The Obamas Prepare Local Feast for Camerons at Star-Studded State Dinner
George Clooney will join Brits such as Damien Lewis and "Downton Abbey" actor Hugh Bonneville at the White House affair.
Fresh from a weekend out sampling the all-American pleasures of March Madness, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will host British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha at a White House state dinner that mixes UK celebrity with distinctly U.S. fare.
Entertainment for the Wednesday night event will reflect the nations' famous special relationship, with folk rock group Mumford and Sons sharing the stage with American composer and vocalist John Legend. Long-time Obama supporter George Clooney, just back from his latest trip to Darfur, will also attend.
They’ll play for a crowd studded with British luminaries, including Damien Lewis -- who, as the star of Band of Brothers and Homeland, has made something of a specialty playing Yanks in uniform. Hugh Bonneville, star of the unexpected cross-over hit, Downton Abbey, also is on the guest list, as is Ulster golfing sensation Rory McIlroy, airline mogul and adventurer Richard Branson and Sir Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod and iPad for Apple.
Once they get to the table, they’ll get a chance to share the Obamas’ taste for healthy, locally grown and seasonal produce -- much of it from the White House kitchen garden whose planting was supervised by the First Lady. The fish course of omega-oil rich Halibut, for example, will be served on a bed of baby kale, cabbage spouts and shaved Brussels sprouts harvested on the grounds of the executive mansion. The salad will be built around freshly snipped White House micro-greens, though the chefs had to go -- as far as we know -- a bit further to secure the main course: bison Wellington. (Bison, by the way, is lower in fat and cholesterol than virtually any other red meat.)