Chopped: East Texas

Have you ever watched the show Chopped on Food Network?  Four chefs compete against each other to cook the best/most interesting dish by using secret ingredients that are not made known to them until moments before the clock starts (oh, it’s timed, by the way).

Well, the SFA Hospitality Department held their 2nd Annual Chopped: East Texas “Lumberjack Edition” tonight at Hotel Fredonia’s Convention Center.   The students were very involved – hands on with setting up the room, prepping the food, busing tables, etc.   It was definitely an unusual experience for some of our staff: when their brains would naturally go on autopilot to prepare for an event with 450 tickets sold, they had to stay on manual controls and instruct the students on how to do something a certain way and, if the opportunity allowed time, explain why.   Everyone involved on both sides did great!  The students worked hard and our team became teachers for a day – well, a couple days :).

For Chopped: East Texas, there were four teams of two partners.  Each round, secret ingredients were announced, the timer was set, the partners worked together to create an amazing dish, and then allowed the five judges to deliberate.  If a team landed “on the chopping block”, they were eliminated.

The winning team was City Councilwoman/Owner of Shelley’s Bakery Cafe: Shelley Brophy, and Morning Talkshow Host/Teacher at SFA Film Department/Dr. Tony Jones from General Hospital/SFA Alum: Brad Maule

Anyone that’s read my posts will not be surprised when I share my favorite part of the evening — although you may still shake your head:

The DJ periodically did a live auction, and not only did I experience my first live auction tonight, but it was for a PUPPY.  I was so excited during the live auction to adopt the puppy that I literally had to lock my elbows to my sides so that I didn’t get caught up in it and throw a hand up to bid.  I don’t even know what price they started at, I was too busy looking at the pup.. but I tuned in around the $100 mark – and that’s when it was getting intense.  It leveled out around $140 and we all thought he was sold, and then out of nowhere another bid comes in.  A friendly bidding war between two gentlemen and the sweet puppy was adopted for $470!

Enjoy the photos!  (Oh, and “like” my handy new Facebook Page!)

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Nashville Songwriters in the Round

Well, look at this.  I’m finally writing an update of what has been going on.  You know what’s funny?  I wrote a post at the end of March but it JUST NOW actually posted.  Whoops.  Y’all could’ve been up-to-date weeks ago!  I suppose that’s proof of exactly how busy things have been….

Today is Tax Day, but my husband and I filed our taxes in February, so we were not part of the stressed community trying to decide if they would need to file for an extension, etc.  Which is good, because  I have enough going on 🙂

This past Saturday, we [finally] had an evening of country at Hotel Fredonia.  Can you believe it took us this long?  Me neither, but I’m glad it happened.  The event was “Nashville [Songwriters] In The Round”, and we were honored with the presence of four award winning songwriters: Kent Blazy, Steven Dale Jones, Don Rollins, and Doug Drake.  “In The Round” refers to the acoustic format where songwriters take turns sharing the stories behind their songs and then performing them for each other and the audience.  With about 130 guests in attendance, it was the perfect set up for the intimate evening we were hoping for.  Taylor Heard, a young country singer from Omaha, Texas, also joined us and sang a song with Doug Drake.  Her voice is so unique.. just soul and southern twang rolled into one.

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Planning Your Wedding Reception: The Logistics

{Allow me to state for the record: The event coordinators at Hotel Fredonia are exceptionally trained on the following information and much much more, to create a flawless event. While there is no replacement to having one of them on hand for planning your big day, I am offering a quick checklist to help the Brides that fell in love with a venue that does not offer the same involved experience.}

So, you’re planning your wedding reception and your venue isn’t exactly bending over backwards to help you think of the things you would only know if you were trained to know them. Well, here are the questions that someone needs to be asking you, to ensure that the puzzle pieces called “details” and “logistics” match up and everything flows smoothly. Don’t worry, I have advice/recommendations for all of them!

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