When I was traveling in Medellin (Colombia) I saw an event on Couchsurfing: ‘Dutch Pancake Night’. Nothing special about it. Then I headed to Bogotá, same story: ‘Dutch Pancake Night’. Again? I decided to do some research and found out that there is a guy from the Netherlands who does play the pancake game all over the world. As I cheer for people with crazy ideas I asked Robin, the pancake-man, some questions about his project. Enjoy:
Robin, you have been organizing Pancake-events in 63 countries already. What is your major goal with this?
Robin Vogelaar: My major goal is to bring people together and to have a nice evening together. Otherwise it is a good way to get to know people before I visit a place and to know people to hang out with.
Robin cooking…guess what?!
How did the project evolve over time?
It started in Hong Kong 8 years ago, when my classmates cooked me Asian dinner and in return I decided to make pancakes for them. Then I did it during my studies in Boston. And then when I returned to Amsterdam for work. It started slowly and mostly with small events.
However, when I started doing marketing everywhere, it quickly grew. At one point I felt comfortable enough to also organize these events abroad, first at people’s apartments and then in hostels/bars.
Is there a Pancake community based on a website or how do you inform the people out there?
Tokyo people seem to get crazy after eating dutch pancakes! (look at the guy with the flour – that’s pure dedication)
You connect people by the art of cooking. What else – according to your experiences – helps to create connections among people?
I think people can be connected in multiple ways. In my own events, I think people get connected through the actual cooking, but also before the events via the Whatsapp / Facebook group chats and during the event as people come with a very similar open-minded mindset.
What are your plans for the future?
As for my near future, I will do a world trip and travel from location to location with the event.
As for how the event will develop, I actually don’t know. Maybe it grows in size, maybe at more special locations or maybe with a more social character.