Arlington’s Design Cuisine Scores Fifth Time as Inauguration Caterer

The Virginia company will prepare and serve the luncheon served in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

For the fifth time in a row, Design Cuisine of Arlington, Virginia, will prepare and serve the official inaugural luncheon, which traditionally follows the swearing-in ceremony and is served in the Capitol’s impressive Statuary Hall. It’s considered quite a feat for the chosen caterer, because the elegant meal has to be completed in near record time so the inaugural parade can begin. The floral designer is also local, Jack Lucky Floral of Alexandria, Virginia. Another local presence will be the water served to those who request tap water—DC’s own.

The meal served to the President, Vice President, their families and guests, and members of Congress will come in three courses:

First course: Steamed lobster with New England chowder

Second course: Hickory grilled bison with wild huckleberry reduction and red potato horseradish cake

Third course: Hudson Valley apple pie, sour cream ice cream, aged cheese, and honey

The wines represent the two coasts. From New York there will be Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards, and Newt Red Cellars; Tierce 2010 Riesling of the Finger Lakes region; and from the Long Island there will be Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot. With the dessert, as at past inaugurals, the sparkling wine will be Korbel Natural, Special Cuvee Champagne. While the lunch is served, the Eastman String Quartet of the University of Rochester will perform pieces by Aaron Copland, Haydn, Mozart, Antonín Dvorák, and Scott Joplin.

According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, organizers of the Capitol Hill phase of the inauguration, the luncheon will feature the Lincoln Table, which is currently on exhibition at the Capitol Visitor Center. It has an interesting backstory altogether, particularly in respect to the inauguration of President Reagan.