Obamas waited for the next limo to arrive.

Some housekeeping on tonight's dinner: The state dinner for the Nordic nations prime ministers and president marks the administration's 12th ``State or Official Visit'' dating back to November 2009 when the president hosted a delegation from India.

Fortunately the weather has turned from overcast to clear, so the dinner is under tents on the South Lawn.

In a break from tradition, no table clothes and Nordic-style chairs _ which, per Washington Post, the White House insists are not IKEA.

About 350 guests are there. Singer Demi Lovato is the scheduled entertainment.

Guest list for dinner includes most of the usual administration suspects (Josh Earnest seen in a dashing tux), plus a smattering of media, members of Congress, business people and, of course, the delegations of the Nordic nations. Vice President Biden is there with wife Dr. Jill Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry also there.

Among the notables, per White House list:

Mr. Aziz Ansari, Actor & Comedian

Ms. Fatima Ansari

Ms. Connie Britton, Actress

Mr. Gregory Clark

Mr. Common, Rapper

Mr. Derek Dudley

Mr. Will Ferrell, Actor & Comedian

Ms. Viveca Paulin

Mr. Lester Holt, Jr., NBC

Mrs. Carol Hagen-Holt

Mr. Joel Kinnaman, Actor

Ms. Cleo Wattenstrom

Mr. David Letterman, Television Host

Mrs. Regina Letterman

Ms. Demi Lovato, Singer

Mr. Michael Bayer

Mr. David Muir, ABC

Ms. Patricia Mills

Mr. Al Roker, NBC

Ms. Deborah Roberts

This is probably more than you want to know about the dinner, but in any case:

The dinner menu accentuates local ingredients - some of it from the White House Kitchen Garden. In large measure it is meant to evoke the style and spirit of Rene Redzepi of the world-famous Noma in Copenhagen.

Per the White House, the first course is Atlantic tuna, salt-cured, then lightly dressed with California olive oil and tossed with spring onion, tarragon, and chives from the White House Kitchen Garden. The second course is a tomato tartare served alongside diced citrus fillets and garnished with White House Kitchen Garden micro lettuces. The main course is tender beef short ribs from Nebraska. The meat is brined in red wine, herbs, and aromatics for two days, then slow braised for eight hours. It is served with hot kale salad and creamy lemon thyme dumplings.

For dessert, each table sports a handcrafted fishing boat made of gum paste and chocolate. These showpieces, topped with a display of all five Nordic flags and the American flag, are intended to celebrate the many species of fish living in surrounding waters. Additionally, sweet miniature pastries, including raspberry kringle, elderberry custard pie, ginger gooseberry cookies, strawberry rhubarb tarts, and red currant chocolates will be served. Each guest will also be served a caramel almond mille feuille with multiple layers of flaky pastry, salted almonds, apples slow roasted in White House Honey Ale, and finished with vanilla bean Chantilly and lingonberry cream. This dessert is accompanied by strawberries, raspberries, and black mission figs with fresh lemon verbena and mint glaze from the White House Kitchen Garden.

Dan Freedman

Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau

-Albany Times Union

-Connecticut Post

-Danbury News-Times

-Greenwich Time

-Norwalk Hour

-Stamford Advocate

xxx-xxx-xxxx

Twitter: @danfreedma

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