Barack Obama themed menus in Vail |

Barack Obama themed menus in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Obama food 1 KA 01-17-09

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Dining on Barack of Lamb is how some Vailites will celebrate president Barack Obama’s inauguration Tuesday.

At least two local restaurants will pay homage to the incoming president with Obama-themed menus.

At Dish in Edwards, where Democrats plan a party, executive chef Jenna Johansen will prepare Obama’s favorite foods.

Chili is the president-elect’s “go-to” meal, Johansen said.

“That’s the one he always makes,” she said. “I’m going to try to find his recipe. There are some (Web) sites that say they have it but you never really know.”

Thanks to the throngs of bloggers and journalists who chronicle Obama’s every move, the Internet boasts a wealth of information on the presidential palate.

Johansen will recreate Obama’s favorite snack from the campaign trail ” pizza margherita ” and the guacamole Obama enjoys at his favorite restaurant in Chicago, Topolobampo. Expect to see shrimp and grits, another Obama must-have, and ahi poke, a shout-out to the president’s home state of Hawaii, Johansen said.

“When I was thinking about planning the menu for this party, I was looking at, in my mind, how things are going to be changing in the White House, in terms of switching from kind of Tex Mex fare to bringing in a lot more international style foods,” Johansen said. “Certainly the cuisine that’s going to be enjoyed in the White House will be much different with Obama than it is currently.”

Americans have long had a fascination with their politicians’ diets. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is known for scarfing down the city’s cheese steaks. And who can forget the time President George W. Bush choked on a pretzel?

With Obama moving into the White House kitchen, curiosity about the fit president’s diet could spike. After all, the president is so calorie conscious, he refused a second helping of chocolate during a visit to a Pennsylvania candy store, a New York Times blogger reported.

Another blogger seemed concerned about Obama’s snacking. A writer on cautioned Obama about overdosing on MET-Rx protein bars.

“‘Hmmm: ‘This product contains sugar alcohols, which may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.’ Be careful, Barack!” the writer warned.

For Vailites who live nearly 2,000 miles away from the inauguration, food offers a way to connect with the event.

Matthew’s restaurant in Edwards plans a party tonight with dishes like Barack of Lamb and Sloppy Joe Biden Sliders.

“I just think no matter who would have won (the election), I think change is overdue and a celebration of some sort of change is needed,” restaurant co-owner Elena Jones said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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