WASHINGTON, June 22 (PTI) — Pickled millet, corn kernel salad and stuffed mushrooms were on the menu for the 400 guests invited to a state dinner for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday.
First lady Jill Biden said Wednesday that she has asked chef Nina Curtis, who specializes in plant-based dishes, to work with White House staff to create a stunning vegan menu for devout vegetarian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Guests will also have the option to add fish to their main course, she said in a media preview of the state banquet.
Modi arrived here from New York earlier in the day, where he had earlier in the day officiated a historic event at the UN headquarters to mark the ninth International Yoga Day, attended by UN officials, diplomats and prominent personalities. At the invitation of President Joe Biden and the First Lady, he will visit the United States from June 21 to 24.
More than 400 guests were invited to the dinner, which was held in a specially decorated pavilion on the South Lawn of the White House, the first lady said.
The first course of the state dinner will include pickled millet, grilled corn kernel salad, compressed watermelon and tangy guacamole. Entrees include stuffed portobello mushrooms and creamy saffron risotto.
On request, guests can enjoy sumac grilled sea bass with lemon dill yogurt sauce, crispy millet cake and zucchini, according to the menu.
Dessert was Rose and Cardamom Strawberry Shortcake. Wines on the list include Stone Tower Chardonnay “Kristi” 2021, PATEL Red Blend 2019 and Domain Carneros Brut Rose.
Californian chef Curtis said: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to work with the First Lady and help her bring her culinary vision to life…Our carefully curated menu truly showcases the best of American cuisine, and Then spice it up with Indian elements and flavors,” she said.
“We are also very pleased that India is taking the lead in celebrating the International Year of Millet. We have incorporated preserved millet into our menu and incorporated elements of Indian cuisine into the entire menu,” said the chef.
White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo said at a preview dinner that the first lady was involved throughout the event.
Elizondo said every element of the dinner and decor was carefully chosen to make each guest’s experience personal and welcoming.
He said the venue’s décor features elements that respect American and Indian traditions and culture, including the Indian flag.
“Our design inspiration actually started with the peacock, India’s national bird. From the invitations to the program to the pavilion, we hoped to evoke the awe-inspiring feeling of a peacock extending its tail, revealing its colorful beauty , majesty and strength,” said the social secretary.
“Green drapes will hang from the ceiling to give way to saturated blue and green tables covered in Indian silk, falling on a navy blue rug. These shades are a tribute not only to our guests, but also to our hosts Hats off, blue and green are also two of Dr. (Jill) Biden’s favorite colors,” Elizondo said.
Every table will be decorated with flowers in large and small vases, the colors of which reflect the saffron of the Indian flag and the traditions it represents, he said.
The social secretary said the president and prime minister would toast from the eagle podium, as leaders have done at state dinners for decades.
“For this dinner, we embossed the iconic eagle and peacock on the rich forest green background behind them, replicating the iconic eagle and peacock in the same style, framing the leaders with their national bird. The peacock’s paw and the millet stem, a tribute to India. The campaign to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millet was a success,” he said.
Elizondo said they were surrounded by lotus flowers, an important symbol of India. “Their shimmering petals remind us that each day, our nation blooms stronger and more radiant together. Throughout the space, you’ll find more imagery of lotuses, with designs inspired by traditional Indian arts.” mandala illustration,” he added. American violinist and conductor Joshua Bell and South Asian Penn Masala were invited to the entertainment portion of Prime Minister Modi’s state banquet. Bell is a Grammy Award-winning violinist, soloist, soloist, chamber musician and conductor, currently Director of Music at Saint Martins College. Highlights of Bell’s 2023-24 season include an international tour of his newly commissioned project Elements, featuring works by renowned living composers. Bell has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, was named “Instrumentalist of the Year” by American Music, was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and was awarded an AI for his outstanding achievements in classical music. Free Fisher Award. Penn Masala is a South Asian a cappella ensemble founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania. They are known for original compositions and harmonies that straddle traditions and capture the cultural upbringing of East and West. Penn Masala has performed all over the world, including at the Indian International Academy of Film (IIFA) Awards, and on the soundtrack of a Hollywood feature film and Pitch Perfect 2, which won Best Score at the American Music Awards in 2015 . The Chamber Orchestra of the United States Marine Corps will also perform. For more than two centuries, the United States Marine Corps Band has been a part of the events that have shaped this country. Founded by an Act of Congress in 1798, the Marine Corps Band is the oldest continuously active professional musical organization in the United States, making its debut at the White House on New Year’s Day, 1801. Its main mission is unique – to provide music to the presidents and presidents of the United States. Commander of the Marine Corps. In its third century of existence, the Marine Corps Band continues its tradition of excellence and has earned the title “President’s Personal Band.”
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