The Masters Champions Dinner: Jon Rahm’s Spanish supper delivers as golf’s ‘fraternity’ break bread

The defending champion had the honor of setting the Masters Champions Dinner menu – but what did Jon Rahm serve at the treasured Tuesday tradition in 2024?

Started by Ben Hogan in 1952, the previous year’s winner hosts the Champions Dinner in Augusta’s clubhouse on the Tuesday night of tournament week and gets to choose the entire menu.

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It’s a lot of pressure, with the world’s best players eating whatever you choose for them.

Jon Rahm had the honor of setting the Champions Dinner (or Masters Club Dinner, as it’s officially known) menu which unsurprisingly, had a distinctly Spanish feel, including a tribute to his Grandmother’s cooking among the starters.

Jon Rahm makes his winner's speech at the 2023 Masters.

The defending champ, who has defected from the PGA Tour to LIV since his victory at Augusta, says creating the perfect menu has been one of the main things on his mind since his victory.

He will serve Tapas y Pintos to start the meal, with six dishes on offer. The champions will enjoy Ibericos (Acorn-Fed Iberian Ham, Cured Pork Loin), Idiazabal con Trufa Negra (Idiazabal Cheese, Black Truffle). Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette, Onions, Confit Potatoes), Chistorra con Patata (Spicy Basque Chorizo, Potato), Lentejas Estofadas (Mama Rahm’s Classic Lentil Stew), Croqueta de Pollo (Creamy Chicken Fritters, Confit Potatos).

Ensalada de Txangurro (Basque Crab Salad, Potato) will follow for the First Course, before guests choose between Culeton a la Parrilla (Basque Ribeye, Tudela Lettuce, Piquillo Peppers) and Rodaballo al Pil-Pil (Turbot, White Asparagus) for their Main Course.

The meal will conclude with Milhojas de Crema y Nata (Puff Pastry Cake, Custard, Chantilly Cream) for Dessert.

Taking in detail through his menu, Rahm said: “With the help of José Andres, the chef who I feel like needs no introduction for a lot of people, we made what would be a northern Spanish Basque country Bilbao menu and basically put in all of my favorites and even included a dish from my grandma.  He called my grandma for the recipe. 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.

“We have a cocktail reception first, so there are quite a few things that people would know as tapas in northern Spain called pintxos that come in there. We have Gernika peppers.  Gernika is a town in the Basque country. There’s some green peppers from there.  You usually know them here in the U.S. as Shishito peppers. Gildas, which is an anchovy skewer with more pepper and olives. A lot of things are not people’s favorites, but it’s something that’s very common in the Basque country. Then Spanish ham, jamón.  I think a lot of people will expect that.  And then a similar version, which is lomo, which is pork loin.  It will be somewhere between jamón and chorizo, one of my family’s favorites.  Definitely my brother’s favorite.

“Then it’s chistorra, which I guess is spicy Basque chorizo.  I don’t even know how to explain it to be honest.  It’s wrapped in potato.  That was José’s doing.  I don’t know exactly what he means.  I’m going to trust him on that one.  But if you want to look it up, it’s a type of chorizo that’s a little spicy.  It’s usually served in similar serving sizes.  I love chorizo which has a kick and spice to it, so that’s why we went with that one. Then we went with local cheese, Idiazábal cheese. Then croquettes – it’s a breaded creamy chicken fritter. Then we have scrambled eggs with what would be some mushrooms, although it’s not really mushrooms.  It’s a little bit different.  From the same family, though.

“Then the main course would be a salad with two options.  Either turbot with white asparagus.  Turbot is a white fish, very local from where I come from, where cod or sea bass is actually most common, but I don’t like cod so I refuse to have something I don’t like at my dinner. Or alternatively, it would be what in northern Spain is known as chuletón, which is basically a ribeye that is seared on a grill with a bit of coal, basically smoked and seared.  Usually, they will serve it to you already cut up, and then you have a hot plate that you can cook it up to your temperature. 

