Obamas hold extravagant state dinner for Hollande

-Most of all, we love our French friends because we’ve stood together for our freedom for more than 200 years--

-Most of all, we love our French friends because we’ve stood together for our freedom for more than 200 years--

WASHINGTON - Business leaders, celebrities and senior administration officials attended a lavish State Dinner for French President Francois Hollande at the White House Tuesday night.

“Now, it is true that we Americans have grown to love all things French -- the films, the food, the wine. Especially the wine. But most of all, we love our French friends because we’ve stood together for our freedom for more than 200 years,” said U.S. President Barack Obama as he toasted his French guest.

The 350 invited guests dined in a heated pavilion on the South Lawn on a four-course menu including a salad made from ingredients from First lady Michelle Obama’s garden, dry-aged rib eye beef, and a rich dessert of cotton candy, lavender short bread, chocolates and an American coconut macaroon.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde were all present to conclude a day of policy meetings between the French President and U.S. officials.

A-list celebrities including Director JJ Abrams, actresses Mindy Kaling and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor Bradley Cooper, and TV personality Stephen Colbert also attended. Rhythm and Blues musician Mary J. Blige performed at the dinner.

It was the first State Dinner of Obama’s second term.

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