SO DÃ®ner en Blanc April 24 Part 1
The prevailing mystery surrounding ‘the world’s largest dinner party’, Le DÃ®ner En Blanc, is always more a question of where the annual dinner in white is set to take place, rather than the classic guesswork of who’s coming. After generating an unforeseen measure of public debate, last year, for The Rock debut of the tonally dictated, flash-mob picnic, the event-planning Chow Society, who incredibly came under fire for promoting decadence, made the decision to shield their sophomore effort from the wrath of its armchair critics. This therefore meant that the next venue would not only be obligatorily ‘secret’, it now had to also be relatively removed. It was here that the term ‘public green space’ lost some of its elasticity, and in walked the manicured Usain Bolt Regupol Track at the UWI Mona Bowl, the limited/member access sporting facility of its larger tertiary namesake.
Flash-forward to D-Day, two Saturdays ago, a divided fleet of Jamaica Urban Transit Company coaches shuttled second-staging patrons – most prepared a year later and longing to relive their collective first time – along asphalted tributaries emanating from the departure enclaves of Hope Zoo/Hope Gardens, Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, Scotiabank Constant Spring, and the ATL Automotive complex on Oxford Road. Steered by five group leaders and 27 table leaders, outside of the ‘Society’ quartet, it was business as usual, it would seem, for the achromatically attired bon vivants, psyched to show off their sartorial inclinations, partake in the creative process prescribed by tradition, and most importantly celebrate their freedom of movement and assembly.
The MoÃ«t & Chandon range of champagnes – the official pour of ‘Blanc’ for a second year running ˆ– remained one of the endorsed rewards for involvement, seen to it by heritage distributors J Wray & Nephew, who alternatively offered non-sparkling labels, most notably among them, the Apothic vino portfolio. Then, there was poultry leader Jamaica Broilers Group – employing the catering eye and abilities of chef/caterers Jacqui Tyson and Allison Porter-Smalling – not only hand-delivered rotisserie chicken, for sharing, under the banner of The Best Dressed Chicken Moment, to table and group leaders from an on-the-scene kitchen, but also upped the ante with an open-air photo booth and dramatic table-side cooking and food prep that sought to entertain their specially invited guests. Rounding out the sponsor triumvirate was Scotiabank, the investment-minded group, that treated approximately 30 clients – which included the businesswoman winner of their VIP experience, Sharon Williamson – to the catered fare of Kim Fennell, which was presented in branded gable-boxes, hiding needle-in-the-haystacks gift cards, which ultimately produced prizes of wine for four.
SO returns to the mise en scÃ¨ne where ‘moments’ still played first fiddle to the urbane crowd.