A Trip to Hall’s Gap

A Trip to Hall’s Gap

halls-gap-13My fourth week at the Royal Mail has flown by, and now I’ve been living in Australia for a whole month! This week I floated around to a lot of different sections. I was in Parker St. Project (PSP) with another chef one day, running the line in that very small, hot kitchen… I also worked another private event, but this time it was at the Homestead. It is a rather large house that has been labeled as one of the top places in Australia to get married. Probably because of the killer view of Mt. Sturgeon in the front yard. The following day I was working on a new dish for PSP with Chef.halls-gap-10 It is a fresh take on the Caesar salad with grilled cos lettuce, ham hock croutons, a deep-fried poached egg, and classic Caesar dressing. It turned out pretty tasty! The menu is constantly evolving, whenever new produce starts to sprout up in the garden. The newest dish on the menu is a vegetarian option with carrots.halls-gap-11 It’s meant to look like carrots growing out of the ground. I also spent a day in the pastry section. Lots of bread-making, which I don’t mind at all.halls-gap-16

On my days off, I spent Monday wandering around Hamilton. Groceries, coffee, the bookstore. And Tuesday I went to Hall’s Gap! It is a tiny town hidden in the Grampians about an hour away by bus. I went with my roommate, Paula, and another staff member and fellow CIA graduate, Ellie. When we arrived, we went to the info center to see what was accessible by walking and was pointed in the direction of Venus Baths.halls-gap-1 It was not a far walk at all, and we were met with some shallow pools of cool water, and some rocks to climb. After that, we saw a sign for Bullaces Glen (no idea how to pronounce that), and went down that trail. It was a good stopping point with a lot of shade and more rocks to climb.halls-gap-7 We also saw a family of mountain goats munching on some lunch. We followed a different path that lead to a sign pointing in the direction of Chatauqua Peak, and we said, why not? We reached what seemed to be the end of the trail, but I kept seeing these yellow triangles off in the distance, and being my curious adventure-fueled self, I climbed after them. And the view did not disappoint!

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After a good photoshoot with the view, we climbed down the other side of the mountain, and walked around town. Bought some postcards, re-fueled at the Harvest restaurant, and finished with some delicious ice cream.

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And I found MY street!

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It was another beautiful day in Australia.

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Also, GO POKES ALL THE WAY FROM AUSTRALIA!

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Be Bold,

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That One Time When I Ate Kangaroo…

That One Time When I Ate Kangaroo…

This past week I tried kangaroo for the first time, worked a station in the dining room by myself, and was on for a breakfast shift! au3-2There are some changes happening in the way the kitchens are run at the Royal Mail, so the chefs are getting moved around a lot more rather than just sticking to one station. And since I have been floating around, they have had me work in Parker St. Project (the bar/bistro) for a few shifts, as well as floating around to help anyone and everyone on their station in the fine dining kitchen. However, since each chef has to work a breakfast shift now, I had the opportunity to work the hot entree station by myself while that chef had the night off. Hot entree is what the Aussies call appetizers, and this station had a dish on the 5-course, and a dish on the 8-course degustation menus that I got to prep throughout the day, and cook and plate during lunch and dinner service on Friday night.

au3-14The first dish is a lamb neck that has been rolled and “crumbed” on one end in coffee and panko. It’s then crisped on top, and served with a yoghurt gel, charred onion compote, lamb heart agnolotti, plum gel, compressed plums, caramelized yoghurt, and mache leaves. This dish was on the 5-course menu. au3-6

The other is a smoked eel dish on the 8-course degustation menu. It has cubed smoked eel and smoked eel mousse that is wrapped in paper-thin slices of beetroot and served with various sizes and varieties of beetroot, smoked eel jelly, lovage gel and beetroot shoots. And an incredibly flavorful beetroot consomme was poured into the bowl in front of the guest.

Also, in case you’re curious, here are a few other items on the current menus: blue eye with spaghetti squash, goat with zucchini, and chicken with hay custard, carrots and red currants.

In addition to working a station in the dining room for a night, I was also running the line in PSP (Parker St Project) on a different day. This service is much more fast-paced and in a much smaller kitchen. I had been on the cold/salad/plating station in this kitchen, but never on the line by myself…so let’s just say there was a lot of learning on the fly. And I survived!

