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Newswire: Mario Batali is preparing President Obama’s final state dinner

Tonight, President Obama will host the final state dinner of his tenure in honor of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Behind the menu? Mario Batali, the charismatic chef who made a name with his Food Network series Molto Mario, his Michelin-starred Babbo restaurants, and the chain of Eataly marketplaces he founded alongside Italian culinary scion Joe Bastianich. Michelle Obama privately met with Batali last month to plan the four-course menu, which was recently released by the White House.

Batali found inspiration in some of FLOTUS’ favorite foods—sweet potatoes, steak, and broccoli, among others—and was instructed to honor the Obamas’ longtime support of local, sustainable cooking. The resulting menu is described as highlighting Italian dishes that have been “ingrained in American cuisine, and opens with ravioli-like agnolotti with butter and sage before segueing into a salad of warm butternut squash with frisée and NY State Pecorino Romano. Entrees of …

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