Senior White-House Correspondent, Marion Burros unveiled the menu Jan. 9, 2012 for the upcoming luncheon on Inauguration Day. Unlike years past, when the menu focused on past presidents, Burros says this menu is about moving forward and plays on the campaign theme. Faith in America's Future.
As part of that theme, the inaugural-day luncheon foods will be local and sustainable where possible, and will pay homage to America's agriculture soul. “Mrs. Obama wants farm to table as much as possible," said William Homan, co-owner of Design Cuisine, the Arlington, Va. catering company that has prepared other inaugural lunches.
“Agriculture has always played a starring role in American culture and has been at the heart of our cuisine since the birth of our nation,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, the host committee chairman in a statement. “This inaugural-luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach. I’m confident that Democrats, Republicans, and representatives from all three branches alike will enjoy these incredible dishes from all corners of our nation.”
The luncheon starts with a steamed lobster tail with New England clam chowder sauce. The entree is a South Dakota sourced, hickory-grilled bison tenderloin, in a pool of wild-huckleberry reduction, with a red potato and horseradish cake, butternut-squash puree, green beans and golden beets.
The latter of which is the president's nor the first lady's favorite food. The Washington DC gossip (food) mill is asking whether the president's and first lady's plate will be beet free or whether they will politely push them aside. Burros writes that in 2010, Michelle Obama admitted to not having the beet gene. "I am a believer that there is a beet gene. People who love beets love them and people who hate beets can't stand them. Neither the President nor I have the beet gene."
The last bite will be pie (President Obama's favorite dessert), Hudson Valley apple pie, with sour cream ice cream and maple caramel sauce, accompanied by artisan cheeses and honeycomb. The wines will be a Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes dry riesling (NY), Bedell Cellars 2009 merlot (Long Island) and a Korbel inaugural cuvee (California).
The lunch is notoriously fast in a city that doesn't seem to do anything quickly these days (except for fast tempers). The luncheon take six months to complete, according to Burros, but the speeches, gift giving, applause, greetings and the luncheon for 225 must be completed in 60 minutes. To add, Burros says many VIPs show up uninvited and are expected to accommodated.