Saturday night was a busy one at the Royal Mail. There were about 20 people on the books in the dining room, as well as an 18-top party on the private dining room. Just to add some fun to the mix, there was also a dinner for 20 at the company owner’s private library here in Dunkeld. When I got to work that day, I found out that myself and another chef would be running the private party in the library. So, during service, I got to go off-site and escape the mayhem of a busy Saturday night. It was a 3-course meal, with alternating plates so there was a total of 6 dishes. For hot entrees: tomato and basil salad with tomatoes from the garden, a ricotta cloud, basil seeds, basil oil, and nasturtium and zucchini blossoms filled with watercress and served with periwinkle (sea snails), salmon roe mousse, and basil oil. The main course items were the new blue eye and spaghetti squash dish from the restaurant’s menu and beef with chard and plum. And lastly, dessert was plum and yuzu as well as chocolate ganache with strawberry and angelica.

For my last day before my weekend, I spent Sunday morning on the breakfast shift. I didn’t know the menu until I started cooking it, but Chef Robin showed everything to me, and then I cooked while he plated. Then throughout the day it is my responsibility to prep for whoever is on breakfast shift the following day. I smoked some salmon, made brioche, cooked mixed berry jam, and I made two breakfast amuse bouche and a fresh juice. The first amuse was mixed berry jam, toasted oats, and sheep’s milk yoghurt, and the second was sago (tapioca pearls) with soy milk and cinnamon and topped with poached rhubarb. And, there was leftover fresh apple juice from that morning, so I added some fresh carrot juice to brighten it and add a little more color. My only hiccup in the day was dropping all of my second amuse on the floor once I portioned it into ramekins…I broke a few (which were brand new) and made a mess in the cool room (walk-in)…so I had to make it again.

When you work a breakfast shift, you get the night off, and in my case, that means I get to start my weekend early! So here’s to another week of learning and living down under.

Be Bold,

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G’day from Melbourne

G’day from Melbourne

After another week, I can still confirm that I LOVE Australia. The only complaint I have is that I wish I had more time to explore! I get two days off from my externship each week, and I take as much advantage of those two days as I can. I must say, Aussies sure know how to throw a good BBQ. I’ve only been to two, and although their BBQ sauce is a far cry from Sweet Baby Ray’s (it tastes more like A1), they are veeery generous with their portions, which I can always appreciate. If you haven’t noticed from all my recent social media posts: I’m definitely not going hungry here in Australia. Here are a few snapshots from the week!

After my second week of work, my roommate Paula and I decided to travel to Melbourne! Paula, thankfully has a working phone and much more travel experience to the city, so we navigated to our hostel and around town quite easily. The State of Victoria is generous enough to offer citywide free wifi as well as a free tram service in the most populated parts of the city (catch up America!), and we took full advantage.

We played tourists and saw a few sights like the Queen Victoria Market, Graffiti Alley, and the CBD (Central Business District), as well as enjoyed some of my favorite activities when exploring a new city: thrifting and searching for the good coffee. And on this trip especially, I had to find tacos and a margarita. And MAN did we succeed.

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This was also my first experience staying in a hostel. At $35/night I was completely fine with it, and we got to meet some awesome people! There was a bar in the lobby of the place, so that’s where we spent the evening, hanging out with a bunch of other backpackers from literally every corner of the world. And now I’m thinking about a sunset hike before heading back to work tomorrow…what do you think?

Be Bold,

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My First Week in Australia

My First Week in Australia

How ya going? I have officially been in Australia for a little over a week, and now that I have a moment of wifi, I have time to write a post! I’ll start from the beginning…

On Saturday morning (Jan 21), I said goodbye to CIA, and my friend Charley drove me to the airport that morning. I boarded my first flight from NY to Dallas, and conveniently had a layover of about 2 hours in the DFW airport. I grabbed some dinner, and then before I knew it I was boarding the plane! It was huge; an Airbus. And I had a blanket, pillow, and headphones waiting for me. There was a refreshing peach and coconut welcome drink on the plane followed by water, and shortly after that was dinner with free wine! I turned on one movie, ate dinner, drank wine, started another movie, and then fell asleep for the next 10+ hours. I woke up, watched a third movie, had breakfast, and then we landed in Sydney.

Unfortunately, some passengers’ luggage didn’t make it on the 17+ hour flight, but I was lucky and both my bags arrived! I was pretty proud of myself and thankful for such easy travel. I made it through customs in seconds, collected my luggage, and made it to the correct terminals on time. The only hiccup a late arrival in Sydney that disrupted my flight to Melbourne. However, the airline conveniently rearranged my ticket for a later flight. No muss, no fuss. I met Kendel, the HR manager at baggage claim in Melbourne and then we were off to Dunkeld!

