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Wearing White After Labor Day Is Fine, Actually.  | Great Performances


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Wearing White After Labor Day Is Fine, Actually. 
by Jennifer Baughman, Community Manager

This year 5,000 New Yorkers participated in the surprise gathering. As tradition dictates, guests arrive in all white to a well kept secret location that is only revealed 2 hours before the picnic starts, with the option to either bring their own tableware with charcuteries, cheeses and wines, or can opt to buy in to the catering element from GP for a box of picnic staples, five ways. 

Do you know what Diner en Blanc is? I found out last week that it still is possible to be a seasoned New Yorker and not actually know, or to even have heard of, this grand, elegant, silly, boozy, theatrical event.

“I wish you had told me I should be wearing all white,” Alyssa Ringler, our photographer that night, said to me.

“Well I’m glad we didn’t. I can pick you out of the crowd. Probably would have walked around for at least an hour before finding you if we had.” I said.

Some thirty years ago, in 1988, Parisian man Francois Pasquier planned a small get together for friends in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne. All attending were to wear white so they could find each other once they all gathered at this public space, where, in the time before Google Maps pin-drops, you’d have to just…look.

Diner en Blanc, though humble in it’s beginning, has grown internationally and is celebrated by roughly 10,000 people annually. Pasquier’s son, Aymeric, recognized the real draw of the picnic was concentrated on not knowing exactly where to go, who was going, and only to look for the most recognizable all-white outfit to figure it out.

“A lot of people like the secrecy,” he said in a recent interview with New York Daily News. “The surprise is less charming if you already know where it’s going to take place.”

And what was the highlight? A massive seaside lawn party twirling their white napkins overhead to wave au revoir to a tugboat as it pulled away from the harbor, lit by a full moon, French gypsy-swing jazz playing from the sound stage, as people cheered and tapped glasses to celebrate the moment.

New York City

Poached Salmon, everything crème fraiche

Half sour pickles

Chilled yogurt farm greens

Toasted corn and cherry tomato

Bagel chips in a bag

Must have cheesecake parfait, chocolate swirl,

Rhubarb Ambrosia

Southern Drawl

BBQ beef brisket, black jack BBQ sauce

Jalapeno Creamed corn spoon bread

Katchkie Farm Vegetable succotash

Green Goddess Cole Slaw

Black eyed pea salad

Sunday church supper peach cobbler

Watermelon salad


Cold farm chicken breast, Hainan style

Dun Dun noodles, cold peanut-sesame sauce

Mapu Tofu, fermented black bean sauce

Thai shiitake mushrooms, scallions and sesame 

Steamed coconut milk pudding, sliced mango

Bok choy slaw, sliced ginger and orange

Plants and Earth

Black chickpea dahl,

Whole wheat garlic naan, curried yogurt raita

Fresh shucked corn salad

Roasted heirloom mixed beet salad, pistachio vinaigrette

Late summer heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers, fattoush style, Roasted peach and shaved fennel salad

Bitter chocolate brownie, espresso chantilly 

Hazelnut Brown Butter Financier Bites

Antipasti Picnic

Selection of Salumi: Prosciutto, Speck, Salami and Duck Confit Roulade,

Whole Grain Mustard, Marinated Olives, Housemade Pickles, Crostini,

Dried Apricots, Grapes, Strawberries,

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil, Sea Salt and Olive Oil, Minature Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies.

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