Michelle Obama Welcomes G-20 Spouses, Hosts Dinner At Teresa Heinz Kerry's Rosemont Farm (PHOTOS)
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By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH - First lady Michelle Obama shared her passion for eating fresh, healthy and locally grown food with the spouses of world leaders at a dinner Thursday on a working farm.
Rosemont Farm, just outside the city in Fox Chapel, belongs to Teresa Heinz Kerry, a local philanthropist and wife of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. She is the widow of Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., of the ketchup family.
The farm grows produce and raises chicken and cows. Some of that was on the menu for the private affair, which marks the first time the spouses of leaders of the world's 20 largest and emerging economies have met on U.S. soil.
It's also Mrs. Obama's first turn in the role of international hostess.
White House social secretary Desiree Rogers greeted each guest at the door of the home, then led them to a patio where Mrs. Obama and Heinz Kerry also greeted them.
The ladies ate at a long, rectangular table and were joined by Heinz Kerry, Rogers and Susan Sher, Mrs. Obama's chief of staff. Mrs. Obama sat between the spouses from Indonesia and Brazil.
Salad greens and apples from the farm were served during the dinner, although a detailed menu could not be immediately released for security reasons.
Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless cocktail dress by Thakoon, one of her favorite designers, and patterned in taupe, pink and green. She accented it with a long strand of pearls, pearl earrings and pink patent leather heels. She swept her hair up into a fluffy ponytail.
In remarks before the group, Mrs. Obama complimented Heinz Kerry for providing friendship and mentoring during the long presidential campaign. Heinz Kerry was in the same position during the 2004 election cycle when her husband was the Democratic presidential nominee. He fell short of being elected.
Musicians from the Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra's Jazz Trio performed throughout the dinner, exposing Mrs. Obama's guests to another of her passions, jazz music.
Mrs. Obama has been promoting locally grown food and healthier eating through a popular produce garden she planted on the White House lawn. Last week, she helped open a farmers' market near the Executive Mansion.
Mrs. Obama and her counterparts dined after she and President Barack Obama greeted their guests during a reception at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh.
Dinner could provide the ladies with some sustenance for a more hands-on day of events on Friday.
The schedule includes a tour of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, where the group will visit classrooms to watch student rehearsals and take in a star-studded show featuring performances by students and such notable artists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, country superstar Trisha Yearwood and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.
There's also a visit to the Andy Warhol Museum for a private tour and luncheon.
The spouses will get to try the silk-screen printing technique popularized by the late 20th century pop artist and Pittsburgh native, and peruse items pulled from one of more than 600 cardboard "time-capsule" boxes Warhol -- who threw away little -- used to store all kinds of papers, documents and other items.
Archivists already have found $17,000 in cash in one box, and, in another, a crusty piece of cake from Caroline Kennedy's 1986 wedding to Edwin Schlossberg.