The weather in the city reminded me of Florida. Hot with a nice breeze and humid. It’s much drier out in the country though. Not too long into our drive, Kendel asked if I was hungry (YES), so we took the next exit and had a gourmet Australian meal…McDonalds. At a gas station.first-week-4 Not what I would’ve chosen for a first meal in a foreign country, but hey, you gotta do what ya gotta do. And then we made it to Dunkeld! It’s a tiny town, with one gas station and ZERO chains or brand names anywhere in sight, but the hotel is lovely and Mt. Sturgeon in the background is beautiful. They couldn’t seem to find the key for the house I was staying in, so they put me up in one of the hotel rooms for the night. I went to the local general store in town, got some wine, cheese, and crackers, went across the street to get a sandwich, before relaxing in my room after 24+hrs of world travel. I passed out by 7:30pm.

Tuesday was my last day before work began. I walked around town early that morning, and stopped at Dunkeld Delights for breakfast.

I had a cheese muffin and a latte. It was delicious! And then I walked more around the area, not realizing that I had stumbled upon the main kitchen garden, the myers property, and an incredible view of Mt. Sturgeon. And I had my first Australian wildlife sighting: two giant emus!! I had just settled back in to my hotel for a midday snooze, when my roommate, Paula from Canada, showed up to take me to “the dollhouse.”

first-week-7first-week-35 It’s a cute little blue house with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room downstairs, and a loft with a bathroom upstairs, which became my domain. I settled in, and put up my Texas flag with pride. We went for lunch at the Parker St. Project, the Royal Mail’s more casual bistro outlet, and I had the classic Aussie treat: the Parma. The rest of the day was spent settling in, and meeting members of the team as they passed by the house. And the next day, my work week began!

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Wednesday: I arrived at 11am, met the team, and we immediately grabbed the garden list, packed up, and went to the main garden. At the end of each shift, the cooks write out what they need to get from the garden for their prep the next day, and the following morning, we head out to the garden and pick it all.

Then we head back to the restaurant, unload, change, and wash everything that we gathered. I helped wash and then observed the kitchen as everyone prepared for dinner service. Chef Robin arrived in the kitchen, and he sat down with me to go over my expectations and the job. The fine dining room at the Royal Mail offers  5- and 8-course degustation menus along with an a la carte menu. Each table gets “snacks” when they first sit down, followed shortly by their first amuse bouche. Chef Robin had me up on the pass with him to observe all of the dishes, and after watching a few times, he let me take over the plating of the first amuse bouche: a watercress soup with crispy rice. Service is over after the last guest is served their final dessert, but the team breaks down their stations after they finish their last dish on the docket (ticket). And then we wait to do the floors until the last guest leaves. We finished cleaning around 12:00am, wrote the garden list for the following day, and then walked home to bed.

Thursday: Everyone arrived at 9:00am, we load up, head to the garden, and pick everything we need for the garden. Then we head back to the kitchen, and wash it all. I seem to stick to Dev and Jackie’s side of the kitchen, and help with whatever they need on their stations: Garnish and Hot Entree. We have staff meal everyday at 4:30pm, and everyone must put their prep away before that time. Adrian, the French guy on meats and sauces makes the menu each day, and each station makes one component. We put everything on the pass, and serve buffet style before our 30 minute break. Before each service, all of the benches (prep tables) are scrubbed, squeegeed, and wiped clean, before everyone resets for service. It happens daily at 11:30am for lunch, and 5:00pm for dinner. It’s incredible to see how efficient and precise everything is. Everyone is so focused throughout the day, that although there is a sense of urgency, no one seems rushed. They all know exactly what they need to do, and in what order it needs to be done to finish in time for staff meal. This night during dinner service, Chef Robin had me up on the pass with Stone, and I got to help with plating! We use a lot of purees, gels, foams, and edible flowers. Each dish is polished before we begin plating, and each dish is a perfect piece of art. Simply beautiful.

Friday: In the garden I picked green strawberries, which we pickle, and blackberries for the dessert.

We have picked blackberries and mulberries every single day, and they are very similar in flavor and appearance. the only difference is that blackberries grow on vines and mulberries come from a tree. And the rule is pick one, eat one, and believe me, I DID. After I finished washing the produce, I helped on the stations, but not much prep needed to be done. The whole kitchen went on break for about an hour, and then came back just to have staff meal. For service, I went over to the Parker St Project (PSP) kitchen to work the line and plating because they were pretty busy. It was a nice change of pace, and the level of cuisine is what I’m used to. They still have excellent plating though. They close at 9pm, the kitchen was clean by 9:45pm, and then I went back to the dining room to help clean up.

