What Do Guests Eat At The White House Correspondents’ Dinner? The Menu's Always Different

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Since it's one of the most longstanding Washington, D.C. traditions, you might be curious to know what guests at the White House Correspondents Dinner eat at the annual event. With celebrities, politicians, and, of course, members of the press attending every year, the expectations for a top-notch menu are undoubtedly high. While details of this year's dinner have yet to be revealed, past interviews and previous menus give a fascinating insight into what kind of meals guests are typically served and what the decision-making process behind these dishes are usually like.

This year's dinner will take place on April 29 at the Washington Hilton hotel. Since 2005, the hotel's executive chef, Andre Cote, has taken on the task of curating sophisticated and delicious menus for the WHCD. In an interview with C-SPAN last year, Cote described the process of putting together a menu for the annual ceremony.

"It's an honor, first and foremost, but it's also a lot of fun," said Cotes. "It's an opportunity for us to prepare unusual foods for a large amount of people." When asked what he meant by "unusual" Cotes said, "Once we go over a taste test with the White House Correspondents Dinner, the decision is usually made that evening and then our work begins for the following year."

According to Cotes, the taste test usually occurs three months prior to the dinner, depending on the White House Correspondents' Association's (WHCA) schedule.

In 2015, the menu included "Smoked Paprika Rubbed Filet, Foraged Wild Mushroom Ragout, Mascarpone Cheese Stone Grits, Jumbo Peeled Asparagus, and Roasted Baby Bell Pepper, and a tapas display of assorted desserts."

In 2012, the menu featured a "bread presentation that [included] seven-grain, white, wheat and sourdough rolls;" a salad of crab, tomatoes, and  black lentil terrine over greens; a "Texas-rubbed" petit filet with Calvados sauce served with green beans, red curry jumbo shrimp, and risotto; and a chocolate truffle mousse with layers of chocolate sponge cake and almond macaroon.

This year's dinner will notably not be graced by the presence of the president. In late February, Donald Trump tweeted that he would not be attending the event and recently announced the he would be holding a rally in Pennsylvania on the same night as the dinner. In an interview on Morning Joe, the president of the WHCA, Jeff Mason, stated that the dinner would still be held to celebrate the importance of the freedom of the press.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show will be this year's host.