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The Margin: On the Biden-Macron state-dinner menu: Maine lobster, beef, fine cheese and even some White House honey

The White House is going into feasting mode. 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host French President Emmanuel Macronand his wife, Brigitte, for a state dinner on Thursday evening. It marks the first such event at the White House since 2019, which also means it’s the first for the Biden Administration.

It isn’t the first time that Macron has supped alongside a U.S. president. The French leader was also the guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by then President Donald Trump in 2018. 

As with all state dinners, a lot of attention is paid to the guest list. And the entertainment, too: Jon Batiste, the Grammy-winning musician who served as bandleader for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” will be the musical guest. 

White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford (left) and White House executive pastry chef Susie Morrison showcase some of the dishes being served at the Dec. 1 state dinner honoring French president speak about the upcoming State Dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron.

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But as far as we’re concerned, the main attraction of a state dinner is, well, the dinner. At a Wednesday briefing, White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and executive pastry chef Susan Morrison offered some highlights of what’s in store.

Commerford said that the focus will be on keeping things in an American vein and spotlighting ingredients sourced from several states. “We are featuring beautiful things from the land and the sea,” she said. 

The appetizer course will include a butter-poached Maine lobster paired with California-sourced American osetra caviar. Comerford added that the dish is garnished with “celery crisp,” which she noted is a favorite item of the First Lady. “I made sure I put some extra in there,” Comerford said. 

But where’s the beef? That’s the main course, which will feature a calotte of beef (“calotte” refers to the cut of meat wrapped around the ribeye). The beef was sourced from farms in Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to Comerford, who also said the dish will be complemented with a shallot marmalade. And don’t forget the veggies — specifically, Ohio-sourced micro carrots and Brussel sprouts.

There’s dessert, but first comes a cheese course, which will include two all-stars of the American cheese world: the Rogue River Blue cheese from Oregon’s Rogue River Creamery and the Humboldt Fog goat cheese from Cypress Grove in California. There’s also a cheddar from Deer Creek Cheese, a Wisconsin producer. Complementing the cheeses will be macerated grapes and some of the White House’s own honey (yes, the White House has plenty of bees).

And to end the meal, there is an orange chiffon cake joined with roasted pears and a crème fraîche ice cream. After all, Joe Biden is a known ice-cream fanatic.

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