Saturday: I was in charge of picking some herbs in the garden, some of which I had never even heard of before. Salad burnett? I don’t know, but it tastes good. And nasturtium leaves and flowers. And rocket is what they call Arugula. And in the kitchen, when you walk behind someone you say “backs.” And a ticket is called a “docket.” And Aussies love beetroot because it’s everywhere, even on their burgers. During my time in the kitchen, I managed to calculate how many hours I work per week, and then the amount I’m getting paid…let’s just say it’s comical to see the numbers.

Sunday: This was our last day before our weekend!! Monday and Tuesday, the dining room is closed for lunch and dinner, so the kitchen team gets two days off. After we got back from the garden, Chef Robin asked if I would like to have the night off and come in for dinner, and OF COURSE I SAID YES! So I hustled through the day, helping with prep over here and over there, before running home to start my weekend early at 4:30pm while everyone else went on staff meal. I showered, put on a nice dress, and then showed up at 6:00pm for dinner, party of 1. I was going to experience the 5-course tasting menu with wine pairings. The Royal Mail is known for having one of the best wine cellars in Australia, currently housing a 3,000 bottle collection that specializes in Burgundy and Bordeaux wines that you can’t get anywhere in Australia. And I had the pleasure of partaking in such varietals as I went through my meal.

Upon seating, I was served a sparkling white wine to go with my snacks: A parsley sponge with herring roe, the Royal Mail hot dog with duck parfait and chili gel, a bagel with salmon cream and shaved abalone, a pea and lovage croquette, and a ryvitzah cracker with brunoise scallop and apricot gel.

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Next was the amuse bouche: a watercress soup with yuzu gel, watercress leaves, and crispy rice. While I waited for my first course, I was offered a selection of 4 rolls to go with whipped vegemite butter. I chose the beef drippings and rosemary roll…the name itself should make your mouth water.

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My first course was the beef tartar with coal oil, basil puree, cucumbers and nasturtium leaves. The beef tastes like it is cooked because of the charred taste from the coal oil, however it is served raw. Very interesting. Very delicious. It was served with an Austrian Grüner.

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The second course was mackerel served 3 ways: charred, tartar, and parfait. It also had watercress leaves, flowers, and small dice potatoes. The wine was a white from Best’s Great Western which has a vineyard about 45 minutes past Halls Gap, a neighboring town. It was chosen to play off of the char on the mackerel.

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Third course was Blue eye (fish) sprinkled with parsley dust and served with peas, creme fraiche, and squid. It was paired with a Chablis.

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The fourth course was my favorite tasting dish. Duck and its dinner: duck breast that has been dry aged for 21 days, fried duck heart, turnip puree, barley cooked in fermented apple sauce, apple gel, treacle espuma, and garlic flowers on top. It was the most fun to plate, and even more fun to eat. It was paired with my first red of the evening, a Gamet.

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The beef dish, my 5th course(?) was my favorite dish to see. It’s beautiful. Royal Mail sirloin with ruby chard, plum both gelled and pickled, and stout. The wine paired with it was a Chateau Lacoste grand cru red wine, only $250/bottle…it complemented the earthy flavors of the ruby chard on the plate.

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At this point, I was beginning to lose track of where I was in the meal, but soon enough “pre-dessert” was brought to my table. It was a strawberry ice cream with white chocolate. Very refreshing.

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My wine for dessert was a late harvest Royal Tojaki from Hungary. It had a delicious citrus flavor to it and was served cold. My first dessert was mulberries with cider custard and anise hyssop ice cream. Small dish, packed with flavor. The brown crispy bits reminded me of Flintstones cocoa pebbles cereal, but the taste was much more sophisticated than that.

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Lastly, there was a chocolate ganache on apricot puree, with lanseed (flaxseed) praline. And it was served with a Chenin Blanc.

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For the grand finale, they brought me a cup of coffee before knocking over the centerpiece to reveal chocolate soil, yuzu shortbread, and jelly candies hidden underneath fresh watercress that had been picked from the garden.

