President Barack Obama pulled out all the stops for the final White House State Dinner of his presidency Tuesday night. He and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, hosted the grandest event of Obama’s two terms with 500 guests – the biggest guest list of any of Obama’s 12 events during the last eight years in office — and honored the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and Italy.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini were the guests of honor during the event, which featured a decadent Italian menu filled with Mario Batali curated goodies like warm butternut squash salad, agnolotti with butter and sage, beef braciole with horseradish gremolata and green apple crostata with thyme caramel, according to reports.
Since claiming the White House in 2008, Obama’s state dinners have become known for their diverse guest list, which has included high-profile lawmakers, diplomats, celebrities and fashion designers from all over the world. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Save the Children USA President and CEO Carolyn Miles, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chance the Rapper and singer Frank Ocean were just a few of those in attendance.
The musical entertainment has also become a staple at Obama-hosted events. At Tuesday’s dinner, Gwen Stefani performed and guests were greeted by a group of a capella singers as they arrived.
Although the White House State Dinner serves as a time when the president entertains a political leader from another country, Tuesday’s feast didn’t end without Renzi acknowledging the political tension sweeping the states as voters prepare to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Election Day. The Italian prime minister – who has openly discussed his favor for Clinton – took a moment to touch on the first lady’s latest speech denouncing Trump and his sexually charged comments before thanking an Atelier Versace-clad Michelle Obama for her passion-driven remarks against the potential next president.
Check out a few photos from Obama’s final White House State Dinner below.