Lionel Richie, beef, fudge cake on Africa summit menu

The White House is pictured on December 14, 2012It may not have the cachet of a full-fledged state banquet, but African leaders were nevertheless to be treated to a gourmet feast at a White House dinner hosted by President Barack Obama later Tuesday. Soul legend Lionel Richie was to provide the evening’s entertainment for 45 African heads of state or government who are in Washington for a three-day summit aimed at strengthening ties with the continent. A diverse guest list, which also includes Hollywood actors Robert De Niro and “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor as well as other VIPs, will enjoy a four-course meal, beginning with a chilled spiced tomato soup accompanied by a 2013 Black Coyote Sauvignon Blanc from California. White House spokesman Josh Earnest has described Tuesday’s occasion as a “formal dinner” rather than a state occasion.

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