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Not only did I eat every bite on each plate, but I drank every drop of wine I was served. The meal was too incredible not to enjoy it all!! And after tasting bits and pieces throughout my first week, it was nice to see the full picture from the other side. I was able to watch service from a guest’s perspective, and relax on my first evening off after a long week of work. I cannot be grateful enough for this opportunity! Each day I’m learning something new, tasting something unique, plating something different, and although I still feel  more like a burden than an asset, I am learning volumes each day.

Now, for my first two days off in Australia. I spent Monday in Hamilton, the next town over, with Paula to get groceries, and finish up some work in a quaint little cafe with free wifi. And then last night we went to the head gardener’s house for a delicious farewell dinner in honor of the senior sous/pastry chef Andre who is leaving to go to Adelaide. It was a wonderful meal spent in great company. and I was able to meet more people that work at the hotel outside of the kitchen!

And then this morning, I did my first hike: The Picanniny. There are 3 big mountains that make up the backdrop of Dunkeld: Mount Sturgeon, Mount Abrupt, and Picanniny. I want to do them all, but we started with the easiest one. It was a beautiful crisp morning in Dunkeld, and this afternoon, I’m going to my first Australian BBQ! I bought some kangaroo meat at the grocery store to take with us.

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This town is small. but after only a week, I can tell that it is special. Beautiful scenery. Beautiful people. Beautiful food. I’m very happy here.

Also, My cellphone reception is nonexistent, and the house does not have wifi like I was expecting, so I apologize if it has been difficult to reach me! However, I am using Facebook messaging and WhatsApp to communicate with people when I do have internet access. and I now have my Australia address, so please let me know if you would like that. Thanks for reading about my first few days in Australia! I still can’t quite believe that I’m here.

Be Bold,

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Good People, Good Times

Good People, Good Times

Guess what: 6 DAYS UNTIL I LEAVE FOR AUSTRALIA!!!!!!

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I didn’t fall once!

I am very happy to spend my last few days here pre-extern spending it with those who mean the most to me. This past Saturday, CCF went to the Poughkeepsie Civic Center for some good old-fashioned ice skating fun. I am definitely one that is always up for an adventure, but ice skating is not one of my favorite past times….I’m from Texas for goodness’ sake; the activity to ice skate was not frequently available to me growing up in that heat.

Anyways, despite my warning about how awful I would be on the ice, I still went to spend time with some of the best people I’ve met since coming to the CIA. And like the good people they are, they held my hands as I gained confidence on the ice, and then stayed by my side as I ventured out on my own. There is a pretty great analogy that can be made between these lovely moments and the ones in which Jesus stays right next to us as we gain confidence in ourselves, but need Him there to help us feel secure. Love comes in so many forms, and this group of people radiates His love so well. Here’s to six more days with these nutty people.

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These people have a pizza my heart

With Love,

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With Love

With Love

Wow it felt good to be home. I got to see some of my favorite people, ring in the new year with the best of them, and spend my last days at home being thankful for the people that God put in my life.

And now that we are 4 days into 2017, I wanted to share my word for this year: Love. It’s a word that has been weighing on me for about a month, and I think it’s what I need to focus on most this year. I’m not just talking about the love in a relationship (single!), the love for what I’m doing in school, or even just the love I have for myself. I’m talking about God and how God is Love.

1 Corinthians 13 gives a perfect description of Love. Where love is in the text can be replaced with God, and then you can see every characteristic of our Creator:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (v 4-8).

You want to know what happens when I replace the word Love with MY name?

Allison is impatient, Allison can be kind. Allison is envious of others, Allison can be boastful, Allison is proud of what she has accomplished. Allison knows how to be rude, Allison is self-seeking, Allison is very easily irritated, and Allison definitely knows how to keep a grudge. Allison does not delight in evil but she does enjoy when someone gets what she thinks they deserve. She protects what means the most to her, she has a hard time trusting others, she is always hopeful, she is very hardworking. Allison fails everyday.

It’s very harsh. And some days are better than others, but the last part is true: I fail everyday at having the Love that God has.

Love is how you treat people. Especially, how you treat people who can’t give you anything in return. I want to learn to love like it says in 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

And later, when John writes: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God abides and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4: 9-12).

God gave us an earthly body in order to be filled with His Spirit, and show love to a hurting world. This word is quite an undertaking for me, but if it wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be learning anything. My word for 2017 is Love because I want to learn how to love like God loved us in sending His one and only Son to die for us and how Christ loved the church. My word for 2017 is Love because I want my actions to speak of His glory. The verse I will choose to focus on is bolded above ^. Here’s to a lovely year!

