Dinner and Q&A: Michelin-starred food for thought

On a starry February night, I embarked on a culinary journey of a lifetime: I joined several dozen lucky Boothies at Chicago’s NAHA restaurant, where we enjoyed a private event that included an unforgettable 4-course dinner and discussion with the restaurant’s Michelin-starred Chef Carrie Nahabedian.

Co-sponsored by Booth student groups Common Chromosome, Epicurean Club, and the Travel, Transportation, and Hospitality group, the night was a perfect example of the up-close-and-personal access we have as Booth students to leaders in their industries.

I was excited for days before the event and prepared many questions for the Chef, but I could not anticipate the brilliance I was about to experience. In the astonishing 2+ hour Q&A session we had with Chef Carrie, she shared with us the challenges and triumphs that have characterized her path, how she achieved success in a male-dominated industry, the inspirations that spark her creativity, and how it feels to be one of only 10 (!) women in the USA to hold a Michelin star.

The opportunity to not only taste divine culinary creations (pictures speak louder than words, take a look!) but also to receive exposure to Chef Nahabedian, stands out as my most memorable Booth experience to date. As an avid foodie and a woman on the path to self-actualization through the MBA, I was deeply moved by the truths and masterpieces served by Chef Carrie, who shined bright with talent, drive, hard work, and fierceness.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about what this night represents is that it is only one dimension of the rich and diverse community life at Chicago Booth, which allows students to create their own optimal blend of activities. It is not only about learning from excellent faculty in business courses, but also about powerful outside-the-classroom experiences that encourage introspection and personal growth.

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