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The Obamas’ Final State Dinner, By the Numbers

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Mario Batali wore his orange crocs

President And Mrs. Obama Host State Dinner For Italian PM Renzi Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Last night, on October 18, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted their final State Dinner in the White House. As is their wont, it was a modern but elegant affair. She wore Atelier Versace, he said of the dinner that they’d “saved the best for last,” and Mario Batali — in his orange Crocs — cooked a four-course meal with White House executive chef Cris Comerford and executive pastry chef Susan Morrison.

Guest of honor, Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi addressed the First Lady in his opening remarks: “Michelle… let me be frank — your speeches are better than your tomatoes. Thank you so much, as a prime minister but also as father of a small daughter.”

US President Barack Obama hosts Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for official visit and state dinner Photo by Shawn Thew - pool/Getty Images

Batali brought along a few members of his NYC-based crew, including chefs Mark Ladner (Del Posto, NYC), Rebecca DeAngelis (pastry chef, Babbo) and Frank Langello (Babbo, NYC). They created a menu of sweet potato pasta, roasted butternut squash, steak, and an apple crostata for dessert.

Prepping presidentially! #wheeeeeestatedinner!!!

A photo posted by Mario Batali (@mariobatali) on

Other notable attendees included Gwen Stefani (No Doubt, The Voice), Blake Shelton, Frank Ocean, Giorgio Armani, and Susan Cahn (Batali’s wife).

US President Barack Obama hosts Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for official visit and state dinner Photo by Shawn Thew - pool/Getty Images

Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) told the Washington Post he planned to joke about “some pizza stuff… a couple of cannoli one liners.”

400 sage leaves #yumbang #wheeeeeestatedinner !

A photo posted by Mario Batali (@mariobatali) on

Rachael Ray (when asked who she was wearing, she said, “I honestly have no idea, but I just [tripped and] ripped it.” We are all Rachael Ray at the final Obama White House State Dinner.

Below, see how the chefs put together an Italian feast, by the numbers:

3,060: Number of agnolotti made in the White House prep kitchen

500: Number of guests expected at the dinner

382: Number of VIPs

12: Number of Navy Seals serving as prep cooks

4: Staffers from Batali’s team in NYC

25-30: Contract chefs or kitchen staff

5: Number of types of petit fours

2: Hours First Lady Michelle Obama spent tasting food at Babbo in advance of the dinner

3: Different menu options for dairy-free, meat-free, and vegan diets

21: Years Morrison has been at the White House

2 months: How long Batali has been working with the First Lady on the dinner

24: Hours Batali will be in Washington to prepare the dinner

1: Basket Batali made on Obama’s basketball court

400: Leaves of sage prepped for the pasta course

1,400: Cubes of squash cut and seasoned for the second course

2: White House dogs (Bo and Sunny) Batali petted while wandering the grounds

Mario Batali on Cooking for the Final Obama State Dinner [E]

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