GOP lawmakers join Hunter Biden at president's first state dinner

A toast to everyone getting along? Anna Wintour joins the Bidens, Republicans, Democrats and celebs for White House state dinner with Macron – as GOP leader Kevin McCarthy brushes off question about dining with investigation target Hunter

  • Hunter Biden, wife Melissa and president’s daughter Ashley join President Joe Biden and Jill Biden’s first state dinner
  • Bidens honor President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife Brigitte
  • Jill wore navy Oscar de la Renta dress and Brigitte wore white Louis Vuitton 
  • Several Republicans are also attending the black-tie event 
  • House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son
  •  GOP lawmakers have vowed to investigate Hunter Biden when they take control of the House in January
  • ‘I’m at dinner with my mom so I’m going to have a great time,’ he said 
  • Anna Wintour arrived in her signature sunglasses 

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte for the first state dinner of their administration along with a gaggle of guests with potential for conflict.

The two couples embraced and posed for photos on the North Portico of the White House. Jill Biden wore a navy, floral evening gown by Oscar de la Renta while Brigitte Macron wore a long white gown with silver details by Louis Vuitton.

As the Bidens and Macrons exchanged greetings, their guests arrived for the black-tie affair, which is taking place in a glass tent on the South Lawn of the White House. 

Later, the two presidents clinked glasses and talked about the long friendship between the two nations.

‘France was our first ally. The first country to fly an American flag after our revolution,’ Biden said. ‘I actually grew up in a place called New Castle, Delaware County, near Brandywine Battlefield. Where a young man named Marquis de Lafayette fought for the American cause and became close friends with a fellow named George Washington.’ 

‘Later Lafayette wrote of their friendship, and I quote, “It was such simplicity that two friends were united by the greatest of the causes.” Today, we’re still united, by the greatest of causes: democracy, liberty, equality, opportunity and freedom,’ the president continued. 

‘We stand together against oppression and injustice, we stick up for one another in our democratic values to which Washington and Lafayette dedicated their lives,’ he said. ‘And we still strive to build a world that’s worthy of our highest hopes and of our future, knowing that we can always, always count on one another as allies and friends.’

Biden asked the guests to raise their glasses, ‘which neither one of us have,’ as the waiter brought two champagne flutes onstage – and the presidents toasted. ‘Viva la France and God bless America,’ Biden said.

Macron dedicated his toast to ‘dear Joe, my dear friend.’ 

The French president spoke of how people in the United States and France are ‘living in democracy and freedom.’

‘And in a lot of places today, these principles are at risk or challenged, even in our societies, in our democracies, a lot of people just want to jeopardize or revert from this principle, challenge elections and so on, we stand together shoulder to shoulder,’ Macron said. 

The glass pavilion was tucked in a corner of the South Lawn beneath a set of trees with the Washington Monument visible behind it. Guests entered through an archway of red roses into a room illuminated by candelabras and candle filled-chandeliers. The soft light gave the place a magical glow and, adding to the atmosphere, on the wall were etches of roses that brought to mind the old French fairytale Beauty and the Beast. 

Several Biden family members are in attendance, including Hunter Biden, the president’s son facing a federal tax probe and threats from Republican lawmakers.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son, who GOP lawmakers have vowed to investigate when they take control of the House in January.  

‘I’m at dinner with my mom so I’m going to have a great time,’ he said.

Other Biden family members are also present: the president’s sister Valerie Biden Owens and his daughter Ashley Biden. Hunter’s wife Melissa Cohen Biden is also attending. Hunter and Melissa didn’t walk through the main entrance that other guests used. 

Ashley, in a floor-length blue gown, said she brought her best friend from college as her guest. 

