Ever wonder what an incoming president dines on that first day in office? Since 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first hosted a luncheon for President McKinley, the first meal as President of the United States has been lunch at the U.S. Capitol. Since 1953, the Senate Committee on Arrangements has been hosting these luncheons for newly installed commanders-in-chief.
These days, approximately 200 guests including the new President, Vice President, members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership attend the event in Statuary Hall.
We thought it would be fun to share a few of these presidential dishes, along with recipes adapted for your oven, broiler, or backyard grill. Perfect for Presidents Day or any special occasion!
THE 58th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL LUNCHEON: Donald J. Trump
After enjoying Maine Lobster and Gulf Shrimp for the first course, President Donald Trump and his guests dove into a second course of Grilled Seven Hills Angus Beef, Dark Chocolate and Juniper Jus
Four 1 ½-pound live lobsters, cleaned and halved lengthwise
2 large lemons, cut into wedges
Corn, for serving
More and more, chefs and grill masters are harnessing the bittersweet flavor profile and cooking properties of chocolate to enhance rubs for grilled and barbeque dishes. If you need a little inspiration for Valentines Day or that next romantic BBQ dinner for two, consider one of these cocoa-inspired rub recipes. Follow this link…
THE 56th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL LUNCHEON: Barack H. Obama
Followed by a first course of Seafood Stew, President Barack Obama lunched on a Brace of American Birds with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay teaches us to make an elaborate seafood stew. If you really want to impress some open-minded guests and have some experience making your way around the grill, than this recipe is for you. Get the recipe here.
Turducken, by Paula Deen (The ultimate “Brace of American Birds”)
To make the brine: Mix salt and sugar with the water. Brine is ready when the mixture is completely dissolved. If the water is heated to quicken the process, make sure it is cooled to room temperature before placing meat in. Let the 3 birds sit in brine in the refrigerator overnight. (Get the full recipe here)
THE 54th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL LUNCHEON: George W. Bush
After polishing off their first course of Lobster Pie, President George W. Bush and his guests sunk their teeth into Grenadin of Beef Supreme
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water and add the lobsters. When the water comes to a second boil, cook the lobsters for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the water and let cool. Crack the tails, knuckles and claws. Pick out the meat from the shells over a bowl to hold the juices. Reserve the tomalley. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (Get the full recipe here)
THE 52nd PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL LUNCHEON: William J. Clinton
After a first course of Grilled Salmon with Sorrel Sauce, President Bill Clinton’s first meal as Commander in Chief included a second course of Rosemary Chicken with pecan rice, ginger baby carrots and broccoli flowerets
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white horseradish
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 6 salmon fillets, 1-inch thick
Arrange chicken in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with 1/2 cup oil and lemon juice. Coarsely chop leaves from 10 rosemary sprigs. Toss chopped rosemary and garlic with chicken to coat; season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover; chill for 3 hours or overnight.Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Let chicken come to room temperature.
- 2 3-4-pound chickens, each cut into 4 pieces, backbones removed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus 1 lemon
- 12 rosemary sprigs, divided
- 10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large pinch smoked paprikaFull recipe here
THE 51st PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL LUNCHEON: George H.W. Bush
Following a sumptuous first course of Lobster Scallop Ragout, President George H. W. Bush feasted on Grilled Poussin with four grain rice pilaf and asparagus
- 4 poussin
- 2 long red chillies, sliced
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Basil, finely chopped, to serve
For full menus and the actual recipes of the dishes served at past Inaugural Luncheons, Click here.
Tin Hut BBQ is Oahu’s Premiere BBQ Catering Company
We provide catering services for any size party, from Military Celebrations and Ceremonies, Seated Wedding Dinners, Elegant Parties, and Corporate Events to Baby’s First Birthday, Fundraisers and Backyard BBQs.