Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau were the guests of honour at a state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the White House on Thursday (Mar. 10). The couple called on their expert staff to transform the historic residence's East Room into a spring-themed wonderland complete with cascading floral arrangements, bright and beautiful backdrops and pops of Canadian flair for good measure.
Rounding out the Canadian contingent were Mike Myers, Michael J. Fox, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and actor Ryan Reynolds, who was accompanied by his stunning wife Blake Lively. The actress upped the glamour in a pale blue grecian-inspired gown. While Justin and Sophie's three children missed out on the glitzy affair, Barack and Michelle's gorgeous daughters Sasha and Malia were in attendance to help their parents toast their Canadian neighbours.
As dapper as both the world leaders looked in their suits, all eyes were on their stunning wives who turned heads in elegant gowns. Sophie continued to champion Canadian designers by arriving in a floor-length purple Lucian Matis gown with pink floral details. Michelle also tipped her hat to the Great White North in a custom creation by Taiwanese-Canadian Jason Wu.
Before dinner, the U.S. president took a moment to say a few words about the Canadian prime minister. "You may just be the most popular Canadian named Justin," joked Barack in reference to another very famous Canuck, Justin Bieber. The out-going head of state also took the opportunity to shout out different areas of the country where he has family ties. While he had no trouble name dropping Victoria and Burlington, the 54-year-old leader stumbled over Mississauga. "This is always tough," he admitted.
Then it was Justin's turn to make a toast. After noting the irony behind Justin Bieber climbing the charts with a song called "Sorry," he then thanked Obama for his hospitality before concluding his short speech by saying, "May the special connection between our two countries continue to flourish in the years to come, and may my grey hair come in at a much slower rate than yours has." And with that it was time to eat!
White House executive chef Cris Comerford and executive pastry chef Susie Morrison whipped up the ultimate Canadian-Americana meal for the 130-strong dinner party.
Alaskan halibut, roasted apricot galette with Appalachian cheese, heirloom lettuces and pine nut crisps decorated the gold-rimmed plates of the first course. Next up, the culinary wizards paid tribute to a Canadian treasure – poutine -- by topping shaved U.S.-raised duck and fries with cheese and gravy.
For the main course, Justin and Sophie were treated to herb-crusted lamb, Yukon Gold potato dauphinoise and spring vegetables picked fresh from the First Lady’s garden. The plate’s pièce de résistance? A drizzle of Yukon Jack Canadian whiskey.
In addition to savoring every bite of the main dessert, maple pecan cake with cocoa nib wafer and butterscotch swirl ice cream, guests had the difficult task of choosing what to nibble on from a extravagant dessert display that featured bite-sized sweets with American and Canadian influences. From cranberry squares to fleur de sel caramels and chocolate coconut slices, every sweet tooth was left satisfied by the out-of-this-world dessert spread.
Following the meal, guests filed into the State Dining Room for a special performance by five-time GRAMMY nominee Sara Bareilles before dancing the night away.