Monday, January 21, 2013

Lobster, Bison, And Apple Pie Star On President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu

The three-course farm-to-table fete in National Statuary Hall featured lobster tail, bison, and Hudson Valley Apple Pie...
After President Obama was sworn in and delivered his Second Inaugural Address on Monday, Jan. 21, he was wined and dined at the Inaugural Luncheon in the historic National Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.  The hourlong luncheon for 220 guests, including Cabinet Secretaries, Supreme Court Justices and lawmakers from both Chambers, is a tradition that dates to 1897.   (Above, the President and Mrs. Obama at the head table with House Speaker John Boehner)

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama sat together at the center of the Head Table.  House Speaker John Boehner sat on Mrs. Obama's left, and Vice President Joe Biden was on the President's right, seated beside his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

The luncheon breaks with the tradition of serving dishes honoring past presidents, and is instead celebrating the theme of the inauguration, "Faith in America’s Future." Artisanal, sustainable and, where possible, local foods were used, though some items come from the West.  The three-course farm-to-table menu was created by Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer of Design Cuisine in Arlington, Va.  All the details on the sourcing for the menu are here

The luncheon began with steamed lobster tail topped with a New England clam chowder sauce, placed atop vegetables.  Hickory grilled bison tenderloin (sourced from South Dakota) with a wild huckleberry reduction was the entree, joined by vegetable sides, including a red potato horseradish cake.  The grand finish was President Obama's favorite dessert, pie: Hudson Valley Apple Pie, with sour cream ice cream and maple caramel sauce, accompanied by artisan cheeses and honeycomb.  Wines are from New York and California.

The meal spotlighted small and artisan farmers and food producers from New York, thanks to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) being Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the luncheon's hosts.

President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu

Steamed Lobster
with New England Clam Chowder Sauce

Served on Sauteed Spinach 
with Sweet Potato Hay

Wine:  Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (NY)

Hickory Grilled Bison
with Wild Huckleberry Reduction

Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage
Red Potato Horseradish Cake

Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans

Butternut Squash Purée 

Wine: Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot (Long Island, NY)

Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream
with Maple Caramel Sauce

Aged Cheeses and Honeycomb
Toma Celena and Jersey Girl Colby,  
Cooperstown Cheese Company (Milford, NY)

Wine:  Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne (California)

The luncheon will include speeches, toasts, and a presentation of specially selected inaugural gifts for the President and Vice President.  (Above, the lobster course)

The hosts members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies include Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Floral designs for the luncheon were created by Jack H. Lucky Floral Designs, Inc. of Arlington, Virginia.  The centerpieces on the tables will be "Free Spirit" roses in corals and salmons.  Tablecloths will be cerulean blue.

*Updated from Jan. 8, 2013

*Photo at top by AP; bison photo by Chef Shannon Shaffer, Design Cuisine; other photos by Brendan Hoffman