I have some interest in golf, and I even try to play it occasionally, though my fellow players are of the opinion that I ought to take up a sport more commensurate with my abilities, such as sleeping.
There are many things are do not know about golf, so I am not ashamed to admit that I had no idea that the winner of the Masters Tournament in Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia, USA, amongst many other perquisites, such as a multi million contract with a true blue American firm producing in Bangladesh golf socks, has the right to nominate a menu in the equally true blue clubhouse (seen left). Only for The Champions Dinner ( officially known as the Masters Club) of course, instituted in 1952 by Ben Hogan. “Each year since then, the previous Master’s tournament winner has hosted a dinner for the past champions. The event usually is held on the Tuesday prior to the tournament. The winner chooses the menu, and pays for the meal.”
Even when my slice narrowly avoids the green-side bunker and I pretend I planned it that way the last on my mind would be the worry whether I would fit into that famous green jacket; and food? Frankly, I never think of it, I just cook and eat it.
Yet, the winners are not ordinary people and obviously have time between rounds to ponder their contribution to the culinary culture (if that is a correct expression) of the United States.
So, in 1989, Scotsman Sandy Lyle organised haggis and six years later Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal had paella. German Bernhard Langer couldn’t come up with anything more interesting than the Austrian Wiener* Schnitzel, hopefully veal, not a pork substitute. Britisher Nick Faldo (now Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo MBE ) served Shepherd’s Pie and on the next occasion fish and chips (do you need a reference for that?). Clearly he is, or perhaps was, a man who knows what he likes and doesn’t care about PC kitchen twits. American left-hander Bubba Watson (Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson, Jr. ) chose Caesar salad and grilled chicken, greens, mash and cheese macaroni, all to be supplemented by corn bread. He was born in Bagdad, Florida. That may explain it.
Tiger Woods (Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods), despite his Thai mother Kultida, decided that cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries and milkshakes are good enough for the honkeys. Perhaps a deep fried chicken and watermelon would rub the establishment too much; perhaps he could not afford caviar and truffles. Or perhaps it was the influence of his father Earl, retired lieutenant-colonel US Infantry, a Vietnam veteran.
In 2004 another left-hander Mike Weir (Michael Richard Weir, CM, O.Ont ) specified a feast of wild boar, elk, fish caught in Canada and Canadian beer, which beats milkshakes, in my humble opinion. No prize for guessing his country of birth, but for those whose intellectual handicap is in the double or higher figures: – he was born in Ontario, Canada.
The way things in remunerative sports are going there will be kimchi or 糖醋里脊 (Sweet and Sour Pork to you gweilos) on the menu soon, though in the foreseeable future the sheep eyes and cuscus are unlikely, given mullahs’ and ayatollahs’ opinion of sports other than beheading, crucifying and stoning.
Since so many asked – I would, if feeling sufficiently old-time patriotic, order the roast pork, sauerkraut, dumplings, and if contemporarily patriotic, a lamb on the spit. Otherwise, if I were to behave in normally selfish way, it would be my favourite – fried crumbed cauliflower and parsilladed pomme de terre (mashed potato to you).
Alas, the Obama’s America is fast progressing (recall that those allegedly freedom loving American people voted for him TWICE) so MREs (US military Meals, Ready, purportedly, to Eat) are the likely way of the future. If one can get them on the food stamps** and if there are any left.
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*/ As it, allegedly, originated in Wiena, not in Weina, the correct spelling is Wiener. So many get it wrong, including the author of the article which originally inspired me: “Masters menu” by Lucas Parsons in April 2014 Golf Digest.
**/ one in five Americans are already (2013) relying on them.