Take that, Emeril!

January 4, 2010

We always knew the Obamas were eatin’ good in the neighborhood, but we didn’t realize how good until last night’s special Iron Chef America, which pitted Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali against Bobby Flay and White House Chef Cristeta Comerford.  The secret ingredient: anything from the White House Garden.  The four chefs scavenged the garden for their pick of seasonal produce, then returned to the DC set of Kitchen Stadium to make good on Michelle’s challenge: create a meal that inspires Americans, and focuses on eating healthy and locally.

Fashion faux pas survey: To match your Crocs to the First Lady's dress? (AP Photo)

Team Flay and Comerford won handily with: a fennel and apple salad with oysters; Fresh garden salad with fried lobster and squid in carrot juice, sweet and sour eggplant with pine nuts and currants; Broccoli clam “chowder” with a hint of ginger; all American BBQ with pork, slaw, collard green tamale, cauliflower gratin and watermelon radish pickles;  sweet potato tart with honey, topped with pecan brittle and ginger ice cream.

Isn't it considered cheating to smear caviar all over your dish? (Food Network)

This wasn’t Flay’s first interaction with the Obamas, though.  Our POTUS got a little training in the art of grilling from the master…

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The Breakfast Club

December 17, 2009

Apparently, being ignorant of White House tour policies (none on national holidays) or failing to check your calendar can get you everywhere.  Such was the case for the Dardens of Hogansville, GA.  The couple mistakenly arrived a day early for their White House tour (on Veterans Day), and ended up having breakfast with POTUS and FLOTUS! 

Breakfast Crashers? I think not! (Robin Nelson)

Since they already had tour-required security clearance, the  Secret Service allowed the couple to join a breakfast hosted by the First Couple for veterans (of which Mr. Darden is, incidentally).  The Dardens were so surprised by their good luck that they didn’t breathe a word about the First Breakfast until well after it happened (which was smart considering the soon-to-follow Salahi debacle). 

Mr. Darden’s final thought on the meal?  “I felt kind of funny because I was the only man in the room that wasn’t dressed in a coat and tie.”

You think this was on the menu? (AirBed & Breakfast, Inc.)


Born to run (the US)

December 7, 2009

The Kennedy Center was abuzz last night with yet another red carpet event–who needs LA when you’ve got the glitterati visiting DC every week?  The Honors went to Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry, and Dave Brubeck.  Attendees included everyone from Eddie Vedder to Nancy Pelosi to Mikhail Baryshnikov. 

Of course, the First Couple were in attendance looking glam as ever.  At the reception, Obama showed some respect, saying “On a day like this remember, I’m the president, but he’s the Boss.” 

Lovely, as usual! (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst, US Politics Entertainment)

Hillary's in heaven--who wouldn't be when sandwiched between the Taxi Driver and the Boss! (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Just remember who the REAL Boss is... (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Even Wonder Woman made an appearance! (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

MODOC and FLODOC-Mayor and First Lady of the District of Columbia, of course! (Kris Connor/Getty Images)


Obama loves Benny Beaver

November 30, 2009

The First Family apparently isn’t letting a piddly security breach stop them from rooting against the home team.   The entire First Family cheered for Oregon State this weekend in their basketball game against GW.  Why did they traitorously root against the home team?  Because FLOTUS’ bro, Craig Robinson, is the coach, of course!  All that presidential cheering must’ve worked–Oregon State beat GW 3-2.  Maybe Obama and co. should start cheering for the Redskins

Just whisper your secret to health care reform...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Come on! Robinson's DON'T LOSE!!! (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Maybe Craig can give his bro-in-law a few tips on the art of dunking. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


Asian Invasian!

November 25, 2009
Last night’s event can’t be considered anything less than success for POTUS’ first State Dinner!  This much glamour hasn’t hit DC since…the inaugural balls? 
The invitation list was a veritable who’s-who of South Asian A-listers, including Deepak Chopra, Bobby Jindal, Kalpen Modi, Sanjay Gupta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amartya Sen, Fareed Zakaria, and M Night Shyamalan.  Other guests included Colin Powell, Katie Couric, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, and Blair Underwood.  In addition to Jennifer Hudson’s vocal stylings, AR Rahman, Oscar winner for the “Slumdog Millionaire” score, also provided entertainment.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Hands down, FLOTUS! (Kamm/Getty Images)

 FLOTUS donned a gorgeous dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.  The dress apparently took 40 people three weeks to custom create for the First Lady.

Is this the Oscars or the State Dinner? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Is Katie wearing a sari??? (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Kalpen really pulled a "Kumar" here--did someone not get the "black tie" memo? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We know who was there, but what did they eat?  Guest chef Marcus Samuellson prepared a mostly vegetarian meal, and used arugula, pineapple sage, fresh dill, oregano and thyme from the White House Garden.  Guests had their choice of roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra or green curry prawns and caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati for the main course, not to mention a bevy of dessert options.  Yum!

Beautiful! (Mandal Ngan, AFP, Getty Images)

Wow, that's TEMPORARY? (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


The Red Carpet meets the White House

November 24, 2009

As the White House prepares for POTUS’ first State Dinner, it’s not international relations with India and guest of honor Dr. Manmohan Singh that are of utmost concern.  The media is abuzz about who will show up and what FLOTUS is gonna wear:  Will she sport a new hairdo?  Show off her blazing guns?  Looks like the First Lady has always been a fashion plate, even as a wee lass at her 1984 senior prom. 

Va va voom! FLOTUS is scandalous with that thigh high slit! (Splash News)

Word on the street is that Jennifer Hudson will provide some American Idol-style entertainment at the gala event.  Other rumored guests: Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Bobby Jindal, and Kal Penn.  BoL can’t wait to see who else will grace the “red carpet” tonight! 

Be sure to catch the live streaming of the State Dinner tonight at 8:15 pm.


Guess who’s coming to dinner?

November 23, 2009

The Obamas are getting ready to host their first State Dinner Tuesday night, and all the A-listers have been clamoring for an invite.  While the formal guest of honor is Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, we all know people are hungry to rub shoulders with POTUS and FLOTUS! 

That ain't no REI tent! (Reuters Pictures)

Because the White House doesn’t have space to accomodate the huge dinner (400 guests!), an enormous tent is being erected in the South Lawn.   The White House has been discrete about the invitation list, so BoL figures our invitation was lost in the mail.  Rumor is that Kalpenn Modi (better known as Kal Penn or Kumar), resident White House desi, received an invitation–maybe so Singh doesn’t feel lonely? 

Kumar is in the House! (White House Photographer Pete Souza)

The dinner is so fancy that the White House invited guest chef Marcus Samuelsson of New York’s Scandinavian restaurant Aquavite  to prepare the meal.  While the menu is undisclosed, we know one thing–Dr. Singh is vegetarian, so Samuelsson’s specialty below better not be the only option!