Imagine a warm, summer's night. Thousands dress up in white to convene at a place for bacchanalian dining and drinking. There is music and dancing afterwards. Is it a new cult? A coven meeting to celebrate midsummer, No, it's thousands of elegant Parisians to have a flash feast in front of the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral.
This version of a flash mob was written about in yesterday's New York Times Dining section by newcomer Liesl Schillinger. She tells of how a group of very well behaved city people came together at exactly eight o clock last year and had the grandest picnic of them all. It's an annual event, since 1988, called "Diner en Blanche" or "Dinner In White". Men wear pristine white suits while women float in dresses of the same snowy color.. They carried picnic baskets filled with foie gras, poached salmon and different cheeses.Champagne along with wine and water were drunk. Each table provides its' own meal along with linens and silverware. There was also dessert and hors d'ouevres too. Just as soon as the meal is finished, everything is cleared away and cleaned up. so that there;s dancing in t he squares.
Not everyone can just join in. There are private invitations. otherwise it would be the largest food fest ever (and quite messy in the end) . The actual venue is kept a secret until a few days before to avoid gatecrashers. However both New York and Montreal and planning on these flash feasts and of course - the invites are going out via Facebook and Twitter. Don't think that these dinners will have a few hundred gate crashers. There is also a penalty for those who behave raucously or don't clean up. They get barred from next year's Diner en Blanche.
it should be interesting to see how New York and Montreal's flash feasts do. Will both be as casually elegant as their French counterpart? Even more interesting how will the food be?