I'm not a stalker, I promise ... I just like to eat.

So, we all have our own personal little celebrities, right? The people we just adore and think to be totally incredible ... even if half the population has no freaking clue who they are.

Right? Right.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet one of my very favorite cookbook authors/personal celebrities: Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

If you've followed this blog, you've probably noticed I reference a lot of Isa's recipes and books. I've been a big fan of hers for years (as is my husband, who claims he'll try ANY of her recipes at least once), but of course, I never thought I'd get to meet her. I mean, because who gets to meet a famous cookbook author in the flesh?

Well, me, that's who. Along with my friend Coleen (that's her in the pink hair — she's dyed it pink to support our friend Shelley, who you can read about here), I met Isa Dec. 17 in Omaha of all places.

Here's the story: Isa is from Brooklyn (which she references a lot in her books), but a few years ago she moved to Portland, Ore. In Portland, she met a guy, who ended up moving to Omaha. After doing the whole long distance thing, this punk-rock Brooklynite author moved to Omaha in the name of love. Cool, huh? (And we got to meet her boyfriend too, he was awesome).

And the move is a good thing for crazy people like me and Coleen, who decided to drive up to Omaha and back in a single day to attend Isa's first Omaha cooking class. I got up at 4 in the morning to make it there and didn't get home until nearly 8 that night, but you know what? It was totally worth it.

And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Scratch that: I will do it again — Isa's opening a restaurant and we definitely want to check that out!

But you know what's funny? Even though the class was $35 — about double the member price of most Merc classes — there were some people at the class who had no idea who Isa was. Maybe they just thought the class would be something fun to go to on a Saturday morning. I don't know, but what I do know was that it was kind of cute that they didn't know that Isa's quite the celebrity to some folks (like "the travelers" as Isa called us). One lady suggested Isa try out for "The Next Food Network Star" (Isa got her start with her own show in Brooklyn) and that was even with Isa's books right there all lined up for purchase (and they clearly weren't self-published). I had to laugh, but I was impressed all the same — it takes quite a person to attract both the crazies (hello!) and the uninitiated.

Have you ever got a chance to meet your own "personal" celebrity? Who was it and how'd it happen?


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