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and President Joe Biden (right) participate in a toast at the Biden administration’s first state dinner with France Thursday night 

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden host their first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte

The glass pavilion was tucked in a corner of the South Lawn beneath a set of trees with the Washington Monument visible behind it. Guests entered through an archway of red roses into a room illuminated by candelabras and candle filled-chandeliers

A military honor guard surrounds the two couples as the Macrons arrived at the White House

French President Emmanuel Macron gives a wink as he delivers a toast at Thursday’s state dinner 

U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. first lady Jill Biden greet France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at the North Portico of the White House

Jill Biden gives Brigitte Macron a kiss as the President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron look on

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who brought his mom Roberta, brushed off a question about whether it will be awkward attending a dinner with the president’s son Hunter, who the GOP have vowed to investigate

Hunter Biden mingles with guests at Thursday’s state dinner after skipping the arrivals where he’d be photographed and queried by journalists

Director Baz Luhrmann and Anna Wintour, wearing her signature shades, arrive for the State Dinner

US singer-songwriter John Legend and his wife model Chrissy Teigen arrive

Actress Jennifer Garner (right), in Ralph Lauren, brought her daughter Violet Affleck (left)

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (R) and his husband Chasten Buttigieg arrive

U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. first lady Jill Biden, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pose for a picture at the Grand Staircase of the White House

Actress Ariana DeBose arrives for the State Dinner with Henry Munoz, owner of Funny or Die 

Musician Jon Batiste arrives with his wife Suleika Jaouad and family members for the State Dinner – Batiste will be performing for the crowd

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her son actor Charlie Hall 

Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert and his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert

Chief Executive Officer of Apple Tim Cook arrives at the State dinner

Military aides stand at the entrance of the glass tent where the state dinner took place 

The guest list includes titans of business, the top names in fashion and Hollywood royalty.  

Several celebrities are also attending, including actress Jennifer Garner, who brought her daughter Violet Affleck, Ariana DeBose, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

From the fashion world, Vogue editor Anna Wintour brought director Bazmark Luhrmann. Wintour recently put first lady Jill Biden and the Bidens’ granddaughter Naomi on its digital cover in honor of Naomi’s wedding.

‘Well what girl doesn’t want to be in Vogue for her wedding,’ Wintour said when asked by how Vogue got the Bidens to pose.

Wintour arrived wearing black sunglasses, which she kept on as she walked through the East Wing entrance toward the state rooms in the White House. 

Musician Jon Batiste, who is providing the entertainment, promised: ‘It’s going to be fire.’ 

He was accompanied by his wife, Suleika Jaouad, who has been fighting cancer.

‘This is my first time out in a year,’ she told reporters. 

Ashley Biden (right) said she brought her college best friend, Elysia Bevan (right) as her date to her dad’s first state dinner

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) said ‘great. And happy. And relieved,’ when she asked about the trio of Democratic successors, as daughter Alexandra (right) quipped, ‘free at last!’ 

The president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, sported a Brandon Maxwell gown to the dinner 

Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer indicated he was enjoying life after the bench 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ‘great. And happy. And relieved,’ when she asked about the trio of Democratic successors who were voted on earlier this week to take the top three House leadership posts in January.

‘Free at last,’ said daughter filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, with a smile on her face. 

Bernard Arnault, the head of fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, and Apple CEO Tim Cook also walked the red carpet. He was followed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Steve Jobs.

More than 350 guests in sweeping gowns and tuxedos descended upon the White House for an evening of music, toasts and amore. 

Guests walked through a snow-covered forest in the White House’s East Wing, which is decorated for Christmas, and gathered under a glass pavilion on the South Lawn for the dinner.

They were shuttled there by trolleys the White House rented from a local tourism company. 

Chandeliers hang above them; candles light the night sky; and images fleurs de lis, stained-glass roses and irises are being flashed on the pavilion walls. 

It’s heated too. 

President Macron helps his wife Brigitte up the front steps of the White House, where Joe and Jill Biden are waiting

President Macron kisses Jill Biden while President Biden greets Brigitte Macron

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California arrives with her daughter Alexandra

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York brought his daughter Jessica

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre arrives for the State Dinner

US Senator Susan Collins and Elizabeth McCandless arrive

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden await the Macrons’ arrival

Guest List for State Dinner the Bidens are hosting for the President of France 



Mr. Roger Altman & Ms. Jurate Kazickas

Mr. Mark Angelson & Ms. Marilyn Angelson

Mr. Bernard Arnault & Ms. Hélène Marie Mercier Arnault

Ms. Delphine Arnault

The Honorable Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense & Ms. Charlene Austin

The Honorable Stewart Bainum & Ms. Sandra Bainum

Mr. Michael Barnicle & Ms. Anne Finucane

Mr. Jonathan Batiste & Ms. Suleika Jaouad

The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health & Human Services, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services & Dr. Carolina Reyes

The Honorable Katherine Bedingfield, Assistant to the President & Director of Communications & Mr. David Kieve

The Honorable John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana & Ms. Donna Edwards

Ms. Valerie Biden Owens & Mr. Jack Owens

Ms. Ashley Biden & Ms. Elysia Bevan

Mr. Hunter Biden & Ms. Melissa Cohen Biden

The Honorable Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State & The Honorable Evan Ryan, Assistant to the President & Cabinet Secretary

The Honorable Lisa Blunt Rochester, U.S. Representative (Delaware) & Ms. Hannah Carter

Mr. Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the Republic and Sherpa to the G7 and G20, French Republic

Mr. Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Member of Parliament & Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, French Republic

Mr. David G. Bradley & Ms. Katherine Bradley

Ms. Rosalind Brewer & Mr. John Brewer

The Honorable Steven Breyer, Former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice & Ms. Joanna Breyer

Mr. Tristan Bromet, Advisor to the Presidency, French Republic

Ms. Mika Brzezinski and Mr. Charles Joseph Scarborough

The Honorable Peter Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation & Mr. Chasten Glezman Buttigieg

Mr. David Calhoun & Ms. Devon Calhoun

Mr. Christian Cambon, Senator of Val-de-Marne & Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, French Government

The Honorable Denise Campbell Bauer, U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic & the Principality of Monaco, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Steven Bauer

The Honorable Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education & Ms. Marissa Cardona

The Honorable John Carney, Governor of Delaware & Ms. Tracey Quillen Carney

The Honorable Thomas Carper, U.S. Senator (Delaware) & Ms. Martha Carper

The Honorable James Clyburn, U.S. Representative & House Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives (South Carolina) & Ms. Virginia Newman

Mr. Stephen Colbert & Ms. Evelyn McGee-Colbert

The Honorable Susan Collins, U.S. Senator (Maine) & Ms. Elizabeth McCandless

H.E. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Mr. Thomas Conway & Ms. Carol Murphy

Mr. Timothy Cook & The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Honorable Christopher Coons, U.S. Senator (Delaware) & Ms. Ann Coons

Ms. Tatiana Copeland & Mr. Gerret Copeland

Mr. Christian Dargnat

Mr. Eric Dean & Ms. Judith Dean

The Honorable Brian Deese, Assistant to the President & Director of the National Economic Council & Miss Adeline Deese

Ms. Mary Quinn Delaney & Mr. Wayne Jordan

Ms. Laurence Des Cars

The Honorable Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European & Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Alan Untereiner

The Honorable Michael Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, Michigan & Dr. Sonia Hassan

Mr. Blair Effron & Ms. Cheryl Effron

Mr. Philippe Errera, Director General for Political Affairs and Security, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, French Republic

H.E. Philippe Etienne, Ambassador of the French Republic to the United States & Ms. Patricia Etienne, Spouse of the French Ambassador to the United States

Mr. Guillaume Faury & Ms. Maria Faury

Ms. Christy Ferer

The Honorable Jonathan Finer, Assistant to the President & Principal Deputy National Security Advisor & Ms. Susan Finer

Mr. Walid Fouque, Advisor for Asia, the Americas and Oceania

Mr. Fernando Garcia & Ms. Laura Kim

Ms. Jennifer Garner & Miss Violet Affleck

The Honorable Rufus Gifford, Chief of Protocol for the United States, U.S. Department of State

His Excellency Philippe Franc, Chief of Protocol to the French Republic

Mr. Avram Glazer & Ms. Jill Glazer

The Honorable Philip Gordon, Assistant to the President & National Security Advisor to the Vice President & Ms. Rachel Gordon

The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy & Mr. John Mulhern

Cpt. Florent Groberg, Captain & Medal of Honor Recipient, The U.S. Army

The Honorable Debra Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Department of the Interior & Mr. Lloyd Sayre

The Honorable Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, Office of the Director of National Intelligence & Mr. David Davighi

Ms. Maya Harris & Mr. Tony West

The Honorable Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States & Mr. Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States

