Will everyone get along? Anna Wintour joins the Bidens, Republicans, Democrats and celebs for White House state dinner with Macron – as GOP leader Kevin McCarthy brushes off question about dining with investigation target Hunter
- Hunter Biden, wife Melissa and president’s daughter Ashley join President Joe Biden and Jill Biden’s first state dinner
- Bidens honor President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife Brigitte
- Jill wore navy Oscar de la Renta dress and Brigitte wore white
- Several Republicans are also attending the black-tie event
- House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son
- GOP lawmakers have vowed to investigate Hunter Biden when they take control of the House in January
- ‘I’m at dinner with my mom so I’m going to have a great time,’ he said
- Anna Wintour arrived in her signature sunglasses
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte for the first state dinner of their administration along with a gaggle of guests with potential for conflict.
The two couples embraced and posed for photos on the North Portico of the White House. Jill Biden wore a navy, floral evening gown by Oscar de la Renta while Brigitte Macron wore a long white gown with silver details by Louis Vuitton.
As the Bidens and Macrons exchanged greetings, their guests arrived for the black-tie affair, which is taking place in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House.
Several Biden family members are in attendance, including Hunter Biden, the president’s son facing a federal tax probe and threats from Republican lawmakers.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son, who GOP lawmakers have vowed to investigate when they take control of the House in January.
‘I’m at dinner with my mom so I’m going to have a great time,’ he said.
Other Biden family members are also present: the president’s sister Valerie Biden Owens and his daughter Ashley Biden. Hunter’s wife Melissa Cohen Biden is also attending.
Ashley, in a floor-length blue gown, said she brought her best friend from college as her guest.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden host their first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte
A military honor guard surrounds the two couples as the Macrons arrived at the White House
U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. first lady Jill Biden greet France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at the North Portico of the White House
Jill Biden gives Brigitte Macron a kiss as the President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron look on
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who brought his mom Roberta, brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son Hunter, who the GOP have vowed to investigate
Director Baz Luhrmann and Anna Wintour, wearing her signature shades, arrive for the State Dinner
US singer-songwriter John Legend and his wife model Chrissy Teigen arrive
Actress Jennifer Garner (right), in Ralph Lauren, brought her daughter Violet Affleck (left)
US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (R) and his husband Chasten Buttigieg arrive
U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. first lady Jill Biden, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pose for a picture at the Grand Staircase of the White House
Actress Ariana DeBose arrives for the State Dinner with Henry Munoz, owner of Funny or Die
Musician Jon Batiste arrives with his wife Suleika Jaouad and family members for the State Dinner – Batiste will be performing for the crowd
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her son actor Charlie Hall
Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert and his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert
Chief Executive Officer of Apple Tim Cook arrives at the State dinner
The guest list includes titans of business, the top names in fashion and Hollywood royalty.
Several celebrities are also attending, including actress Jennifer Garner, who brought her daughter Violet Affleck, Ariana DeBose, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
From the fashion world, Vogue editor Anna Wintour brought director Bazmark Luhrmann. Wintour recently put first lady Jill Biden and the Bidens’ granddaughter Naomi on its digital cover in honor of Naomi’s wedding.
‘Well what girl doesn’t want to be in Vogue for her wedding,’ Wintour said when asked by DailyMail.com how Vogue got the Bidens to pose.
Wintour arrived wearing black sunglasses, which she kept on as she walked through the East Wing entrance toward the state rooms in the White House.
Musician Jon Batiste, who is providing the entertainment, promised: ‘It’s going to be fire.’
He was accompanied by his wife, Suleika Jaouad, who has been fighting cancer.
‘This is my first time out in a year,’ she told reporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) said ‘great. And happy. And relieved,’ when she asked about the trio of Democratic successors, as daughter Alexandra (right) quipped, ‘free at last!’
The president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, sported a Brandon Maxwell gown to the dinner
Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer indicated he was enjoying life after the bench
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘great. And happy. And relieved,’ when she asked about the trio of Democratic successors who were voted on earlier this week to take the top three House leadership posts in January.
‘Free at last,’ said daughter filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, with a smile on her face.
Bernard Arnault, the head of fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, and Apple CEO Tim Cook also walked the red carpet. He was followed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Steve Jobs.
More than 350 guests in sweeping gowns and tuxedos descended upon the White House for an evening of music, toasts and amore.
