Although it was a bittersweet evening at President Obama's final White House state dinner on October 18th, the night was highlighted by the exquisite cuisine served to honor one of America's best allies, Italy. While Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini were the designated guests of honor, the true star of the night may have been Chef Mario Batali, who served his best Italian dishes to those in attendance.
With a guest list including Jerry Seinfeld, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, and Gwen Stefani, Batali knew he had to impress with his excellent culinary skills. Get ready to drool as you take a look at the authentic Italian dishes Batali served up at the Obamas' final White House state dinner.
First Course: Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Butter and Sage
That sage, though. Mario Batali posted several photos on his Instagram account throughout the day, including this one showing the insane amount of sage needed for this savory first course. Batali hand folded and stuffed 2,960 (OMG) individual sweet potato agnolotti, which is essentially thin pasta stuffed with a purée of sweet potatoes. He then topped the dish with browned butter and the sage leaves pictured above.
Salad Course: Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Frisee and Peccorino di New York
According to the official menu released by the White House, Mario Batali's dinner, "...highlights the bountiful fall harvest" while featuring signature Italian meals to pay homage to the Italian Prime Minister. These elements were particularly prevalent in the salad course where Batali chose to feature butternut squash, a fall favorite, along with shaved ewe's milk from New York.
Main Course: Beef Braciole Pinwheel with Horseradish Gremolata and Broccoli Rave
For the main course, Batali served a beef braciole pinwheel, a traditional Italian dish, in which prime tenderloin is cut and lightly pounded, then layered with Fontina cheese, parsley, garlic, and Panko breadcrumbs. The meat was presented atop broccoli rabe and garnished with horseradish gremolata, apple matchsticks, and arugula. Only the best for Italian royalty.
Mario Batali clearly rocked the night and brought an essence of la dolce vita to Barack Obama's final White House state dinner with his Italian menu full of rich flavors that pleased even the Italian Prime Minister himself.