OK, this was seriously one of the BIGGEST nights of my life so far! I know that a lot of you have been following me on Facebook and Twitter, and saw the pictures of me baking and packaging 600 cookies for the event; as well as the video advertisement that I did about the gala.
If you saw all of that, then you also know that I got to be a sous chef at one of the tables with awesome Chef Nick Shipp, Executive Chef at The Upper West restaurant in Santa Monica; and that I gave a short speech at the beginning of the program.
Also, the day after the gala, I posted some fun shots that were taken at the event. So here, I will talk about what were some of the highlights of the evening for me.
But first, I want to say thank you again to Michael Rosen and everyone at Autism Speaks for making me a part of this fun and very important event.
I was excited to be a part of it and had a GREAT time! But I also took it seriously and wanted to do my very best.
So when I first got to Barker Hangar for the rehearsal that afternoon, I was nervous. With a lot of “Hollywood magic,” that huge airplane hangar was transformed into an elegant dining venue with a stage, and all the professional lighting and sound equipment needed for the gala.
I got to rehearse my speech on stage, which made me feel better, but I was still a little nervous.
Then I got to walk the blue carpet with the other chefs and special guests, and pose for the “paparazzi” which was pretty cool and fun.
Then, when it was “show time” and Conan O’Brien introduced me, I said to myself, “What the heck…I can do this!” Suddenly it felt pretty good to be on stage in front of all those people…I felt like they were all cheering for me to do a good job. And I did it!
My next challenge of the evening was being a sous chef. Like I mentioned before, Chef Nick Shipp is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! A couple of weeks before the gala, he invited me to The Upper West restaurant so that we could get to know each other, while I got to help him in the kitchen for a couple of hours. He even invited me to come back every week so that I can continue getting some real-life experience in a professional restaurant! How FANTASTIC is that? That’s just the kind of guy Chef Nick is. So when it was time for me to help him at the gala, I knew things would be ok, even though I was a little nervous at first. Once I got started, the atmosphere was exciting and it felt good doing something that I love. I was having fun and concentrating hard so I would get things right, and the time went by quickly.
One of my favorite things to do is meet new and interesting people, and during the event I got to meet some great ones like Bob Wright, the Co-Founder of Autism Speaks; Michael Rosen, Executive V.P. Strategic Communications of Autism Speaks; Al Roker, Anchor for the NBC Today Show; Chef Giada De Laurentiis; Chef Govind Armstrong; Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti; of course, Conan O’Brien, Late Night Talk Show Host; and many others.
Toward the end of the evening I was able to walk around and checkout what the other chefs had prepared for the guests at their tables, and I got to try some of their food.
It was an AMAZING night! When it was all over, part of me wanted to hang out just a little bit longer.
But it had been a long day and it was time to go home… and Mom wanted to get out of those high-heeled shoes! LOL!