I first heard about Diner en Blanc while reading some blogs. It sound like a fun event and I wanted to join. But after reading the strict rules and regulations, I have second thoughts. It’s just not my type of event. However I still find it interesting and even plan on heading down to the venue to take some photos so that I can share with everyone how the first Asia Diner en Blanc looks like.
But the events that happen today leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You can read the full story on Daniel’s Food Diary and Moonberry Blog. In summary, the organisers felt that local food like Tua Huay, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Xiao Long Bao are not high quality enough for Diner en Blanc and they decided to uninvite all the bloggers because a blogger suggest bringing local food.
Firstly, I find it insulting when someone say that our local food is of low quality. This is our culture. Our local dish. What gives you the rights to say that our food not as high quality as your food. This is no different from putting up a sign that says dog and local not allowed. This is pure discrimination. I don’t know how things works in France, but we have no place for discrimination in Singapore.
If the organisers say attendees need to bring high quality local food, then I’m fine with that. Banning local food outright is ridiculous. Some of these food like the Hainanese Chicken Rice are served in high class hotels. Did they ban Spanish food at Diner en Blanc Barcelona?
And to add to the insult, the organisers decide to uninvite all the invited bloggers. According to Moonberry, the Diner en Blanc organizers feel that there is little value in inviting bloggers because they do not regard social media influencers to be that influential anyway. Well, just go and ask your attendees and see how many of them heard about the event through social media influencers. 过河拆桥.
If they are not influential, then why did you engage them to begin with? Now that they help you publicise your event, you decide to remove them from the invite list cause they are “not that influential”. Balls to you.
And what gives you the rights to ask a blogger to remove his post?
You can have your elite picnic in Singapore but you have no rights to insult our food and culture. And if you diss social media influencers that have helped you one way or another, they will fight back.
Who gives a shit about your Diner en Blanc? We will have our Diner en Noir where local food are not discriminated by a bunch of atas snob.
Update: After publishing my blog entry, I notice that the organisers of Diner en Blanc posted a message on their Facebook page.
*** Announcement ***
With regards to the local food statement, we would like to clarify that Diner en Blanc worldwide welcomes local food as can be seen in many international events both passed and upcoming. Menus in Barcelona, Mexico, Kigali for instance, all include local food.
We apologize if there has been any misunderstanding at all in this matter.
To the contrary, Diner en Blanc is a celebration of food culture whereby local food should be included; what is not encouraged is “fast food” which goes against the multiple course meal concept of the event. The 3 hour duration of the event allows for guests to invest their time into preparing a 3 course meal.
As guests devote time and energy preparing for the various aspects of the event, we ask that they also devote time and energy preparing their meal as well. The statement was in no way meant to discourage participants from bringing local food. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
Hold on a minute. If local food is ok, then what is this?
I quote: “We do not encourage local food as the rules and the event concept are one in the same.”
And the organisers go on to say that bloggers are uninvited due to space limitation and time constrain.
With regards to cancelling bloggers and other media, Our need to cancel bloggers is indeed regrettable and because of a new space limitation that has just imposed itself, as well as a limited timetable for the hosts to perform interviews at the media lounge. We are deeply sorry for this and will make every effort to correct this oversight next year. Bloggers wishing to get the scoop on the event are invited to do so by requesting photos and sending in their interview questions by email. We’re doing our best to make room for Bloggers and other media whom we could not accommodate onsite. To critics, bear in mind that we are comprised of many volunteers and are working hard to bring this event to Singapore.
As far as I understand, all bloggers were uninvited except Moonberry. She was only uninvited after she blog negatively about the event. How many bloggers did they invite? Really no space for a few more tables? And no time for interview? Then just decline all interview lah. Why is there a need to uninvite all the bloggers? Especially after they have helped you publicised your event.
Not only did the organisers insult our food and bloggers, they are also insulting our intelligence now.
Update 2: Diner en Blanc Singapore organisers have accepted responsibility for PR fiasco.
It’s clear that the guidelines were misconstrued and mistakes were made in the way they were communicated. The Singapore organisers have accepted responsibility for this. The most serious error involved a comment – posted on Facebook – that said local food wasn’t welcome. This was wrong and was withdrawn, corrected and apologies tendered; however, the damage lingers.