Obama to Host a Hawaiian-Style Luau for Congress

If arm twisting doesn't work, then food might, as Obama treats lawmakers to a Hawaiian-style luau.

By + More

Sure, he likes his burgers and his pancakes, but for the annual congressional picnic, President Obama is eating Hawaiian style. In a nod to his home state, the POTUS is hosting the first White House luau tomorrow. Guests will chomp on some 1,200 eggs, 200 pounds of tilapia, 4,400 Manila clams, 600 pounds of red snapper, 650 pounds of pork butt, 185 racks of lamb, 160 pounds of green onion, and 20 gallons of sake, and that's just for starters. Chef Alan Wong, whose Honolulu-based restaurant has attracted the attention of the Obamas, is creating the menu.

Here's the release from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau:

First-Ever White House Luau Highlights the Tastes and Talents of Hawaii

President Obama Celebrates the Aloha Spirit by Hosting a South Lawn Luau for Members of Congress and Their Families

June 23, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) -  The tastes and talents of Hawaii will take center stage in the national spotlight on Thursday as President Barack Obama, the first president from the Aloha State, hosts the first-ever White House luau.

The South Lawn luau is a twist on the annual Congressional picnic for members of Congress and their families and will feature the best in contemporary Hawaiian cuisine with a menu created by award-winning chef Alan Wong, whose Honolulu restaurant has been recognized as one of the best in America and the Pacific Rim.

Along with Hawaii's finest homegrown produce and delicacies, the evening will feature Hawaii's largest entertainment company, Tihati Productions.  The program will include 20 dancers and musicians from Hawaii showcasing the historical and cultural stories of the islands through traditional song and dance, known as hula. 

"President Obama is bringing the Hawaii family spirit of "ohana" to the White House and to all Americans through the first White House luau," stated John Monahan, President & CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

 "We hope our mainland compatriots take this opportunity to learn about the culture and cuisine of our islands, and we welcome all Americans to come share in the Aloha spirit that makes Hawaii such a wonderful place for both vacation and business," Monahan stated. "Hawaii offers vacationers and business travelers the chance to experience one-of-a-kind cultural, culinary and recreational offers in a very convenient, affordable and beautiful setting."

Thursday's luau will spotlight Hawaii's contemporary cuisine, which is based upon the freshest ingredients from the land and sea and which combines all of the ethnic influences that have contributed so much to Hawaii.

"This event gives us a chance to showcase to all Americans the Hawaiian contemporary cuisine that is based on fresh local ingredients and which blends all of the island's many ethnic influences," stated Alan Wong, whose Honolulu restaurant was rated No. 8 in the United States by Gourmet magazine.

For more information on Hawaii, the islands of Aloha, please visit www.GoHawaii.com.

Follow Paul and Nikki on Twitter.

Read more Washington Whispers.