Not many people can say that they have fed 5,000 people, for free, in the course of one-and-a-half hours. But Elaine Cheng can. The best (and worst) part? The meals were prepared using only food that would have otherwise ended up at the landfill.
This year, as a part of DinnerPartyYVR, Elaine and her partner chef, Tim Lee, will be making dinner for a much smaller crowd, but going for the same impact. The pair are cooking for Global Aid Network, where Tim is the associate director of the Water for Life Initiative. “Water projects really resonate with me,” says Elaine, who recalls visiting villages in Guatemala where water was scarce.
For Elaine, storytelling is a very important part of the dining experience, and guests are in for a real treat of creative expression. “We’re still designing our menu, but since we’re fundraising for Global Aid Network, we want to go along with the water theme. We’re thinking about having the courses in progression, with the first course depicting a dry and parched desert, and the last course, the dessert, will be a very vibrant dish.”
Last year, Elaine started her own company, Food Connections, to try to transform the city’s relationship with food by launching unique food events and building meaningful connections. “I use food to bring people together, building community through food and sharing a meal—that’s my philosophy,” she says. “That’s why I’m excited to be a part of DinnerPartyYVR—I’ve wanted to join for a while. I wanted to do something fun together with likeminded people in the city, and this just fits right in.”