Le Dîner en Blanc Arrives in Victoria June 27th

Diner en blancVICTORIA

The cultural and epicurean phenomena known as Le Dîner en Blanc started in Paris 25 years ago as a posh, alfresco dinner for friends. Since then it has spread across the globe to major cities like New York, London, Singapore, Sidney and Barcelona—and now it’s found its way to BC. It premiered in Vancouver and Kelowna last year and this year Victoria will get its very own, thanks to a collaboration between Aidan Henry, of Victoria’s Brink Events, and The Social Concierge, the marketing and branding agency that brought the event to Vancouver last year.


What is Le Dîner en Blanc?


Le Dîner en Blanc is a 4-hour potluck picnic for 1,200 people. The name refers to the fact that the decor theme is white,” says Henry, “and the location is kept secret until half an hour before the dinner takes place.” Guests will meet in one of four Victoria locations and will be bussed or walk to the secret location, which will be a beautiful outdoor landmark space. Everyone arrives dressed in elegant whites, bringing with them their own food, white chairs, folding table, white tablecloth, cutlery, stemware and white napkins. Everything at the dinner must be white—tablecloths, plates, and flowers—even the balloons will be white. The evening begins with the tradition of everyone waving his or her white napkins in the air. Naturally, given Le Dîner’s origins, the theme is French. Music will start out mellow with acoustic musicians, move on to a French DJ, and finally a French band. The climax to the evening will be 1,200 people waving sparklers together in the dark—which is a sight not to be missed.


For those who choose not to bring their own dinner, wine and food can be purchased in advance from The London Chef. Owners Chef Dan Hayes and his wife and business partner, Micayla, are excited to be involved with Le Dîner. “This will be a unique, cool dining event imported from Europe,” says Hayes, “and it ties in well with our food beliefs. We’re honoured to be a part of this incredible dining experience.” Hayes says he will be preparing three 3-course dinners at $25, $40 and $55 price points.


All the dishes will be French-inspired. For example, the top tier Crème de Crème menu will feature Assiette of Petite French Artisan Breads, Duck Foie Gras Parfait, Rosemary Chutney and Marinated Olives & Camembert. D’Arcy Ladret of Sugarboy Bakery is helping out with the breads and Cory Pelan from the Whole Beast will be making the parfait. The second course will be Pavé of Filet Mignon served rare with Char-grilled Vegetables, crushed Yukon Nugget Potatoes, Sauce Vierge and toasted Fennel Seeds and shaved Gruyere. For dessert, look for Chocolate Basil Pot au Crème with Chantilly Cream and Candied Orange.


Red, white, rosé, sparkling or Champagne wines will also be available for pre-purchase.


How do you get to go? There’s a hierarchal invitation list that starts with friends of the event organizers, who then are able to invite their own friends. Others can register on the website where they will be put on the waiting list. Tickets are $30 (walking) or $35 (bussed) each but are sold only in pairs. There’s also a $5 each membership charge.


The event is rain or shine. But even if it does somehow manage to rain a little, Victorians are a hardy bunch and it won’t dampen the spirit of the event. Perhaps retailers should be laying in a supply of white gumboots and white brollies?


“Even after 25 years, the idea remains the same,” says Sandi Safi, one of the original founders, “diners gather at a secret location with the sole purpose of sharing a high-quality meal with good friends at the heart of one of the city’s most beautiful locations.”


To register, visit: Website

To see a video of the experience: https://vimeo.com/51143767


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