Lexington caterer to bring thousands of meals to Washington for inauguration

ssloan@herald-leader.comJanuary 17, 2013 

A Lexington business is playing a role in this weekend's inauguration festivities that launch the second term of President Barack Obama. Lundy's Catering will prepare and serve tens of thousands of meals at nine events across Washington.

To get ready, the company has spent this week preparing food in Lexington for transport to the capital.

"Everything gets done here," company president Jerry Lundergan said. "All the sauces are made here. All the breads are baked here."

"We'll then construct them when we get there."

Lundergan is a former state representative and former state Democratic Party chairman. His daughter, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is Kentucky's secretary of state.

His company, which was founded in 1979 and caters events across the country, has provided food service for all inaugurations since President Bill Clinton's first in 1993.

The company also has an office in Baltimore, not far from Washington.

"I think a lot of it goes back to experience and having a history dealing with the inaugurals," Lundergan said. "There are certain things you have to do and not do."

For instance, federal food inspectors were at the company's Lexington offices this week, "watching everything we're doing," he said. "The president and vice president will be at these events we're doing."

Security at the events presents challenging logistics, he said. For example, there will be a gala ball for 4,000 people at the National Building Museum at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. That afternoon, the entire building must be vacated for an inspection by the Secret Service, Lundergan said.

"We have to be ready to go when we get back," he said.

The company has been planning food for the nine events since the end of November. An advance team left Lexington on Monday and is organizing the assembly of tents, with heat and lights, at the various sites.

"We take temporary kitchens and build a food-production area out in the parking lot of these buildings," he said.

The company is busing 150 temporary employees to Washington to prepare and serve the food. The biggest event will be Monday's inaugural parade, when more than 30,000 meals will be served to the participants, Lundergan said.

The day begins at 5 a.m. with 15,000 continental breakfasts consisting of: muffins, bagels, fruit, coffee, hot chocolate and so forth. Once the parade is over, they will serve more than 15,000 lunches with: turkey and ham sandwiches, chips, fruit and drinks.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz.

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