Melania Trump plans dinner menu for Macrons celebrating New Orleans cuisine

In break with tradition, Donald Trump has not invited any Democratic members of Congress or journalists to Tuesday’s state dinner

First lady Melania Trump has planned a state dinner for French president Emmanuel Macron that incorporates the celebrated gastronomy of New Orleans – a city founded by the French and still famous for its French Quarter.

The main course on Tuesday night will be a rack of spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya, “cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking – celery, peppers and onions, and spiced with herbs from the south lawn”, the White House announced.


Prepared by White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford, that will follow a first course of goat cheese gateau, tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles and young variegated lettuces from the executive mansion’s garden. For dessert, there will be a nectarine tart with White House honey and creme fraiche ice cream.

Wines include a Domaine Serene chardonnay Evenstad Reserve 2015 – a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures – and Domaine Drouhin pinot noir Laurène 2014, which uses the motto “French soul, Oregon soil”.

Donald Trump was the first president since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s to end his first year in office without hosting a foreign leader on a state visit. But Macron and his wife Brigitte arrive on Monday for three days of pomp and pageantry. Downtown Washington is festooned with US and French flags, while photos of Trump’s visit to Paris last year – where he was wowed by a military parade – adorn the west wing. Trump caused embarrassment on that trip when he told Brigitte: “You’re in such good shape.”

Upon arrival on Monday, the two couples will plant a tree, a gift from the Macrons, together on the south lawn. The sapling, a European sessile oak about 4.5ft tall, comes from Belleau Woods, where more than 9,000 American marines died in a first world war battle nearly 100 years ago.

In the evening, the couples will take a scenic tour of historic monuments in Washington on the presidential helicopter Marine One, ending at Mount Vernon, where they will have a private dinner on the banks of the Potomac river and visit the tomb of George Washington.

On Tuesday morning, Trump and Melania, who speaks French, will host a state arrival ceremony on the south lawn including the traditional “review of the troops”. There will be meetings and a joint press conference during the day, with differences on the Iran nuclear deal and trade likely to loom large. Macron will also address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

In a break with tradition, Trump has invited no Democratic members of Congress or journalists to the state dinner, according to the Associated Press. There will be around 150 guests in the state dining room – fewer than the hundreds of guests Barack Obama used to entertain in a tented pavilion erected on the south lawn.

The colour scheme is cream and gold and the dinner service consists of china used by the Bill Clinton and George W Bush administrations. A White House statement said: “The first lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the state dining room.” The Washington National Opera will perform.