By: Paige Worthy | August 14th, 2012
If you happened to be downtown on Aug. 27, 2011, you may have noticed something strange brewing at Daley Plaza: That night, almost 1,000 people descended on the public space, clad in all white, with tables, chairs and enough fancy food to feed an army. Well, a flash mob, to.
If you happened to be downtown on Aug. 27, 2011, you may have noticed something strange brewing at Daley Plaza: That night, almost 1,000 people descended on the public space, clad in all white, with tables, chairs and enough fancy food to feed an army. Well, a flash mob, to be exact.
This was Chicago’s first-ever Dîner en Blanc, and it was a smashing success.
This year, there’s a new event in place, inspired by Dîner en Blanc: Chicago in White. It’s the same idea with a different name: white clothes, white tablecloths, fancy food, a mystery location and plenty of class.
Next Saturday, Aug. 25, members of this foodie flash mob will converge at pre-assigned “harmonization points” throughout the city, where they’ll meet up with their heads of table for the revelation of the event’s secret location. (Any guesses?) Diners bring all their own equipment for the night, including tables, chairs, tablecloths, flatware, glasses and food. When the evening ends, everyone packs up and leaves the public space spotless, exactly as it was when the group arrived — they even take their trash home in white bags.
It’s a lot of work and a complex undertaking, but it’s more than worth it for an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Not surprisingly, the original Dîner en Blanc was in Paris, engineered by a pioneering social tour de force named François Pasquier. It began with a few close friends gathering for a classy meal in a surprise location, but the Paris event has since exploded to include up to 15,000 whitewashed foodies every year. And the event has exploded since its inception in 1988 to include more than 15 locations worldwide. There’s also an official Chicago Diner en Blanc, organized by a different group and sanctioned by the international organization, taking place this summer.
Locations in Paris have included the Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Pyramid, the Trocadéro Esplanade, Place Vendôme, Château de Versailles, Esplanade de Notre-Dame, Esplanade des Invalides, periphery of the Place de l’Étoile, Champs-Élysées and Place de la Concorde.
Interested in attending Chicago in White this year? Add your name to the waiting list on Chicago in White’s Eventbrite page. There’s still a chance you could get in! And if you don’t get a seat at the table for this year, the organizers will give you one of the first chances to score tickets for the 2013 event.