Currently, in its 6th year in Singapore, Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 is confirmed to be held on Saturday, 12 May 2018 at a secret location only to be revealed at the last minute. The concept of this elegant picnic is to simply: Pack a set of foldable table and chairs along with white dinnerware (no disposable plates and cutlery allowed), get dressed in not cream, not ivory but your best white ensemble and gather at an assigned departure location where you’ll be taken to the undisclosed location. The secrecy of the venue makes for an interesting conversation for friends to curate their outfits.
Over the course of the night, attendees get to enjoy a three-course one Star Michelin meal and drinks – all to be pre-reserved on the e-store, accompanied by fine entertainment under the stars. Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 marks not just another edition in Singapore but the event’s 30th anniversary since its first introduction in Paris. Years in the making and spanning across almost 80 cities internationally, the fundamental concept of the event remains the same – a celebration of life, friendships and community spirits through good food and great hospitality. Now, regarded as an international epicurean phenomenon. For those who are lucky enough to secure a spot for this most exclusive of events, here are a few things that you can expect for the coming edition:
Le Dîner en Blanc 2018: Interview with Alexis Lhoyer, Guillaume Chabrieres and Jasmine Tuan
Le Dîner en Blanc is ever so much more than just a collective meal, how do you keep each edition fresh and a step higher than the last?
Alexis Lhoyer: Putting the Diner en Blanc together is always a challenge to find a new venue that will surprise everyone, as well as make sure the experience is seamless. But at the end of the day, it’s all about having a great food experience with friends, and we’re putting all our efforts into making sure it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
Guillaume Chabrieres: We constantly try to raise our game with more and more exciting venues. Finding the perfect location is always the most challenging part of Singapore.
Jasmine Tuan: We up our game by the secret venue we chose for the year, the entertainment and surprises we’ve lined up for the evening.
Singapore was the first Asian city to host the event in 2012. And now,Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 is going to be one of the few biggest versions outside of Paris. (To Alexis Lhoyer) How does it feel to be the man co-hosting this event in Singapore?
Alexis Lhoyer: Hosting Le Dîner En Blanc is a very rewarding experience, but also a tough one. The whole team of hosts, all the volunteers, as well as a big part of our Chab Events team, works countless hours on personal time and late night to make it happen.
We try to bring in as much entertainment and experience as possible in the budget we have, and expectations are always very high so we work hard to please all the guests. However, it is also incredibly rewarding as the energy you get from thousands of friends and attendees happy, with a big smile on their face during the diner is tremendous.
For a country as confined as Singapore, finding a scenic location in Singapore that can house more than 2000 people is definitely a challenge. How do you go about the process of preparing for the secret location?
Alexis Lhoyer: Finding the perfect venue for the Dîner En Blanc is usually the result of more than 6 months of efforts. We start looking for a new venue directly after the end of the previous edition. Months of work are necessary to align all the government bodies, agencies, as well as suppliers to make sure the event can take place and run with a smooth logistic, even though for the regular guest, it looks like an easy feat as everyone is bringing their own tables, chairs and food!
How do you balance the cultural aspect of the dinner? How does the French and local culture translate to the Singapore edition of Le Dîner en Blanc – Food perhaps?
Alexis Lhoyer: Food is definitely one element, but also the entertainment, and ultimately, the landscape in which the diner takes place. We try to create the perfect blend of both cultures to make the experience interesting to all guests, both local and foreign!
Guillaume Chabrieres: One of my favourite parts is to see that every culture, the 4 dominant cultures in Singapore together with the Western guests really blend in this event. Everyone feels welcome to appropriate themselves the DEB by bringing certain types of food, table decor or dress up in white with little accessories that remind people of where they come from.
Jasmine Tuan: Guests can choose to prepare their own 3-course meal (Starter, Main, Dessert) or order dinner set menus curated by one Michelin Star restaurant Saint Pierre celebrity chef, Emmanuel Stroobant; SQUE Rotisserie & Alehouse; and Rocks Urban Grill & Bar. One of the menus comes with a vegetarian option too. Guests are very welcome to bring their favourite food or food that’s close to their heart, be it local dishes or fusion creations. Bring out that chef in you! We want to see what’s on your plate too! Hashtag us #whatsonmyplateDEBSG2018 #DinerenBlancSG #DEBsg2018
Speaking of food, will Le Dîner en Blanc ever be open to cater localised dishes like Laksa or Curry chicken, given that there would be a high chance of risking sartorial damage?
Alexis Lhoyer: We definitely welcome all kind of food. Le Dîner En Blanc is a celebration of both the culture of its country of origin, France, and the hosting country, Singapore. As we aren’t a full-fledged restaurant, we can only offer a limited selection of menus on our e-store, but people are free, and even more, encourage to cook and bring their own food! Remember the starting of the Diner En Blanc in France was a simple picnic!
Guillaume Chabrieres: Every type of food is welcome. People often think that the food has to be white too, the team always tries to share the right information for people to get ready the best way possible in terms of food. Jasmine is also doing a terrific job on social media with inspirational posts.
Jasmine Tuan: Ever since the 2012 Chicken Rice saga, Le Dîner en Blanc – International is very relaxed with the type of food guests are bringing. After all, this is an international event held in Singapore. Chicken rice is definitely a must! Laksa and Curry chicken too! Just be sure to bring your own white napkins for the napkin wave to announce the start of dinner and to protect your all-white outfit from potential food stains. Last year, at the VIF table, our guests brought White Pepper Crab, Chicken Wings, Dry-Seasoned Mee Siam, Shepard’s Pie, Marinated Capsicum Prawns, Salmon Tartare, and so on, to share.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the food presentation, taste and company.
Share with us your idea of an amazing night out.
Alexis Lhoyer: The best night out is the one with friends. Whether you are on for a big night out, or a simple catch-up, the people you are with are the key to the best night out. Spice it up with a few surprises or unplanned changes and you’re on for something exceptional.
Guillaume Chabrieres: Quality times, quality times, quality times. A perfect night out is all about spending a great time with your friends and loved ones. A perfect night out is always too short but at the same times filled up with a series of great moments.
Jasmine Tuan: A night filled with good company, delicious food, and lots of alcohol! (Haha) Be sure to order your alcoholic drinks from our E-store latest by 8 May, midnight! Guests are not allowed to bring their own alcohol. Alcohol will be on sale at the after-party. Cash transactions only.
Where do you plan to take Le Dîner en Blanc to next – anymore Asian countries in mind?
Alexis Lhoyer: We’d love to takeover Bali, as it’s such a beautiful island.
Guillaume Chabrieres: We’d love to takeover Bali.
Jasmine Tuan: We are thinking of Bali, Malaysia, and … surprise!