From elegant affairs to gatherings on the beach, white parties across the globe are quintessential Summer. Maybe it’s because white is the best color conducive to the heat or it’s because a sea of white is easily one of the most magical sights to behold.
For one night only this wondrous sight was created for one of the most sought after events; Chicago in White. At this elegant fete, the best of Summer combines with delectable cuisine inside a gorgeous setting creating the recipe for a memorable evening. Held at the iconic Ravinia Festival Park, hundreds from the city and suburbia descended upon the park donning their finest whites. Whether that be large groups of families, small groups of friends or romantic partners; everyone wanted to create a memorable evening in the park.
The evening began with a simple white setting spread across the festival lawn. Long tables were draped in white linens complete with the accompanying chairs. As the tables and chairs were provided, all guests had to worry about was how were they going to create a fine dining experience of their own.
As the guests entered the dining space, they set their table with fine décor. Each table was a representation of the diners personality from the fun and flirty to the chic and sophisticated. Crisp white lanterns and lush floral arrangements became centerpieces. Napkin displays and their decorative holders held shining sterling silverware in place.
Making a first for Chicago in White, guests were able to bring their own libations. Coolers were emptied of their fine wines and champagnes. Picnic baskets were filled to the brim with the finest of delectable bites. As they laid out the meal, dishes ranged from traditional to gourmet.
While fruit and charcuterie were favorable selections, these picnic goers were incredibly inventive choosing to prepare gourmet Bloody Mary’s and homemade sweets and pastries. Based on the wide variety of delicious food that was spread across the tables, this was certainly not your average picnic.
The setting at the Founders Table was also a sight to behold. As the founders, Jen Luby and Kelly Williams and their guests lined the table, tall candelabras towered above. Our picnic fare came in the form of decadent dishes provided by Eataly, The Chow Brothers, and Di Pescara. As for dessert, of course, I couldn’t resist bringing my favorite sweet; an assortment of macarons.
With a quick scan throughout the venue, one could see the bountiful feasts as far as the eyes could see. Guests lit their candles one by one setting the ambiance for the evening. To properly prepare to indulge in their meal, champagne bottles are uncorked and glasses of wine are poured.
Signaling the beginning of the evening, the celebratory napkin twirl kicks off the festivities and Chicago in White officially begins. Guests fellowshipped with one another over fine cuisine amidst the beautiful setting.
To add to an even more magical evening, this year’s attendees got to celebrate Chicago jazz legend Ramsey Lewis’s 80th Birthday. On the night of the event, Ramsey Lewis played classic tunes with the accompaniment of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The melodic sounds provided the perfect backdrop for the evening.
Also, this year’s Chicago in White was another cause for celebration as they partnered with a charity with this year’s proceeds benefitting Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play program. See, we got to enjoy fine dining in our finest whites all for a good cause.
With the abundance of celebratory toasts and sparklers that lit the sky, Chicago in White was certainly an evening to remember. Here’s hoping the tradition for the BEST white pop-up dinner in Chicago continues for year’s to come.