How State Dinners Work

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Preparation

Dinner in the Ballroom
Dinner in the Ballroom
Courtesy Photo

In addition to training the mansion's trustees, Cilley was responsible for table arrangements, menus (in conjunction with mansion chef, Steve Moravick), floral arrangements and table setup. She said that some food prep work can be done the day before an event, so long as there will be no deterioration in the quality of the food. Sauces can be prepared and refrigerated; tart shells can be made, baked, and stored; and vegetables can be cleaned in advance, saving valuable pre-event time.

Formal Dining Room
Formal Dining Room
Courtesy Photo
Lunch in the Library
Lunch in the Library
Courtesy Photo
Menu for a 1996 Dinner Honoring Military Contributions
Menu for a 1996 Dinner Honoring Military Contributions
Courtesy Photo

While the Ballroom and Dining Room accommodate formal events, more casual gatherings, such as lunch or an afternoon tea, can be seated in the Library or Morning Room. Throughout the year, these rooms are decorated with antiques from across the state, including period pieces that have been traced back to Governor Daniel Fowle, the first governor to live in the Executive Mansion. Cilley was responsible for coordinating the careful move of antique pieces found in the Ballroom. When larger events are held, seating can spill into the Gentlemen's Parlor or the Governor's Library.