2012 Dîner en Blanc at Versailles
The now famous Dîner en Blanc began in Paris as an impromptu get-together by François Pasquier 25 years ago, and was spread worldwide by his son, Aymeric Pasquier, to 18 cities around the world including New York City, Boston, and even Kigali (Rwanda) and Haiti. The event is loved, sometimes derided, and not without controversy, but here at Untapped Cities, we regard it as a beautiful tribute to a pure spirit of gathering and conviviality.
As many know, it’s a pop-up dinner which takes place once a year, always at a renown public landmark. We’ve had the honor of attending the Paris Dîner en Blanc since 2010, in such epic backdrops as the Tuileries, the Louvre, Notre Dame and Versailles, and we look forward to what the organizers have in store this year for the 25th Anniversary. Guests bring their own tables, chairs, food and drink, descending upon a location revealed only minutes before the dinner begins. Set-up takes 5 minutes and the dinner lasts just over three hours, preparation behind the scenes to coordinate transportation, location and other details takes months. The key to the event’s success and magic is that guests are required to leave the location exactly as they found it, departing without leaving a trace. The dinners outside Paris are open to public sign-ups, while the Paris event remains purely by invitation through previous attendees.
For the 25th Anniversary, Michelin chef Pascal Aussignac of Le Club Gascon prepared a special recipe for L’Astrade, a variation on an old traditional recipe from Acquitane in the Southwest of France, which was disseminated to guests. The dish of white asparagus gazpacho on skewers was not required though, for attendance. Stay tuned for photos on Untapped Cities from this year’s Paris Dîner en Blanc and check out the documentary about the event we worked on last year with filmmakers Jennifer Ash Rudick, Alfred Maysles and Hugues Hariche.
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.