Tuesday night marks the Obamas’ final state dinner as president and first lady, and guest celebrity chef Mario Batali is making sure the menu is an ode to the departing first family.
Not only did Batali incorporate fresh vegetables and herbs from Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden, but he held a menu tasting with the first lady with dishes he knew were her favorites.
“I know she likes her steak,” Batali said at a preview of the dinner, explaining why he chose a beef braciole as the main course.
Batali also included sweet potatoes, another favorite of Michelle’s, turning them into a ravioli.
For the second course, he made a butternut squash salad dressed with a Spanish grape syrup, a big hit with MObama. “I think she fell in love [with it] when we tasted it a few weeks ago,” he said.
Michelle Obama told Mario that she likes sweet potatoes and steak...so he'a serving everyone sweet potatoes and steak pic.twitter.com/Yj8VnB7C7U— Maeve McDermott (@maeve_mcdermott) October 17, 2016
In fact, Michelle personally approved the three courses the lucky attendees will feast on tonight. “We had a meeting with her as she chose the dishes...we gave her a couple of options for each one,” Batali said.
“It was if you had a couple of your old friends over for lunch, and they said, ‘I like this one better than that one,’ so there’s no loss. Having them choose a dish was the idea behind the taste test.”
From the first lady's final harvest from her White House garden, Batali will use eggplant, currant tomatoes, rosemary and cinnamon basil in canapés that attendees will snack on before the dinner.
And while he prepares Michelle's favorite foods for the dignitaries in attendance, Batali will be wearing his signature orange Crocs — well, unless the White House tells him no.