May 18, 2016 Mike Green

Intimate dinners are okay. But dining with 1200 other people at one of the world’s longest dining tables can be so much better.

Yes, it will be a chore trying to take in everybody’s name, but if the conversation at your table isn’t to your tastes you’ll have a couple hundred other ones to choose from — not to mention 2,400 helping hands who can pass the wine.

On Saturday, May 24 (7 -9 p.m.), chefs Ben Kramer (Winnipeg’s eat local maestro) and Mandel Hitzer (Deer+Almond), along with their culinary crews, will be at it again serving up a fancy family style feast called Table for 1200 More.

2014's Table for 1200 (photo by Jacqueline Young)

2014’s Table for 1200 (photo by Jacqueline Young)

Here’s the gist: The event is organized by, and will raise funds for, the fine folks at Storefront MB, whose mandate is to make Winnipeg more awesome through design initiatives.

To put it in their own words, “Table For 1200 More highlights Winnipeg’s emerging design scene by bringing together architecture, design, and the culinary arts to create an evening of entertainment and stimulating conversation in an absolutely unique setting.”

This is the third year of the event.

2014’s took place on the Esplanade Riel with the table running the length of the bridge. Last year, 1201 of us gathered behind the Manitoba Legislature, with the tables forming one giant circle around the fountain making for a spectacular, verdant setting.

Last year's event at the Legislature Grounds (photo by Jacqueline Young)

Last year’s event at the Legislature Grounds (photo by Jacqueline Young)

The aesthetic concept behind the dinner is modeled around Dîner en Blanc™ — the Paris-originated now-international outdoor dining experience where people show up dressed in white (after being invited) carrying their own tables, chairs and food to a location that is announced an hour beforehand.

Winnipeg’s version is more inclusive — you don’t need to receive an invitation, instead you can purchase your ticket(s) online here, while the food is prepared for you. You also get to decorate your whole table (should you be the designated table captain) with a cash prize of $1,200 (of course) up for grabs for best table design.

Tickets are $95 for adults and $50 for students, while you can still purchase a full table (8 seats, which gives creative licence on its design) for $950. Each table receives two bottles of wine (one red, one white) while more are available for purchase, along with beer and cava.

People mingling before dinner at last year's event (PCG)

People mingling before dinner at last year’s event (PCG)

The secret location is revealed the morning of the event via email, the dress code is once again white, and you are in charge of bringing your own chair (which you can embellish to compliment your table design).

The meal itself has been developed to cater to those who may have dietary restrictions — it is completely nut free and primarily gluten free, being very friendly toward vegans and vegetarians #eatlocal #eathealthy.

For more FAQ, check out the website.

Lede photo of last year’s Table for 1200 More at the Manitoba Legislature Grounds by Jacqueline Young

Previous Article
Where chefs eat Vol. 3: meeting over meats with chef Jon Hochman
Where chefs eat Vol. 3: meeting over meats with chef Jon Hochman

Anyone who has anything at Sherbrook Street Delicatessen — particularly the smoked meat, pickled tongue, ch...

Next Article
New & Notable x 3: Clementine, Oh Doughnuts and La Roca
New & Notable x 3: Clementine, Oh Doughnuts and La Roca

Within the last week three eagerly anticipated places have opened in the city — two of which are riding a w...