Barack Obama’s 3,000 Calorie Inaugural Lunch Menu

Monday’s inauguration of President Barack Obama will be filled with pomp, circumstance, and a jam-packed schedule of invite-only events where the president and Mrs. Obama are the guests of honor. And it all starts with the Inaugural Luncheon.

This year’s luncheon is a bit on the indulgent side, admittedly. We first checked out the menu with excitement, but as we read through the three courses our smiles quickly turned to frowns, not at the extravagance of the dishes but their sky-high calorie counts.

One full serving is more than 3,000 calories! Lobster in clam chowder sauce, grilled bison and a finish of rich apple pie with homemade ice cream take no time to zip past a single day’s calorie reserve.‘s Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN – who compiled this year’s Inaugural Luncheon nutritional statistics – was a little shocked by the numbers, too, and felt that although it’s fine and even healthy to treat ourselves once in a while, the figures were a bit too to justify.

“It’s OK to indulge every once in awhile and if the Presidential Inauguration isn’t a special, celebratory occasion to do so, I don’t know what is,” she said. “However, in light of the first lady’s obesity initiatives and the fact that the menu was made public, it was definitely a missed opportunity for nutrition education, for example, to offer lightened-up recipe alternatives (even if just on the website).”

We couldn’t agree more. With all of the hard work Mrs. Obama has put behind championing healthier diets not only for kids but also adults, it was disappointing to see such heavy items on the menu, especially considering the event is so heavily reported on by the media and viewed by the American public.

See the three-course Inaugural Lunch menu and nutrition information for yourself, originally shared on the Senate’s official website.

First Course: Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Lobster Tails
New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Sauteed Spinach
Sweet Potato Hay

Per Serving: Calories 783, Fat 45.7g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 247 mg, Sodium 1819 mg, Carbohydrates 55g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugar 14g, Protein 29g

Second Course: Hickory Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake and Wild Huckleberry Reduction
Butternut Squash Puree
Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans
Red Potato Horseradish Cake
Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage
Wild Huckleberry Reduction

Per Serving: Calories 1184, Fat 34.6g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 177mg, Sodium 7445mg, Carbohydrates, 149g, Dietary Fiber 16.7, Sugar 97.2g, Protein 51g

Third Course: Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey
Pie Dough
Cinnamon Crumble
Sour Cream Ice Cream
Maple Caramel Sauce
Artisan Cheeses

Per Serving: Calories 1060, Fat 64.4g, Saturated Fat 39g, Cholesterol 331mg, Sodium 488mg, Carbohydrates, 108.5g, Dietary Fiber 1.7g, Sugar 75g, Protein 14g

Total Nutritional Counts (not including wine pairing): Calories 3027, Fat 145 g, Saturated Fat 71g (49% of fat), Sodium 9752 mg, Total Carbs 312.5g, Sugar 186.2g (59% of carbs)

Wine Selections for each course:
Tierce Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2024
Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California
Bedell Cellars Merlot 2024

If you’re planning to host an inaugural lunch or dinner of your own, you may want to substitute the riesling and merlot for more affordable options. Jamie Stratton, Kansas’ only Certified Wine Educator, of Jacob’s Liquor Exchange suggested replacing the Tierce Finger Lakes Riesling with Nine Hats Riesling 2024, which is a steal at $14.99. Stratton also suggested replacing the Bedell Cellars Merlot with Benziger Merlot 2024 for a more affordable price of just $17.99. The Korbel Natural is already a fairly reasonable selection at $19.99.

Tune in to check out all of the Inaugural events this Monday, January 21. The Constitution dictates that the formal swearing in take place at noon on January 20, which will be done in a private ceremony this Sunday. For the seventh time in US history, the official inauguration event will take place Monday, January 21.

We invite you to try a few more presidential recipes this Monday:

Red, White, and Blue Sangria

Obama’s Favorite Grilled Chicken Tacos

Barack Obama’s Chili

Red, White, and Blueberry Turkey Burgers

Molasses Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing

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