“Most people in northern Spain go about as much as medium rare.  If you go past that, you’re going to get a weird look just because that’s how we are.  Very proud people of what we do, and meat usually is high quality. Every time I go back home I try to eat it.  Usually, those steaks are about four pounds, and you’re searing it. They usually also come with peppers, sometimes fries, and a little salad; this is lettuce, onions, olive oil, and vinegar.

Jon Rahm threw the first pitch at the 2023 World Series in his Green Jacket

“Then dessert, the translation from Spanish, which is Milhojas, would be 1,000 leaves.  It’s basically a puff pastry with custard and just very little layers.  It was basically Kelley and I’s wedding cake.  It varies a little bit where you’re doing it in Spain, but it’s absolutely one of my favorites.

“Then with the wine selection, we have a Basque white wine from Vizcaya which is called Txakoli.  It’s not regular white wine.  It’s a little bit drier. Then the red wine, it’s called Imperial.  It was my granddad’s favorite wine, and we are partnering with them and are going to have a little different label for the dinner. It may not be the most famous wine in Spain, but it’s actually a very high-quality wine. 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.

“Hopefully, I get to do it again, but I wanted to make sure the Basque Heritage was there.  I know José has done it twice, but where he’s from and where I’m from is a little bit different, so I wanted to put a little bit of my essence into it, and I’m hoping they really like it. It should be quite special, and they’re going to try a few things that they maybe haven’t seen before that are really quite tasty. I feel like I did a horrible job at explaining that.  I’m sorry.  I’m actually quite nervous for some reason talking about this.  I can’t explain why.”

The Masters: Previous Champions Dinner Menus

It all sounds delicious, but how does it compare with Champions Dinners of previous years?

Here’s what attendees have feasted on in the past…

Scottie Scheffler, 2023: Cheeseburger Sliders (served Scottie style) and Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Thai Chilli and Sriracha Mayo appetizers; Tortilla Soup – Avocado, Crispy Blue Tortilla Strips, Sour Cream, Cilantro, Lime, to start; Main course of Texas Ribeye Steak or Blackened Redfish served with Family Style Mac and Cheese, Jalapeno Creamed Corn, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Seasoned Fries; Warm Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Milk and Cookies Ice Cream for dessert.

Hideki Matsuyama will host the Champions Dinner in 2022.

Hideki Matsuyama, 2022: Assorted Sushi, Sashimi and Sagiri or Yakitori Chicken Skewers to start; Main course of Miyazaki Wagyu, A5 Wagyu Beef Ribeye with Mixed Mushrooms & Vegetables, and Sansho Daikon Ponzu; Japanese Strawberry Cheesecake or Fluffy Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream and Amaou Strawberries for dessert.

Dustin Johnson, 2021: Choice of garden salad or Caesar salad to start; Main course of prime filet mignon with mashed potatoes and spring vegetables, or miso marinated sea bass; Peach cobbler and apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Tiger Woods has hosted the Champions Dinner at The Masters on five occasions.

Tiger Woods, 2020: Augusta Roll of tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado, eel sauce, tempura flakes, pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce to start; Main Course of prime steak and chicken fajitas, grilled vegetables, refried beans, mexican rice, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, flour tortillas; Trio of desserts comprising classi fan, churros with chocolate sauce and sopapillas.

Tiger Woods hosted his own family Champions Dinner after the Masters was postponed due to Covid-19.

Patrick Reed, 2019: Choice of Caesar salad or Wedge salad to start; Main Course of Prime Bone-In Cowboy Rib Eye with herb butter and sides of macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach, corn creme brule and steamed broccoli; Tiramisu, vanilla bean creme brulee and chocolate crunch and praline cheesecake for dessert.

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Sergio Garcia, 2018: International Salad inspired by ingredients representing countries of Masters Champions; A main course of Traditional Spanish Lobster Rice; Dessert Angela Garcia’s Tres Leches Cake. 

