#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Ruby and Rach, Strattons Hotel, Sydney » | Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic 2013 » | Fix St James, Sydney » | Buon Ricordo, Paddington » | Sadhana Kitchen and Cow & Moon Gelato, Enmore » | Things to do on Kangaroo Island » | Ester, Chippendale » | Waitan, Haymarket Chinatown » | Kansas City barbecue: Gates, Oklahoma Joe's and Ar... » | Things to eat in Chicago: Italian beef and deep pa... »

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013

Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013

Imagine a flash mob of 3,000 people, add food and drink and you'd have something very similar to Diner en Blanc. Last Saturday night, Bondi locals watched thousands of people suddenly descend on Bondi Beach, unpack chairs and tables and then dine on a three course meal as waves crashed upon the beach.

This is the second year that Diner en Blanc has taken place in Sydney but it first started in Paris 25 years ago. Diner en Blanc - meaning "the white dinner" - was conceived by Francois Pasquier who, in 1988, assembled a small group of friends. They each wore white so they could easily find each other in Bois de Boulogne, a large public park in Paris.

Today there are 15,000 people who assemble for the annual Paris Diner en Blanc. They have dined beneath the Eiffel Tower, on the Champs-Élysées, at Place de la Concorde and on the grounds of the Château de Versailles.

The event is now held around the world in cities that include New York, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Barcelona, London, Moscow and Auckland. In Australia, it has taken place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney.

Tetsuya Wakuda at the Electrolux Pop-Up Inspirational Kitchen, Centennial Park
Tetsuya Wakuda

I was invited to attend Diner en Blanc as a guest of Electrolux Australia, one of the sponsors for Diner en Blanc. We started the evening with a car pick-up to its pop-up kitchen in Centennial Park for a brief cooking demonstration by brand ambassador Tetsuya Wakuda.

Tetsuya Wakuda explaining how to cook ocean trout
Tetsuya Wakuda explaining how to cook ocean trout

Tetsuya is softly spoken and gentle but has a wicked sense of humour. He showed us the secret to scrambled eggs (cream and creamed corn over low heat with fresh ricotta folded in at the very end) as well as how to cook ocean trout (seal in clingfilm and baked at 65C) and steak (sear at high heat and then finish in the oven at 120C).

Lemon juice spritzer gadget
Instant lemon juice spray using a gadget spritzer

He also revealed that he's a huge fan of gadgets. I think everyone wanted this instant lemon spritzer. You simply pierce a fresh lemon with this gadget to enable instant lemon juice spray!

Tetsuya Wakuda slicing beef
Tetsuya Wakuda slicing the beef

We left the pop-kitchen by coach for the secret location. There are a couple of rules that govern Diner en Blanc:


  1. The location remains secret until the last minute. Guests assemble at meeting points where provided transport delivers you to the secret location.
  2. Guests must dress in white.
  3. Guests must bring their own table, chairs, tablecloth, napkins and food. All decorations must be white. All food should be eaten from proper crockery and cutlery. At the Sydney event, dinner hampers could be pre-purchased. 

The event has been designed to be spontaneous, sophisticated and elegant yet fun. We were lucky that we had our furniture and food already provided but there seemed to be a sense of energetic enthusiasm by others who had to carry everything on their own.

The event itself is marked by the traditional waving of napkins when everyone has been assembled and dinner is ready to start. This also signifies that the public space has been successfully "claimed" for the evening.

Towards the end of the night, everyone is provided with sparklers to light as night falls. It's a spectacular end to a memorable evening. Here are my pics from the night.


Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013

Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 secret location: Bondi Beach


Diners with picnic chairs and tables waiting for Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013

Babys breath at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

White paper lanterns at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Diners at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Sea of white at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Posing for photos at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Diners in white at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

White birdcage at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

White top hats and umbrellas at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Diners at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Barefoot in the sand at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving of white napkins to signal the start of dinner at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving of white napkins to signal the start of dinner at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving of white napkins to signal the start of dinner at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Platinum spring menu by Kitchen Food Company at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Unpacking our picnic boxes at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Platinum spring menu by Kitchen Food Company at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

White asparagus, jamon iberico, truffle pecorino; roasted beef eye fillet on pearl barley; white chocolate vanilla pannacotta; and butter poached yabbies on smoked tomato gazpacho at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Champagne, food and wine at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Sailors and white umbrellas at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Napkin waving at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests dining as dusk falls at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Lighting sparklers at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving sparklers at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Guests at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving sparklers at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving sparklers at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Waving sparklers at Diner en Blanc Sydney 2013 Bondi Beach

Grab Your Fork attended Diner en Blanc as a guest of event sponsor, Electrolux Australia.

