Breaking the rules of wearing white after Labor Day is the wildly popular and highly anticipated pop up dinner celebration, Diner en Blanc which returns to NYC this year on September 19th after a 2 year hiatus. Opulent dining is back, chic white finery is back, elaborate table settings are back and the legendary, French-inspired pop-up culinary event, is back to celebrate its 10th edition anniversary. This sold out spectacle is expecting over 5500 guests who will be dressed head to to in white for this culinary event of the year.
Le Dîner en Blanc may have its roots in France, but the elegant soiree beckoning food lovers, cultural enthusiasts and fashionistas to gather at a secret location, clad head-to-toe in white, truly exploded globally after its smashing US debut in the Big Apple a decade ago. Le Dîner en Blanc International was deluged with requests from cities around the world wanting to hold the posh picnic in their locales.Le Dîner en Blanc has flourished in 6 continents, 40 countries and 120 cities with each location injecting its own culture and culinary voice. More than one million people are on waiting lists globally, hoping to attend events that frequently sell out in a matter of days if not hours. Case in point: 5,500 guests took part in the 2019 New York dinner and the event had a wait list of over 60,000. With Le Dîner en Blanc forced to postpone the big occasion because of the pandemic, anticipation has only grown. The wait is over.
Every year in New York and cities around the world, thousands of people dressed entirely in white descend on a landmark public space with everything they need for an elegant soirée in tow, including folding table and chairs, gourmet picnic food, fine china, silverware, and tablecloth. They first meet in groups of between 100 to 300 people at designated spots in the city and follow group leaders to the appointed location. The exact location remains a secret until the moment guests arrive, creating an air of mystery and excitement. It’s a magical moment in time — from different points throughout each city, thousands arrive at the same moment, at the same place.
Over the course of the evening, the diners eat and celebrate amid live music, dancing, complete with festive white balloons. Many spend weeks in advance planning their menus. Guests also use the venue to express their unique fashion and design style; the often elaborate and creative outfits, fantastical hats, and decorative table settings are always a fabulous spectacle.
Visually breathtaking moments include the waving of thousands of cloth napkins to mark the beginning of the dinner, as well as the lighting of sparklers to let participants know they are now free to mingle. When the trumpet call sounds the end of the evening, guests pack up their crystal, dinnerware and tables, pick up all their litter and head into the night, leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry.
Sandy Safi, President of Dîner en Blanc International, noted: “We’ve had to wait two years for our 10th anniversary edition in New York so I’m thrilled to return to the city that ignited the event globally. We have carefully selected iconic outdoor venues like Lincoln Center and Bryant Park for previous events and I think our choice to mark this milestone will come as a splendid surprise befitting this grand occasion.”
To be part of the celebration, people can sign up now by visiting newyork.dinerenblanc.com and clicking on the Register tab.
To maintain the uniqueness of Le Dîner en Blanc as well as stay true to tradition, guests must observe certain requirements and follow a few key rules:
- Dress code: elegantly and in white only. Originality is encouraged as long as it is stylish and tasteful.
- Table setting: all white!
- Champagne and/or wine. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited.
- As per New York alcohol regulations, guests cannot bring their own alcohol. Guests wishing to enjoy some wine or Champagne must reserve online through Le Dîner en Blanc’s e-store. However, guests are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages.
- To ensure that the secret location is kept undisclosed until the last minute, guests meet at assigned departure locations throughout the city and are escorted by a Dîner en Blanc volunteer.
- Guests are required to leave with all their belongings, leftovers and litter to ensure the location is kept as clean as when guests first arrived.
Guests must bring
- A table, two white chairs, white tablecloth.
- A picnic basket comprising fine food and proper stemware and white dinnerware.
- A catered picnic basket option, which can be picked up on site, will be available for those who do not wish to pack their own. Guests wishing to do so must reserve online through Le Dîner en Blanc’s e-store.
About Le Dîner en Blanc
Over the years, Le Dîner en Blanc has become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon. What was a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international sensation celebrated on six continents. Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris marked its 30th anniversary in 2018 with a record 17,000 guests from Paris and around the world. While the technology behind the event may have changed over the years, the principle fuelling this fantastic event has not: guests dressed in all white continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful public spaces. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 120 cities in 40 countries around the world. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who fell in love with the concept and wanted to bring it to their city, giving this rendezvous a local flair.