(The Hill) – President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are set to feast on lobster, caviar and a course of American artisanal cheeses at Thursday’s state dinner.
The red-white-and-blue-themed gathering with France is the first state visit Biden has hosted during his White House tenure, signaling the administration’s return to pre-pandemic proceedings.
“It’s an expression of welcome and friendship — a way to connect through a language that transcends words,” First Lady Jill Biden said of the dinner in remarks ahead of the event. “And as each dish comes to the table, so too does the meaning behind it.”
A menu released in advance of the dinner, to be served on the White House’s South Lawn, shows the party will dine on butter-poached Maine lobster, American Ostera Caviar, and beef with shallot marmalade, among other dishes in the elaborate meal.
Oregon’s Rogue River Blue cheese, which won the World Cheese Awards gold medal, heads off the three-cheese course, along with a goat cheese from California and a cheddar from Wisconsin.
For dessert, the international group will indulge in orange chiffon cake, roasted pears and crème fraiche ice cream. Three California wines — a chardonnay, a cabernet sauvignon and a sparkling brut rose — round out the drink list.
The president and first lady are expected to entertain Macron and his wife, Brigitte, as well as around 300-400 other guests, according to Bloomberg.
Musician Jon Batiste, who grew up surrounded by both French and American culture in New Orleans, is set to perform during the dinner.
Tables adorned with red roses, blue delphiniums and white irises represent the mutual colors of the two countries’ flags and reflect “the interwoven history of our nations,” Jill Biden said.
“Our hope is that the end result will be a night that balances the beauty of our friendship with the seriousness of our purpose. And we hope that French citizens everywhere feel the warmth of our welcome,” the first lady added.