WHCA Dinner – One Helluva Meal!
Whether it is Thanksgiving Dinner or the Hanukkah Party, White House meals are always the talk of the town. Therefore, the "White House Correspondents Association" or the WHCA Dinner couldn’t be any different. This occasion is immensely popular for its “laughing and living it up” spirit. Aren’t you keen to know what the guests got to eat and do at this year’s WHCA Dinner? Read on to find out ...
1) Preparing for Dinner
The preparations for the WHCA Dinner 2012 began right when the WHCA Dinner 2011 ended last year. So you can guess how much effort goes into organizing this meal. The menu, which, of course, is the most interesting and important part of the night, is decided by the WHCA. The Association met two months ago to decide on the appetizer, entrée, and dessert. For a night, the journalists played food critics instead of political writers because they had to select the meal. The tasting was held at the Washington Hilton under the hawk-eye arrangements of the hotel’s executive chef, Andre Coté. For those who came in late, Coté is the man behind designing the dinner menu for WHCA since 2005. The executive chef prepared three salads, three filet, and a collection of sweets for the tasting. He just wanted to ensure that nobody left hungry at the tasting because that is what gives an insight into what would actually take place at the dinner.
2) The Tasting
There was a lot of food served for the tasting session and that was because Chef Coté wanted the journalists to experience exactly what would be served on the D day. While the chef put finishing touches to his dishes, he shared his experience, “Any one of these three can be reproduced for 2,700 people.” That is the approximate number of guests who come to the WHCA dinner. During the tasting session, the journalists kept taking notes, voting for dishes, and selecting wines. Michael Scherer, Time magazine’s White House correspondent, who is also a WHCA member, said, “I’ve never been served nine courses and four wines at once before. By the third steak we were served, I wasn’t eating too much of it.” About the tasting session, he said, “It was more of a discussion than anything else.” The most difficult part, however, was giving opinion on the meal. P.O.T.U.S. channel’s Julie Mason, who is another WHCA member, shared this, “It was hard to sit there when he was there and say, ‘That sauce was really gross.’ You want to be tactful but you want to say, ‘We can’t do a bright orange sauce like that! People will storm out of the room!’”
3) The Menu
After year-long preparation and a very difficult tasting session, the WHCA group finally settled on a menu, which was more of a mix ‘n match. The menu was as follows:-
- A bread presentation consisting of rolls made with seven-grain, white, wheat, and sourdough flours.
- A black lentil terrine salad with crab, and tear drop tomatoes, served over artisan greens.
- A Texas-rubbed petite filet covered in Calvados sauce. It was served with red curry jumbo shrimp, haricot verts, and risotto on the side.
- An extra-decadent dessert, “The Galaxy” – which was a chocolate truffle mousse layered with genoise, and almond macaroon.
- Four types of wine was sampled, but the group decided on an Estancia Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
4) Glitz, Glamour, Controversy
Just like every year, the WHCA dinner had its fair share of glamour, glitz, and controversy. While the glamour was supplied by the likes of Kardashians (Kim and her mother, Kris Jenner), George Clooney, Josh Hutcherson, Lindsay Lohan, Diane Keaton, Charlize Theron, and Jimmy Kimmel, the controversy quota was contributed by Rep. Allen West (R-Florida). West ripped apart the attendees of the WHCA dinner despite the fact that he spent a lot of time signing autographs for people standing outside the White House after he attended the dinner himself. On his Facebook page, West wrote, “While the President laughs and dines, our Constitutional Republic is eroding and my countrymen are suffering. In this election year, it is sad to think that some of those who were sitting in that ballroom Saturday night laughing and living it up, are helping to perpetuate the manipulation and deception of our country.”
Most of those who were at the dinner with West have brushed aside his comments as being in bad taste. Overall, this last bit did little to dampen the ‘spirits’ flowing at the White House. What are your views on West’s tirade? Is the WHCA dinner a too-elaborate affair or is our President allowed to enjoy this one evening out? Write in with your comments.
Video Courtesy: politico.com
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