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My birthday fanboy moment

I mentioned in my last post that Matty had organized a really nice birthday celebration.

He showered me with lots of smaller gifts during the day so I now have a couple of really nice sweaters for the winter, a new wool hat, a very colorful scarf to go with my new winter jacket, some sexy underwear, and a beautiful sterling silver necklace!

Then Matty took me out to dinner in the heart of downtown Boston. He had already said it was a "dress-up" restaurant, which is a huge deal for Matty since he almost never, ever leaves the house without his baseball cap!

I was a little worried when we walked out the door to leave and he's in his nice navy blue suit with his light blue and cream-colored tie... and his Red Sox cap! Not wanting to embarrass him (or me later), in a very polite voice I said something like, "Don't you have a Red Sox cap that's a bluish color?"

Without missing a beat, and flashing the sweetest smile, he said, "Aw, I'm not going to wear the cap inside. I wouldn't embarrass you like that."

So, whew! In all honesty I wouldn't have minded if he had worn it in. Being the gentleman he is (when the occasion calls for that), he would have taken it off before greeting the maƮtre d. And without the cap on while we're in the car, I would have felt I was being kidnapped by some unknown bad person.

Well, being taken out to dinner for one's birthday is something that happens to a lot of people. But being taken to a restaurant where the Chef is an idol of mine is just icing on the cake! But wait. That's not all!

Before I get to the good part, I should say this is a Chef I've been following for a while now. Not in a stalking way, but she's a pretty well-known Chef and has been featured in local as well as national magazine and newspaper feature articles. I also recently got to see her interviewed on a television show. And I recorded it! (Is my "fanboy" showing!)

Oh, and get this. Her style of cooking is something that really interests me. I want to learn more about it because her approach is something I'd like to play around with and maybe develop my own unique variation of. I've tried to explain it to Matty without his eyes glazing over (LOL), but it's essentially taking some pretty traditional dishes and experimenting with combinations of spices and flavoring that aren't usually associated with those dishes. Anyway, it's something I feel inspired by.

So on to the big surprise! When Matty called the restaurant to make reservations, he explained that it was my birthday and I was currently in college but planned on going to culinary school to become a chef someday. And that I had been following Chef's professional career and was inspired by her cooking style. He said it would mean a lot to me if Chef could possibly stop by our table just to say hello.

Matty had already told me he was taking me to this particular restaurant, which that alone was enough to make the celebration very special. But he didn't tell me Chef had agreed to stop by our table to say hello! I'm such a fanboy of this chef that if he had told me this ahead of time, I probably would have hyperventilated and fainted the minute I stepped inside!

So while we're eating our main course, Chef walks to our table and says something like, "Hello, I'm Chef ___, and just wanted to wish someone named 'Bradley' a Happy Birthday." Thank all that is holy I didn't have a mouth full of food because I surely would have choked to death or spewed the food in my mouth all across the table, or worse yet, all over her!! And then fainted!

I didn't realize I was on my feet when I extended my hand and said, "Hi. I'm Bradley. Nice to meet you. And thank you."

She gestured for me to sit back down (Matty assures me I didn't come across as some dorky fanboy) and she asked about our dinner. How to you form an intelligent and coherent thought when your idol chef asks your opinion of their cooking? Without coming across as a punk fanboy?

Thank goodness I had already talked to Matty about what flavors I thought she used for our dishes but I didn't want to get into fanboy gushing, so I just said everything was perfect. THEN she said, "Matthew told me you were planning a culinary career. Here, let me give you my card. It's really nice to meet you both. And Happy Birthday again."

I think I said something appropriate in response. Matty assures me I just said, "Nice to meet you, too. Thanks again."

I've been on a fanboy cloud since Saturday night. And I have Chef's card!! Well, it's the restaurant's card, but it has Chef's name on it. That counts, right?

I was talking to a friend about whether I should follow-up with her. I thought just sending her a little "thank you" note might work, but then again I don't want her thinking I'm some kind of stalking fanboy -- the "fanboy" part is right but I don't want to do anything cheesy.

My friend said just a short note would be a nice gesture, and a good way to network, even though she's not going to remember me 5 or 10 years down the road. Unless..... maybe I could send her a note every month, and maybe call her occasionally, and go back to her restaurant frequently, and.... Nah. That's not fanboy excitement -- that's definitely just stalking! LOL!

So, I'm just sending her a short note and will leave it at that. But the card she gave me, the one which she touched with her very hand, is getting laminated and framed!! Am I a fanboy or what? ;)
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