The White House is bringing in a celebrity chef and a trio of Broadway stars for its glitzy state dinner for the South Korean president next week, a White House official said.
First lady Jill Biden asked chef Edward Lee, a Korean-American James Beard Award winner with restaurants in Washington, DC, and Louisville, Kentucky, to serve as a guest chef alongside White House executive chef Cris Comerford, her staff and executive pastry chef Susie Morrison for the state dinner at the White House next week. A White House official said the first lady selected Lee based on his “experience with the intersection of American cuisine with Korean influence.”
Additionally, the official said guests will be entertained by three Broadway stars, “bringing a quintessential American art form to the world stage.” Those stars include Norm Lewis, who appeared in “Phantom of the Opera” and other productions; Jessica Vosk, who played Elphaba in “Wicked”; and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, who was also the singing voice for Disney’s princesses “Jasmine” and “Mulan.”
The state dinner is one element of an elaborate visit for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. The visit will play out right in the middle of a possible campaign launch week as his team is eying Tuesday as a possible day to roll out a video making his reelection official.
The arrival of the South Korean president and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, also begins on Tuesday, when Biden is expected to take them to the Korean War Veterans Memorial for a visit.
On Wednesday, Biden also is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with the South Korean president followed by a joint news conference, the first official news conference for the US president in a month.