Mr. Jamie Harrison, Chair, Democratic National Committee & Ms. Marie Boyd

Ms. Gabriela Hearst & Ms. Stephanie Lasnier de Lavalette

Ms. Mary Kay Henry & Ms. April Verrett

The Honorable Lina Hidalgo, Judge, Harris County, Texas & Mr. David James

Mr. Amos Hochstein, Special Presidential Coordinator, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Julie Ringel

The Honorable Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative & Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland) & Ms. Elaine Kamarck

Ms. Bonny Jacobs & Ms. Jennifer Glenn

Mr. Kenneth Jarin & Ms. Robin Wiessmann

The Honorable Karine Jean-Pierre, Assistant to the President & Press Secretary, & Ms. Elainne Antoine

The Honorable Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Arielle Pierson

The Honorable Ashish Jha, Assistant to the President, Counselor to the President, & Coordinator of COVID-19 Response & Ms. Debra Stump

Mr. Jeffrey Katzenberg & Ms. Marilyn Katzenberg

Mr. Edward Kelly & Ms. Kathryn Kelly

Mr. Joe Kiani & Ms. Sarah Kiani

Mr. John Scott Kirby & Ms. Kathleen Marie Kirby

The Honorable Ronald Klain, Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff to the President & The Honorable Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans & International Environmental & Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Mr. Olivier Knox & Dr. Jennifer Lewis

Mr. Christopher Korge & Ms. Wyn Bradley

Mr. Henry Kravis & Ms. Marie-Josée Kravis

Mr. Arvind Krishna & Ms. Sonia Krishna

The Honorable Edward Lamont, Governor of Connecticut & Ms. Annie Lamont

The Honorable Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement & Mr. Derek Bottoms

Mr. Matthieu Landon, Advisor for Industry, Research and Innovation

The Honorable Mitchell Landrieu, Senior Advisor & Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator & Ms. Cheryl Landrieu

Mr. Thibault Lanxade

H.E. Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, French Republic

The Honorable Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator (Vermont) & Ms. Marcelle Leahy

H.E. Sébastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces, French Republic

Mr. Antoine Lefèvre, Senator and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of French Parliament, French Republic

Mr. John Legend & Ms. Christine Teigen

Mr. Claude Lelouch

Ms. Belkis Leong-Hong & Ms. Denise Williams

Mr. Christophe Leribault

Ms. Ada Limón & Mr. Lucas Marquardt

Mr. Christian Louboutin

Ms. Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Mr. Charles Hall

Mr. Bryan Lourd & Mr. Bruce Bozzi

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security & Ms. Tanya Mayorkas

The Honorable Terence McAuliffe, Former Governor of Virginia & The Honorable Dorothy McAuliffe, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Representative & House Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives (California) & Ms. Roberta McCarthy

The Honorable Michael McCaul, U.S. Representative (Texas) & Ms. Linda McCaul

Ms. Virginia McGregor & Mr. Robert McGregor

The Honorable Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, U.S. Department of State & Ms. Mary King

Mr. Jon Meacham & Ms. Margaret Keith Meacham

The Honorable Gregory Meeks, U.S. Representative (New York) & Ms. Ebony Meeks-Laidley

Mr. Sanjay Mehrotra & Ms. Sangeeta Mehrotra

The Honorable Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator (New Jersey) & Ms. Nadine Menendez

Mr. Frédéric Michel, Special Advisor for Communication and Strategy, French Republic

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense & Ms. Hollyanne Milley

Mr. Emmanuel Moulin, Director General of the Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance, French Republic

Mr. Brian Moynihan & Ms. Susan Berry

Mr. Henry Muñoz III & Ms. Ariana DeBose

The Honorable Philip Murphy, Governor of New Jersey & Ms. Tammy Murphy

The Honorable Clarence Nelson II, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration & Ms. Grace Nelson

The Honorable Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber & Emerging Technology, National Security Council & Mr. Yehuda Neuberger

Mr. Bill Neville & Ms. Connie Neville

The Honorable Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation & Ms. Phefelia Nez

Mr. Xavier Niel

The Honorable Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Assistant to the President & Deputy Chief of Staff & Mr. Michael Dillon

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative & Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives (California) & Ms. Alexandra Pelosi

The Honorable Judith Pisar & Ms. Leah Pisar

The Honorable John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation & Mr. Gabriel Podesta

Mr. Patrick Pouyanné

Ms. Laurene Powell Jobs & Mr. Reed Jobs

The Honorable Samantha Power, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development & Mr.

