What Jon Rahm revealed dissecting Masters Champions Dinner menu

The Masters Champions Dinner menu has long been a big deal. But Jon Rahm reminded us this week of its growing import.

The post What Jon Rahm revealed dissecting Masters Champions Dinner menu appeared first on Golf.

The Masters Champions Dinner menu has long been a big deal. But Jon Rahm reminded us this week of its growing import.

The post What Jon Rahm revealed dissecting Masters Champions Dinner menu appeared first on Golf.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth and final term in 1945, his inauguration speech was a mere 557 words. The Gettysburg Address? Lincoln delivered his enduring message in only 271 words. And Jaques’ stirring “All the world’s a stage” monologue from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It?” The brooding nobleman captivated his audience in all of 211 words.

Which leads us to Jon Rahm and his dissection of his Masters Champions Dinner menu, on a Tuesday call with reporters.

“Let me find it on my phone,” the Spaniard began, launching into an explanation that would eventually clock in at a word count of, wait for it…1,005.

A lot of words? Undoubtedly. Too many? Undoubtedly not!

Indeed, Rahm spoke with such color and passion about his Basque-inspired meal, which will be prepared by celebrity chef Jose Andres, that it may have left golf fans wanting not fewer words but more. Take, for example, how Rahm described one of his entrée options, chuleton a la parilla: “[It’s] basically a ribeye that is seared on basically a regular grill with a bit of coal, smoked and seared. Usually traditionally they will serve it to you already cut up and then you have a hot plate that you can cook it up to your temperature. Most people in northern Spain go about as much as medium rare. If you go past that, you’re going to get a weird look just because that’s how we are.”

Was this Jon Rahm on the line…or Jamie Oliver?! Rahm’s steak analysis went on for another 82 words, but you get the idea: He cares deeply about what he will be plating his fellow champions. This is not to suggest that Snead or Palmer or Nicklaus didn’t ruminate over what they served at their respective dinners, but those legends certainly never spoke so expansively about their culinary choices — in part because in the dinner’s early days the winners didn’t pick their own menus, the club did.  

There’s no documentation of what Ben Hogan served in 1952 at what was the first gathering of what was then known as the Masters Club, but it’s a safe bet that Idiazabal cheese, Spanish omelettes and turbot fish were not among the offerings, as they will be on the Tuesday evening of this year’s tournament.

In fact, for many years the past winners were given no more options than what they would have received when flying commercial: steak, chicken or fish. Sometime around the mid-1980s, champions took control of the menu, with some selections proving more popular than others. While Ben Crenshaw’s Texas barbecue spread was a hit in 1996, Sandy Lyle’s main dish in 1988 — haggis, aka stuffed sheep stomach — was less well received. “Terrible,” George Archer, the 1969 champion, barked. “Everybody shoved it aside.”

Gay Brewer, Fuzzy Zoeller and Herman Keiser converse at the Champions Dinner during the 1997 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 1997
From left: Gay Brewer, Fuzzy Zoeller and Herman Keiser at the Champions Dinner in 1997. getty images

Then there was Tiger Woods’ menu from 1998 — cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, French fries, vanilla and strawberry shakes — which led to at least some grumbling from attendees given they could have pieced together a comparable meal at the fast-food joints out on Washington Road. “From what I’ve heard he’s going to have, it would be a joke,” Bob Goalby, the 1969 winner, told the Augusta Chronicle before the dinner. “If I can’t get a steak, I’m leaving.”

As it turned out, Goalby could have steak, because the club supplemented Woods’ menu with filet mignon and sea bass.

In more recent years, menu orchestration has become more serious business with some players bringing in their own chefs (this year will mark Chef Andres third oversight of a Champions Dinner). Hideki Matusyuma had foodies giddy with his 2022 offering of sushi, sashimi and Miyazaki wagyu, while a year ago Scottie Scheffler had his dinner mates guzzling ice water when he served up a five-alarm tortilla soup.

But when it comes to the four-way intersection of food, culture, heritage and family, few if any dinner hosts have matched what Rahm will (literally) be bringing to the table next month. “We made what would be a northern Spanish Basque country Bilbao menu and basically put in all of my favorites and even included a dish from my grandma,” Rahm said. That recipe was for lentejas estofadas, a traditional Spanish dish that in addition to its namesake (lentils) is loaded with potatoes, peppers and onion, and flavored with garlic and paprika. “He called my grandma for the recipe,” Rahm said of Andres. “If somebody doesn’t like it, please just don’t tell me. Don’t tell anyone, actually. It means a little bit too much to me to hear it.”

Of the Iberian ham on the six-item tapas menu, Rahm said: “I think a lot of people will expect that. And then a similar version, which is lomo, which is pork loin. It will be somewhere between jamón and chorizo, one of my family’s favorites. Definitely my brother’s favorite.”

Masters champions at 2023 Masters Champions Dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse

Jon Rahm’s Masters Champions Dinner menu is out, and we’re salivating

By: Jack Hirsh

Of his turbot entrée, which will be served with white asparagus, Rahm noted: “It’s a white fish, very local from where I come from, which actually most common is cod or sea bass, but I don’t like cod so I refuse to have something I don’t like at my dinner.”

And of the dessert, called milhojas de crema y nata, Rahm said: “The translation from Spanish [of milhojas] would be 1,000 leaves. It’s basically a puff pastry with custard and just very little layers. It was basically Kelley and I’s wedding cake. It varies a little bit where you’re doing it in Spain, but it’s absolutely one of my favorites.”

On and on Rahm went: about the Gernica peppers from Basque country that resemble Shishitos; about the potato-wrapped chorizo with which Rahm did not sound all that familiar (“José’s doing,” he said); and about the Imperial Rioja that he will be pouring for his guests, which was one of Rahm’s grandfather’s favorites.

And then came something unexpected. As Rahm began winding down his dinner dissertation, he admitted he was nervous and that he felt like he’d been rambling. He even went so far as to apologize.

“I feel like I did a horrible job at explaining that,” he said. “I’m sorry.’

Horrible job? Rahm had, of course, done the quite the opposite.

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