Alan Wong made kalua pig for White House luau, but couldn't dig an imu
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama brought some Island flavor to the White House tonight.
Obama turned the annual picnic for members of Congress and their families into a Hawaiian luau, in a celebration of the president’s home state.
Tents were set up on the South Lawn, along with tiki torches and potted palm trees.
In addition to a Hawaiian meal, guests were treated to traditional Island entertainment, including a performance by Tihati.
The luau was off-limits to media, except for a pool reporter.
Here are some of the highlights of the evening:
— Spotted in aloha shirts were Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in a light blue one, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in a dark green one. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, appeared to have some sort of tropical garb on, as well.
—Wearing a purple lei, Obama walked out of the Oval Office holding daughter Sasha’s hand, as Ray Charles’ “What I Say” played over the sound system. Michelle Obama and Malia followed, as did Joe Biden, all wearing leis as well, and Bo.
— “Aloha!” Obama yelled out. “I wish I could have given you a trip to Hawaii. Given our budget crunch, we can't do that, so at least we can bring Hawaii to you.”
— The menu included:
Kalua pig, baby back ribs, shrimp and clams, lomi lomi salmon, farm green salad and wasabi potato salad.
— Chef Alan Wong and his staff also prepared items on site, including tilapia tempura rolls, crispy chicken hoagies, grilled lamb chops and spiced short ribs.
— Dessert was strawberry tiramisu and chocolate bars.
— Evidently, historic preservation considerations prevented the White House from actually digging an imu in the South Lawn to roast a whole pig, so the kalua pig was slow-cooked in ovens on site.