Breaking news: Barack Obama's first act as president will be…to eat lunch. Immediately following the swearing-in ceremony, he'll be ushered into the Capitol's Statuary Hall for the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon, upholding a tradition that's been in place for more than a century.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) announced the menu for the 200-person lunch today, which will be attended by the Obama's family, Joe Biden and his family, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership.
Arlington-based caterers Design Cuisine are heading the event, creating a menu that draws from the Abraham Lincoln theme of the inauguration. Apparently, Lincoln preferred simple foods, such as stew, wild game, and fresh fruit.
Obama's three-course luncheon menu will include seafood stew—served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln presidency—followed by pheasant and duck with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes. For dessert, the president will nosh apple cinnamon sponge cake. Each course will be accompanied by California wine.
In keeping with tradition, gifts will be exchanged at the luncheon. Congress will give Obama and Biden a framed photograph their swearing-in ceremony taken by a Senate photographer (talk about a tight deadline!) and flags flown over the Capitol during the ceremony. The pair will also get engraved crystal bowls created by the Lenox Company of Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Luncheon guests won't walk away empty-handed, either. They'll each get a crystal vase etched with the image of the Capitol Building.
Want to eat like Obama at home? The JCCIC has provided recipes for each of the dishes being served. Click the link on the right-hand side of this page to download them.