Guests walked through a snow-covered forest in the White House’s East Wing, which is decorated for Christmas, and gathered under a glass pavilion on the South Lawn for the dinner.
Chandeliers hang above them; candles light the night sky; and images fleurs de lis, stained-glass roses and irises are being flashed on the pavilion walls.
It’s heated too.
President Macron helps his wife Brigitte up the front steps of the White House, where Joe and Jill Biden are waiting
President Macron kisses Jill Biden while President Biden greets Brigitte Macron
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California arrives with her daughter Alexandra
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York brought his daughter Jessica
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for the State Dinner
US Senator Susan Collins and Elizabeth McCandless arrive
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden await the Macrons’ arrival
Guest List for State Dinner the Bidens are hosting for the President of France
THE PRESIDENT AND DR. BIDEN
HIS EXCELLENCY EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC AND MRS. BRIGITTE MACRON
Mr. Roger Altman & Ms. Jurate Kazickas
Mr. Mark Angelson & Ms. Marilyn Angelson
Mr. Bernard Arnault & Ms. Hélène Marie Mercier Arnault
Ms. Delphine Arnault
The Honorable Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense & Ms. Charlene Austin
The Honorable Stewart Bainum & Ms. Sandra Bainum
Mr. Michael Barnicle & Ms. Anne Finucane
Mr. Jonathan Batiste & Ms. Suleika Jaouad
The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health & Human Services, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services & Dr. Carolina Reyes
The Honorable Katherine Bedingfield, Assistant to the President & Director of Communications & Mr. David Kieve
The Honorable John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana & Ms. Donna Edwards
Ms. Valerie Biden Owens & Mr. Jack Owens
Ms. Ashley Biden & Ms. Elysia Bevan
Mr. Hunter Biden & Ms. Melissa Cohen Biden
The Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State & The Honorable Evan Ryan, Assistant to the President & Cabinet Secretary
The Honorable Lisa Blunt Rochester, U.S. Representative (Delaware) & Ms. Hannah Carter
Mr. Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the Republic and Sherpa to the G7 and G20, French Republic
Mr. Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Member of Parliament & Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, French Republic
Mr. David G. Bradley & Ms. Katherine Bradley
Ms. Rosalind Brewer & Mr. John Brewer
The Honorable Steven Breyer, Former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice & Ms. Joanna Breyer
Mr. Tristan Bromet, Advisor to the Presidency, French Republic
Ms. Mika Brzezinski and Mr. Charles Joseph Scarborough
The Honorable Peter Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation & Mr. Chasten Glezman Buttigieg
Mr. David Calhoun & Ms. Devon Calhoun
Mr. Christian Cambon, Senator of Val-de-Marne & Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, French Government
The Honorable Denise Campbell Bauer, U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic & the Principality of Monaco, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Steven Bauer
The Honorable Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education & Ms. Marissa Cardona
The Honorable John Carney, Governor of Delaware & Ms. Tracey Quillen Carney
The Honorable Thomas Carper, U.S. Senator (Delaware) & Ms. Martha Carper
The Honorable James Clyburn, U.S. Representative & House Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives (South Carolina) & Ms. Virginia Newman
Mr. Stephen Colbert & Ms. Evelyn McGee-Colbert
The Honorable Susan Collins, U.S. Senator (Maine) & Ms. Elizabeth McCandless
H.E. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Mr. Thomas Conway & Ms. Carol Murphy
Mr. Timothy Cook & The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Christopher Coons, U.S. Senator (Delaware) & Ms. Ann Coons
Ms. Tatiana Copeland & Mr. Gerret Copeland
Mr. Christian Dargnat
Mr. Eric Dean & Ms. Judith Dean
The Honorable Brian Deese, Assistant to the President & Director of the National Economic Council & Miss Adeline Deese
Ms. Mary Quinn Delaney & Mr. Wayne Jordan
Ms. Laurence Des Cars
The Honorable Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European & Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Alan Untereiner
The Honorable Michael Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, Michigan & Dr. Sonia Hassan
Mr. Blair Effron & Ms. Cheryl Effron
Mr. Philippe Errera, Director General for Political Affairs and Security, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, French Republic
H.E. Philippe Etienne, Ambassador of the French Republic to the United States & Ms. Patricia Etienne, Spouse of the French Ambassador to the United States
Mr. Guillaume Faury & Ms. Maria Faury
Ms. Christy Ferer
The Honorable Jonathan Finer, Assistant to the President & Principal Deputy National Security Advisor & Ms. Susan Finer
Mr. Walid Fouque, Advisor for Asia, the Americas and Oceania
Mr. Fernando Garcia & Ms. Laura Kim
Ms. Jennifer Garner & Miss Violet Affleck
The Honorable Rufus Gifford, Chief of Protocol for the United States, U.S. Department of State
His Excellency Philippe Franc, Chief of Protocol to the French Republic
Mr. Avram Glazer & Ms. Jill Glazer
