Thursday, October 29, 2009

US Ambassador Gala Dinner (Oct 5)

Earlier in October Shannon and I had the opportunity to attend the US Ambassador Gala Dinner organized by The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and the The American Club of Brussels. This event was to welcome the newly appointed US Ambassador, Howard W. Gutman, to Belgium. Deloitte, being the good employer they are, sponsored a table, and luckily one of Shannon's clients couldn't come so I was invited! We enjoyed a nice cocktail hour with Champagne and appetizers. Next we indulged in a nice dinner consisting of 'terrine de pintadeau au foie gras de canard et ecrevisses' (pate of fowl and fatty liver of duck along with crayfish) with salad and for the main course 'cotes d'agneau a la tapenade d'olives, tarte fine au chevre, gratin dauphinois et jus au thym' (lamb ribs topped with an olive tapenade, delicate goat cheese tart, potatoes topped with bread crumbs and thyme) and for dessert 'entremets aux deux chocolats, creme a la Mandarine Napoleon' (dessert with two chocolates, Mandarin Napoleon cream). I interpreted them the best I could, so they might not be exact! I'm not a big fan of 'foie gras' as it reminds me of a jelly mold and tastes like I'm eating a block of butter, but Europeans tend to really like it. Otherwise, I enjoyed the rest of the meal. We were also served glasses of white and red wine with our meal which luckily I could drink since I was 'off tap' for the night. One of our friends, Leah, took the liberty to watch Reagan for the evening while we enjoyed a nice evening out.

After our meal we listened to a nice speech given by the new Ambassador Howard W. Gutman. He focused on his desire to strengthen US and Belgium's relationship along with getting to know the 'real' Belgians and their culture. He is a very dynamic speaker who knows how to captivate an audience.

Here's a little background on him: Howard Gutman was nominated by President Barack Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2009. Before being named Ambassador, Mr. Gutman was a partner with the Washington D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP. In his over twenty-six years with the firm, Mr. Gutman handled the full gamut of litigation, investigation, and counseling matters. Furthermore, he is a 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1977 graduate of Columbia University. He assisted the 2008 Obama campaign on constituency work, media and fundraising and was a Trustee on the Obama Presidential Inauguration Committee. He has been a contributor to numerous television and radio programs, including frequent appearances on the Fox News Network during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Mr. Gutman appeared in several episodes of the HBO series "K Street," playing a Washington attorney and has made other movie appearances, including playing a high school parent in the 2009 release of "Fame."

Entrance to 'Le Plaza Hotel' where the event was located
This is inside the fancy hotel, though I didn't get any good pictures since Shannon was embarrassed I brought my camera, so it didn't come out much during the evening!
Instead of orange juice, I was able to actually indulge in some tasty Champagne
Shannon enjoying himself during cocktail hour

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Ooh, glamerous. I'm glad you took your camera - I would have too. :)