There may have been plenty of protests, but the inauguration of Donald J. Trump went on as scheduled. Following President Trump’s swearing in as the 45th President of the United States, dinner was served, and the menu looked lavish and centered around beef!
According to CNN.com, “President Barack Obama's 2013 luncheon boasted a menu of steamed lobster, grilled bison and apple pie. Trump's, which will be held in the Statuary Hall, will feature three courses.
“The first, Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp with saffron sauce and peanut crumble, will be accompanied by a J. Lohr 2013 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay. The Gulf shrimp may be a tribute to Florida, where Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is located and which the President-elect has called his ‘second home.’
“This will be followed by grilled Seven Hills Angus beef in dark chocolate and juniper jus with potato gratin, served alongside Delicato Black Stallion 2012 Limited Release Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“For dessert, guests will feast on chocolate soufflé and cherry vanilla ice cream served with Korbel Natural ‘Special Inaugural Cuvée’ California Champagne.”
Intrigued and hungry after reading the menu, I googled Seven Hills Angus to see if I could learn more about the beef source for the inauguration day menu. Turns out the beef supplier is a rising new star in Virginia with just 16 months in business under its belt.
Bob Heuer for New Food Economy recently wrote a feature on the rapidly-growing Seven Hills Food Company. Owned by Ryan Ford, the business was built in an old abandoned abattoir that was updated and modernized to match the dazzling, high-speed growth of his beef sales.
Heuer writes, “Ford is a native of metropolitan Washington, D.C. who began an organic butcher business 10 years ago in central Virginia. He would hear more and more requests for local meats from the restaurants, institutions, and supermarkets he serviced.
“It wasn’t that he had trouble finding local quality livestock producers—there were plenty of those. The problem was the region’s lack of small-scale slaughter facilities, which forces local farmers to send their live herds to out-of-state packing plants for processing. Once these cattle—raised in, say, Rapidan or Charlottesville—are sent off to distant meatpackers, they become anonymous, commodity beef, distributed nationally. Ford was frustrated watching a growing demand continually be unmet. His lament: ‘I can’t get my hands on enough local product.’
“Ford saw a market opportunity: if he could bring local beef to Virginia when no one else had any, it could be the beginning of a booming business. The risk: he’d have to spend millions building a processing facility before he’d know whether there was enough demand to keep it afloat. Ford felt confident enough to take the plunge.
“He found the century-old shuttered home of what was once a custom meat processor in Lynchburg, and the town authorities helped him acquire it. The Seven Hills Abattoir took 20 months to get its facility up and running, and opened for business October of 2015. Now, 16 months after opening, his tenderloin is the center-of-plate protein on the banquet tables of Statuary Hall.”
READ: Tenderloin on the inaugural table won’t come from Trump Steaks
Heuer shared a screenshot of the official plating menu to be served with the grilled Seven Hills Angus, which features 6 oz. steak tenderloins, roasted baby carrots, potato gratin, dark chocolate cabernet sauce, parsnip puree, roasted asparagus, blanched Brussels sprouts leaves, sautéed oyster mushrooms and herb oil.
While we may not have been able to be there to enjoy the tasty delicacies of the inaugural menu, I’m glad the Trumps are starting the term out on a great note with beef. With a grill, a juicy tenderloin, some roasted vegetables and maybe a glass of cheap champagne, you, too, can dine in style from the comfort of your home and eat like a king, or in this case president. Enjoy!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.