Our industry is comprised of, as Brett Culp noted in 2020 during Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™, “one hundred million moments.” One hundred million moments of beauty, of majestic vision, of connection, of friendship, of glory, and yes, of darkness.
He endeavored to remind us that our work often goes unpraised—at times unnoticed—and yet we continue with it because it is our passion.
He is so completely correct.
Putting together Catersource + The Special Event during a pandemic was difficult, and we experienced many of the issues you have had over the past year and a half. These barriers did not break our resolve. Because of that, because we were able to gather safely, we could add more beautiful moments to our work lives. Here are just a few of mine:
- At the Thursday Leadership Lunch, every award recipient thanked those people who supported them throughout their careers and in turn, all received standing ovations. This luncheon was by far one of the most emotional I have ever attended; I wasn’t the only one who shed tears. I am thankful I was able to be a part of it.
- The exceptionally talented chef, Keith Lord, told me that if I brought the champagne, he would bring the caviar. On Wednesday afternoon shortly after his hands-on plating class, a few of us were in the Convention Center kitchen—our headquarters for Culinary Experience stage prep. Chef Lord popped open a tin and dabbed a mound onto the area between my thumb and forefinger. We bumped fists and then savored the caviar. Sadly, no time for champagne; it was back to work for me!
- Walking into the SEARCH Foundation event on Wednesday evening, treasurer Frank Puleo said, “I’m so glad you made it! It’s an honor to have you here.” Me? Those words felt good.
- Hanging at the Loews bar with my friend, Roy Porter, we watched our Italian bartender mix our cocktails as we discussed the flavor profile of Campari. Our mixologist was so delightful, we returned another night with hopes we could be within his talented radius once more.
- Michael Cerbelli reading me the riot act after I broadcast my cellphone number during the Opening General Session. He was literally agog that I’d do something like that. LOL, luv ya, Michael.
- Mary Crafts and Joann Roth-Oseary (among others) thanking me profusely for pulling our conference and tradeshow together. They conveyed such gratitude. I was quick to note, “it takes a village.” Truly, my colleagues are miracle workers.
I’m stopping here. I just re-read my bullet points and realized that all my special show moments were because people of exceptional character, talent, and quality made them so. I couldn’t hope for anything more…except for one other thing: that I will be able to add to my moments next year in Anaheim, with all of you.
Until then, be strong, stay creative, and live your best lives. Cheers!