Former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday will reportedly feature a meatless menu.
The party is set to deliver coveted endorsements to plant-based food brands like Impossible Foods Inc. and Eat Just Inc., reported Bloomberg News, which viewed menu plans for the celebration.
The menu was curated by musician Questlove, who promotes and invests in meat-free foods.
The menu will offer dishes such as Spam Musubi, which includes faux-beef and faux-pork from Impossible Foods as well as plant-based eggs from Eat Just. Another meatless option is Questlove’s Cheesesteak Eggrolls, which include Impossible “beef” and “cheese sauce” from Perfect Day Inc., a food technology startup in Berkeley, California, that develops ways to make dairy proteins without using animals.
It is unclear whether a separate menu featuring meat products will be offered.
Obama’s birthday affair was originally planned for nearly 700 guests but was scaled back to include only close friends and family after criticism that it could potentially spread the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“Democrats are imposing unscientific mask mandates while contemplating more lockdowns. Meanwhile, President Obama is hosting over 500 elites at his Marthas Vineyard mansion. If you or I did that it would be called a super-spreader event by the Democrats,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), chair of the House Republican Conference, said.
“Typical liberal ‘do as I say, not as I do’. This is what socialism looks like,” Stefanik added.
George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey were reportedly on the original star-studded guest list, along with hundreds of former Obama administration officials and Democratic donors. Some guests were said to be renting houses in Martha’s Vineyard for the event.
“Due to the new spread of the Delta variant over the past week, the President and Mrs. Obama have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends,” a spokeswoman for Obama said in a statement Wednesday morning. “He’s appreciative of others sending their birthday wishes from afar and looks forward to seeing people soon.”
The party will be held on the Obamas’ Martha’s Vineyard property, which the former president and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, bought in 2019 for $11.75 million.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether Obama was “setting the wrong example about how serious COVID-19 is by hosting a big birthday party with hundreds of people.”
“I would note first that former President Obama has been a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated,” Psaki responded. “This event, according to all the public reporting, is outdoors and in a moderate zone. But in addition, there is testing requirements and other steps they are taking. which I’m sure they can outline for you in more detail.”
The reporter pressed Psaki on whether others should think it is acceptable for them to host a party with several hundred people too.
“Well, we certainly advise everyone to follow public health guidelines, which I know the former president, who is a huge advocate of getting vaccinated, of following the guidance of public health experts, would certainly advocate for himself as well,” the press secretary answered.
Last year’s Golden Globes offered a vegan menu, and the 2021 Met Gala is set to offer a plant-based menu as well.