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五问白宫“酒保”

五问白宫“酒保”

Sierra Jiminez 2012年03月27日
对于美国首席礼仪官卡普莉西亚•马歇尔而言,每一道菜,宾客品尝的每一口酒都可能产生政治、外交或者商务影响。今年2月接待中国副主席习近平的晚宴,他们特邀了美国著名的铁马酒庄拿出他们为庆祝中国春节特酿的一批酒。习近平对此非常欣赏。

    如果你觉得举办一场宴会很有压力,不妨设想一下临时接到通知,要招待250人用餐会怎样。卡普莉西亚•皮纳维克•马歇尔就擅长此道。作为美国首席礼仪官,马歇尔和她杰出而精干的团队(团队成员包括美国国务院大厨杰森•拉尔金和克里斯•詹姆斯)为来自全世界的外交家和政要们精选每一道菜和饮品。食物、葡萄酒,以及它们的和品牌,这些他们精挑细选出来摆到桌子上的元素都是外交的重要组成部分。

你在供应商公司或品牌中寻找什么要素,确保能向宾客传达正确的信息?

    我们都知道美国是一个大熔炉,我们想做的就是展示我们的独特性和对全球文化的融合。今年2月接待中国副主席习近平的晚宴我们特邀了美国著名的铁马酒庄(Iron Horse)拿出他们为庆祝中国春节特酿的一批酒。习近平对此非常欣赏。我们还请到了蔡明昊,他是(马萨诸塞州威尔斯利)著名的蓝姜餐厅(Blue Ginger)的美籍华裔主厨。他做了一顿美式晚餐,包括烤甜土豆汤和脆煎油封鸭,但同时融合了中美两种文化。

    因此,当希拉里•克林顿和乔•拜登将这些展示给中国副主席习近平时,你确实可以从他的眼神中看出,他感到十分荣幸。最近为英国首相戴维•卡梅伦准备的午宴我们请来了名厨爱普瑞尔•布罗姆菲尔德。爱普瑞尔有几家非常出色的餐厅,其中纽约市的The Spotted Pig大多数人都去过。我们通过几个线人了解到它是卡梅伦夫人在纽约最喜欢的餐厅,所以,爱普瑞尔同意前来和我们一起工作时,我们非常兴奋。

谁来挑葡萄酒?

    杰森的选酒本领过人。当然,我们都会参与讨论。我们坐下来吃饭,我们协作,但他会做大量的调研。我们举行品尝会时,杰森会带来三四种他认为适合此次主题的葡萄酒。他会出去找一家特别的酒庄,把酒带回来,征询我们对酒的意见。

    我们在白宫外交官接待室(Diplomatic Reception Rooms)50周年庆祝会上提供了一种叫Royal Pippin的苹果酒,因为它非常独特而且与众不同。而且,我们都尝了尝,想确定所有人都满意。这种酒在托马斯•杰弗逊和乔治•华盛顿时代很常见。它太应景了,人们放任反响良好,过后还谈论起这种酒。

你们决定哪些公司的产品最终构成最终的菜单,你们如何确保人们能够领会你们的苦心?

    我们确保能在饭菜中展现一些历史元素。我们想让他们了解我们的明星大厨,了解我们选择的酒庄、了解食物来自哪里,我们希望人们离席的时候能够理解我们的用心,了解我们为什么选择它们,为什么那款特别的产品是这场宴会的重要元素。或许,他们也会在他们选择的某个特殊活动上选用它。

    If you think hosting a dinner party is stressful, try having 250 people over on short notice. Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall has mastered that task. As Chief of Protocol for the United States, Marshall and her small, but powerful team, including State Department chefs Jason Larkin and Chris James, pick out every dish and beverage served to diplomats and politicians from around the world. Turns out, the food, the wine -- and the brands -- they select to stand out on the table are all an essential part of diplomacy.

What elements in a company or brand are you looking for to send the right message to your guests?

    You know, the United States is the great melting pot, and what we want to do is showcase our uniqueness and the infusion of cultures around the world. For Vice President Xi's dinner this February, we brought in Iron Horse vineyards and they created a special Chinese cuvee that was in honor of the Chinese New Year. That really went a long way with Vice President Xi. We also brought in Ming Tsai, who's a Chinese American chef from the famous Blue Ginger restaurant (located in Wellesley, Massachusetts). He made an American meal, including roasted sweet potato soup and crispy duck confit, but with a fusion of the two cultures.

    So, when Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden presented that to Vice President Xi, you could really see in his eyes that he was very honored by it. For our latest luncheon with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, we brought in April Bloomfield as a celebrity chef. April has a couple of fabulous restaurants, but The Spotted Pig in New York City is the one that most people have gone to. We also found out through a few little birds that it was Mrs. Cameron's favorite restaurant in New York, so we were very excited when she agreed to come work with us.

Who picks out the wine?

    Jason really has a fine technique for that. We all talk about this. We sit down, we have a meal, and we collaborate, but he's the one who does a great deal of research. When we're doing tastings, Jason will bring in 3 or 4 ideas of wines he thinks really could work for an event. He reaches out to find a particular vineyard and he'll bring it back and ask us what we think about it.

    During the Diplomatic Reception Rooms 50th anniversary celebration, we served the Royal Pippin, a cider, because it was so unique and so different. And we all had a tasting because we wanted to make sure people felt okay with that. This was a type of drink that was common at the time the rooms were established in the era of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. It just fit perfectly, and people really reacted to it well, event talking about it afterward.

How do you make sure people understand the significance of picking the companies to create the menu?

    We make sure that we lay out some history of the elements of the meal. We want them to know about our celebrity chef, about the winery, about where the food comes from, we want people to walk away with an understanding of why we chose them and why that particular product was an important element of this meal. And maybe they'd want to use it at a special event of their choosing.

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