A White House Correspondents’ Dinner menu mystery

Conan O'Brien, first lady Michelle Obama, Michael Clemente, Executive Vice President of Fox News, and President Barack Obama attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner last year. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Conan O’Brien, first lady Michelle Obama, Michael Clemente, executive vice president of Fox News, and President Obama attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner last year. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

There’s a mystery thickening faster than a reduced pan sauce  involving the menu for next month’s White House House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Sure, what’s actually on the plates might not be the most important facet of the star-studded event. But the fancy grub is the fuel for an evening of schmoozing — and partying. So we were curious to know, when we read the bill  of fare to be served at the Washington Hilton for the May 3 soiree, what that “four day demi” topping the filet was.

First, the menu, please, waiter!

Salad Course: Poached Bosc Pear with St. Pete’s Bay Blue Cheese, Petite Salad of Wild Red Watercress, Candied Pecans and Dried Cranberries, Port Vinaigrette

Entrée: Hand cut Broiled Petite Filet of Beef Served with a Four Day Demi, Onion Brulee Crostini Paired with Herbed Crab Cake on White Corn Fondue, Seasonal Vegetables to include Asparagus, Carrot, Sunburst, Roasted Pepper

Dessert: Tapas display of assorted desserts to include: Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Assorted Mousse Lollipops, Lime Glace, Chocolate Pyramid glazed in crunchy peanut cocoa butter glaze

The big mystery here, obviously, is what the heck a “four day demi” is and why we want it on our filet. “Demi,” of course, is demi-glace, the rich, stock-based sauce that’s a classic pairing for beef. But what of the four days?

Our colleagues, the culinary minds in the Food section, had only shrugs for us on that. “Never heard of it,” was the verdict. Speculation centered on whether the four days could be the amount of time the sauce would be reduced, or thickened. The Internet had no answer, either.

Even WHCA President Steven Thomma, who helped select the dishes during an epic tasting session at the hotel (12 appetizers alone were served!), claimed ignorance on what was happening in those four days to produce the sauce. However, the final product “tasted good,” he assured us.

Developing …

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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