On September 17th, something spectacular is going to happen in New York City. Thousands of people, strangers and friends alike, dressed head-to-toe in chic white attire, will convene at a secret public location to dance and dine the night away for the eighth annual Dîner en Blanc.
New York was the first U.S. city to host a Dîner en Blanc, a global event now celebrated in eighty cities spanning thirty countries all over the world. Four international cities that joined the party this year include Toowoomba (Australia), South Georgian Bay and Trois-Rivières (Canada), and Madrid (Spain). The first Dîner en Blanc took place in Paris in 1988 with a small group of friends hosted by François Pasquier. For the 30th anniversary in Paris in this June, a record-breaking 17,000 guests showed up for the party at Esplanade des Invalides. This year will be the largest New York event so far with an expected crowd of 6,500 guests. Previous Le Dîner en Blanc events in New York City have taken place at Hudson River Park, Battery Park City’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Robert Wagner Park, and Lincoln Center. The iconic location of the event is not revealed until the last minute.
The grandiosity of the event is further enhanced by the creative and lavish attire and table settings that guests bring. It is not uncommon to see fantastical hats, string lights, fairy wings, silk tuxedos, dapper sailor suits or powdered wigs. The elaborate white table centerpieces and place settings that accompany each guests’ own specially curated meals have featured miniature carousels, birds in white cages and paper lanterns affixed with LED lights and candelabras!
In an exciting first this year, renowned Iron Chef and Michelin Star recipient restaurateur Marc Forgione will be curating four special picnic baskets for guests in New York who order through Le Dîner en Blanc. Forgione opened Restaurant Marc Forgione in 2008 and multiple locations of his modern steakhouse, American Cut. He won season 3 of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” at just 31 years old, making him the youngest winner in the show’s history and is currently one of the Iron Chefs on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His father Larry Forgione is a culinary legend who revolutionized American-style cooking in the ’70s and ’80s.
The spontaneity, secrecy, and scale of this elegant dinner is what makes it exciting. 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. Guests can register for the waitlist now at newyork.dinerenblanc.com/register. Once again, Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young will serve as a group leader!
Le Dîner en Blanc – New York gratefully acknowledges Champagne Jacquart and The Knot as the official local partners of the 8th edition of Le Dîner en Blanc in New York City as well as Luxury Retreats, Sofitel and ONEHOPE as the 2018 Le Dîner en Blanc U.S. national partners. Linda Davis and Kaitlin Davi of The Davis Group return this summer as the host for Le Dîner en Blanc – New York, along with co-hosts Christine Tripoli of Looking Glass Events Group and Peter Kohlmann of PEK Productions. 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.”