The Honorable Philip Gordon, Assistant to the President & National Security Advisor to the Vice President & Ms. Rachel Gordon
The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy & Mr. John Mulhern
Cpt. Florent Groberg, Captain & Medal of Honor Recipient, The U.S. Army
The Honorable Debra Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior & Mr. Lloyd Sayre
The Honorable Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, Office of the Director of National Intelligence & Mr. David Davighi
Ms. Maya Harris & Mr. Tony West
The Honorable Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States & Mr. Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States
Mr. Jamie Harrison, Chair, Democratic National Committee & Ms. Marie Boyd
Ms. Gabriela Hearst & Ms. Stephanie Lasnier de Lavalette
Ms. Mary Kay Henry & Ms. April Verrett
The Honorable Lina Hidalgo, Judge, Harris County, Texas & Mr. David James
Mr. Amos Hochstein, Special Presidential Coordinator, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Julie Ringel
The Honorable Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative & Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland) & Ms. Elaine Kamarck
Ms. Bonny Jacobs & Ms. Jennifer Glenn
Mr. Kenneth Jarin & Ms. Robin Wiessmann
The Honorable Karine Jean-Pierre, Assistant to the President & Press Secretary, & Ms. Elainne Antoine
The Honorable Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Arielle Pierson
The Honorable Ashish Jha, Assistant to the President, Counselor to the President, & Coordinator of COVID-19 Response & Ms. Debra Stump
Mr. Jeffrey Katzenberg & Ms. Marilyn Katzenberg
Mr. Edward Kelly & Ms. Kathryn Kelly
Mr. Joe Kiani & Ms. Sarah Kiani
Mr. John Scott Kirby & Ms. Kathleen Marie Kirby
The Honorable Ronald Klain, Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff to the President & The Honorable Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Mr. Olivier Knox & Dr. Jennifer Lewis
Mr. Christopher Korge & Ms. Wyn Bradley
Mr. Henry Kravis & Ms. Marie-Josée Kravis
Mr. Arvind Krishna & Ms. Sonia Krishna
The Honorable Edward Lamont, Governor of Connecticut & Ms. Annie Lamont
The Honorable Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement & Mr. Derek Bottoms
Mr. Matthieu Landon, Advisor for Industry, Research and Innovation
The Honorable Mitchell Landrieu, Senior Advisor & Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator & Ms. Cheryl Landrieu
Mr. Thibault Lanxade
H.E. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, French Republic
The Honorable Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator (Vermont) & Ms. Marcelle Leahy
H.E. Sébastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces, French Republic
Mr. Antoine Lefèvre, Senator and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of French Parliament, French Republic
Mr. John Legend & Ms. Christine Teigen
Mr. Claude Lelouch
Ms. Belkis Leong-Hong & Ms. Denise Williams
Mr. Christophe Leribault
Ms. Ada Limón & Mr. Lucas Marquardt
Mr. Christian Louboutin
Ms. Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Mr. Charles Hall
Mr. Bryan Lourd & Mr. Bruce Bozzi
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security & Ms. Tanya Mayorkas
The Honorable Terence McAuliffe, Former Governor of Virginia & The Honorable Dorothy McAuliffe, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Representative & House Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives (California) & Ms. Roberta McCarthy
The Honorable Michael McCaul, U.S. Representative (Texas) & Ms. Linda McCaul
Ms. Virginia McGregor & Mr. Robert McGregor
The Honorable Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Mary King
Mr. Jon Meacham & Ms. Margaret Keith Meacham
The Honorable Gregory Meeks, U.S. Representative (New York) & Ms. Ebony Meeks-Laidley
Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra & Ms. Sangeeta Mehrotra
The Honorable Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator (New Jersey) & Ms. Nadine Menendez
Mr. Frédéric Michel, Special Advisor for Communication and Strategy, French Republic
General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense & Ms. Hollyanne Milley
Mr. Emmanuel Moulin, Director General of the Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance, French Republic
Mr. Brian Moynihan & Ms. Susan Berry
Mr. Henry Muñoz III & Ms. Ariana DeBose
The Honorable Philip Murphy, Governor of New Jersey & Ms. Tammy Murphy
The Honorable Clarence Nelson II, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration & Ms. Grace Nelson
The Honorable Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber & Emerging Technology, National Security Council & Mr. Yehuda Neuberger
Mr. Bill Neville & Ms. Connie Neville
The Honorable Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation & Ms. Phefelia Nez
Mr. Xavier Niel
The Honorable Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Assistant to the President & Deputy Chief of Staff & Mr. Michael Dillon
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative & Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives (California) & Ms. Alexandra Pelosi
The Honorable Judith Pisar & Ms. Leah Pisar
The Honorable John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation & Mr. Gabriel Podesta
Mr. Patrick Pouyanné
Ms. Laurene Powell Jobs & Mr. Reed Jobs
The Honorable Samantha Power, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development & Mr.
