American wagyu, Asian salad feature in menu of US-Singapore state dinner at White House

Executive pastry chef Susie Morrison with her desserts for the state dinner. Called "A Festive Gathering", the desserts have a motif of orchids and roses.
Executive pastry chef Susie Morrison with her desserts for the state dinner. Called "A Festive Gathering", the desserts have a motif of orchids and roses.ST PHOTO: MELISSA SIM
Journalists taking pictures of the table settings for the US-Singapore state dinner at the White House on July 29, 2016.
Journalists taking pictures of the table settings for the US-Singapore state dinner at the White House on July 29, 2016.PHOTO: AFP
The table setting at the state dinner.
The table setting at the state dinner.PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

A four-course meal, featuring a main course of American wagyu beef, will be served when US President Barack Obama hosts Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and a Singapore delegation to a state dinner in Washington on Tuesday (Aug 2).

The black-tie occasion, which is the highest diplomatic honour the White House can bestow, also features Maryland blue crab and yellow peaches from California and Virginia, the Washington Post reported.

The 200-odd guests at the swank gathering in the East Room will start off with a cool crab salad garnished with a tuile made using powdered crab shells and Old Bay.


The first course, a cool crab salad. PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

The second course features a salad with heirloom tomatoes from the White House garden, sprinkled with Asian flavours courtesy of green papaya, pickled green mangoes and a soursop sorbet.

White House executive chef Cris Comerford told The Straits Times: "One great thing about Singapore is it's such a melting pot of wonderful cuisine between the Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. There's so much in there to incorporate in our food.

"The pandan is one of my favourites, like an Asian vanilla."

The main course is American wagyu beef dressed with roasted yams, wilted kale and heirloom carrots, according to the New York Times.

A peach sangria cake accented with palm sugar, coconut milk and fragrant lime leaves will close off what should be a memorable evening.


Dessert: a peach sangria cake. PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

Honey said to be culled from the White House beehive goes into both the accompanying brittle and a fluffy meringue on the plate, the Post noted.


The menu, which has Asian influences. PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

The Facebook page of the Singapore Embassy in Washington shared a picture of the menu, along with other shots of selected dishes and more.

White House executive pastry chef Susie Morrison told the Post that guests will also be treated to an edible footed tray fashioned from caramelised almond nougat.

One-bite pastries and handmade, spun-sugar orchids and roses are among 20 consumable centrepieces per table.


An edible dessert tray for sharing at each table. The orchids and roses are made of hand-spun sugar. PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

Floral arrangements consist of orchids, roses and other flowers all in yellow, as the colour symbolises the friendship between the US and Singapore, the White House's chief florist Hedieh Ghaffarian told NYT.


Yellow symbolises the friendship between the United States and Singapore. PHOTO: SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC/FACEBOOK

 

The dinner is an honour accorded by the Obama administration to only 11 other occasions in eight years. Four of them were for Asian countries: India, China, South Korea and Japan.

After dinner, R&B singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele is slated to entertain guests.

PM Lee arrives in Washington on Sunday for a six-day official visit that is a first by a Singapore prime minister since 1985.

The visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During his stay, Mr Lee will meet several senior members of the US government, including Vice-President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter.