Last night President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini for the last State Dinner on Tuesday night in Washington D.C at the White House. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister and his wife was greeted on the South Lawn of the White House with an official visit ceremony. Guest Celebrity Chef Mario Batali and White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and White House Executive Pastry Chef Susan Morrison collaborated on a menu that featured traditional Italian cuisine that celebrated the Italian influences on American Cuisine.
But of course the White House did not stop there, from the entertainment, to the décor, to the art, the influences of Italy’s culture were celebrated everywhere throughout the evening. Mario Batali, the celebrity chef on duty, reinforced America’s appreciation for those Italian influences with an unforgettable menu that included pasta that was described as “velvety pillow of paper-thin pasta.” Fruits and vegetables from the White House Kitchen garden was also included in the meal of the State Dinner, just like so many State Dinners prior. In addition to a sweet potato agnolotti, guest dined on a warm butternut squash salad with frissee and pecorino, and a beef braciole pinwheel with horseradish gremolata and broccoli rabe. For dessert, green apple crostata with thyme caramel and buttermilk gelato.
Following dinner, guest was entertained by a musical performance by three-time Grammy Award winner Gwen Stefani. The President and the First Lady made sure that the final State Dinner would definitely be a night to remember. However, it was hard to ignore that the fact, that this, was indeed the end. With an election year that seems to be one of our most challenging, last night’s State Dinner was a bittersweet reminder, that an era under the Obama Administration is slowly coming to an end. A reminder, that the man who gave the people the change we can believe in, the change we needed, the hope to continue on, and the spirit and the mantra… Yes We Can! will soon be passing on the baton to a new President of the United States. Oh and just in case you were wondering…Yes, Chef Mario Batali wore his signature orange crocs.
A version of this article appears on WorldNews.com with the same title The Grand Finale: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host their last White House State Dinner honoring Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini