When I was Miss Rodeo South Dakota way back in 2009, my go-to autograph slogan was “Dream Big!” It was the perfect phrase to share with every young cowgirl and cowboy that I met during that time because they are two words that can make such an impact in your life. Way before my days as a rodeo queen, I dreamed of attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I longed to learn about cooking and baking and becoming a world renown chef. I studied French in high school, so that I would be better adept at learning the art of french cuisine. I set big dreams for myself and I never let people tell me they were too big.
Attending the Culinary Institute of America was a lofty dream, but it was one that I was serious about. I filled out the application to attend the world’s top culinary school four times, but I never sent it away. My dreams took me on a different path, one I am thankful for to this day. On our recent trip to New York, I was ecstatic to go visit this prestigious school and taste some of the delicious creations.
The school really is magical. It gives off this Hogwarts-esque vibe because the buildings actually used to be a Jesuit novitiate. We ate at the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe (on graduation day) which was really fun because all of the chefs were walking around in their cap and gowns. The cafe was the perfect lunch spot and the food did not dissapoint!
We enjoyed the crab cake that was served with a yummy mango, lime, & jalapeno coulis and frisèe salad. Our table was filled with delectable truffle seasoned french fries, potatoes, salmon tartan, macaroni and cheese with gruyere cheese, and the best beef tenderloin my sister has ever eaten. This cafe not only satisfies on the savory side, they shine with the amazing desserts too. Blueberry lemon macarons, ganache, cake, and chocolate; we tasted all of the goodness that the bakery had to offer.
Although I didn’t get to attend the Culinary Institute of America as a student, I bought a chef’s coat at the bookstore and I still live out my dreams through writing this blog, cooking, and sharing recipes everyday. Don’t be afraid to dream big and work towards your aspirations. Don’t ever let someone tell you that your dreams are too big. Sometimes your dreams don’t look exactly how you picture them in the end, but if you work hard enough you can do anything.
Right down the road, lies another massive institution, the Vanderbilt Mansion. It is a magnificent mansion that represents what can happen when an individual dreams REALLY BIG! You can learn more about the Vanderbilt mansion here.