Ms. Rebecca Pringle & Mr. Nathan Pringle III
The Honorable Jay Robert Pritzker, Governor of Illinois & Ms. Mary Kathryn Pritkzer
The Honorable Michael Pyle, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, National Security Council & Ms. Chloe Schama
Ms. Natacha Rafalski
The Honorable Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce & Mr. Andrew Moffit
The Honorable Bruce Reed, Assistant to the President & Deputy Chief of Staff & Ms. Bonnie LePard
Ms. Dana Remus & The Honorable Brett Holmgren, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence & Research, U.S. Department of State
H.E. Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, French Republic
The Honorable Steven Ricchetti, Assistant to the President & Counselor to the President & Ms. Amy Ricchetti
The Honorable Susan Rice, Assistant to the President & Director of the Domestic Policy Council & Mr. Ian Cameron
The Honorable Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor, Democratic National Committee, & Former Director, Office of Public Engagement & Ms. Raquel Greenup Richmond
The Honorable James Risch, U.S. Senator (Idaho) & Ms. Vicki Risch
The Honorable Charles Rivkin & Ms. Susan Tolson
Ms. Robin Roberts & Ms. Gaila Amber Laign
The Honorable Julie Rodriguez, Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor to the President & Director of the Office of Inter-Governmental Affairs & Mr. James Sherrills
Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, Chief of the Special Military Staff of the President of the French Republic
The Honorable Maria Rosario Jackson & Mr. Ra Joy
Ms. Alice Rufo, Director General for Foreign Relations and Strategy, Ministry of the Armed Forces, French Republic
The Honorable Catherine Russell & Mr. Thomas Donilon
Mr. Kurt Russell & Ms. Donna Russell
Mr. Rodolphe Saade
Mr. Theodore Sarandos & The Honorable Nicole Avant, Former U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas
The Honorable Stephen Scalise, U.S. Representative & House Minority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives (Louisiana)
The Honorable Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, Nevada & The Honorable Devon Reese, Vice Mayor & At-Large City Councilmember of Reno, Nevada
The Honorable Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator (New York) & Ms. Jessica Schumer
Mr. Jeff Shell & Ms. Laura Shell
The Honorable Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Bruce Stokes
The Honorable Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Assistant to the President, Homeland Security Advisor, & Deputy National Security Advisor & Dr. Jeffrey Randall
Mr. Jon Shirley & Ms. Kimberly Richter Shirley
Ms. Elizabeth Shuler & Mr. David Herbst
The Honorable Amanda Sloat, Senior Assistant to the President & Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council & Mr. Benjamin Canavan
Mr. Bradford Smith & Ms. Kathryn Surace-Smith
Mr. Alexander Soros & Ms. Sarah Margon
The Honorable Eugene Sperling, White House Rescue Plan Coordinator & Senior Advisor to the President & Ms. Allison Abner
Mr. Lonnie Stephenson & Ms. Dawn Stephenson
The Honorable Jacob Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs & Ms. Margaret Goodlander
The Honorable Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the United States Trade Representative & Mr. Robert Skidmore
The Honorable Neera Tanden, Staff Secretary & Senior Advisor to the President & Mr. Benjamin Edwards
The Honorable Louisa Terrell, Assistant to the President & Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs & Mr. Alan Field
The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Lafayette Greenfield II
The Honorable John Thune, U.S. Senator (South Dakota) & Ms. Kimberley Thune
The Honorable Annie Tomasini, Assistant to the President & Director of Oval Office Operations
Mr. Vincent Troiola & Ms. Saveria Troiola
The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, Texas & Ms. Stephanie Nellons-Paige
Ms. Victoire Vandeville, Advisor for Exports and Trade Policy, French Republic
The Honorable Filemon Vela Jr., Former U.S. Representative & Ms. Rosemarie Vela
The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture & Ms. Ann Christine Vilsack
Ms. Dana Walden & Mr. Matt Walden
The Honorable Martin Walsh, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor & Ms. Lorrie Higgins
Ms. Rhonda Weingarten & Ms. Sharon Kleinbaum
Mr. Christopher Weissberg, Member of Parliament, French Republic
Dr. Tara Westover & Mr. Santiago Arau
Ms. Anna Wintour & Mr. Bazmark Luhrmann
