Lincoln: Legendary President, Finicky Dinner Party Guest

Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis inspired Cooking Channel to make a dinner party for the famous president of iconic American recipes.
By: Kevin Bender

The film " Lincoln," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, tells the story of he 16th president's tumultuous final  months in office. Abraham Lincoln, perhaps more than any other president, continues to occupy the public imagination.

Research on the topic of Lincoln's food preferences seems divided.  While some sources state that Lincoln was mad about Mary Todd Lincoln's cakes, others claim that he was rather indifferent on the topic of food altogether. Despite all of his accomplishments and accolades, he sounds to us like a challenging dinner party guest. Which begs the question:

If Honest Abe was the guest of honor at your dinner party, what would you serve him?

We're throwing a dinner party menu of America's most iconic state dishes inspired by this iconic insomniac.

To start, how about something casual and unexpectedly delicious to make the president feel at ease? Since Abraham was fond of fried foods (was there any other way of cooking in the 1800s?) we'll start with crispy strips of American beef sliced into strips, deep fried,  and served with tangy BBQ sauce.

Get the Recipe: Idaho-Style Finger Steaks

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Lincoln's favorite holiday is rumored to be Thanksgiving, and he was quite fond of classic roasted Thanksgiving turkey. Since he was a Kentucky native, we've picked a heartier, fattier take on turkey for honest Abe, since we feel he could use the extra calories.

Get the Recipe: Kentucky Hot Browns Recipe

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Lincoln is rumored to often have forgotten breakfast completely, though he did enjoy strong coffee. We think he'd appreciate the classic American Election Cake for dessert, which pairs perfectly with a cup of steaming espresso. Though Abe wasn't known as a big drinker, with 1/3 cup of American whiskey, this cake would provide the president with the perfect opportunity to de-stress and let his hair down (what is under that top hat?).

Get the Recipe: American Election Cake

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Another dessert for Abe seems appropriate since Mary Todd's household apparently went through quite a lot of sugar. Lincoln is rumored to be extremely fond of  apples — apple pie in particular — so we picked this all-American version with Vermont cheddar cheese.

Get The Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

What would you serve at your presidential dinner party? Tell us in the comments below. 

More to DEVOUR:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Party in Five: Mediterranean Dinner Party

Get Mediterranean party food ideas and recipes such as kebabs, meze and Greek feta at Devour the Blog from Cooking Channel.

Dinner Party Game Plan + Recipes

Planning a dinner party should be as fun as attending one. Follow this game plan for a seamless menu (we'll leave the guest list up to you). 

Host a Trashy TV Dinner Party

Alie and Georgia share their top tips for hosting a Trashy TV dinner party.

Tiffani Thiessen's Dinner Party Secrets and More

Cooking Channel caught up with Tiffani to ask her about her hosting style, her favorite restaurants and more.

Debi Mazar’s Holiday Dinner Party Tips

Extra Virgin's Debi Mazar shares her tips for throwing a dinner party during the holidays.

How to Throw a Blind Dinner Party

Comedian Margaret Cho shares tips on gathering strangers together for an insightful potluck.

How to Host a Potluck Dinner Party

Follow these tips to ensure your collaborative dinner party goes smoothly

Get Fitz and The Tantrums' Dinner Party Playlist

We caught up with the beautiful Noelle Scaggs from Fitz and The Tantrums to talk about what she eats on the road, cooks at home, plus some of her favorite dinner party tracks.

How to Throw a Coffee-themed Dinner Party

Seeing as how coffee is the life force that gets you through your day, may we suggest it as the main ingredient in your next potluck?

Party in Five: Modern, Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

Try these tips for hosting a Thanksgiving party and in just a few steps you'll be entertaining your guests like a pro, from Devour the Blog, by Cooking Channel.


Dinner at Tiffani's

7:30am | 6:30c

Dinner at Tiffani's

8:30am | 7:30c

Dinner at Tiffani's

9:30am | 8:30c

Good Eats

10am | 9c

Good Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Good Eats

11am | 10c

Good Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

12:30pm | 11:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

1:30pm | 12:30c

Man Fire Food

2:30pm | 1:30c

SEARious Meats

3:30pm | 2:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

8pm | 7c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Sundays 8|7c

Pick a Side!

The Snackdown

In our new animated series, we debate the most-pressing food matters of our time, like is cereal a soup?

So Much Pretty Food Here