The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

News Release

  • For Immediate Release
  • January 09, 2013
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Chairman Schumer Announces Inaugural Luncheon Menu & Details

Washington, DC – Chairman Charles E. Schumer, on behalf of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, today announced the menu and details for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon, which will follow the swearing-in of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The luncheon, hosted by the members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, has been a tradition for more than a century. Approximately 200 guests including the President, Vice President, members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet members, and members of Congressional leadership will attend the event in Statuary Hall.

The menu, created by members of the Joint Committee along with Design Cuisine, a catering company based in Arlington, Virginia, includes foods from across the country.

The wines that are to be served during the luncheon are from Chairman Schumer’s home state of New York. The wines were made by several of the Empire State’s finest winemakers, and complement the flavors in each of the luncheon dishes.

“Agriculture has always played a starring role in American culture and has been at the heart of our cuisine since the birth of our nation,” said Schumer. “This Inaugural luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach. I’m confident that Democrats, Republicans, and representatives from all three branches alike will enjoy these incredible dishes from all corners of our nation.”

The 2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu

First Course:

  • Steamed Lobster with New England Chowder
  • Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards & Newt Red Cellars, Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY

Second Course:          

  • Hickory Grilled Bison with Wild Huckleberry Reduction and Red Potato Horseradish Cake
  • Bedell Cellars, 2009 Merlot, North Fork, Long Island

Third Course:

  • Hudson Valley Apple Pie, Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey
  • Korbel Natural Russian River Valley Champagne

The luncheon menu reflects Schumer’s choice of a theme for the 57th Inaugural Ceremonies. “Faith in America’s Future” commemorates the United States’ perseverance and unity and marks the sesquicentennial year of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the new Capitol Dome in 1863. When the Civil War threatened to bring construction of the Dome to a halt, workers pressed onward, even without pay, until Congress approved additional funding to complete the Dome that would become a symbol of unity and democracy to the entire world. The menu features American agricultural products that have long been popular in our cuisine, but with an added modern touch. It is a celebration of American farms and agriculture, with a nod to their bright future and continued place in our culture.

The 2013 Inaugural luncheon will present a fresh, contemporary look with a geometric patterned tablecloth that picks up the copper and bronze tones of Statuary Hall. All of this is complemented by the surprise of a head table draped in a crisp, lush cerulean velvet. 

The floral arrangements, contained in silver cachepots, were designed by Jesse Bailey of Jack Lucky Floral, Alexandria, Virginia. They will feature the old- fashioned rose called “Free Spirit,” which ranges in color from apricot to orange with flecks of coral to rose. Small, orange ranunculus blossoms finish the arrangement.

The luncheon also will feature the historic Lincoln Table, which will hold the flags flown over the Capitol during the swearing-in ceremonies. This unusual iron table was made especially for Abraham Lincoln and was used at his second Inauguration on March 4, 1865. The table was made from materials used for the decorative elements on the Capitol dome, construction of which continued through the war years. During the war years, Lincoln supported pushing ahead with construction of the Dome despite staggering obstacles.  He said in 1863, “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.” On permanent loan from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the table is usually on public view in the Exhibition Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center.

On behalf of the Congress and the American people, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies will present the President and Vice President of the United States with tall, tapering, hand-cut and etched crystal vases created by Lenox exclusively for the 2013 Inaugural luncheon. The vase crafted for the President features an image of the White House with extensive foliage.  It rests on a large crystal base engraved with the name of the President and “January 21, 2013.” Etched on the Vice President’s vase is the U.S. Capitol flanked by cherry trees and other greenery.  It, too, sits on an engraved crystal base. The bowls were designed by Timothy Carder, Vice President of Design for Lenox, and hand cut by master glass cutter Peter O’Rourke.

At Chairman Schumer’s invitation, the Eastman String Quartet from the University of Rochester will perform during the Inaugural luncheon. These talented young musicians have performed in a number of ensembles before audiences in the U.S. and abroad. The group is coached by Phillip Ying, chair of the School’s Chamber Music Department and violist of the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet, Eastman’s quartet-in-residence.  

During the Inaugural luncheon, the Eastman String Quartet will play for approximately an hour from a balcony overlooking Statuary Hall, the site of the luncheon. Their program will spotlight work by fellow Eastman students with arrangements of Copland’s “Hoedown” and the University of Rochester’s alma mater “The Genesee” by master’s degree students Reuben Allen and Michael Conrad, respectively. Additionally, the ensemble will perform Haydn’s Quartet in G Major; Mozart’s Quartet in C Major; the first and fourth movements of Dvorak’s “American Quartet;” Scott Joplin’s “Country Club Rag;” and “America the Beautiful.” 

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is responsible for the oversight and planning of the Presidential Inauguration and related ceremonies on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The Joint Committee was authorized by S. Con. Res. 35, which passed the Senate on March 1, 2012, and the House on March 5th.  Members of JCCIC are appointed by the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. In accordance with tradition, the Senate representatives on JCCIC are Majority Leader Harry Reid, Rules Committee Chairman Charles E. Schumer, and Rules Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander.  The House members of JCCIC are Speaker John A. Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

S. Con. Res. 35 established the date of the 2013 Inauguration as Monday, January 21, 2013, since January 20, 2013 falls on a Sunday.  This is the seventh time in U.S. history that the constitutionally mandated Inauguration date has fallen on a Sunday.  The last time was for President Ronald Reagan’s second Inauguration in 1985.  When this occurs, the public ceremonies traditionally are held on Monday.

In addition, January 21, 2013 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It will be the second time that this federal holiday has coincided with a Presidential Inauguration. The first was President Bill Clinton’s second Inauguration in 1997.

You can follow the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies on our Facebook page at!/JCCIC and on Twitter at @jccic2013.