Mr. Jeffrey Worthe & Ms. Kristin Worthe
Mr. Lawrence Yanovitch
The Honorable Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury & Mr. George Akerlof
Mr. David Zaslav & Ms. Pam Zaslav
Mr. Florian Zeller
Mr. Jeffrey Zients & Ms. Mary Zients
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron wave from the Blue Room Balcony
President Emmanuel Macron and President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office
Menu for State Dinner
Butter Poached Maine Lobster
American Osetra Caviar
Delicata Squash Raviolo
Calotte of Beef, Shallot Marmalade
Triple Cooked Butter Potatoes
Sunchoke & Creamed Watercress
Red Wine Reduction
American Artisanal Cheeses Course:
Rogue River Blue – 2019/2020 World Cheese Awards World Champion Gold Made by Rogue Creamery with milk sourced from Grant Pass, Oregon
Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog – 2022 World Cheese Bronze Medalist
Soft Ripened Goat Cheese – Deer Creek Cheddar Cheese from a small family run creamery in Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Orange Chiffon Cake
Roasted Pears with Citrus Sauce
Crème Fraiche Ice Cream
Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay ‘Napa Valley’ 2018
Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Knights Valley’ 2019
Roederer Estate Brut Rosé N/V
First lady Jill Biden previewed the night to come on Wednesday.
‘The design of this dinner was inspired by the shared colors of our flags – red, white, and blue – and our common values: liberty and democracy, equality and fellowship. These form the bedrock upon which our enduring friendship was built,’ she said.
Eight weeks of planning went into Thursday night’s dinner.
The White House staff had outside help from Fête, an event planning and design production firm out of New York led by founder Jung Lee.
At the sit-down dinner, the tables are covered in blue table clothes. Arrangements of red and white flowers, sprinkled with red candles, form the centerpieces.
The flower arrangements feature France’s national flower, the iris, and American Beauty roses. There are piano roses to honor President Macron’s love of the piano.
The gold and white plates that guests dine off of are rented. Typically state dinners use official White House china from one of the previous administrations but those place settings are not allowed outside the White House. Because the dinner is taking place out on the South Lawn, the china settings can’t be used.
Completing the table’s look are short French-forged champagne vessels that feature American sparkling wine.
In addition to the lobster, caviar, triple cooked butter potatoes, beef and squash raviolo are on the menu.
American wine is being served – all picked by the first lady.
‘We had a tasting,’ said White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo.
White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford said the cuisine was inspired by the seasons.
‘We want to honor everything that is beautifully American,’ she noted.
‘The first thing that we consider is the season and next thing is the preferences of the guests because we want to honor the things that they like,’ she said. ‘Everything is very well thought of and very thoughtfully made, and it so happens that the White House garden had the squashes ready for us so what you see in the raviolo came from the garden.’
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron to the White House
The table settings are a nod to the colors in the French and American flags – red, white and blue
White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford (left) and White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison (right) show off the plates of food that will be served at the state dinner
White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison created the dessert: orange chiffon cake, poached pears and crème fraiche ice cream.
‘Then, in the very front, we’ve placed the flags of the United States and France on the outer part of the cake,’ she said as she displayed her work.
The Statue of Liberty is the backdrop for the President Biden’s toast and is featured in the menu programs, which have navy covers with the gold seal of the United States.
A graphic rendering of the Statue of Liberty is on translucent paper on the first and last pages of the menu.
The statue was a gift from the people of France.
‘This State Dinner will not only reflect the shared colors, history, and values of the United States and France, it also shows the warmth and heart of our First Lady and this White House,’ said Elizondo.