More information:
Diner en Blanc Sydney
Diner en Blanc International

39 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/01/2013 06:05:00 pm


39 Comments:

  • At 12/01/2013 6:14 pm, Anonymous Mary @ beyondjelly said…

    How fun! I'd never heard of dinner en blanc, but now I'm determined to learn more!

     
  • At 12/01/2013 6:20 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    what a fun looking event! love how everyone just looks so full of happiness and joy!

     
  • At 12/01/2013 6:38 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    So much fun Helen...and Bondi Beach is a stunning backdrop! I had the pleasure of attending the Adelaide one a few weeks ago and loved every minute of it.

     
  • At 12/01/2013 6:44 pm, Blogger CQUEK said…

    gorgeous event, everybody looks so good in white.

     
  • At 12/01/2013 7:48 pm, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Great pics Helen :) It's such a gorgeous event, and at Bondi Beach - lovely!

     
  • At 12/01/2013 8:04 pm, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    what a fun loving event! great pics helen!

     
  • At 12/01/2013 8:29 pm, Blogger Helena Leung said…

    Hi Helen, was lovely to meet you and sit next to you last night :) It was indeed a magical night, made better by sitting next to a foodie! Thanks for sharing the evening with us :)

    xox Helena

     
  • At 12/01/2013 8:41 pm, Anonymous Daisy@Nevertoosweet said…

    OMG it looks like a huge white wedding :) So much fun and you got to meet Tetsuya!

    I was wondering what this event was because I've seen photos of it on Instagram so glad you blogged about it hehe :)

    How come there's no photo of you? I wanted to see your white outfit!

     
  • At 12/01/2013 8:46 pm, OpenID mrdleu said…

    what a creative event! and that lemon spritzer thing is so cool. I can imagine so many things i can put that thing in haha

     
  • At 12/01/2013 9:38 pm, Anonymous angela@mykikicake said…

    How fun was it ... I loved it :) The picnic hamper they provided looks so lovely and gourmet. Can't wait to do it all again next year.

     
  • At 12/01/2013 10:29 pm, Blogger RDYN! said…

    This looks absolutely gorgeous. I always get this overwhelming sensation whenever I see anything of large scale e.g. thousands all dressed in white. And it really sounds great when you guys had a private coaching lessons.

    The photos are beautiful and it looked like a perfect evening since the weather held up.

     
  • At 12/01/2013 11:13 pm, Anonymous msihua said…

    What a fun and beautiful event! Why has Melbourne been left out? Waaaa. and I want instant lemon thing spray!!!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 12:42 am, Blogger Sherrie Huang said…

    All that white makes everything looks quite stunning! White is such a pretty colour :)

     
  • At 12/02/2013 6:16 am, Anonymous thesuzchef said…

    Looks like a magical event!

    And love that lemon spritzer!!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 7:00 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    Soooo beautiful! Everyone's so happy! Love how you've captured the gorgeous moments.

     
  • At 12/02/2013 8:09 am, Blogger Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    What a great concept. I think the weather held up perfect for the location. Everyone dressed in white looks sooo goood!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 9:36 am, Blogger gaby @ lateraleating said…

    The meal looks fantastic but wearing the proper outfit would be too much to ask from me. They should do a black version of it :)

     
  • At 12/02/2013 10:30 am, Anonymous ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    Nice coverage of a lovely event.

    For a minute, I thought Tetsuya had a huge pimple on his face, only then I realized it's just a stray dollop of mayo or whatever cream it is.

     
  • At 12/02/2013 10:50 am, Anonymous Bel | Ooh, Look... said…

    What a beautiful night. I didn't realise you had to BYO table and chairs and stuff.
    Lovely photos, too.

