Presidential menu: What Ruto and Mama Rachel will be served at White House State Dinner

President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto will Thursday night be hosted by the Bidens for a State Dinner at the White House after a State Visit invitation by President Joe Biden.

Kenya will be the first African nation in nearly 15 years, to be hosted for a state dinner at the White House, with a menu that includes butter-poached lobster and a white chocolate basket with banana ganache, raspberries, peaches and candied lime zest.

A preview of the first course for Kenya state dinner menu is a chilled heirloom tomato soup with sourdough crisps and Arbequina olive oil for the media at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis


President Ruto started his historic four-day State visit to the United States of America on Monday, the first by an African leader in 15 years.

Speaking during a media briefing on Wednesday, First Lady Jill Biden revealed that the elegant dinner will be hosted under the stars, in a pavilion made almost entirely of glass, looking up at the sky.

“Tomorrow night, we mark the 60th anniversary of the United States’ partnership with Kenya with an elegant dinner under the stars, in a pavilion made almost entirely of glass, looking up at our one sky. While, outside, night surrounds us, inside, guests will be brought together over the glow of candles, in a space saturated with warm pinks and reds,” she said.

For the US, a state dinner is one of the most glamorous events organised by the White House for a visiting head of government or reigning monarch, and has been used in the past to demonstrate diplomatic unity.

For starters, President Ruto and the First Lady will be served chilled heirloom tomato soup with sourdough crisps and arbequina olive oil.

A preview for the media of the main course for Kenya state dinner menu is fruitwood-smoked beef short ribs with butter-poached lobster, citrus butter, baby kale and sweet corn puree at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis


The black-tie event will then see the dinners then move on to fruitwood-smoked beef short ribs and butter-poached lobster with citrus butter, baby kale and sweet corn purée.

Dessert will include a white chocolate basket with banana ganache, raspberries, peaches and candied lime zest.

The guest will also be served three wines during dinner, a Hartford Court Chardonnay from the Four Hearts Vineyard, a pinot noir from St. Innocent Winery, and an Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut sparkling wine.

The Howard Gospel Choir and Brad Paisley, have been chosen to entertain the guests in honor of President and First Lady Ruto’s love of gospel and country music.

As the guests leave, their paths will be lit by the moon. According to the US First Lady, it is meant to surround guests with the warmth she received during her visit to Kenya.

“As guests leave their path illuminated by our one moon, I hope they will be filled with the same warmth I felt during my visits to Kenya – that of friendships that will endure and help create a bright and prosperous future,” the First Lady said.

State dinner planning is done by the first lady’s staff and the White House social office, and starts months in advance.

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