Diner en Blanc hits Halifax

Diner en Blanc, a large-scale outdoor picnic/spectacle/party, is coming to  Halifax for the first time on August 23rd. I was lucky enough to be included in a small group of food writers for a menu tasting of the picnic baskets that chefs Dave Smart (Front & Central) and Frederic Tandy (Ratinaud French Cuisine) have created for the event.

Basket #1 - Fish terrine (smoked salmon wrapped, cold smoked scallop in the middle, salmon rilette), grainy mustard potato salad

Basket #1 – Fish terrine (smoked salmon wrapped, cold smoked scallop in the middle, salmon rilette), grainy mustard potato salad

Drawing from the French background of Diner en Blanc (read more about the history here), the chefs (and preferred catering partners) put together four heavily French-influenced picnic menus, that will be available for pre-purchase online. These menus will be paired nicely with French and Nova Scotian wines by beverage sponsor Bishop’s Cellar. So, not to worry, we are in good hands. I won’t go too much into detail about the glamorous, secretive and exciting nature of the event; I’d rather show off the delicious French cuisine we tasted at the Kitchen Table in Ratinaud a couple days ago.

Which basket would I choose? It has to be Basket #3, dubbed “Le Big Deal”.  Sous vide lamb, foie gras and chutney, a cheese plate… and those pickled mushrooms! Incredible. Ideally, though, I’d like to be seated with friends so we could sample from all four baskets. Pricing is yet to be released and more details on the menu items will be available online when registration begins next week.

Scroll through the gallery below and read the captions for food descriptions.

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