Ever dream about exploring your industry before you graduate? Maybe even traveling across the country — or abroad — gaining real-world experience in an unforgettable setting?
It’s a dream that came true for Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management student Samatha Pruett ’17. Pruett recently received the prestigious Kopf Scholarship, presented by the Kobrand Corporation/Kopf Foundation to students who show exceptional interest and skill in fine wines and restaurant management.
Pruett received $10,000 and an 8-week trip to California and Europe, with a generous dining budget that allowed her to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world — in total, an award worth $30,000. But the experiences Pruett gained are priceless.
Some highlights included
- a pre-trip orientation in New York City, where Pruett and her travel companions dined at the 3-Michelin star Le Bernardin and received a tour of the kitchen
- multiple visits to vineyards and premier restaurants in Sonoma and Napa, California, including a special dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood that Pruett describes as “the best dining experience of [her] 22 years on Earth”
- participating in the wine-making process from start to finish at Maison Louis Jadot winery in Beaune, France — the wine capital of Burgundy
- exploring the famous caves beneath the Taittinger Champagne house in Reims, France
- site-seeing throughout Italy, including the Pantheon, Michelangelo's statue of David, and the Grand Canal in Venice
Check out Pruett’s blog for day-by-day recaps and photos of her experience.