NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When Cannes, France is mentioned the Cannes International Film Festival comes to mind. For two soon-to-be Stephen F. Austin State University graduates attending the festival next month, food is their first thought.
The hospitality majors will be wining and dining the celebrities they may never, ever meet.
It's second nature for Amanda Powers and Anna Smith to whip up tasty treats for 75 guests.
In a couple of weeks, their guest list will be in the thousands. The women are two of about 15 applicants nationwide accepted in the Cannes International Film Festival Culinary Program.
"We'll be doing it all. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, just meals in general," said Amanda Powers, an intern with the Cannes International Film Festival Culinary Program. "They said we work that all the time and then they have special banquets and special dinners that will be catering as well."
The applicants were pitched, expect an eight-hour day and not as much fun as the celebrities.
"You have to get up at 4 a.m. and go to the markets and plan and prep," said Anna Smith, an intern with the Cannes International Film Festival. "I'm just sitting back there thinking that doesn't sound like fun to anybody else? It sounds like fun to me."
So the good friends put the application process on the front burner, never thinking they would both be accepted.
"Internally, I'm like, 'Uh oh, now I'm competing against her, and that's not fun,'" Smith said.
Chef Todd Barrios said the girls' passion in the culinary arts made them a five-star entry.
"It's awesome exposure for the program. Everyone we've told has been beyond excited mainly for them," said Chef Todd Barrios, an instructor with SFA's Culinary Program.
The women will be assigned to the American Pavilion, the center of activity for the American film community, yet these serious chefs are far from star struck.
"We're like, I don't care. I just want the cooking experience, like, that's the whole reason we're going," Powers said.
"No offense to them, but I really don't care if I see celebrities or not," Smith said. "Honestly."
However, if Brad Pitt places an order …
"I'll cook him a mean lunch," Smith said with a laugh. "That's what I'll do."
Anna and Amanda leave in about two weeks. They'll miss graduation day, but they are packing their graduation caps for senior pictures in the South of France.
For more information, on the American Pavilion's culinary intern program, click this link.
There's one important engagement the women won't be missing.
They'll complete their free food demonstrations at the Nacogdoches Farmers Market on Saturday.
Today, vendors at the now-opened Wednesday market were discussing the menu.
Amanda and Anna will be preparing Paninis using all fresh market ingredients. They'll receive help from 4-H students.
The Nacogdoches Farmers Market is open on Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Saturday's from 8 a.m. to noon.