With Love,

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2016: The Year of Bold

2016: The Year of Bold

For the year of 2016, my word was Bold. Back in college at OSU, my pastor encouraged the congregation to choose a word that they would like to focus on for the upcoming year of their life, seeking God through whatever word he laid on your heart. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, and as the Year of Bold is coming to an end, I thought I would not only reflect on everything that I did this past year, but also on what I learned by being BOLD.

  • I chose to be as BOLD as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as they faced the fiery furnace and King Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath (Daniel 3). When faced with the threat of whether or not their god could save them from being engulfed in flames, they argued that yes, their God was capable of saving them, but even if He did not, they would still choose Him. When faced with decisions and doubt, this bold and unshakable faith is what I wanted to emulate in 2016.img_8482
  • I continued to be the Head Student Manager at Westside Cafe, while also starting a job as a Teaching Assistant in Taylor’s Dining and working with Chef Tiffany Poe and Chef Trey Wilson.
  • I was the Front of House Manager for my 12th consecutive OSU Distinguished Chef Event.
  • I was accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
  • I was named a Top Ten Senior/Senior of Distinction in the OSU College of Human Sciences.img_9237
  • I got to attend one of the last Salute to Success Dinners with Mr. Bryan Close, someone who has invested in my education through scholarships on more than one occasion.
  • I was honored with the first ever Chef Bruce Mattel Honorary Scholarship at my 13th and final Distinguished Chef Event Dinner with my fellow future CIA student and friend, Ryan.
  • I was hooded with Honors by both Dr. Ryan and (Now Dr.) Davis who helped me complete my thesis and my Honors degree.img_8655
  • I ate one of the finest meals at Bluestem in Kansas City, and saw one of my all-time favorite bands, The Mowglis, in concert.
  • I was honored as the Spring 2016 Outstanding Senior of HRAD.
  • I flew an airplane.
  • I graduated with my Bachelors in Human Sciences and my Honors Degree from Oklahoma State University on my dad’s birthday.
  • I went to the 2016 National Restaurant Association Convention in Chicago.
  • I moved to Hyde Park, New York and started culinIMG_9148.jpgary school.
  • I received enough scholarships to cover my first semester’s tuition.
  • I joined Culinary Christian Fellowship and found a church home.
  • I was elected the Group Leader of my class.
  • I lost one of my newest friends and classmates in a car accident. I miss you, Frankie.
  • I spent the 4th of July watching the sunrise on Mt. Beacon.img_1745
  • I went to Connecticut for a free Relient K concert.
  • I turned 22.
  • I completed my first stage.
  • I visited Canada and saw Niagara Falls.
  • I secured enough scholarships to cover my second semester’s tuition.
  • I started working in Apple Pie, the bakery on campus, laminating doughs for pastries.
  • I was nominated to attend the Board of Trustees dinner at the CIA.img_2507
  • I was chosen as a leader of Culinary Christian Fellowship.
  • I secured a 15-week externship in Dunkeld, Australia.
  • I went to Washington D.C. and Virginia to meet 72 Fitchetts and friends.
  • I passed my 2nd term practical.
  • I got to see NYC at Christmastime.
  • I got to come back to Texas and spend time with my family as I reflect on 2016.

When you sit down and think about an entire year from beginning to end, it can be overwhelming. As I look at this collective list of moments, I give all the glory to Him. God wanted me to be bold. God allowed me to pursue my dreams by applying and being accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. He helped me find the funding for my first and second term’s tuition. He watched me graduate from OSU. He comforted me as my classmates, my chef, and I experienced the heartbreaking loss of losing Frankie. He introduced me to the tightest group of Jesus lovers I’ve been lucky enough to call my friends. He provided me with food to eat and a church to go to on the weekends. He showed me grace as I messed up as a group leader. He opened doors throughout the entire process as I researched and secured an externship in Australia. He calmed my anger when a relationship didn’t go as planned.  He stayed silent when He knew I wouldn’t learn a lesson any other way. He kept me calm as I took my second term practical. He is constantly supporting me and encouraging me as I tear myself down and don’t believe I have what it takes to make it. God is everything to me. And He gave me this year to be bold and rely on my faith entirely as I ended one chapter of my life and started the next. The decisions that I made this year and the opportunities that I have been given could not have been accomplished without a bold faith. He was there for every single day of the Year of Bold and He will be here every single day in 2017.

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I chose to be Bold,

 

 

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