Friday night’s state dinner will include s big spread includes a 16-foot (5-meter) silk scroll depicting two roses that the White House says are meant to symbolize “a complete meeting of the minds.”
The invitation list isn’t released until late in the day, but the entertainment will be R&B singer Ne-Yo. Grammy-winner singer and actor Ne-Yo, says his father is part Chinese.
Lee Daniels, the creator of the “Empire” television show let spill on ABC’s “The View” earlier in the week that he’ll be there, with his mom as his date.
He said he’s been invited before but couldn’t make it due to work. That won’t happen this time: Daniels said his mom’s “done told the church. She’s done told everybody. She’s my date. So I cannot not go.”
The “wow” factor is decidedly less pronounced among seasoned state dinner attendees. Ninety-two-year-old Henry Kissinger, the shrewd diplomat who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, confirmed he’s on the guest list too. But his office said he doesn’t discuss such things.
Asian influences were everywhere in the dinner plans, down to the Meyer lemons in the kurd lychee sorbet. (The citrus fruit is thought to have originated in China.)
Guest chef Anita Lo, owner of Annisa in New York and a past “Top Chef” competitor, is a first-generation Chinese-American from Birmingham, Michigan. The culinary team is cooking up a menu that highlights “American cuisine with nuances of Chinese flavor,” according to the White House. Guests will sup on wild mushroom soup, poached Maine lobster, grilled cannon of Colorado lamb and poppyseed bread and butter pudding.