The theme of the dinner was “fall harvest.” Apples, lots of them. And chrysanthemums, which are Korea’s autumn go-to symbol. The guests dined on tables covered in orange, green and gold tablecloths set with the gold-rimmed 2000 Millennium china. The mirrors were framed with a variety of apples; the tables held centerpieces constructed of them; and images of fall leaves were projected onto the ceiling. The seats were covered in gingham, and the candlesticks were wooden. It was a little bit country. All of this came from the brain of Bryan Rafanelli, the Boston-based event planner — he also designed Chelsea Clinton’s wedding last year.
The menu was apple-free (also kimchi free, alas), but very autumnal — much of it harvested from the White House garden: butternut squash bisque, a green salad, Texas wagyu beef and a chocolate cake with pears. Nods to Korea included daikon sheets and rice pearl crispies in the salad, and Korean pears in the dessert.