A Fall-Themed Menu for Australia’s State Dinner


The fourth state dinner hosted by the Biden administration, to honor Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, will feature a menu of fall vegetables, a backdrop of florals and a selection of instrumental music performed by military bands.

“Nurturing our partnerships and relationships with our allies is critically important, especially in these tumultuous times,” Jill Biden, the first lady, said as she previewed the event at the White House on Tuesday. “Food is comforting, reassuring and healing, and we hope that this dinner provides a little of that as well.”

Here are some details of the event, scheduled for Wednesday evening.

World events prompted the White House to change plans for the entertainment portion of the visit. The B-52s, a Georgia-bred group most famous for their hits “Love Shack” and “Rock Lobster,” were scheduled to provide the entertainment, but Dr. Biden said on Tuesday that they would attend as guests.

The United States Marine Band and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings will provide instrumental music instead.

“We are now in a time when so many are facing sorrow and pain, so we made a few adjustments to the entertainment portion of the evening,” Dr. Biden said.

Katie Button, a James Beard Award-nominated chef who owns the restaurant Cúrate in Asheville, N.C., worked with the first lady and White House chefs to develop a menu that Ms. Button said showcased “the bounty of the fall season” in the United States. The menu, shared by the White House, features root vegetables, short ribs and ice cream — a presidential favorite — for dessert.

Farro and roasted beet salad

Popped sorghum, herb vinaigrette

Butternut squash soup

Smoked paprika, candied pumpkin seeds

Sarsaparilla-braised short ribs

Sorghum-glazed young carrots

Brussels sprouts, celery root purée, carrot jus

Hazelnut and chocolate mousse cake

Crème fraîche ice cream

Windracer Chardonnay Alexander Mountain 2019

Sequel Syrah Columbia Valley 2019

Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 2012

The first lady and Carlos Elizondo, the White House social secretary, worked with Bryan Rafanelli to design the look of the dinner. (Mr. Rafanelli was also hired last year to plan the South Lawn wedding of Naomi Biden, the president’s eldest granddaughter.)

The décor is themed around the idea of painted landscapes in the United States and Australia, with a palette of blues, purples and pinks. The floral backdrop will feature roses and eucalyptus. Butterflies, florals, fruit and nuts will also be integrated into the setting.

The guest list is traditionally released by the White House just before arrivals begin, but the Biden administration tends to invite prominent members of the guest country, donors, administration officials and members of the Biden family.



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