Follow Me Foodie’s Diner en Blanc in Vancouver Recap!
“White party of the year?” Sounds pretty racist, but let’s back track.
It was the 2nd Annual Diner en Blanc in Vancouver on Thursday, August 22 at TELUS World of Science (Science World). Now on its 25th anniversary, it is a global phenomenon which started in Paris that has spread to 40 cities on five continents.
I attended the secret pop-up outdoor picnic last year at Jack Poole Plaza (see here), and was secretly anticipating the one this year. It was again hosted by Jordan Kallman and Tyson Villeneuve from The Social Concierge.
Mijune Pak of Follow Me Foodie. Photo from Maurice.
So why was I “secretly anticipating” it? Because I love and hate this event… although now I’m pretty sure I love it. Up until the day of the event I was still on the fence, and when I first heard about it, it sounded ridiculous.
You’re charging $35 entrance fee and people get nothing? In fact, you don’t only get nothing, you have to find and rent your own table and chairs, bring your own cutlery and table settings, dress in white from head to toe, AND bring your own food and drink, or pay extra for the catered option. Really?
On top of that, you’re going to only sell tickets in pairs and keep the location a secret? People wait around all day until an hour before the event before you let them know where it is at? I know you’re in Vancouver, but what the heck are you smoking?!
People from everywhere dress to the the nines lugging around chairs, tables, food etc., to come to this party hosted by people they probably don’t even know. The idea sounded crazy and pretentious, but it attracted over 2500 people this year with 12,000 still on the wait list… and I absolutely get it. Whoever created this event, is a freaking genius.
When you see it all happen and you’re there, it’s all worth it. It’s an incredible experience. Even if you’re not there, and you see all the photos, you want to go next year. Don’t you?! I do! And I was there. Here, I’ll show you more photos (courtesy of Maurice).
The “secret location” aspect is supposed to add to the spirit of the event, and I can’t imagine all the logistics involved, but they did a great job. You might not be getting anything tangible, but the memories and moment must be what Kodak is referring to. I get it.
The event includes live Parisian music, and you just get to be part of a very special event that happens once a year. (Yes, your birthday is very special too, but this is on another level).
And in fact there were a couple birthdays (I’m sure there were many). My friend Pastry Chef Linda Lee of CakeByLinda made this gorgeous Diner en Blanc Marie Antoinette inspired cake for her table. Luckily, we’re friends… hook a sister up. It was red velvet and cream cheese.
Guests bring their own epicurean meals, wine, non-disposable dinnerware, and table settings, or pre-order picnic-style dinner boxes from the exclusive caterer, which was Hawksworth restaurant this year. There was a $25 meal option from Bel Cafe (limited 200) and $50 meal option (limited 400).
There is also a “Table d’Honneur” option for $125 which includes tables, chairs, cutlery etc., and a 3 course dinner by Hawksworth restaurant (limited 150 tickets). If you want to avoid the headache of renting and lugging around all your stuff, I would recommend this option for next year.
A little behind the scenes of Hawksworth’s kitchen crew preparing food for 750+ people. It was an incredible team effort. I couldn’t help but to think who was holding down the fort at the restaurant since there was a Hawksworth army here… good job Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh and the rest of the Hawksworth team at the restaurant.
C’mon, when does something like this ever happen in Vancouver? It rains 9 months in the year and most of the time people are dressed casually, so this is a summer social and lifestyle event people look forward to.
Partying isn’t what I do for a living, so I can’t call it “the party of the year”, but out of the things I do go to, this ranks high. Photo from Dan Poh Photography.
Mijune Pak of Follow Me Foodie, Willie Mitchell from the LA Kings and Phil Scarfone, sous chef at Hawksworth. Photo from Dan Poh Photography.
Other “notable attendees” included RBC Olympians: Scott Dickens, Swimming (2006, 2012); Scott Frandsen, Rowing (Olympics 2004, 2008, 2012); Kristi Richards, Freestyle Skiing (2006, 2010), Andrea Holmes, Para-Athletes; and Sylvia Kerfoot, Freestyle Skiing.