After some controversy over the unofficial  Dîner en Blanc Chicago last year, the official dinner from Le Dîner en Blanc International  arrives this Friday. In contrast to other cities, the Chicago hosts have created a not-for-profit company, The White Basement, for this and all following events. Team leader, Lauren Haras, tells Untapped that they’re “not interested in profiting on this endeavor” and the goal is simply to “enjoy the city with food, friends and wine.”

The Union des Francias de l’étranger Chicago, a consortium of French citizens living abroad (UFE), James Wild of Gridwerk Architecture, and a long time Dîner en Blanc Paris organizer are helping bring this international event to Chicago for 1000 guests. In the tradition of the Dîner en Blanc, participants in Chicago will be asked to bring tables, chairs, food and drinks, with affordable options posted by the hosts on Pinterest. Busy Chicagoans may purchase gourmet picnic baskets from renowned Chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in advance for the event with specially paired wines.

To attend, register for the waitlist on the official website at Those that resister will be emailed with specific information regarding times, procedures, what to wear and what to bring.

With Chicago’s rich architectural history and culinary tradition, we know this will be a great event. I sat with the director of the Chicago  Dîner en Blanc at the Versailles  Dîner en Blanc this June and I had a taste of his sumptuous meal, including double-minced lamb kefta with layered verrine and mint tzatziki, whipped feta with smoked salmon and dill, cucumber-infused diced tomatos, whipped fea with green olives, Lebanese tabouleh and champagne. You are in good hands! Check out this timelapse video of the recent New York City dinner at Lincoln Center to get an idea of what this event will be like!

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich