Top 5 Moments From Barack Obama's State Dinners

This week, President Obama hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron for a glittering White House state dinner. Here's a list of the top 5 state dinner moments in Obama's first term as president:

(1) Britain State Dinner
 

The highlight of President Obama’s state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday night was the dinner menu inspired by the first lady’s “Kitchen Garden.” The four-course menu was designed by the White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford, who credited Michelle Obama’s 1,700 square foot vegetable garden as the influence behind the dishes. “And even though it’s winter time in Washington, D.C., although it’s been 70 degrees outside, we have been growing our own vegetables -- the salad will be taken from the garden. We have kale that will be served in the first course that’s also taken from the garden,” said Comerford. The garden has helped to promote the first lady’s campaign to eat healthy; many of the daily meals of the Obama family incorporate vegetables from the garden. 

(2) China State Dinner


The big plot line of this dinner was Michelle Obama's dress. The First Lady's gown was said to be a miss by critics. The dress was designed by late English designer, Alexander McQueen. Though the long red gown was the right color to symbolize "good luck" in Chinese culture, some critics questioned why the first lady didn't select a gown designed by designers Vera Wang or Taiwanese-American designer Jason Wu.

(3) Germany State Dinner
 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first female head of state to be praised by President Obama with a state dinner. She was presented the prestigious Medal of Freedom. The medal recognizes individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” 

(4) Mexico State Dinner


The second state dinner under the Obama administration welcomed Mexican President Felipe Calderon. At the end of the night, Calderon thanked his hosts generously with a sentiment referenced to Mexican poet Octavio Paz:  "Both of us have dream. Those dreams are related to our people, and we try every day to deserve those dreams and we will reach them." 

(5) India State Dinner

 

The most memorable and talked about moment from President Obama’s state dinners goes back to the very first one, which showed uninvited guests, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, former cast members of the show “The Real Housewives of DC” across headlines.  The now divorced couple somehow managed to get past security, socialize and take pictures with the guests that night, including Vice President Joe Biden.

Photo Credit: Tom Lohdan

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Sifat Azad

Sifat is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Kingston University in London as the first-ever recipient of the Hilary Mantel Creative Writing Scholarship Award. She is a CUNY Baccalaureate graduate with dual concentrations in Literature and Creative Writing. Her piece, "Covered," was featured in John Jay's Finest and her short story, "Brownstone," was published in J Journal: New Writing on Justice.

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