Danny Willett, 2017: Mini Cottage Pies; Sunday Roast of Prime Rib, Roasted Potatoes & Vegetables, Yorkshire Puddings, Gravy; Dessert of Apple Crumble & Vanilla Custard 

Jordan Spieth, 2016: Salad of local greens; main course of Texas barbecue (beef brisket, smoked half chicken, pork ribs); sides of BBQ baked beans, bacon and chive potato salad, sauteed green beans, grilled zucchini, roasted yellow squash; dessert of warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream.

Despite his love of sandwiches, Dustin Johnson opted not to serve them at his Champions Dinner.

Bubba Watson, 2015: Watson served the same menu he did in 2013 (below).

Adam Scott, 2014: Surf-and-turf on the grill, including Moreton Bay ‘bugs’ (lobster). Started with an appetizer of artichoke and arugula salad with calamari. The main course of Australian Wagyu beef New York Strip steak, served with Moreton Bay lobster, sauteed spinach, onion cream mashed potatoes. Desserts of strawberry and passion fruit pavlova, Anzac biscuit and vanilla sundae.

Bubba Watson, 2013: Traditional caesar salad to start. Entree of grilled chicken breast with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni, and cheese, served with cornbread. Dessert of confetti cake and vanilla ice cream.

Charl Schwartzel, 2012: An opening course consisting of a chilled seafood bar, which includes shrimp, lobster, crabmeat, crab legs, and oysters. The main course is a “braai,” a South African barbecue, which includes lamb chops, steaks, and South African sausages. Dessert of vanilla ice cream sundae. Also in the mix are salads, cheeses, plus sides such as sauteed sweet corn, green beans, and Dauphinoise potatoes. 

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Charl Schwartzel's love of barbecued food was reflected in his Masters' Champions Dinner menu of 2012.

Phil Mickelson, 2011: A Spanish-themed menu with seafood paella and machango-topped filet mignon as the entrees. Also includes a salad course, asparagus, and tortillas as sides, plus ice cream-topped apple empanada for dessert.

Angel Cabrera, 2010: An Argentine asado, a multicourse barbecue featuring chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and mollejas (the thymus gland, aka sweetbreads).

Trevor Immelman, 2009: Bobotie (a spiced minced meat pie with an egg topping), sosaties ( a type of chicken skewer), spinach salad, milk tart and South African wines.

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Zach Johnson, 2008: Iowa beef, Florida shrimp. 

Phil Mickelson, 2007: Barbecued ribs, chicken, sausage and pulled pork, with cole slaw.

Tiger Woods, 2006: Stuffed jalapeno and quesadilla appetizers with salsa and guacamole; green salad; steak fajitas, chicken fajitas, Mexican rice, refried beans; apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

Phil Mickelson, 2005: Lobster ravioli in tomato cream sauce, Caesar’s salad, garlic bread.

Mike Weir, 2004: Elk, wild boar, Arctic char (that’s a fish), Canadian beer.

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Tiger Woods, 2003: Tiger brought back the porterhouse steak, chicken, and sushi from his 2002 menu. Also on the menu were sashimi, salads, crab cakes, asparagus, mashed potatoes and a chocolate truffle cake.

Tiger Woods, 2002: Porterhouse steak and chicken with a sushi appetizer.

Vijay Singh, 2001: Seafood tom kah, chicken panang curry, baked sea scallops with garlic sauce, rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce, baked filet Chilean sea bass with three flavor chili sauce, lychee sorbet.

Mark O’Meara, 1999: Chicken fajitas, steak fajitas, sushi, tuna sashimi.

Tiger Woods, 1998: Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes.

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Plenty of Europeans have hosted the Masters' Champions Dinner.

Nick Faldo, 1997: Fish and chips, tomato soup.

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Ben Crenshaw, 1996: Texas barbecue.

Jose Maria Olazabal, 1995: Paella and hake, plus tapas. 

Bernhard Langer, 1994: Turkey and dressing, black forest torte.

Fred Couples, 1993: Chicken cacciatore.

Sandy Lyle, 1989: Haggis, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips.

Bernhard Langer, 1986: Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal).

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Rob Jerram is Today's Golfer's Digital Editor.

Rob Jerram – Digital Editor

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