All the President’s Tables: Ulysses S. Grant’s 1873 Inaugural Supper

The punch froze. So did the canaries. Brought in to sing for the guests, the poor creatures stiffened seemingly in mid-air, falling to their deaths onto the guests below. Luckily, supper began at 9 p.m. with hot coffee and hot oysters. And the people needed something hot to forget their blue noses and the sad…

Advertisements

All the Presidents’ Tables: Dwight D. Eisenhower’s First Inaugural Luncheon, 1953

January 20, 1953 In 1953, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) started the now-traditional ritual of hosting a luncheon for the incoming President and Vice President. General Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoyed tremendous public recognition because of his role as Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. Any man who could keep the troops…

All the President’s Tables: Harry S. Truman’s 1949 Inaugural Luncheon

Like Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman first became president after the death of an incumbent president. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, Truman took the oath of office in a subdued and quiet ceremony in the White House. The 1949 inauguration, on the other hand, presented an entirely different story. To begin…

All the Presidents’ Tables: Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Lunch Menu 1981

Reagan's first inauguration boasted the honor of being the first inauguration celebrated on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. Held in Statuary Hall, Ronald Reagan's 1981 luncheon featured a "California Cuisine" menu. The U.S. Air Force String Quartet and  U.S. Army Strings performed for the 200 guests. Each guest received a series of frameable…

Inaugural Luncheon 2009: Menu and Details

According to an e-mail from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon looks like this. Note that recipes are also included; click for a .pdf file of the recipes. Around 200 guests will attend this exclusive luncheon in Statuary Hall. Design Cuisine, a top-flight caterer in Washington, designed the menu, which…

All the Presidents’ Table: George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Menus

According to the official Senate committee on the 2005 inaugural, The 2005 Inaugural Luncheon menu draws upon historic ties to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803-1806.  In the early twentieth century, the preparation of a decadent layered scalloped course was a common style of menu presentation. Creamed seafood…

All the Presidents’ Tables: Bill and George Tête à Tête

President-Elect George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton met for lunch in December 2000  in the Clinton White House to discuss the impending transition of power.  This is what they ate: Squash soup Greek Salad Filet Mignon Upside-down Apple Tart w/ Maple Ice Cream* I think it's interesting that there's no quarter given to vegetarians…

All the Presidents’ Tables: Ex-Presidents Dine with President Obama

From a White House press release, January 7, 2009: PRESIDENT BUSH: I want to thank the President-elect for joining the ex-Presidents for lunch. And one message that I have and I think we all share is that we want you to succeed. Whether we're Democrat or Republican, we care deeply about this country. And to…

All the Presidents’ Tables: President Richard Nixon’s Second Inaugural Luncheon

The Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee served the following menu in honor of President Richard M. Nixon and Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew on January 20, 1973. INAUGURAL LUNCHEON 1973 Shrimp Cocktail Roast Tenderloin of Beef Bercy Sauce Green Beans Amandine        Broiled Tomato Grapefruit-Avocado Salad Rolls and Butter Fresh Strawberries with Cream Mints      Coffee

All the Presidents’ Tables: George W. Bush’s First Inaugural Luncheon 2001

Two-hundred years after President Thomas Jefferson's 1801 inauguration,  to celebrate George W. Bush's first  inauguration in 2001, the U.S. Army Brass Quintet provided music. Around 230 dignitaries ate lobster from the surface of U.S. Senate china and enjoyed other dishes honoring Jefferson's presidency. Now Bush walks about as  a very lame duck, so lame that…

All the Presidents’ Tables: Grover Cleveland’s Inaugural Ball Suppers

For a man who liked a chop and some herring, Grover Cleveland and his stomach met their culinary match during America's lavish Gilded Age. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive  terms as president, beginning his initial term in 1885 and his second in 1893. In between, Benjamin Harrison sat in the Oval Office. While president the…

Sauce Bercy, as Served at Nixon’s Inaugural Luncheons

A lot of wine used to be sold in Bercy, a Parisian neighborhood. Naturally, the restaurateurs there featured wine in their menus, particularly in a sauce made with shallots and butter. Sauce Bercy. One of President Richard M. Nixon's favorite sauces. He liked it so much the chefs served it at both of his inaugural…

All the Presidents’ Tables: President Richard Nixon’s First Inaugural Luncheon

The Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee served the following menu in honor of President Richard M. Nixon and Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew on January 20, 1969. INAUGURAL LUNCHEON 1969 California Fresh Fruit Supreme Celery and Olives New York Roast Tenderloin of Beed Bercy Sauce Baked Tomato    Parisian Potatoes Avocado on Romaine Rolls and Butter Pastry Gems…

All the President’s Tables: James A. Garfield’s Inaugural Reception Menu

On March 4, 1881, people lucky enough or well-placed enough or ambitious enough entered through the doors of what is now the Smithsonian's Castle, in Judiciary Square, to celebrate the inauguration of President James A. Garfield, the last of the U.S. presidents born and raised in a log cabin. A contemporary account states that: The…

All the Presidents’ Tables: President Benjamin Harrison’s Inaugural Ball Reception Menu: A Reflection of the “Gilded Age?”

The following menu, served at the inaugural ball of President Benjamin Harrison (in office 1889-1895), omits the news that 5,000 live terrapins waited in the wings to star in the show and game birds packed in lard did the same. Since 1200 people ate at this event, the number of turtles and birds loomed large.…