DinnerPartyYVR is a great opportunity for those of you who love to cook, host dinner parties and have a favourite cause you would like to support. Hobby Chef registration is open until Saturday, January 31 and the dinner parties take place Saturday, April 9.
Net2Van committee member Michelle Sklar caught up with DinnerPartyYVR organizers Crystal Henrickson and Annika Reinhardt for a chat about coming into year three of this awesome fundraising event.
Tell us a little about DinnerPartyYVR and what the inspiration was for you to launch this? DinnerPartyYVR is Vancouver’s largest simultaneous dinner party event supporting charitable causes. On one night, homes across Vancouver will cook and host dinner parties for old and new friends. 100% of the ticket sales will benefit chosen charities.
I remember Annika (my co-producer) and myself having a lively brainstorm while eating burgers at the Jericho Beach Club a number of summers ago. The topic? How to create more opportunities for Vancouverites to connect. We both love hosting and attending dinner parties — it’s actually how we met — at one of Annika’s progressive dinner events. By the end, we’d decided to produce a simultaneous dinner party event, where anyone could attend and be almost guaranteed to meet a new friend!
Do I need some mad cooking skills to be a Hobby Chef?
You don’t need to be a professional chef to be a Hobby Chef. You just need to be up for hosting people in your home and serving a meal that you feel confident cooking. And no one should cook alone… we insist you pair up with a “sous chef”… a friend, a family member, a spouse. And along the way we’ll support you too: you’ll be invited to events at Whole Foods Market to help sharpen (haha pun!) your kitchen skills, past Hobby Chefs will share their “hacks” on our Facebook group, and you’ll even get a bag full of goodies including a gift card from Whole Foods Market, beer from Howe Sound Brewing, wine from Serendipity Winery and soda from DRY Sparkling to help complement your dinner party.
How can I get my favorite charity involved?
We think it’s special to see the variety of our hobby chefs, from the food they cook to the charities they support. With over 50 homes cooks, we might end up with just as many supported charities. No matter what the charity — provided you choose a registered charitable organization — 100% of the ticket sales from your meal will be donated to them.
We encourage our hobby chefs to reach out the charities they are supporting and we personally invite all of the supported charities to the after party that follows so they can participate!
Do I need to sell my own tickets?
Spreading the word is a joint effort, because sharing is caring! We’ll be working hard to sell out like we have for the past 4 years. All of the meals will be displayed on dinnerpartyYVR.com where diners will get to select their top choice for a meal. After the event, we donate 100% of the ticket sales to the designated charities.
Do you have a favorite story from a past DinnerPartyYVR you would like to share?
You know, it’s been a pretty remarkable year of connections made because of past DinnerPartyYVR’s: we’ve heard of relationships starting at the DinnerPartyYVR after party, hobby chefs going on to cook professionally, and diners being inspired by charities who attend or host the dinner parties that they began volunteering with the organizations.
I heard the after-party last year was a blast, what surprises do you have in store for us this year?
We do like to throw a good party! We promise there will be a bar, delicious bites for desserts, great music, and the opportunity to toast to all of the dinner parties. The rest… you’ll just have to attend to find out!