Monday, August 29, 2016

Dîner en Blanc 2016

The guests wore all-white and danced under the light of the full moon. 
It sounds part of a fairytale, does it not? Fairytales are associated with beauty, mystery, romance, and happiness, all of which were present on the eve of August 18th, as myself and 2,600 guests made our way through chartered busses and organized public transportation, to arrive at our mystery destination to celebrate in the annual spectacle, Dîner en Blanc. 
Dîner en Blanc is a tradition that began in Paris in 1988 with only a handful of participants. It first began as simply an elegant dinner under the stars, amongst friends, with one rule - everyone must dress in all white. Over the past 28 years, Diner en Blanc has become a worldwide sensation, and is now celebrated in over 70 cities across the globe. 
As a leader in both the food and fashion industries, it's no surprise that Toronto has made Dîner en Blanc a celebrated summer ritual amongst foodies and fashionistas alike. Having always wanted to attend the coveted event, I was over-the-(full)-moon excited to be invited by Dîner en Blanc sponsor Metro Ontario to attend this years event as their guest. 
Dressed in our newly-purchased all-white outfits (no cream or off-white here!), my friend Amanda and I arrived at our pickup location to be transported to the top-secret destination (which was revealed to be the Canary District, formerly the Pan Am Games Athletes Village) with the rest of our table. The idea is to arrive "flash-mob style" to the freshly announced public venue, with white tables, chairs, and picnic baskets filled with gourmet delights in tow, to enjoy an elegant evening amongst friends new and old, and, come the nights end, leave without a trace left behind. 
As a Metro guest, I was lucky to be given the VIP treatment with our beautifully decorated table already set up. Each guest was given their own white picnic basket, filled to the brim with a selection of Metro goodies. True to the picnic theme, my basket featured an assortment of sandwiches; cheese, charcuterie, and crackers; quinoa and pasta salads; pizza; and sushi. Between the gorgeous floral arrangements were bottles of red, white, and sparkling wine that were constantly in flow. With a dessert tent presenting all-white cakes and cupcakes from Metro, it's needless to say, we were very well fed! 
Creativity played a large role in the success of the evening, as the all-white-everything theme inspired guests to think outside the colour wheel when selecting their outfits, table decor, and menus. It was truly a feast for the eyes getting to see all of the imaginative ways that the guests approached their wardrobe and table decor. Hats and headpieces were particularly striking, with lots of feathers, bows, and flowers present. As a creative myself, I almost got whiplash from constantly turning my head as each new stunning sight caught my eye. More than just the outfits, decor, and food, the venue itself is a challenge in resourcefulness. As the location changes every year to a new public space, Dîner en Blanc allows guests to experience some of Toronto's most stunning public spaces in a dazzling new way. 
Dîner en Blanc was such a fantastic way to bring like-minded individuals together to celebrate food, fashion, and our beautiful city in a unique, elegant, and classy way. I'd like to extend a big "thank you" to Metro Ontario for giving me the opportunity to experience this magical evening as their guest. It was a privilege to not only get to attend the event, but also get to engage with so many other creative industry leaders who I admire and respect. I can honestly say that I have never in my life experienced anything like Dîner en Blanc. Thank you for a night to remember!

Moment of Note:
When my mom emailed me after the event saying she saw my photo on Flare Was There! Pretty cool moment! 

Listening To:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Kitchn's Crunchy Peanut Slaw

Oh hey, just me over here, still on the no-heat-in-my-kitchen-train! As you'll know from some of my previous posts and definitely from my Instagram account, I have been on a heat strike in my kitchen for months now. This has surely been one of Toronto's hottest summers in years, with hardly a day or even an afternoon of relief, meaning all the recent Google searches on my computer read "no-cook meal ideas" and "how to grill everything" as I begin to run out of ideas on what the hell to make for dinner each night. When you're exhausted from the heat, with little to no energy to cook much of anything, it's not the easiest task to go scouring through the internet to attempt to find a good recipe that's simple enough to throw together last minute and will allow you to keep your kitchen cool. 
With my boyfriend Chris working from home as much as possible thanks to a torn achilles (ouch!), it was so great to have another meal brainstormer on hand to help me come up with some different dishes that could help to shake up what was quickly becoming a boring dinner routine. One of my favourite recipes that Chris suggested I make a couple weeks ago was a refreshing, no-cook Crunchy Peanut Slaw from The Kitchn. Chris knew it would be a great recipe for me because...well, I was lazy as hell, hot AF, and this recipe allowed me to get food on the table fast, without any grocery shopping, and very little mess. I was in! 
The slaw was thrown together in less than 10 minutes (insane!), was the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken and a humid day, and even though I only made a half batch, I was still left with some leftovers for both mine and Chris' lunch the following day! I love the fantastic crunch from both the peanuts and the crisp cabbage and that bright hit of cilantro that shines through each bite. Best of all, I loved the simple dressing that highlighted the nutty flavour of Asian sesame oil, giving this slaw a bit of an exotic twist. This recipe is definitely going onto my "Recipes I Love" Pinterest board! This baby is a keeper and perfect for your next BBQ with friends and family! 

Check out The Kitchn's recipe for Crunchy Peanut Slaw here!

Have another awesome no-cook or grilled weeknight dinner idea that you think I'll love? Tell me about it in the comments, or Tweet me: @thisgingerrose
Listening To:
Frank Ocean build something...waiting on that album, Frankie!!