How to host a Parisian gourmet picnic: A black and white party

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How to host a Parisian gourmet picnic: A black and white party

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If you are a person who enjoys doing things out of the ordinary, then a Parisian outdoor gourmet picnic might be for you, especially with the arrival of spring. Why not host your own outdoor black and white party?

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Black and white party gourmet picnic at the Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Museum of Art

To plan our outdoor gourmet picnic, we looked to Parisians for inspiration. The French have had a tradition of enjoying outdoor gourmet picnics for more than 150 years. In the new millennium, a flash mob style gourmet picnic has exploded in popularity.

Our event was inspired was inspired by the “Dîner en Blanc” held annually in Paris. Every year a “flash mob” holds an extravagant dinner in a prominent location in Paris – for as many as 7,500 guests, with only 15 minutes notice of the actual dinner location.

Here is a clip of the Dîner en Blanc taking place at Parisian landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, and more.

For our gourmet picnic we decided to request black and white attire, giving our guests more wardrobe options.

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Black and white party gourmet picnic party guests at the Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Museum of Art

We chose to hold our picnic at the Klyde Warren Park across from the Dallas Museum of Art, which has the feeling of continental Europe with live music, families and couples strolling, and even a free outdoor library.

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French cuisine served at the black and white party gourmet picnic

Of course, French food will make your picnic truly authentic. It can be as simple as baguettes, brie cheese, grapes, and French wine (or white grape juice and sparkling cider if you need a substitute), or something more elaborate. For our menu we prepared poulet du provence, creamy potatoes au gratin, hericots verts lyonnaise, and crepes for an appetizer and dessert.

Be as creative as you like for the meal. To make the occasion truly memorable, consider bringing table settings: tablecloth, tableware, and decorations. You might even need folding tables and chairs. You can choose some French music to make the atmosphere complete. Having an event like this does take preparation and planning, but it’s an experience you will NEVER forget!

The recipes in this post can be found in the following wonderful downloadable PDF of French recipes, courtesy of Shout! Factory and the new film “A Monster in Paris,” coming to DVD and 3D Blu-ray combo pack on April 16, 2013. They are wonderful recipes. You’ll love them!

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post, and all opinions and inspirations are 100% Reel Mama.

 

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