Mario Batali prepares Obama’s last state dinner (and lives out a White House dream)

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?

Jillian Jorgensen