A planned dinner Friday between United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinpin will feature a menu of American cuisine with a hint of Chinese influence and flavors. Guests at the meal will dine on wild mushroom soup, Maine lobster and Colorado lamb, according to the Associated Press.
Following dinner, dessert will feature poppyseed bread and butter pudding accompanied with Meyer lemon lychee sorbet. The menu created with the help of chef Anita Lo, who alongside White House chefs, created dishes that highlight American ingredients with additions of Chinese flair.
Lo is the chef-owner of the restaurant Annisa in New York City's Greenwich Village. Lo's website lists that she is a first generation Chinese-American who grew up in Michigan. Annisa aims to combine "flavors inspired by [Lo's] Asian roots, her travels, and the seasons," the restaurant's website states.
Anita Lo in full effect consults on menu for State Dinner with China's president http://t.co/vj5Y9dvm4Z
— Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) September 24, 2015
Hundreds of guests are expected at the dinner scheduled to take place in the White House's East Room. President Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, will be joined by President Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan. Xi is expected to arrive in the United States at about 5 p.m. EDT at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where he will be greeted by Vice President Joe Biden.
The dinner is expected to be filled with a bit a tension. Disputes over China's territorial expansion into the South China Sea are expected to be central to conversation throughout Xi's visit scheduled to begin Thursday. The U.S. has also accused China of cyber espionage both on the United States government and citizens. U.S. officials told the New York Times that Obama does indeed plan to use Xi's visit as an opportunity to express his anger over cyberattacks and concerns over the South China Sea actions. China, for its part, has accused the U.S. of spying and interfering with its affairs, according to USA Today.
Should the conversation between Xi and Obama grow contentious Friday, there will be entertainment after dinner that could ease the tension. Singer Ne-Yo is scheduled to perform after the meal is completed.