STILLWATER — When the 2013 Wine Forum opens Friday on the Oklahoma State University campus, it will be the culmination of two years of planning by clinical professors and execution by Hospitality and Restaurant Administration students.
And if you don't already have your tickets, you're too late.
Congratulations to the school and its students for selling out the weekend-long, biennial event in its third incarnation.
It's an incredible accomplishment, but there is still work to be done. If you're one of the lucky ones who garnered entry to the Wine Forum and its many-splendored events, tastings and seminars, you'll doubtlessly bear witness to ruddy-cheeked youths scampering to and fro on behalf of the quality of your experience.
And in so doing, their education will be enriched by the building blocks only on-the-job training can supply.
“There's only so much you can teach in the classroom,” said clinical professor Steve Ruby. “The Wine Forum allows us to offer our students experiential education more valuable than any lecture.”
The theme for the event is Of Wine, Women and the West. The honorary chair is Beth Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley wineries Far Niente, Dolce, Nicken & Nickel and EnRoute in the Russian River Valley. The guest celebrity chef is author, blogger and television personality Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, OSU's hospitality and restaurant administration students will execute silent auctions, a gala dinner, more than a dozen seminars and a grand tasting. Best of luck to the students.
If you didn't have a chance to buy tickets to this year's event, start making plans for the 2015 event.
Speaking of opportunities for those considering a career in the culinary arts, the James Beard Foundation is accepting applications for its 2013 scholarship program, with more than $484,000 in awards available.
Established in 1991, the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school.
The James Beard Foundation also offers grants for current working culinary professionals to expand their culinary experiences.
The program is administered by the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America. Application forms are available at sms.scholarshipamerica.org/jamesbeard. The submission period began April 1. All scholarship application materials, including transcript, must be postmarked by May 15. Professional grant applications must be postmarked by June 15. Scholarship winners will be notified in August.