Last night, over 1,000 people partook in Miami's inaugural Diner en Blanc. The sold-out event is the first of its kind for the Magic City but 50th worldwide. Paris has been hosting its annual soiree since 1988, which means we're about three decades late on the picnicking bandwagon. Oh well, better late than never, right?
And after witnessing Gabrielle Union getting down in a conga line and endless amounts of Moët being poured, we're pretty confident that Diner en Blanc will be coming back to our lovely city. So if you didn't get to attend last night's festivities you might want to check out our photos, and then sign up for the 2015 waiting list, which is already open.
The all-white clad picnic was held at the New World Center's Soundscape Park. Organizers and volunteers were informed of the location only hours before in order to begin prep. Everyone else who purchased a $35 ticket didn't know where they were going until they had arrived.
A slew of buses transported them to Soundscape in batches, allowing the picnic to build in a civilized and organized manner. Tables, chairs, and all.
I've got to admit I was a bit skeptical and didn't think Miamians had it in them to be so involved, but I was proved wrong. People took their own personal presentation as well as their tables and food seriously.
Moët & Chandon along with Apothic Wines were sponsors for the evening. Because guests weren't allowed to bring their own alcohol, you were given the option of buying either some fizz or grape varietals prior to the event and collecting it upon arrival.
Donae Burston, who is a co-host for Diner en Blanc Miami as well as regional marketing director for Moët & Chandon, was in charge of inviting the who's who of Miami (like Gaby Wade), as well as making sure everything ran smoothly. As far as the location, he thought this was perfect for the city's first time. "You don't want to pick a location that's too big but instead grow into it." In NYC, Diner en Blanc has a waitlist of about 30,000 and admits 10,000 guests to the annual event.
From bread service to dessert, people brought everything to the table. And with the cold weather, they, of course, had to keep their buns warm somehow.
Twenty-four-hour cheese and champagne diet.
Caviar deviled eggs and some bubbly. Quite the spread.
Apparently caviar was the theme of night, in addition to white.
These people went all out. Sparkler centerpiece and all. Their menu for the evening? Cream of asparagus soup, whole roasted chicken, and a cheese board.
This guy left his steak and fava beans to go dance.
OK, so I've never wanted to eat people's food more in my life. That's the only drawback to Diner en Blanc -- walking around and realizing your neighbors had a better spread than you did. Like these people who brought stone crabs from Joe's. They don't need any heating and won't get cold. So. Incredibly. Smart. And also delicious.
Everybody learned from this guy, who had the best setup of the evening. His fettucini shrimp alfredo and lobster ravioli had the warmest seat in the house.
Dumplings. Just kidding. It was pita bread.
People even brought tabletop decor. Take these girls who were missing their sisters, so they brought their spirit in a photo.
These girls know what's up, which is why they brought Nutella and strawberries. Winning.
The best part of the evening, for me at least, was seeing what people had cooked. This guy marinated his olives the Spanish way with some lemon, EVOO, and onions. He even let me have some, which honestly should be more of a thing at Diner en Blanc. It is a dinner party after all, and sharing is caring.
After all the eating and drinking, came the lighting of the sparklers, which was followed by more drinking and dancing until the closing call of the trumpet pronounced the end of the first-ever Diner en Blanc.
This guy is praying it comes back next year. Maybe someone should tell him it already is?
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Gone to Diner en Blanc.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha