1) Tell us why you chose your major in college.
When I was a senior in high school my English teacher had a friend who worked at Nike give a presentation about her job. She basically got to plan all of Nike’s corporate events. She went to the Olympics, travelled to really cool places all over the world, etc. Basically it sounded like a dream. I really wanted her exact job and my mom kept telling me it sounded like Public Relations (kind of right, mostly wrong). I didn’t realize that PR wasn’t all about planning events until I was a senior in college (thanks, Ohio University). I still think her job sounds pretty amazing.
2) Why did you seriously consider going to culinary school? What changed your mind and does cooking continue to be a hobby of yours?
I have always loved to cook. Cooking is a really big part of both sides of my family and some of my earliest memories involve me covered in flour while helping my grandma make her famous dumplings. I really love the way that cooking a meal brings people together. I thought about trying culinary school after graduating college, and then realized you have to be kind of rough and tough to be a chef. While I would like to say I am that badass, I decided I didn’t really have the persona to do that. Also, my favorite part about cooking is just throwing a bunch of random stuff into a pot and making it work, and that is the opposite of restaurant life. I still do a lot of cooking and my go-to show is The Mind of a Chef on PBS.
3) You went to Ohio University for undergrad. Here’s a fun and/or terrifying scenario, depending on the kind of person you are: imagine you lived on Palmer Street your senior year and your house is open to every drunk college jerk at OU for the embarrassingly infamous Palmer Fest. It is the morning after the Fest and you awake to find the house unsurprisingly demolished (the mob has spared your couch from the annual burning sacrifice, lucky you). You have three options: a) fall into a coma until the cops kick your front door in and tell you and your roommates to clean up what is left of the front yard, b) immediately scour the house with whatever bleach is available, c) run from the house screaming because the mess is giving you panic attacks. Which plan of action would you choose? Defend your answer.
I would run from the house screaming! Messy places really do give me anxiety. College (and living with 60 girls in a sorority house) was an interesting time for my neat freak self. I pretty much gave up on trying to keep any place clean but my room.
4) Tell us a memorable story of yourself when you were a kid. It can be funny, surprising, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
I wish I could say I have a ton of really endearing, cute stories from when I was a kid, but I was kind of strange bird. Most of my stories center around talking my little sister into doing something weird with me and then blaming her when we got in trouble for doing it (read: coloring on walls, dressing up like characters from the Nutcracker, sumo wrestling each other in the basement and giving my sister a bloody nose). I actually asked my parents for some funny stories about me as a kid and their response was, “Are you sure you want to share those with people you work with?” Umm…thanks? I will say my sister and I were quite the entrepreneurs at a young age. We used to put on shows for my parents (see Nutcracker above) and to make money, we would take all of their beer and put it in a cooler and then charge for the beer once they got into the show. For some reason, they allowed this to continue for a lot longer than they should have. Regardless, we came away with a pretty sizable profit and they were always unexpectedly happy to sit through another round of the Nutcracker…
5) If you could take an extended vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The Cinque Terre region in Italy. My sister and I went on a two-week trip in Italy last May and this was by far my favorite stop of the trip. The region is a group of five coastal towns that you can hike through and the views are amazing. The food is delicious, the people are super nice and the wine is crazy cheap. Pretty much the only three things I need in a vacation.
6) What is a nerdy thing about you? (i.e. are you a Star Wars buff? Do you know a stupid amount about a particular book, period of history, or hobby?)
I am obsessed with Game of Thrones. For my 25th birthday this past August, my friends threw me a Game of Thrones-themed birthday party. I had a “Red Birthday” (if you are a Game of Thrones fan you’ll get that reference), complete with a red food coloring covered cake with a knife through it (gross, or awesome…you decide). My birthday gifts ranged from dragon egg paperweights for my desk to a New Holland Dragon’s Milk six-pack. Pretty much the best birthday ever!
7) What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I brew my own beer and have for the last three years. It started as an attempt to drink good beer for cheap, but brewing is actually a really fun hobby and surprisingly easy. I actually just helped my dad brew his first batch last weekend!
8) If you could live in any city in the world, which would it be? Why? (P.S. in this scenario, your super power is that you can learn any language instantly, so language is not a barrier).
My parents have a lake house at Lake Cumberland, and it’s my absolute favorite place to be. If I could live there year round, I would. I worked at the state dock for a summer in college and it was the absolute best summer of my life. It’s definitely a much simpler life there and there isn’t always a ton to do if it’s not the summer, but something about being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by an awesome lake is appealing to me.