Dîner en Blanc: When Food and Elegance Marry!

By on July 26, 2016

Imagine yourself partaking in an elegant and classy Parisian-style summer picnic where glitz and glamour characterize this epicurean event like no other.

In 2 weeks, Ottawa will be hosting a worldwide culinary phenomenon which also happens to be this summer’s most sought after event, Dîner en Blanc.

Ottawa will be joining the likes of Paris, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney  and many other world renowned cities with its very first edition of Dîner en Blanc, which will be held on Thursday, August 11, 2016.

The numbers don’t lie when you read that over 100,000 foodies and cultural enthusiasts around the world have already embraced this unique event, and now you can as well, right here in our Nation’s Capital.

This très chic picnic is equal parts mystery tour, pop-up feast and je ne sais quoi!

“Launched in Paris nearly 30 years ago by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, Dîner en Blanc Paris now attracts over 10,000 people each year. What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international epicurean sensation in over 70 cities in more than 25 countries.”

Dîner en Blanc Paris.

The principles of the event has stayed true over the years regardless of the country; 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 sites.

“With a rich foodie culture, we felt our Nation’s Capital was primed for this amazing event,” says Lauren Hayes Van Den Weghe, co-host of Le Dîner en Blanc – Ottawa, who has been working in the hospitality industry for over 10 years.

“We hope Ottawa’s very first edition is a tremendous success that will pave the way towards establishing a long-standing tradition the city will anticipate and look forward to in the future.”

Unlike your typical picnic, Le Dîner en Blanc offers its guests the option of either bringing their own gourmet meals or ordering a delightful three-course dinner from the event’s exquisite menu.

Dîner en Blanc San Diego.

For Ottawa’s first edition, Le Dîner en Blanc has partnered with the culinary forces Beckta and La Bottega to develop a unique and delicious menu which is available on the Dîner en Blanc e-store (orders will be submitted during the initial ticket registration). Wines will be provided by Cave Springs and The Vine, which are also available for purchase on the e-store.

Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of high French society, where guests engage with one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical event.

For those that would like to bring their own culinary creations, Metro has joined as the official grocery sponsor of the event. I have been informed that Metro will have sweet treats for everyone at the event.

Key Rules

To maintain its uniqueness as well as staying true to tradition of Le Dîner en Blanc, guests must observe certain requirements and follow a few key rules.

To participate in this first edition: guests must be invited via the hosts’ network or participating partners or get on the waiting list via the official website http://ottawa.dinerenblanc.info/register

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 and creativity are encouraged as long as it is stylish and tasteful.

Table setting: All white

Guests must bring: A table, two (white) chairs, a white tablecloth, proper stemware and white dinnerware.

Food: either a picnic basket comprising of fine foods, or a pre-ordered meal selection (all pre-ordered food, will be picked up at the site).

Libations: As per Ottawa’s alcohol regulations, guests cannot bring their own alcohol. Guests wishing to enjoy wine or Champagne with their meal, must reserve online through the Dîner en Blanc’s e-store. However, guests are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages. Beer and hard liquor are prohibited.

To ensure that the location of the event remains a mystery until the last minute, guests meet at assigned departure location and are escorted to the site by Dîner en Blanc volunteers. In order to leave the event location as clean as when they arrived, guests are required to leave with all their belongings, leftovers and litter.


Beckta’s Albacore tuna ceviche for Dîner en Blanc Ottawa.

Listed below are two three-course menu options for guests from Beckta  .

Dinner A ($45 per person )

• Sea salt breadsticks;
• Albacore tuna ceviche/ boston lettuce/ quail egg gribiche/ green beans/ tomato powder/ potato chips;
• Smoked beef short rib/ fingerling potatoes/ Beemster XO/ preserved lemons/ baby lettuces/ anchovy croutons/ confit and pickles ramps/cured duck yolk;
• Seabuckthorn pudding/ vanilla bean gelée/ spent grains tuille/ “creamsicle” sandwich cookies.

Dinner B ($55 per person)

• Roasted grape & rosemary focaccia;
• Maple cured sockeye salmon/ salmon caviar crème/ mustard greens/ sesame shortbread;
• Black olive braised lamb shoulder/ fresh naan/ marinated feta/ black garlic chimichurri/ grilled zucchini /tomato confit;
• Stonefruit “panzanella”/ vanilla pound cake/ marinated cherries/ grilled peaches/ champagne soaked plums/ candied smoked pistachios.

Le Dîner en Blanc promotes friendship, elegance and gallantry, all the while participating in the unexpected thrill of a unique and chic affair.

Be one of the hundreds of like-minded individuals who will experience an unforgettable evening of beauty, glamour and love of food as we take in Ottawa’s scenery.

Bon appétit and see you there!






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