Cass Sunstein

Ms. Rebecca Pringle & Mr. Nathan Pringle III

The Honorable Jay Robert Pritzker, Governor of Illinois & Ms. Mary Kathryn Pritkzer

The Honorable Michael Pyle, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, National Security Council & Ms. Chloe Schama

Ms. Natacha Rafalski

The Honorable Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce & Mr. Andrew Moffit

The Honorable Bruce Reed, Assistant to the President & Deputy Chief of Staff & Ms. Bonnie LePard

Ms. Dana Remus & The Honorable Brett Holmgren, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence & Research, U.S. Department of State

H.E. Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, French Republic

The Honorable Steven Ricchetti, Assistant to the President & Counselor to the President & Ms. Amy Ricchetti

The Honorable Susan Rice, Assistant to the President & Director of the Domestic Policy Council & Mr. Ian Cameron

The Honorable Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor, Democratic National Committee, & Former Director, Office of Public Engagement & Ms. Raquel Greenup Richmond

The Honorable James Risch, U.S. Senator (Idaho) & Ms. Vicki Risch

The Honorable Charles Rivkin & Ms. Susan Tolson

Ms. Robin Roberts & Ms. Gaila Amber Laign

The Honorable Julie Rodriguez, Assistant to the President, Senior Advisor to the President & Director of the Office of Inter-Governmental Affairs & Mr. James Sherrills

Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, Chief of the Special Military Staff of the President of the French Republic

The Honorable Maria Rosario Jackson & Mr. Ra Joy

Ms. Alice Rufo, Director General for Foreign Relations and Strategy, Ministry of the Armed Forces, French Republic

The Honorable Catherine Russell & Mr. Thomas Donilon

Mr. Kurt Russell & Ms. Donna Russell

Mr. Rodolphe Saade

Mr. Theodore Sarandos & The Honorable Nicole Avant, Former U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas

The Honorable Stephen Scalise, U.S. Representative & House Minority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives (Louisiana)

The Honorable Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, Nevada & The Honorable Devon Reese, Vice Mayor & At-Large City Councilmember of Reno, Nevada

The Honorable Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator (New York) & Ms. Jessica Schumer

Mr. Jeff Shell & Ms. Laura Shell

The Honorable Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Bruce Stokes

The Honorable Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Assistant to the President, Homeland Security Advisor, & Deputy National Security Advisor & Dr. Jeffrey Randall

Mr. Jon Shirley & Ms. Kimberly Richter Shirley

Ms. Elizabeth Shuler & Mr. David Herbst

The Honorable Amanda Sloat, Senior Assistant to the President & Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council & Mr. Benjamin Canavan

Mr. Bradford Smith & Ms. Kathryn Surace-Smith

Mr. Alexander Soros & Ms. Sarah Margon

The Honorable Eugene Sperling, White House Rescue Plan Coordinator & Senior Advisor to the President & Ms. Allison Abner

Mr. Lonnie Stephenson & Ms. Dawn Stephenson

The Honorable Jacob Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs & Ms. Margaret Goodlander

The Honorable Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the United States Trade Representative & Mr. Robert Skidmore

The Honorable Neera Tanden, Staff Secretary & Senior Advisor to the President & Mr. Benjamin Edwards

The Honorable Louisa Terrell, Assistant to the President & Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs & Mr. Alan Field

The Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Department of State & Mr. Lafayette Greenfield II

The Honorable John Thune, U.S. Senator (South Dakota) & Ms. Kimberley Thune

The Honorable Annie Tomasini, Assistant to the President & Director of Oval Office Operations

Mr. Vincent Troiola & Ms. Saveria Troiola

The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, Texas & Ms. Stephanie Nellons-Paige

Ms. Victoire Vandeville, Advisor for Exports and Trade Policy, French Republic

The Honorable Filemon Vela Jr., Former U.S. Representative & Ms. Rosemarie Vela

The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture & Ms. Ann Christine Vilsack

Ms. Dana Walden & Mr. Matt Walden

The Honorable Martin Walsh, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor & Ms. Lorrie Higgins

