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Melania Trump Is Using Ingredients From Michelle Obama’s White House Garden at Her First State Dinner

7 minute read

First Lady Melania Trump is embracing the spirit of bipartisanship for Tuesday’s State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and French First Lady Brigette Macron — at least, when it comes to the menu and decor.

The Office of the First Lady released details about the Trump administration’s first state dinner on Monday, revealing a menu that features greens from the White House kitchen garden, which was planted by Michelle Obama in 2009, and a china service that will include pieces from Bush 43 and Clinton’s services.

The Clinton china services coordinates with the dinner’s gold and white color scheme while the Bush service will complement the green and white floral arrangements that will pepper the State Dining room. According to the White House, there will be over 1,200 branches from American-grown cherry blossoms lining the Cross Hall and the State Dining Room will be decorated with 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and 1,000 stems of white lilac.

The Trumps, the Macrons and their guests will dine on food that showcases “the best of America’s cuisines and traditions” with some French influence: the main course is a rack of spring lamb and Carolina Gold rice jambalaya cooked with celery, peppers, onions, and herbs from the South Lawn. Dinner will be served with a Chardonnay that is described as “the product of American and French collaboration” and a Pinot Noir that is fermented in French oak barrels. For dessert, they’ll have nectarine tarts with crème fraîche ice cream.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama host an event to harvest the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House October 6, 2016 in Washington, DC.
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama host an event to harvest the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House October 6, 2016 in Washington, DCChip Somodevilla—2016 Getty Images

The full guest list has not yet been released, but Politico reports the Trumps’ first state dinner will be understated in comparison to the Obamas’ affairs, which included lengthy guest lists packed with stars. While Grammy Award-winner Mary J. Blige was tapped by the Obama White House to perform at the 2014 dinner for then French President François Hollande, the Trump White House has selected the Washington National Opera to provide the featured entertainment.

And the spirit of bipartisanship may stop at the dinner guests’ plates, at least when it comes to members of Congress. According to Politico, no Democratic members of Congress were invited to the dinner and no members of the media were asked to attend.

Aside from the dinner, the Trumps and the Macrons will plant a tree on the South Lawn upon the French couple’s arrival at the White House. They will also take a scenic tour of the National Mall aboard Marine One and end at Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s estate. On Wednesday, Macron will address a joint session of Congress.

Clinton China at the White House
The Clinton china will be used for the state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel MacronChip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Read the full details from the White House below.

First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump are excited to welcome President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the Trump Administration’s first state visit.

Upon the arrival, the two couples will plant a tree, a gift from the President and Mrs. Macron, together on the South Lawn of the White House. The sapling is a European Sessile Oak that measures approximately 4.5 feet tall with an estimated age between 5-10 years old. The tree comes from Belleau Woods, and is a historic landmark of the United States engagement in the First World War. Over 9,000 American marines died in the Belleau Wood battle in June 1918 and the forest is a memorial site and important symbol of the sacrifice the United States made to ensure peace and stability in Europe.

This evening, the two couples will depart the White House on the Presidential helicopter Marine One, for a scenic tour of historic monuments in Washington, ending at Mount Vernon—the iconic home of America’s first President, George Washington.

After the dinner, the First Lady will open the State Floor for a press preview of the state dinner setting and décor. The Office of the First Lady has prepared the following details, all carefully selected by First Lady Melania Trump, to complement and pay homage to the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

Arrival Ceremony

On Tuesday Morning, April 24, the President and First Lady will host the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. With the practice tracing back to the 17th century, the Trump Administration is proud to carry on the traditional military arrival ceremony. Nearly 500 members of the United States Armed Forces from all five military branches will be on the South Lawn for the traditional “Review of the Troops.” Guests invited to attend the ceremony include Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, military families, and students from the Maya Angelou French Immersion School in Temple Hills, Maryland.

State Dinner

The color scheme is cream and gold and the china settings consist of the Clinton china for the baseplate, along with both Bush (43) and Clinton china for the dinner service. The First Lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room. Mrs. Trump has also selected pieces from the extensive Vermeil collection as well as American Silver from the White House Collection—from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons—to add to the décor in the State Dining Room.


Washington National Opera from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

Floral Arrangements

The Cross Hall will feature over 1,200 branches of cherry blossom, all grown in the United States.

The State Dining Room will feature more than 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and nearly 1,000 stems of white lilac—both California and Dutch grown mixed.

The parlors will feature a variety of mixed garden flowers. The Stephanotis vines, which will also be featured in the parlors, are from California.


The menu will be a showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences prepared by the renowned White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford (a full menu can be found at the bottom of the release).

The first course celebrates the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden.

The main course will be a Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya, which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking—celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn.


Dessert will be a Nectarine Tart infused with White House honey and accented by crème fraîche ice cream.


The wines were selected to complement the menu and embody the historic friendship between the United States and France, which dates back to the American Revolution.


The Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015 is the product of American and French collaboration—a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures. The wine was aged in 40 percent French oak barrels for more than 12 months.


The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014—This wine uses the motto “French soul–Oregon soil.” The grapes at Domaine Drouhin are harvested and sorted by hand and fermented in French Oak barrels.


Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” has been served in the White House for official and ceremonial events many times over the years. The subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart.

Full Menu:

First Course:

Goat Cheese Gateau

Tomato Jam

Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles

Young Variegated Lettuces

Main Course:

Rack of Spring Lamb

Burnt Cipollini Soubise

Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya


Nectarine Tart

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream


Additional Information
The guest list and First Lady’s gown details will be released at the beginning of the dinner.

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