Vancouver’s Robin Esrock MCs prestigious event in New York
This past weekend, Vancouver’s Robin Esrock MC’d the prestigious Explorers Club’s annual dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The 1,000-capacity event’s theme was How Far is Far: Remote Places, and was sold out at $6000 a ticket. The annual dinner is the largest fundraiser of the year for the 108-year-old club, which attracts explorers, scientists and industry leaders from around the world.
“It was ridiculous,” Esrock called to tell us a few days after the March 17 event. “The first table I sit down at was with the director of Rolex and the ambassador of Nepal and the ambassador of New Guinea.”
As Master of Ceremonies, Esrock says his job “was to to keep the evening going and present these really big awards.” The biggest went to Philip Currie, the Canadian paleontologist who is said to have been among the inspirations for the Sam Neill character in Jurassic Park.
Esrock, a travel columnist and TV producer who lives in Burnaby, was invited to the dinner by Lorie Karnath, president of the club. He met her, along with Dan Aykroyd and novelist Patricia Cornwall, last year near Grande Prairie, Alberta, where Ackroyd was raising funds for a dinosaur museum.
“I sat next to [documentary filmmaker] Ken Burns, he’s a pretty intense guy,” says Esrock. “It was just a very different experience. Everybody’s got these crazy stories from the most remote places on the planet. The evening ended with Buzz Aldrin onstage. There’s a guy who’s been to the fucking moon. They were playing ‘Rocket Man’ in the background and I was like, Really?”
Besides the famous guests, Explorers Club dinners are also famous for the exotic delicacies on the menu; Esrock says he was served grilled hissing cockroaches, python patties and a cocktail with a lamb’s eyeball for a garnish.
Esrock’s new adventure-culinary TV series Get Stuffed will premiere on OLN this summer. He’s currently working on a book, The Great Canadian Bucket List, for publication next year.