For more than two hundred years, America’s citizens have witnessed the Inauguration ceremonies of the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington in New York City in 1789 to today, the swearing-in ceremonies represent national renewal and continuity of leadership.This year’s theme is "Faith in America’s Future."
Shortly after President Obama is sworn in and delivers his Inaugural Address on Monday, Jan. 21, he and Vice President Biden will be wined and dined at the Inaugural Luncheon a tradition that dates to 1897.
The three-course menu, created by Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer of Design Cuisine in Arlington, Virginia, features Obama favorites. The luncheon will begin with steamed lobster and end with the President's favorite - pie. Wines are from New York and California. (As you can see from the menu below, despite six months of planning, the President's least favorite food – beets – somehow made it onto the menu as a side dish with the bison.)
Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has planned the swearing-in ceremonies and inaugural luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. Distinguished guests include President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, former Presidents, Senators, Representatives, and Cabinet officials.
The hour-long luncheon in National Statuary Hall for 225 guests will include speeches, toasts, and presentation of specially selected inaugural gifts for the President and Vice President. It is a tradition for Congress to present them with gifts on behalf of the American people.
At the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon, the President and Vice President received inscribed Lenox crystal bowls depicting the White House for the President and the Capitol for the Vice President.
2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu
Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Served on Sautéed 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
Butternut Squash Purée
Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans
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)
A string quartet of four student musicians from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, will play from a balcony overlooking Statuary Hall. Violinists Che Ho Lam and Markiyan Melnychenko, violist Kelsey Farr, and cellist Hyeok Kwon were selected after a school audition process to represent Eastman during inaugural activities.
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