How many people can actually tell you what their dream job is? Not many. Trust me, I ask people all the time. Up until a month ago I was part of that group.
During my job search I’ve continuously been told to be laser focused on the position I want. This is harder than it sounds. Prior to this advice being drilled into my head, I would have cast a wide net and been open to all sorts of opportunities. Instead, I gave it a shot and spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what I wanted to do.
I decided that working at a PR agency in the food & wine, travel and special event sectors would all be wonderful places to land. However, if you asked where I saw myself in 5 years my honest answer would be that I am excited to see where life takes me; what path I will blaze. It’s not that I didn’t think I could be happy and fulfilled in those positions, it’s just that I wasn’t sure if they were the end all be all for me.
Here’s the story of how I finally identified my absolute dream job, and how JOYOUS it was to do so!In preparation for my role last Tuesday of being Tom Colicchio’s assistant at the Toast to the Children fundraiser, I decided to catch up on this past season of Top Chef. I figured that I should probably be able to have an intelligent conversation about it with the lead judge.
I watched the last 5 episodes back-to-back and became more and more excited as each dish was created. Aside from the glory of earning the Top Chef title, the winner would also win a trip to the Food&Wine Classic in Aspen! This is one of the most amazing food festivals out there.
My jaw dropped, my eyes widened and I exclaimed, “I want to go!” For me that is a true dream vacation. Then it hit me, what if this wasn’t just a dream vacation? What if planning and promoting food festivals became my career?
Why not combine all of my passions into one career – isn’t that what a dream job is? So here it is – I will A) get to plan events, B) promote the heck out of them, C) travel the globe and D) eat dishes from the most talented chefs along the way!
Okay. Now it’s time to figure out exactly how to make this happen. My first instinct is to meet everyone I can in the industry to gather information – what festivals are out there? Who is involved? Lucky for me, NYC has a plethora. So I started shooting emails to various festivals asking if they need an extra set of hands. My tactic worked. And it worked well.
I am thrilled to be involved with the following festivals:
Umami’s Food & Art Festival: Reflections of Taste and Place: a multi-sensory celebration of Israeli art, food and wine. I actually worked this one a few weeks ago – had a fantastic time and ate way too many stuffed dates, filet mignon wrapped tuna steaks with wasabi cream sauce, and pita rounds with preserved lemon, yogurt and salmon. Oh, and the Israeli wine was of course divine.
The Wine&Spirits Magazine’s Top of the List Tasting event features the 50 most popular wine brands in restaurants and the most popular wines by the glass, variety and country of origin. I’ve been hired as a registration manager for this 400-person event.
I am working two cool events for The LUCKYRICE Festival, which shines a spotlight on Asian culinary culture through 8 gastronomic gatherings. First up, the Epicurean Cocktail Feast followed by an event called Night Market which focuses on Asian street food.
The one I am most excited about is one that calls itself “an amusement park of food and drink,”
The Great GoogaMooga includes approximately 75 food vendors, 35 brewers, 30 winemakers and 20 live music performances. Tom Colicchio is part of the event, and I talked to him Tuesday about working with him there too!
At a meeting for the Top of the List Tasting event, I met a woman who works on the Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival this fall and she’s asked me to work with her on this. My networking is already paying off! As a fundraiser for the Food Bank for NYC, this event is all about eating, drinking and ending hunger.
The most unique is The NYC Food Film Festival. “Through documentaries, features and short films, the festival showcases the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite foods. Along with a heaping helping of mouth-watering films, Motz, Hawk and company serve up the food that guests are watching on the screen for a multi-sensory, full-bodied experience.” Cool, right?
I can’t explain how ecstatic I am to not have any doubts about what I want to do with the rest of my professional life! Thrilled. Absolutely thrilled.
Any idea what your dream job is? What are you doing to make it a reality?