Ms. Rhonda Weingarten & Ms. Sharon Kleinbaum

Mr. Christopher Weissberg, Member of Parliament, French Republic

Dr. Tara Westover & Mr. Santiago Arau

Ms. Anna Wintour & Mr. Bazmark Luhrmann

Mr. Jeffrey Worthe & Ms. Kristin Worthe

Mr. Lawrence Yanovitch

The Honorable Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury & Mr. George Akerlof

Mr. David Zaslav & Ms. Pam Zaslav

Mr. Florian Zeller

Mr. Jeffrey Zients & Ms. Mary Zients

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron wave from the Blue Room Balcony 

President Emmanuel Macron and President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office

Menu for State Dinner 

Main Course: 

Butter Poached Maine Lobster

American Osetra Caviar

Delicata Squash Raviolo

Tarragon Sauce

Calotte of Beef, Shallot Marmalade

Triple Cooked Butter Potatoes

Sunchoke & Creamed Watercress

Red Wine Reduction

American Artisanal Cheeses Course:

Rogue River Blue – 2019/2020 World Cheese Awards World Champion Gold Made by Rogue Creamery with milk sourced from Grant Pass, Oregon

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog – 2022 World Cheese Bronze Medalist

Soft Ripened Goat Cheese – Deer Creek Cheddar Cheese from a small family run creamery in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Dessert Course: 

Orange Chiffon Cake

Roasted Pears with Citrus Sauce

Crème Fraiche Ice Cream

Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay ‘Napa Valley’ 2018

Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Knights Valley’ 2019

Roederer Estate Brut Rosé N/V

First lady Jill Biden previewed the night to come on Wednesday.

‘The design of this dinner was inspired by the shared colors of our flags – red, white, and blue – and our common values: liberty and democracy, equality and fellowship. These form the bedrock upon which our enduring friendship was built,’ she said.

Eight weeks of planning went into Thursday night’s dinner. 

The White House staff had outside help from Fête, an event planning and design production firm out of New York led by founder Jung Lee.

At the sit-down dinner, the tables are covered in blue table clothes. Arrangements of red and white flowers, sprinkled with red candles, form the centerpieces. 

The flower arrangements feature France’s national flower, the iris, and American Beauty roses. There are piano roses to honor President Macron’s love of the piano.

The gold and white plates that guests dine off of are rented. Typically state dinners use official White House china from one of the previous administrations but those place settings are not allowed outside the White House. Because the dinner is taking place out on the South Lawn, the china settings can’t be used.

Completing the table’s look are short French-forged champagne vessels that feature American sparkling wine.

In addition to the lobster, caviar, triple cooked butter potatoes, beef and squash raviolo are on the menu. 

American wine is being served – all picked by the first lady.

‘We had a tasting,’ said White House social secretary Carlos Elizondo.

White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford said the cuisine was inspired by the seasons.

‘We want to honor everything that is beautifully American,’ she noted. 

‘The first thing that we consider is the season and next thing is the preferences of the guests because we want to honor the things that they like,’ she said. ‘Everything is very well thought of and very thoughtfully made, and it so happens that the White House garden had the squashes ready for us so what you see in the raviolo came from the garden.’

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron to the White House

The table settings are a nod to the colors in the French and American flags – red, white and blue

White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford (left) and White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison (right) show off the plates of food that will be served at the state dinner

White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison created the dessert: orange chiffon cake, poached pears and crème fraiche ice cream.

‘Then, in the very front, we’ve placed the flags of the United States and France on the outer part of the cake,’ she said as she displayed her work.

The Statue of Liberty is the backdrop for the President Biden’s toast and is featured in the menu programs, which have navy covers with the gold seal of the United States. 

A graphic rendering of the Statue of Liberty is on translucent paper on the first and last pages of the menu.

The statue was a gift from the people of France. 

‘This State Dinner will not only reflect the shared colors, history, and values of the United States and France, it also shows the warmth and heart of our First Lady and this White House,’ said Elizondo.

Guests were feted by Grammy-winner musician Jon Batiste, accompanied by his father, Michael Batiste, and ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band, and the Army and Air Force Strolling Strings.

Batiste is a New Orleans native. The Macrons will visit that city on Friday for several cultural programs. 

