(Update: It seems Diner en Blanc has made an announcement on their Facebook Page about the incident.)

It must be a unpleasant Friday for Thox PR, the PR agency for Diner en Blanc, as they try to manage the social media fall out of the Singapore version of the event.

Blogger Daniel Ang was initially invited the Diner en Blanc Singapore event and wrote on his blog on the suggestion of bringing a few white coloured local delicacies to the event. 

However, probably under the instructions of the French organisers, the PR agency then proceed to ask Daniel to delete his post and uninvited all bloggers to the event. 

Wrote Daniel in his first post, 

"Good question. While the Parisians probably indulged in their platters of classy white canapés, here’s a list of White food you can consider bringing, Singapore style of course. Let’s be a little bit creative.

1. Smooth Beancurd Tau Hway (Available Lao Ban Beancurd Old Airport Road / One Raffles Place)
2. Mini Teochew Handmade Pau (Available Teochew Handmade Pau Toa Payoh Lor 1)
3. Cheese Raisin Buns (Available Barcook Bakery Clarke Quay Central)
4. Xiao Long Bao (Available at Shanghai Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant Plaza Singapura)
5. Ipoh Chee Chiong Fun (Available Fan Play Savouries Carrefour Suntec)
6. Mega Fishball Soup (Available Top 73+1 Handmade Fishball Noodle Singapore Food Trail)
7. White Hainanese Chicken Rice (Available Tian Tian Maxwell Hawker)
8. White Bee Hoon (Available Red Hill Food Centre)
9. Chwee Kueh (Available Tiong Bahru Jian Bo Chwee Kueh)
10. Kueh Tu Tu (Available Tan’s Tutu Clementi / Ion Orchard)
11. Soon Kueh (Available Tiong Bahru Teochew Kueh Tiong Bahru)
12. Popiah (Available Ann Chin Popiah Chinatown)"

Wrote Daniel in his second post, 

..To which I replied “I personally hate the idea that only cakes, tapas and canapes are considered ‘atas’ food. Why can’t Soon Kueh be served on nice China plates and be considered ‘atas’? Right?”

And there I was thinking that the French organisers would be gracious, and in fact happy that we bring a Singapore flavour to their prestigious event. I was so wrong.

The next day I received a call from the PR company for me to totally remove the post. Not modify. Not edit. But totally remove the post. Reason according to both the French and local organisers was the local delicacies were not in line with the image of the picnic."

Though the French and sad local organisers have declared war on local delicacies, for the PR agency to request the blogger to totally remove the post is totally uncalled for. 

Did Thox PR Agency warned their French and local organisers that a call to blogger to remove a post is committing social media hari kiri?

This call to remove the post only amplified how the French and local organisers look down on local delicacies. What makes a popiah (spring roll) less "atas" than foi gras? The Singlish dictionary defined "atas as "Malay for "upstairs", it describes someone as snobbish, hoity-toity, affected or arrogant".

Even if local delicacies do not match the image of the picnic, shouldn't the PR agency take this opportunity to explain to the blogger that the Diner de Blanc has a reputation of strict rules and those who do not adhere to these rules will be forever blacklisted. Let the blogger decide if he should attend the event with the "right' food. 

An American food critic once said and I quote, "Forget the French banning American food, I predict that within a decade or two, they will have gotten so snooty that they won't eat their OWN food."

It is, unfortunately, that even the local organisers of Diner de Blanc won't eat their OWN food, but for a PR agency to even have the audacity to ask someone to take down a post is too snooty for the  social media community in Singapore. 

Wrote mrbrown

"And now, if anyone is seen in photos at this Dîner en Blanc event, he or she will probably be labeled a food traitor to Singapore.

Vive la République (of Singapore)! Vive la Résistance! Vive la Tau Huay!"

PS: I probably won't ask Thox to take down the scan Straits Times copies of articles featuring their clients, but Singapore Press Holdings might do so. 


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