     
  • At 12/02/2013 11:30 am, Anonymous divegurl said…

    It was such a fun event - who doesn't love dressing up, good food and wine, great company, a DJ and of course, a surprise venue - all the ingredients for a great night.

     
  • At 12/02/2013 12:02 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    Wow!!! Amazing!!! Can you ask for a more stunning backdrop?

     
  • At 12/02/2013 12:55 pm, Anonymous Olivia @ mademoiselleinsydney said…

    Woooow Amazing!!

    I didn't know this event existed in Australia!!! We have this in Paris, but it's BYO food and wine and it's more a picnic!! It looks like you had the ultimate experience!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 1:35 pm, Blogger Von said…

    I'd never heard of diner en blanc before, but this looks so fun! I'm surprised at how fancy all the tables and chairs are- must have been such a hassle to bring all that! :)

     
  • At 12/02/2013 2:20 pm, Anonymous Yvonne said…

    I own that very same lemon spritzer, and I must say, it's turned out to be quite useful!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 3:09 pm, Anonymous billy @ atablefortwo said…

    Awwwwww.... totally missed out! :(
    Looks like a great day to be had!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 8:15 pm, Blogger Alice Lau said…

    Love this post Helen and I'd heard of Diner en Blanc elsewhere, but it's great to see it's popping up around Australia. I will definitely be more organized next year! Love your gorgeous photos too, truly captures the magical atmosphere!

     
  • At 12/02/2013 8:41 pm, Blogger Shanshan Lam said…

    what a beautiful post Helen! love all the pictures, esp when the sun set and all the sparkles lit up. Just stunning

     
  • At 12/02/2013 8:51 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    What an amazing experience! I love all of your pictures, especially the ones of the long table (with all the champagnes and wine!!!)

    xox Sarah

     
  • At 12/02/2013 9:34 pm, Anonymous Iron Chef Shellie said…

    I for some reason have the biggest smile on my face reading this post. What truly gorgeous photos from full sun till no sun. What an amazing dining experience <3 x

     
  • At 12/03/2013 7:29 am, Anonymous Cindy said…

    Looks like so much fun! Would like to do it one year. Great pics capturing all the happy moments!

     
  • At 12/03/2013 8:29 am, Anonymous squishies said…

    That looks like fantastic fun!! =D

    Love those tags, too cute.

     
  • At 12/03/2013 3:02 pm, Anonymous Cara @ Gourmet Chick said…

    Saw some pics of this on Twitter and it looks just amazing with the spectacle of everyone wearing white. If we tried this in Melbourne it would rain on us!

     
  • At 12/03/2013 11:08 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Helena - Was so great to meet you too! Who knows - maybe you'll be start your own blogs soon :)

    Hi Daisy - lol I prefer being behind the camera than in front of it!

    Hi Chopin - It's his microphone headset. lol

    Hi Cara - I'm really surprised Melbourne hasn't hosted one yet. Surely next year it will happen!

     
  • At 12/04/2013 9:15 am, Anonymous Amanda@ChewTown said…

    That's looks amazing Helen! and your photos are SPECTACULAR. Sadly, I didn't see a pic of you in your white get up in the mix. In other news, I just bought one of those lemon spritzers in Europe - I've been spritzing lemon on everything since!

     
  • At 12/04/2013 8:10 pm, Blogger Tammi Kwok said…

    Oh how cute!! Everything looks so posh. I love that lemon spritzer too. I wonder if he got it from Daiso?

     
  • At 12/05/2013 12:43 am, Anonymous Lisa the Gourmet Wog said…

    WOW, just Wow!

     
  • At 12/05/2013 8:01 am, Blogger muppy said…

    Sounds so fun, it would make it extra fun taking your own stuff! I want that lemon gadget thing.

     
  • At 12/10/2013 12:21 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    That looks so beautiful - just the sea of white and those sparklers at night! It's like something out of a dream. :)

     
  • At 12/26/2013 6:54 pm, Anonymous sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    That would be so much fun! Really looks like you had a brilliant time.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home


      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts