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What Did Jon Rahm Choose for the Masters Dinner Menu?

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The winner of the Masters Tournament gets a green jacket, an elegantly engraved trophy and a lifetime invitation to play one of the most revered events in professional golf.

He also has the chance to plan a dinner the next spring for other Masters winners (and to pick up the check for one of the most exclusive evenings in sports).

“How rare is it to get everybody like that in a room where it’s just us?” Scottie Scheffler said hours before his dinner last year with 32 fellow Masters champions and Fred S. Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the tournament.

“There’s nobody else,” Scheffler continued. “There’s the chairman and then there’s us.”

And at a tournament where the concessions are legendary, the pressure is forever on the new champion to pick a menu that befits the moment. Tiger Woods offered up cheeseburgers and milkshakes after his debut Masters victory in 1997, but over the years built menus that included sushi, porterhouse steaks and chocolate truffle cake. Sandy Lyle went with haggis after his 1988 win. Vijay Singh’s selection of Thai food thrilled some players and flabbergasted others.

When Jon Rahm, the 2023 winner, appears for his dinner on Tuesday night, he will sit down to a meal that starts with six tapas and pintxos, including “Mama Rahm’s classic lentil stew,” a recipe from Rahm’s grandmother. Later on, there will be a Basque crab salad, a choice of rib-eye steak or turbot and a dessert of milhojas de crema y nataa puff pastry cake with Chantilly cream and custard that was essentially Rahm’s wedding cake.

The Spanish-born chef José Andrés helped the Spanish-born golfer develop the menu.

“He called my grandma for the recipe” to the lentil stew, Rahm said last month. “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.”

“I wanted to put a little bit of my heritage and my family into this dinner, which is going to make it even more special,” he added. “Hopefully I get to do it again, but I wanted to make sure the Basque heritage was there.”

The evening was not always so customized. For years, the menu included little more than a steak, a baked potato and free-flowing wine, offerings that reflected the habits, homogeneity and not-very-daredevil nature of many professional golfers. After Tommy Aaron won the tournament in 1973, he recalled in an interview in 2020, he telephoned an Augusta National official to inquire about the menu and learned that the spread was rather predictable. He chose to offer a beef dish, lobster bisque and a crabmeat salad.

“After the dinner, a couple of guys said, ‘Well, we’re glad we got something different than a strip steak,’” remembered Aaron, who forevermore ordered whatever the champion planned instead of a cop-out entree.

Scheffler recalled that he had brainstormed his menu with his wife and his agent. They started with a basic premise — Scheffler’s favorite foods — and started to narrow the list from there. After consulting with an Augusta National chef, they settled on a menu that, as the golfer put it, was “definitely not going to be on any nutritionist’s plan.”

When Augusta National allowed The New York Times into its kitchen last April, a team of cooks was preparing what would perhaps be its most scrutinized meal of the year, with dozens of dishes that needed to be personalized, timed and warmed just so.

There were starters of cheeseburger sliders, prepared with a precision that eludes most home cooks, firecracker shrimp and bowls of tortilla soup. Texas rib-eye steaks, reflecting Scheffler’s decades in the state, or blackened redfish came next, with macaroni and cheese, jalapeño creamed corn, deep fried brussels sprouts and French fries. For those with room for dessert, there was a warm skillet chocolate chip cookie with milk-and-cookies ice cream.

“I had the soup and had to sort of swab the top of my head because it was perspiring,” Lyle said right before he mocked the apparently delicate taste buds of Fred Couples, the 1992 winner.

“I like hot food — I’m used to curries and things like that, so I’m not too bad,” Lyle said. “But I think Couples was, like, holding his throat — ‘Oh, my God.’ So it caught a few people by surprise.”

Scheffler did not seem bothered. His menu, his rules.

“Everyone,” he reported the next day, “enjoyed the food.”





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