Hobby Chef Stories 2: #DinnerPartyYVR Seafood Paella


On Saturday, October 19th, 30 different “hobby chefs” will open their homes to host simultaneous dinner parties during Social Bites Global Local, Vancouver: DinnerPartyYVR. Their guests will be gifted 100% of the ticket price which they can donate to charity via Chimp. Over the next week we’ll share some of the chef’s inspiration behind their delicious and do good stories. Peruse all of the menus here.

You may have heard his voice weekdays between 10-2 on Rock101, but in an apron? Cooking seafood paella? That’s right, Robin Larose is part of the hobby chef duo pairing Spanish cuisine with west coast living. His partner in the kitchen, Leagh Whalen, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in California who boasts a background in design, and who loves to paint, and of course, has a passion for cooking.

Hey Leagh, tell us about the charity you chose.
I’ve donated to BC Children’s Hospital for the past 30 years. I have two kids so that’s really important to me. BC Children’s is absolutely my charity, it’s all about the kids.

And your dish, Valencia Paella with crayfish and prawns. What is your inspiration?
I lived in Spain and Mexico for a while and I lean towards a lot of Spanish dishes, and actually my grandmother is Spanish so it’s in the blood. It’ll be a “proper paella.”
Robin, what will you be cooking?
Seared scallops. I have been inspired by Rob Feenie since I dined at Lumiere many years ago. I bought the cookbook, and tried it like a bazillion times at home, finessing it. It’s a seared scallop in vanilla bean and cream sauce. It’s just to die for.

Leagh, when your guests come to your house what will the find?
Oh, fun with a capital F. We are hosting in The Village, formerly the “Olympic Village,” where the décor will be casual, and pretty fun. It’s that time of the year where you can just get together to do different things and when you love food and meeting new people…. the fun comes naturally.

Leagh, what makes you love Vancouver?
My father/family were born and raised here. The Whalen’s have a huge heritage here and my great grandmother was Alice Whalen (Port Alice).

You can still find tickets for this seafood smorgasbord. Tickets are $35 and include Granville Island beer, Serendipity Wine, entrance to HawkersMarket, and of course, dinner. Not to mention you’ll receive 100% back to donate to charity via Chimp. To buy tickets, visit socialbites.ca.

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Crystal spends her days working with organizations who want to harness the power of community. She's fascinated by human networks and her curiosities lead her to write about the culture of work and community events.