Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia for its 6th year took over Franklin Square Thursday, August 17th with 5,300 white-clad guests gathering for its biggest event to date . This exclusive pop-up event first began in Paris in 1988 and now has grown to be celebrated worldwide.
Guests have the option to bring their own food or pick from Dîner en Blanc catering packages which this year showcased culinary names including Feast Your Eyes Catering, 1732 Meats, and Collective Creamery. Feast Your Eyes Catering is owned by Lynn Buono, Chief Culinary Officer. The local catering company has grown over the past decades, moving twice into vacant factories and re-purposed them into kitchens, and now their main event venue is in Kensington, at Front and Palmer Street. They’ve catered events for 10,000 at Eakins Oval and slightly more than that at Penn Park; they love the challenge of developing the systems needed for serving great food in these settings. It’s about quality, first of all, and then variety, and creativity. (See First Time Experience Attending Dinner en Blanc Philadelphia)
Natanya DiBona, Co-Host, Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia said ,“We also know that a lot of our guests prefer to pack their own meals, but like to supplement with cheese and charcuterie boards. So, we partnered with Collective Creamery and 1732 to supply cheese and charcuterie for the boards which will be prepared by Feast Your Eyes.”
The cheeses were produced by Sue Miller of Birchrun Hill Farms and Stefanie Angstadt of Valley Milkhouse. Last fall they teamed up to offer their cheeses through Collective Creamery, a CSA-style cheese subscription business. Collective Creamery offers an eclectic selection of our raw and pasteurized grass-fed cow’s milk cheeses, which are made by hand, locally, by all women cheese-makers. They think of their cheeses as edible works of art — the perfect start to a truly memorable DEB experience. Ari Miller’s 1732 Meats business also started locally in Lansdowne, PA.
Dîner en Blanc started in Paris , but deserves a Philadelphia connection. So, serving 1732 Meats on our salumi board, along with Birchrun Hill Farm Cheeses, Valley Milk House cheeses and other area makers really shows the depth of Philly cuisine. The Cheese Board featured Cheese from Valley Milkhouse and Birchrun Hills Farm. These cheeses included Lady’s Slipper, and Birchrun Blue, Fat Cat, and Equinox with Marcona Almonds, FYE Rooftop Honey, Membrillo (dried grapes) and baguette.
The Salumi Board featured Meat from 1732 Meats, Baguette, and Cheese from Valley Milkhouse and Birchrun Hills Farm. Charcuterie included Rosemary Lonza, Bresola, and Dried Saucisson with Clover Fromage Blanc with Red Onion Marmalade, Cornichons, Olives, Dried Apricots, and Sun Dried Cherries. All catered food this year was presented in biodegradable bamboo boxes in efforts to always be as green as possible.
All catering options serve two, however guests must provide their own plates, silverware, linens, glassware, and beverages. This year’s menu included a vegan and gluten free option called King Trumpet Mushroom. The first course offering a Green Papaya Salad with Pressed Tofu. The entree was a Nori Roulade with King Trumpet Mushrooms over brown rice, pickled vegetables and wasabi aioli. It also included a side of Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with peanuts, and marinated cucumbers. Dessert included Green Tea Macarons, Sesame Tahini Macarons, and Fresh Pineapple with Thai Basil
Another gluten-free option guests could enjoy was the Cedar Planked Salmon meal which started with a Watermelon and Feta Salad for the first course. The entree was a Cedar Planked Salmon with Cucumber Labne Sauce, side of Asparagus with Roasted Lemons, and Tabouli with Quinoa made with tomatoes, cucumbers, Jersey corn, and fresh mint. Dessert included a Lemon Bavarian with Fresh Berries and Eclat Chocolate Medallions.
Other guests tried the Shrimp and Chicken meal with Chargrilled Shrimp with Gremoulata and Panko Crusted Chicken with Parmesan. Sides included Tuscan Pasta Salad with Ricotta Salata and Olives, Artichoke, Tomatoes and Herbed Focaccia. This dinner had Olive Oil Cakes with Candied Oranges for dessert.
The most decadent dinner option included Grilled Sirloin Steak and Crab and Mango Louie Salad. The steak was served with watercress, tomatoes and salsa verde. Sides were Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs, String Beans with Roasted Mushrooms, Blistered Shishito Peppers, and Herbed Focaccia. Then dessert was a Blueberry Pie in a Jar and Salted Caramel Brownies.