On Saturday I had the pleasure of driving to Noblesville, Indiana to meet with the Herb Society of Central Indiana to accept a scholarship they awarded me. It was a little bit of a crazy process; a few months back I was referred to them by one of my chef instructors at school. They visited The Chef’s Academy and let them know of the scholarship. All I had to do was fill out the application, get a letter of recommendation and write-up an essay. The problem was that the deadline was in 1 day so at the last minutes (not mine this time) I put together the essay, edited it as best I could and gave it to DJ to edit for flow and off it went.
I didn’t hear anything for about a month or so and quite honestly forgot about it; then out of the blue I received my award letter. According to the letter, they wanted me to attend their annual symposium so everyone could meet me and I could tell them about myself. I walked into the Noblesville Fairgrounds location, went through the double doors, rounded the corner and could hear someone speaking. I looked in the window of another set of doors and saw the room filled with people. Oh gees. I have to speak in front of all these people…Nerves started setting in.
I walked to the open set of doors where Mary Ann, the person I have been corresponding with, met me. We chatted a while as someone was finishing up their presentation. Mary Ann was so kind and inviting and I felt at ease very quickly. I met the President of the Herb Society and a few others. Not long after that, the group broke for lunch which meant I was to speak right after. We walked to the back where the buffet-style lunch was located and the catering company asked if Mary Ann could help pass out food so Mary Ann said she would. She told me I could go sit down and she would get me after she was finished. I offered to assist her serve the society members; so for about 20 minutes give or take, Mary Ann and I served soup to the society members with most of them seeing my badge and congratulating me on winning the scholarship.
I was introduced and I gave a quick introduction into who I was, what I was doing in school and I thanked them for their generosity. One of the surprising things was the letter from my Chef which Mary Ann read from. It said all sorts of bubbly and wonderful things about me and I thought it was so sweet. I never really saw it the way Chef described them to be. I was just doing what was expected of me so it was a pleasant surprise to hear them from someone else. After my introduction and speech, I attended their next presentation which was a chili expert. She was making chili as well as some spicy chocolate sauce. Luckily I was given a grab bag and inside were some spices and recipes so I guess I’ll be testing out those! You should be able to see the recipes on this website once I get them up!
I had to duck out early because I had to be at work by 4 and it was already 2. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t arrive earlier so I had an opportunity to walk through the booths. I would have loved to pick up some herb plants. I told Mary Ann I was interested in the Herb Society and she offered me to attend their events as a guest…I may just do that. It turned out to be a wonderful time.