Guests were feted by Grammy-winner musician Jon Batiste, accompanied by his father, Michael Batiste, and ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings.
Batiste is a New Orleans native. The Macrons will visit that city on Friday for several cultural programs.
Thursday’s dinner is the hottest ticket in town as lawmakers, Democratic donors and longtime friends of the Bidens want to attend.
Elizondo said many parts of the government were involved in deciding who got the coveted invitation.
‘Many offices have been involved in and, you know, we’re trying to sort of bring in all the many supporters and, and friends of the President, the First Lady for their first state dinner,’ he said.
The cost of the dinner hasn’t been announced. It’s paid for by the State Department since it’s an official state occasion.
The menu programs have navy colors and feature the Statue of Liberty
The dinner plates: Butter Poached Maine Lobster; American Osetra Caviar; Delicata Squash Raviolo (left) and Tarragon Sauce Calotte of Beef; Shallot Marmalade Triple Cooked Butter Potatoes Sunchoke; Creamed Watercress Red Wine Reduction (right)
Cheese course: Rogue River Blue; Oregon Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog; Soft Ripened Goat Cheese and the Dessert Course: Orange Chiffon Cake; Roasted Pears with Citrus Sauce; Crème Fraiche Ice Cream
The program for Thursday night’s state dinner
The table settings include gold and white plates and French-forged champagne vessels
The flower arrangements feature France’s national flower, the iris, and American Beauty roses
The Bidens’ first state dinner is happening nearly two years into his term – by comparison Barack Obama had six at this point of his. But the COVID pandemic delayed the normal pageantry that comes with a visit by a foreign leader.
Macron was also the guest for Donald Trump’s first state dinner.
Biden and Macron’s relationship got off to a rocky start. At one point, Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to the United States after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia, undermining a French contract.
But the relationship has mended and Macron has been one of Biden’s staunchest allies in the response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
Biden and Macron tried to paint over their economic tensions on Thursday when the U.S. President hinted there is room to change the climate subsidies his French counterpart called a threat to Europe.
In a private meeting in the Oval Office, the two leaders went head-to-head over Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and policies that Macron says will kill jobs.
Afterward, Biden defended his plan to revive America’s economy, which includes $368 billion to fund green technology for U.S. manufacturers.
‘I make no apology’ for it,’ he said.
But, in an effort to try and ease friction, he conceded his landmark legislation has ‘glitches’ that need to be fixed in order not to harm Europe.
‘There’s obviously going to be glitches in it and [we] need to reconcile changes in it,’ he admitted without going into detail about what those might be.
He described them as ‘tweaks that we can make that can fundamentally make it easier for European countries to participate.’
Both leaders agreed to continue discussing the matter on a staff level. And, during a joint press conference at the White House, both Biden and Macron tried to spin an issue at has been an underlying tension during what is supposed to be a friendly visit.
Macron surprised some officials when he threw a diplomatic hardball at the American president shortly after coming to the U.S. shores, warning Biden the IRA, as the Inflation Reduction Act as known, would cost France ‘a lot of jobs.’ He urged Biden to ‘fix it.’
Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron tried to paint over their economic tensions on Thursday when the U.S. President hinted there is room to change the climate subsidies his French counterpart called a threat to Europe
The French and American president held a joint press conference at the White House after a private meeting where they discussed Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act
The Bidens and the Macrons ate at Fiola Mare on Wednesday evening – an Italian restaurant on the bank of the Potomac River where an entree runs between $50 and $150. The menu includes a variety of pasta, seafood and cheeses
But, in public comments at the White House, standing next to Biden in the ornate East Room, Macron sounded a more conciliatory note.
‘France simply did not come to ask for an exemption for our economy but simply to discuss the consequences of this legislation,’ he said.
‘The wish of president Biden is to be building a strong industry here and to secure some technology solutions for the future. France wishes exactly the same thing for itself,’ the French President added. ‘We want to succeed together, not one against the other.’
Biden also argued his legislation was necessary due to the economic downturn that came after the COVID pandemic but said, now that inflation has started to drop, tweaks can be made.
‘It was never intended when I wrote the legislation, I never intended to exclude folks who were cooperating with us. That was not the intention,’ he said.
‘My point is we’re back in business. Europe is back in business. And we’re going to continue to create manufacturing jobs in America but not at the expense of Europe,’ he added.
It remains to be seen if his words will placate Macron and other European leaders, who are worried about the economic fallout.