Eat and Drink Mario Batali prepares Obama's last state dinner (and lives out a White House dream) By Jillian Jorgensen firstname.lastname@example.org Updated October 18, 2016 10:55 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Crocs are typically frowned-upon footwear for fancy dinners, but it seems the White House has made an exception. Mario Batali -- the chef famous for his Food Network show, creating the Italian food mecca Eataly and, yes, wearing orange Crocs -- is cooking for President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Tuesday night at a state dinner. And if his Instagram feed is any indication, Batali is pretty psyched to be there. His hashtag for pictures from the kitchen is #wheeeeeestatedinner. But Batali hasn't confined his visit merely to the White House's kitchen -- he's also hanging out with the first pets and shooting hoops. Wouldn't you if you had the chance? A White House welcome Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Any visit to the White House has to begin with a team photo for posterity, right? Crocs on the court Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Who wouldn't want to shoot some hoops on the presidential basketball court? No word on whether President Obama and veep Joe Biden joined Batali for a pickup game. #SquadGoals Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram The state dinner will serve a big crowd, so obviously Batali can't do it alone -- he's rolling with a big crew of sous chefs. Bo and Sunny Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Cooking is hard work, so Batali took a little break to hang out with first dogs Bo and Sunny. "Presidential pooches bo and sunny are very cool!" he captioned this photo. Sage wisdom Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram This sage will be part of a brown butter sauce that will adorn a first course of sweet potato agnolotti pasta. Agnolotti is a kind of stuffed pasta, or, as the official White House menu puts it in this case, "a velvety pillow of paper-thin pasta stuffed with a puree of sweet potatoes." State dinner squash Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Batali noted in his caption for this photo that the team had assembled 1,400 "squash cubes of joy," seasoned with fennel pollen and pepper. That's likely a component in the second course, a warm butternut squash salad with frisee and pecorino cheese from New York. Presidential braciole Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Here's a glimpse of the main course: beef braciole pinwheels with horseradish gremolata, served over broccoli rabe. Man with a plan Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram Obviously, an event this complicated requires a plan. Here's Batali's. Batali's main dish Photo Credit: Mario Batali via Instagram A look at the finished product for the braciole -- an Italian dish that features thin slices of meat (in this case, beef), rolled around stuffing. By Jillian Jorgensen email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.