Archive for April 19th, 2010

Fire of Spain and a White House State Dinner being the highlight at Mount Lavinia Hotel in the month of May

Monday, April 19th, 2010


What’s the best place for food, wine, and entertaining to the White House? Mount Lavinia Hotel has it all when it captures the greatest tradition of Spain; flamenco dancing and the unique culinary creations served at the White House.’

“For the last eleven years, I have had the honor of doing daily what most chefs would be lucky to do once in their life time. That honor was serving the First Family of the United States”. These are the words of Walter Scheib as his forte lies in serving up a taste in stories and recipes of his eleven years as the White House chef under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from a unique vantage point: The kitchen, which now will be presented to Sri Lanka on 16th May 2010 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, where a state dinner inspired by Walter Scheib himself will be stately presented at the Empire Ballroom at price of LKR7000/-nett which includes dinner and beverages.

The evening will consist of a mock oval office taking on the ambience and the highlight of the evening will be the American cuisine prepared to the simple family meals to elaborate and formal State Dinner recipe creations which dazzled and delighted White House guests including Nelson Mandela, Emperor Aikihito, Jacques Chirac, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Lady Diana Spencer, Tony Blair, Vicente Fox, and others, not to mention the thousands of congressional members, journalists, and other House visitors who got to know his food.

Scheib’s White House achievement was his creation of a distinctly American repertoire for the nation’s First House. He will continue his repertoire in Sri Lanka with eloquence and pride about America’s bounty as well as White House remembrances that ranged from State Dinner Secrets to throwing the White House Birthday Party. He will touch on concepts such as White House style cocktail reception, First Lady Luncheons, State Dinners, and Outdoor “South Lawn” barbecues and picnics and most of all the fascinating White House insider’s anecdotes, culinary insights, team building and bonding, as well as, exercises with a culinary twist; hands-on cooking demonstration and interaction. Yes, the evening will certainly comprise of revealing anecdotes, photographs, menus, and special White House recipes—from the Pecan-Crusted Lamb with Red-Curried Sweet Potatoes that helped Scheib ace his job audition to the Vodka-Marinated Salmon and Kasha Pilaf prepared for the ever-merrier Russian president Boris Yeltsin to Laura Bush’s Roasted Beet Salad at lunches—White House Chef is a treat for everyone who loves food, politics, or both.

“Scheib will go beyond the kitchen when he will share what it is like to be part of President Clinton’s motorcade (the “security bubble”) and inside the White House during 9/11, revealing how he first evacuated his staff and then comes back to fix meals for hundreds of hungry security and rescue personnel. Scheib will move on to describe his approach to meals ranging from the intimate (rooftop parties and surprise birthday celebrations for the Clintons; Tex-Mex brunches for the Bushes) to his creative approach to bringing contemporary American cuisine to the “people’s house” (including innovative ways to serve state dinners for up to seven hundred people and picnics and holiday menus for several thousand guests), “states Mr Anura Dewapura, General Manager Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Further, to endorse the evening globally acclaimed pianist Rohan De Silva will add some spice to the state dinner. He has appeared at the White House East Room during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Washington DC in 2007, and was given a standing ovation by the New York audience and now will woo Sri Lankan audiences aswell amidst the stately dinner.

“Scheib has proven that he can pretty satisfy any palette, and I had the privilege of working with him in an occasion in the US, which was an experience of a lifetime,” states Mr Anura Dewapura of Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Style and ostentatious pride, is pretty much the core of Spanish life. Spanish men tend to maintain eye contact with females for longer, although this does not mean anything. Eating out in Spain is relatively cheap and meals are usually substantial instead of gourmet. The Spanish tradition of Tapas is a good way to sample the local food. Tapas are small dishes of snacks which are served anytime especially in small bars. They cover all types of foods from seafood to vegetables. Primarily Spain is a Wine drinking country with each region producing its own special wines, however there are several large breweries within Spain producing the light, lager-like beers popular everywhere. But one tradition that is deep-rooted in Andalusia like American jazz is soul to the US, flamenco dancing; a spanish art form with emotion that if done right creates a profound moving experience. And indeed the Laura Segovia flamenco dance troupe on 14th May 2010 will definitely move you. Their improvisations with a combination of acoustic guitar playing, singing, chanting, dancing and staccato handclapping with the synonymous attributes performed by the dancers which ignites passion, fervor, even tortured expressions but always striving for grace and dignity, will be the highlight at the Empire Ballroom which will be transformed to a Spanish Bodega. Tickets are priced at LKR1500/-nett which includes the show and tapas.

Flamenco dance by the Laura Segovia flown especially from Madrid will perform an expressive dance form that mixes percussive footwork with intricate hand, arm and body movements backed by the band “La Tuna” along with Javier Garcia – Guest Chef from Spain that will also highlight the tradition of Spain with reference to whetting your appetite will be on the cards on 14th of May 2010.