Pop-Up Picnic Returns
When public relations and event consultant Malie Moran heard about cities throughout the world holding huge outdoor dinner parties where everyone wears white, she fell in love with “the sheer beauty and romance” of the concept. So, teaming up with Aubrey Akana and Maleko McDonnell, she decided to bring the event — Le Diner en Blanc — to Honolulu.
Diner en Blanc Honolulu is now in its third year, and the response so far, Moran says, has been overwhelming. This year, they are expecting more than 1,500 people at the Aug. 27 event.
Here are a few things you need to know about this year’s event:
IT BEGAN AS A SIMPLE MEAL WITH FRIENDS.
About 30 years ago, a man named Francois Pasquier was returning home to Paris after a few years of traveling. To meet up with his old friends, he organized a picnic and told everyone to invite one friend. With the gathering too big for his house, he held the dinner in a park — and told everyone to wear white so they could spot each other.
It became an annual thing, eventually branching out to more than 70 cities throughout the world.
“Participating in the same event that so many other cities do is really wonderful,” Moran says.
YOU WON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING UNTIL YOU GET THERE.
The location of the dinner remains a secret until guests arrive there (everyone is shuttled on a bus) — and Moran says that some of the event’s appeal is in that mystery. Last year’s was held at Ko Olina, and while Moran won’t reveal specifics about this year’s location, she does confirm one thing: “We’re back in town.”
PEOPLE GO ALL OUT.
All attendees must bring their own table setting, utensils and décor — and it all must be white. Moran says that people often start planning months in advance to come up with elaborate adornments for their table.
“You can have so much fun with this,” Moran says.
Plus, there’s the fashion. If you’re in need of something white, Moran says she just saw some stylish pieces at Posh’d and WhiteHot Hawaii.
And this year, there are rewards for being zealous: They are adding a contest for table art, possibly one for best dressed, and a number of other contests that still are in the works.
THERE’S A CATERED MENU OPTION.
Guests are responsible for arranging their own food, but this year, Diner en Blanc is offering a catered menu option prepared by chef Zach Sato of Hotel Wailea. Sato has prepared three various dinner package options, each comprised of several courses. Some dishes include Whipped Chevre, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Ewa Sweet Jams; Opah Rillettes, Cured & Smoked Opah Spread; Chilled Espelette Shrimp, Gazpacho; Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin, Horseradish Crema; and Assorted Macarons.
YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP.
Diner en Blanc is a members-only event — all members from previous events are re-invited automatically and can bring one guest.
But apart from that, there also is a public invite component where anybody can sign up for membership via honolulu.dinerenblanc.info. The public invites just opened yesterday and applications are currently being accepted.
For more information, visit honolulu.dinerenblanc.info.