In the air to Germany!
Everything is doneâ€¦ We had a final fund raiser last night at Midwest Culinary Institute with â€œaction stationsâ€ dotted around the Summit Dining Room. (The dish I prepared was a fork-tender tornedeau of beef on a crouton with a rich mushroom demi-glace and topped with crab meat.) The equipment has been collected, packed, shipped, and received in Germany. The foodstuff has been prepared, packed, and brought to the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. The official team coats have been pressed and starched, carefully packed away to minimize wrinkling. It is inevitable that we will need to press them once we arrive â€“ a task for Brian and me to solve when we land. Our bags are packed and weâ€™re all set, or weâ€™ve forgotten things (like Brian nearly did with his passport â€“ a last-minute dash to his house solved that problem (thankfully he lives very close)).
Finally, after more than 12 months of planning and untold hours of work, itâ€™s time to go compete. It is hard to believe that, after so much work, the time is finally here.
The team â€“ all five of us â€“ met at Stringtown Grill in Florence Kentucky (the restaurant owned and operated by Rick Potter, team manager) for a last minute meeting, meal, and finalization of packing. A few of the spouses were there to see us off; other spouses were managing the responsibilities of one partner being away for 10 days. From there, we made the short drive over to the airport and began the process of getting through check-in and security. With the amount of electronics (cameras, computers, chargers, CPAP machine, batteries, converters and inverters, and more) that weâ€™re taking with us, we expected security to be more time-consuming than it was. Still, Brian, with his slew of equipment, had his bag run through the X-Ray machine three times before it was hand-searched and cleared.
We made it to the gate in plenty of time for a last-minute team meeting before boarding the plane. As I write this, weâ€™re settled in on the flight, anticipating a meal, then itâ€™s lights-out for me. The miles (or kilometers, if you prefer) are stretched below us, still more ahead of us than behind. I need to get some rest since a large part of my role tomorrow is ground transportation. I need to be on point and rested.
Weâ€™re all excited about the competition, and have reviewed our to-do lists over and over. Weâ€™re ready to represent the Midwest Culinary Institute.
Please stay tuned to this blog as we will be updating as often as possible during our trip â€“ at least once a day and hopefully more frequently than that.