Thursday’s dinner is the hottest ticket in town as lawmakers, Democratic donors and longtime friends of the Bidens want to attend.

Elizondo said many parts of the government were involved in deciding who got the coveted invitation. 

‘Many offices have been involved in and, you know, we’re trying to sort of bring in all the many supporters and, and friends of the President, the First Lady for their first state dinner,’ he said.

The cost of the dinner hasn’t been announced. It’s paid for by the State Department since it’s an official state occasion. 

The menu programs have navy colors and feature the Statue of Liberty

The dinner plates: Butter Poached Maine Lobster; American Osetra Caviar; Delicata Squash Raviolo (left) and Tarragon Sauce Calotte of Beef; Shallot Marmalade Triple Cooked Butter Potatoes Sunchoke; Creamed Watercress Red Wine Reduction (right)

Cheese course: Rogue River Blue; Oregon Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog; Soft Ripened Goat Cheese and the Dessert Course: Orange Chiffon Cake; Roasted Pears with Citrus Sauce; Crème Fraiche Ice Cream

The program for Thursday night’s state dinner

The table settings include gold and white plates and French-forged champagne vessels

The flower arrangements feature France’s national flower, the iris, and American Beauty roses

The Bidens’ first state dinner is happening nearly two years into his term – by comparison Barack Obama had six at this point of his. But the COVID pandemic delayed the normal pageantry that comes with a visit by a foreign leader. 

Macron was also the guest for Donald Trump’s first state dinner.

Biden and Macron’s relationship got off to a rocky start. At one point, Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to the United States  after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia, undermining a French contract.

But the relationship has mended and Macron has been one of Biden’s staunchest allies in the response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

Biden and Macron tried to paint over their economic tensions on Thursday when the U.S. President hinted there is room to change the climate subsidies his French counterpart called a threat to Europe.

In a private meeting in the Oval Office, the two leaders went head-to-head over Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and policies that Macron says will kill jobs.

Afterward, Biden defended his plan to revive America’s economy, which includes $368 billion to fund green technology for U.S. manufacturers.

‘I make no apology’ for it,’ he said. 

But, in an effort to try and ease friction, he conceded his landmark legislation has ‘glitches’ that need to be fixed in order not to harm Europe. 

‘There’s obviously going to be glitches in it and [we] need to reconcile changes in it,’ he admitted without going into detail about what those might be.

He described them as ‘tweaks that we can make that can fundamentally make it easier for European countries to participate.’

Both leaders agreed to continue discussing the matter on a staff level. And, during a joint press conference at the White House, both Biden and Macron tried to spin an issue at has been an underlying tension during what is supposed to be a friendly visit.

Macron surprised some officials when he threw a diplomatic hardball at the American president shortly after coming to the U.S. shores, warning Biden the IRA, as the Inflation Reduction Act as known, would cost France ‘a lot of jobs.’ He urged Biden to ‘fix it.’

Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron tried to paint over their economic tensions on Thursday when the U.S. President hinted there is room to change the climate subsidies his French counterpart called a threat to Europe 

The French and American president held a joint press conference at the White House after a private meeting where they discussed Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act

The Bidens and the Macrons ate at Fiola Mare on Wednesday evening – an Italian restaurant on the bank of the Potomac River where an entree runs between $50 and $150. The menu includes a variety of pasta, seafood and cheeses

But, in public comments at the White House, standing next to Biden in the ornate East Room, Macron sounded a more conciliatory note.

‘France simply did not come to ask for an exemption for our economy but simply to discuss the consequences of this legislation,’ he said.

‘The wish of president Biden is to be building a strong industry here and to secure some technology solutions for the future. France wishes exactly the same thing for itself,’ the French President added. ‘We want to succeed together, not one against the other.’ 

Biden also argued his legislation was necessary due to the economic downturn that came after the COVID pandemic but said, now that inflation has started to drop, tweaks can be made. 

‘It was never intended when I wrote the legislation, I never intended to exclude folks who were cooperating with us. That was not the intention,’ he said. 

‘My point is we’re back in business. Europe is back in business. And we’re going to continue to create manufacturing jobs in America but not at the expense of Europe,’ he added.

It remains to be seen if his words will placate Macron and other European leaders, who are worried about the economic fallout.

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