Which would you prefer? ‘Hamberders’ with Donald Trump in the White Hose or a several-course meal at one of the world’s top restaurant groups? Well, the Clemson Tigers football team, who had to suffer through the former on Monday have been invited to partake in the latter as a way to make up for it.
Nick Kokonas, a co-owner of the Alinea restaurant group (which operates the three Michelin-starred Alinea, the one Michelin-starred Roister, and other starless but still celebrated eateries like Next, The Office and The Aviary) offered to make up for the junk food offered to the team for the celebration of their national championship at the White House.
Kokonas wrote to Eater saying that he was happy to arrange a culinary tour of his company’s restaurants, with stops including the Office, Next, Roister, and finishing at Alinea. He also said he’d provide non-alcoholic drinks for the players under 21 and even convince a hotel to house the team in Chicago. “I am dead serious that we would blow it out of the water,” he wrote via email, adding, “These kids and coaches deserve better than cold fast food.” He took to Twitter to reiterate his offer, posting, “I could care less about college football. But I’m personally inviting the Clemson Tigers team and coaches to Chicago to experience what an actual celebration dinner should be. I’m not joking. Someone let them know what The Alinea Group does. It’ll be worth it.”
I could care less about college football. But I’m personally inviting the Clemson Tigers team and coaches to Chicago to experience what an actual celebration dinner should be.
I’m not joking.
Someone let them know what The Alinea Group does. It’ll be worth it@ClemsonTigers
— nick kokonas (@nickkokonas) January 16, 2019
Alinea is Chicago’s only restaurant to have retained a full three-star rating from the historic Michelin guide. According to Eater, Alinea is one of the most expensive restaurants in the US with dinners there costing between $205 to $495 per person, depending on the date, time, and area of the restaurant.
With White House residence staff among those hit by the US government shutdown, Trump had personally ordered in an “all-American” feast of burgers and pizza on Monday for the team, apparently because he knows as much about hosting a banquet as he does about the concpt of marital fidelity (allegedly).
While Twitter gave the burger-pizza-french fries meal the roasting it deserved, calling out POTUS for honouring athletes with food that went completely against their diet, and for bringing down the tone of the White House in general (as P0TUS 45 has already done in so many ways), Trump went on to compound his error. Despite having told reporters (before the meal) that he had ordered “300 burgers, pizza, French fries, etc” for the team’s dinner, at the meal’s conclusion, he reverted to his customary mendacity and posted on Twitter that there were more than a 1000 “hamberders” at the dinner, all of which were finished in less than an hour.
He later corrected his spelling mistake after news agencies, late night comedy hosts and the general public had their own gala by roasting the President over his latest faux-pas. Even Burger King, which provided part of the order, joined in, tweeting, “due to a large order placed yesterday, we’re all out of hamberders. just serving hamburgers today.” (sic)
If the Clemson team does decide to take up Kokonas’ offer, let’s hope Alinea gets the portions and dish names right.