Chefs Pick the President’s First Meal

The Daily Meal asks chefs across the U.S. what they would serve on Inauguration Day


Although details about who will prepare the three-course lunch at President Barack Obama's inaugural luncheon on Jan. 21 have already been revealed (Arlington, Va.-based Design Cuisine has been chosen to prepare the patriotic lunch), The Daily Meal asked chefs across the country what they would serve the president if given the chance to prepare the Inauguration Day luncheon, which has been a tradition for more than a century.

See Chefs Pick the President’s First Meal Slideshow

Chopped judge and chef Marc Murphy of New York City restaurants

Landmarc and Ditch Plains Landmarc and Ditch Plains would create an all-American menu that includes old-fashioned bananas Foster, while chef Dale Talde, who runs a trio of restaurants in Park Slope, Brooklyn (Talde, Pork Slope, and Thistle Hill Tavern), would serve a three-course meal reflective of Obama. 

"My dinner would showcase where President Obama has lived — Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Hawaii," said Talde. "The dishes [would be] inspired from those places."

The actual set menu for the inauguration luncheon this year, created by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, led by chairman Charles E. Schumer, and Design Cuisine, includes steamed lobster with New England clam chowder sauce, hickory grilled bison with wild huckleberry reduction and a red potato horseradish cake, and Hudson Valley apple pie served with sour cream ice cream, aged cheese, and honey.

While some chefs merely contemplated what culinary creations they would present the president, Patrick Laguens, food and beverage director for Hotel Madeline Telluride, took matters into his own hands and is hosting his own inauguration meal at REV Restaurant on Jan. 21. The dinner menu will be an exact replica of the dinner in D.C.

"Mostly we like doing inventive thematically oriented dinners," said Laguens. "I have conducted many 'Dinners in History' and have often re-created inaugural dinners of past presidents. We thought it would be fun to do one 'live.' We will watch the inauguration and then eat the luncheon while the president does as well."

The boutique hotel locally sources its ingredients, many within a 100-mile radius.

"We were excited to see bison on the menu as we have a great source right here in our own backyard. While the lobster has a fair distance to travel, recent sustainability activity has led to record lobster harvest off the East Coast, and our pastry chef will rock this desert," said Laguens.

Share what would you cook for the president in the comments section below.

Lauren Mack is the Special Projects Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


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