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The International Event of the Year – LA style

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diner en blanc

Just when food events tend to feel jaded, and as an event producer myself who lived through the excitement of the first ones in Los Angeles,  an eye-opening, stunning singular event comes to town that inspires and captures the imagination.

Diner en Blanc is such an event. Once again, on Thursday, August 27th, an elegant white wave of dinner guests will “occupy” a prestigious public location in Los Angeles.   All guests are required to dress in elegant white, and white only with originality encouraged as long as attire is stylish and tasteful. The table settings are all white. Guests must bring a table, two white chairs and a white tablecloth to begin. They must also bring a picnic basket of fine food and proper stemware and white dinnerware. (catered options are available) Wine and champagne are pre-ordered.

Registration takes place in stags with guests from prior years given the first opportunity, then friends of these guests and then the public.  There are a few places open now.

The location of the event is kept secret until the very last minute, adding excitement and mystique to the evening.   Producers took over a block of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for the 2013 inaugural edition of the chic picnic, which attracted close to 1300 guests.   Producers say that for this second edition, close to 2400 revelers are expected at a new and secret location. “For this new edition, we have once again searched the city high and low to find a venue that will ‘wow” and render this night unique and magical as well as accommodate a greater number of guests,” says Sandy Safi, Co-founder of Diner en Blanc international.  (Griffith Park?  The cornfield downtown?)

The image of diners at the long rows of tables was nothing short of spectacular and in a way trumped Truman Capote’s Black and White Balls in New York.   Perhaps the closest celebration in kind was the “Evening in White” APLA extravaganzas that took place first on a mansion lawn in the Addams District and then at Universal Studios.

And the event takes place, rain or shine, which reflects the original of the event outside of L.A.! It was launched in Paris more than 25 years ago.   “The mystery is part of the original Parisian concept as the Paris event takes place very year without authorization. Secrecy is key to its success!)

Diner en Blanc was launched in Paris in 1988 by Francois Pasquier and a handful of friends who never imagined it would become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon, attracting nearly 15,000 people each year.   Technology has changed in order to put the event on but the essence has remained the same: guests gathering 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. Diner en Blanc International, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, produces the posh picnic in over 60 cities in more than 25 countries around the world. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who infuse the evening with a local flair.

Registration has been extended although the event is close to capacity. For details, please see: international.dinerenblanc.info/about. The official website is www.dinerenblanc.info. To see past events please see YouTube Le diner en Blanc.

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