American cheese on White House state dinner menu for France

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Maine lobster poached in butter, beef with shallot marmalade and an American cheese trio will be served when French President Emmanuel Macron takes his seat as the guest of honor at a red-white-and-blue themed White House state dinner, the first for President Joe Biden.

Dessert will be orange chiffon cake, roasted pears and creme fraiche ice cream.

Everything from the menu to the entertainment to the table settings and other touches were designed by the White House — and first lady Jill Biden — to highlight the ties that bind America and its oldest ally, France.

“Our hope is that the end result will be a night that balances the beauty of our friendship with a seriousness of purpose,” she said, ”and we hope that French citizens everywhere feel the warmth of our welcome.”

The dinner will be held in a heated pavilion on the South Lawn with a guest list that is expected to top 300. Guests will dine at a mix of square and rectangular tables, covered with dark blue silk cloths and decorated with candles and arrangements of red, white and blue flowers, including roses and irises.

An image of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, will be the backdrop for toasts by the presidents.

Music will be provided by Jon Batiste, a New Orleans native, and his father, Michael Batiste, the U.S. Marine Bank and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings.

It will be the first White House state dinner since 2019, and part of a broader state visit to the United States by Macron and his wife, Brigitte.

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