Dîner en Blanc is a dinner party done the white way.
Thousands dressed head to toe — and in some cases Venetian mask to roller skates — in all white, congregated in a secret location disclosed the day of the event. This year, marking its tenth anniversary, the dinner happened to return to its inaugural setting, outside the Brookfield Plaza on the Hudson River.
Dîner en Blanc-ers brought picnic baskets full of fine dining and headed over to the location from designated drop points in Manhattan to arrive around 7 pm. Some rocked ornate designs, while some kept it simple. But what remained constant — white, white, white.
The feast kicked off with a ceremonial wave of the napkin. Gazing upon the view of the Hudson River one could see a sea of fluttering white napkins. There was live music, dancing and performers in elaborate futuristic garb putting on a show for patrons. In the media lounge, celebrity guest chef Todd English prepared an array of delicacies, including babaganoush, lobster rolls with caviar and wagyu beef. Champagne Barons de Rothschild was the evening’s champagne sponsor and provided the alcoholic beverages in the lounge.
Coming off a two year Covid hiatus and commemorating the tenth anniversary made the night extra festive. For co-founder and president Sandy Safi, it made sense to bring the event back to whence it came. “We were looking for an iconic place in New York. And its the tenth anniversary,” she said. “New York is what started ever hitting globally. What better place to come back to come back to the place it all started. The first time we were here we were less than 1,000. Now we’re over 4,000. We’ve grown to 120 cities around the world. We built a global community of people who travel to city to city and love to do this.”
After taking two years off due to the pandemic Chef English was glad to come back for his fourth. “We realize we are gregarious animals and we need to go out and socialize,” he said of Diner en Blanc’s return. “I love Diner en Blanc, it’s a global organization that brings people of all walks of life and cultures together in a peaceful and celebratory manner, and exemplifies that food is our greatest democracy.”