The legendary all white French-inspired pop-up dinner has become THE culinary event of the year in the U.S. and cities around the world. A one-of-a-kind global phenomenon, this year over 130,000 food lovers, cultural enthusiasts and fashionistas will gather at an iconic secret locale in 80 cities spanning 30 countries. To preserve spontaneity and secrecy, the elegant dinner takes over iconic public spaces whose locations are revealed at the last minute to the delight of thousands of guests.
New York will host the wildly popular annual event on July 17th for the 9th consecutive year. Over 5500 guests dressed head-to-toe in chic white will gather at a spectacular undisclosed location to dine and dance under the stars. Launched in France 31 years ago, Le Dîner en Blanc exploded in popularity after its 2011 U.S. debut in New York with requests to host it pouring in from around the world.
The event has become a beloved tradition throughout the U.S. This year 30 cities will host Le Dîner en Blanc, and there will be three US premieres: Fort Lauderdale, Harford and Raleigh. Internationally two cities have joined the party this year: Havana (Cuba) and Guatemala City (Guatemala). While new cities join the adventure every year, in many cities, Le Dîner en Blanc has become THE social gathering of the year.
Le Dîner en Blanc is by invitation only, traditionally issued by friends and friends of friends who have participated in the past. Another means of attending is via the often-extensive wait lists in each city – in New York in 2018 there were 64,000 people on the wait list.
Every summer in cities around the world, thousands of people dressed in head-to-toe white first gather at specific rallying points. Guided by local volunteers, these groups then descend on one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor public settings, either on foot or by other organized means of transportation. They bring everything they need for an elegant soirée in tow, including folding table and chairs, gourmet picnic food, fine china, silverware, and white tablecloth. Over the course of the evening, the guests eat and celebrate amid live music and dancing. Many spend weeks in advance planning their menus and their elaborate white ensembles! The cause uniting thousands: camaraderie, plain and simple.
Guests dine on their own specially curated meals such as lobster, charcuterie, cheese platters, baguettes and desserts, many dishes as opulent as their attire. Le Dîner en Blanc offers guests the ultimate opportunity to express their unique fashion and design style. Originality is encouraged; the creative outfits, fantastical hats, and decorative table settings are always a fabulous spectacle. It’s an Instagram lover’s dream — some participants dress as Marie Antoinette with lavishly detailed gowns and wigs. Other ensembles include gowns embellished with string lights, fairy wings, silk tuxedos, dapper sailor suits, powdered wigs, enormous picture hats and headpieces. The elaborate white table centerpieces range from a miniature carousel centerpiece with each horse carrying a white or silver cupcake to birds in white cages and paper lanterns affixed with LED lights and candelabras.
To get a sense of the incredible visuals and how the evening unfolds, here is the 2018 official video of Le Dîner en Blanc – New York.
Christine Tripoli of Looking Glass Events Group and Peter Kohlmann of PEKO Productions are the co-hosts of Le Dîner en Blanc New York this summer with Linda Davis and Kaitlin Davis of The Davis Group. Davis, who serves as host in four U.S. cities, says the Big Apple holds a special place in her heart. She explains, “Le Dîner en Blanc first debuted in New York before expanding to other U.S. cities and guests here have developed an extraordinarily passionate bond with the event. They bring a glamour and elegance—along with preparing amazing repasts—that make this an incomparable night in New York. I am thrilled to be a part of such a magical evening again.”
Participation in this unique event happens in three stages: Phase 1 is for members from the previous year; Phase 2 is for new members who are referred by Phase I attendees; and Phase 3 is for people who signed up on the waiting list. Guests can register now at newyork.dinerenblanc.com/register.
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:
· Once confirmed, each guest’s participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions. This is a rain or shine event.
· Dress code: elegant and 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 prohibited.
o The alcohol laws and regulations for most states, including New York, do not allow guests to bring their own alcohol. Guests who wish to enjoy some wine or Champagne must reserve online through our caterer website. However, guests are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages.
· To ensure that the location secret is kept undisclosed until the last minute, guests meet at assigned departure location and are escorted by a Dîner en Blanc volunteer.
· In order to leave the event location as clean as when they arrived, guests are required to clean their area, and leave with all their belongings, leftovers and litter.
Guests must bring
· A folding 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 our caterer website during the initial ticket registration.
Le Dîner en Blanc – New York gratefully acknowledges Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Sofitel and President Cheese as National Partners of the 2019 edition of Le Dîner en Blanc.
About Le Dîner en Blanc
In June 2018, Le Diner en Blanc de Paris marked its 30th anniversary. A record 17,000 guests from Paris and around the world gathered at the Esplanade des Invalides to celebrate this historic moment. Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, 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. While the technology behind the event may have changed over the years, the principles fuelling this fantastic event have not: guests 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. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 80 cities in 30 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. For more info, photos and videos of Dîner en Blanc events from around the world, visit dinerenblanc.com.