Marc Jacobs Popped the Question in a Chipotle

Couldn’t he have picked somewhere where the guacamole doesn’t cost extra?



NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Marc Jacobs walks the runway during the Marc Jacobs Fall 2018 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Photo by: Slaven Vlasic

Slaven Vlasic

What a surprise! Last week, fashion designer Marc Jacobs clearly caught his partner, candlemaker Char Defrancesco, off-guard when he proposed to him in a Chipotle, leading off with a flash mob dancing to Prince's "Kiss."

We know this because both Jacobs and Defrancesco posted a video of the proposal on Instagram, where, between their two accounts and in only five days, it has been watched, cumulatively, more than 260,000 times.

We also know that Defrancesco said yes and that the whole thing was adorable.

What we didn't know, until now, was why Jacobs picked, as his preferred proposal locale, a humble Chipotle, which, you know, has tasty burrito bowls and all, but is not exactly the engagement venue you'd expect from a world-famous fashion designer. I mean, couldn't he have at least picked somewhere where the guacamole doesn't cost extra?

Anyhow, now, thanks to WWD, we have our explanation.

"It's his favorite restaurant. We have an annual [tradition]," Jacobs told the fashion site, addressing why Chipotle was the perfect place for him to propose.

Every year the couple goes to Chipotle to celebrate Defrancesco's birthday, which was on April 4. To be fair, this year Jacobs tried to switch things up by choosing a more upscale dining establishment to pop the question, but an unwitting Defrancesco, who apparently likes to stick to his rituals, declined.

"I wanted to take him out for a romantic dinner on his birthday and he was like, 'No, I want to go to Chipotle,'" Jacobs told WWD. "So I knew I had to [propose] somewhere where he wouldn't suspect that I was going to do that. And then I organized a flash mob to be there, but he didn't know anything about that. So I was successful about that."

Turns out Jacobs, whose own 55th birthday was on April 9, wasn't the only one who successfully kept a surprise up his sleeve. On Saturday night, Defrancesco threw a surprise birthday party for his freshly minted fiancé, and this one was a full-on fabulous affair where a host of the couple's famous friends, including Bette Midler, Cindy Sherman, Naomi Campbell, Lil' Kim, Sofia Coppola and Debbie Harry (perched on a giant cake, singing happy birthday), were on hand to fete the fashion icon.

Apparently Jacobs thought he was planning another surprise party for Defrancesco, albeit a smaller one with only 10 people (family, a few friends and presumably no flash mob), only to arrive to a room packed tight as a burrito with pals.

Sweet surprises all around!

Photo: Slaven Vlasic / Stringer, GettyImages

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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

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