Since celebrity cooks are now regulars at the White House -- President Obama's state dinners have been helmed by the likes of Rick Bayless and Marcus Samuelsson -- ABCNews.com reached out to some of New York's famous chefs to find out what they'd make at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, given the opportunity and no restrictions. Highlights include ricotta gnocchi, salted-caramel ice cream and a custom-made Bourbon. Read on for more deliciousness.
|Masaharu Morimoto, Morimoto|
The Iron Chef and head of New York's most famous Japanese restaurant would make what he knows best. "He would like to serve some dishes with raw fish," his representative wrote in an email. "They are not necessarily sashimi, but dishes in which he would try to make raw fish as enjoyable for the guests as possible. He would like people to understand how fresh fish can be enjoyable by creating delicious dishes for them."
|Ed Brown, Ed's Chowder House|
Brown's fish-focused menu pays homage to American classics. First course: Butternut squash chowder with toasted pumpkin seeds. Next, scallop ravioli with straw wine sauce. The entree: potato chip crusted chatham codfish with baby spinach and mustard sauce. And to finish it all off: roasted apple with walnuts and homemade salted-caramel ice cream.
|Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto|
Casella said he'd go Italian with all-American ingredients: "I would cook one of my simple, honest, classic Italian dishes, with completely American grown ingredients. I would want to make sure that I represent my country but also the United States. I want to cook Italian style because it's what I know but at the same time Italy and America are my countries. Fresh ingredients are the center of Italian cuisine so using American products is the best way to represent Italy and America. Or [maybe] it's more funny if I cook an Italian meal from only the White House garden."
|Missy Robbins, A Voce|
Robbins admits she crafted her menu with the Obamas in mind, mainly because she cooked for them at the Chicago restaurant Spiaggia before they became the president and first lady.
"They are adventurous eaters," she wrote in an email, "always open to trying something new. If I had the chance to cook for them again I would cater to their bold tastes, and treat them to one of my white truffle tasting menus," which is available at both of A Voce's New York City locations.
"The menu offers dishes like house-made stracciatella topped with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, truffles; veal polpettone with pancetta, porcini and truffles, and ricotta gnocchi with brown butter, truffles, walnuts," she said. "The elegant flavors pair perfectly with the white truffles, which are just hitting the peak of their season. Ornate? Maybe, but this is a celebration of a unbelievable ingredient ? and it is the President after all."
|Dave Arnold, Booker and Dax|
Unlike the other chefs in this roundup, Arnold specializes in cocktails and molecular gastronomy. If he were shaking up something for Mitt Romney, who doesn't drink, he'd create a custom soda.
"I would do a soda style situation but use all natural ingredients, none of the crap," he said. "I would carbonate it because that adds a level interest, so it's not just a mix of fruit juices."
And he wouldn't do a "mocktail." "A margarita mocktail is like orange and limeade. It's not the same thing," he said. "If you're against the whole premise of alcohol as a beverage, why would you want to have something that's supposed to taste like it has alcohol in it?"
For President Obama, a beer lover, Arnold envisioned a hard apple cider with a Kentucky Bourbon base. "I'd first use a gelatin to remove the tannin from the Bourbon," he said. "That mellows out the harshness in the back of your throat. He'd mix that with the juice from a Wickson apple from New Hampshire -- "really the best apple there is" -- add a dash of salt, and carbonate the whole thing.
If Joe Biden sidled up to his bar, though, he'd take a different approach.
"Biden would probably drink anything I'd hand him," Arnold said. "That's something I like about him."