April 9, 2014

A Burger with Bill Gates

Events: A Burger with Bill Gates. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

As you guys know, I work at the NPCA and I am involved with some pretty amazing events. I’d always hoped I would be able to say I was instrumental in the planning of an event with world famous people on our stage, but I’ll be honest, I never in a million years thought it’d be someone this cool.

Events: A Burger with Bill Gates. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Bill Gates addressing the country

I knew something was up when I was arranging teleconferences to the USA for our CEO who seemed to be in and out of secret meetings, not to mention the Cheshire cat grin he carried for weeks on end (before it was announced), all he would say when we bugged him about it was ‘we’ve landed a whale’.

The team were all under strict instructions not to share this little gem, not even with family; apparently no one was to know.

Events: A Burger with Bill Gates. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Just 19 days before Bill Gates was expected to land in Australia, my small management team were pulled in for a closed door meeting to find out just who this speaker was… I’m not going to lie, we were all practically wetting ourselves in anticipation! ‘Team’  the boss says, ’I am pleased to announce’ (hands tapping on the board table full drumroll style…. ); ‘Mr Bill Gates will be addressing the country at the Press Club broadcast on May 28, 2013′.

Nooooooooo WAY… *insert squeals here*… That’s Awesome… Riiiiigggght?!

Events: A Burger with Bill Gates. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Just a normal guy – Hangin’ out waiting to talk to Aussies about his ‘job’.

Bill Gates was doing a whirlwind 48hr trip to Australia to promote his focus on philanthropy, life post Microsoft and to talk about Smart Aid and Australia’s Leadership and Innovation for the world’s poorest.

Here at the Press Club, it’s not uncommon for the talent to have some special requests, for example; the green room to be set to an exact temperature, a certain type lounge chair or lighting, and of course specialty beverages and sometimes really random catering. I don’t know about you, but I had high expectations as to just what special catering requests the worlds richest man would want to eat for lunch. We were all guessing, would it be Lobster Thermidor, Chateaubriand, Foi Gras perhaps?

Nope… He wanted a cheese burger and a coke, what a legend!

Events: A Burger with Bill Gates. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

And we are live….

Now I can’t claim to meeting Bill Gates personally, but I can say I assisted in the operational side of organising this event, and I was one of 547 to share a bite with this extraordinary man. Living the dream I am…. The Bill Gates National Press Club of Australia address to the country was a huge success. BOOM…. Another tick for my bucket list!

Have you got a bucket list? If yes, what is the coolest thing you have been able to successfully tick off and say you’ve achieved?

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Anna

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Lizzy (Good Things) - May 12, 2014 Reply

Darn, pity you didn’t get to meet the man in person, especially given that you’re the number one organiser!!!

    Anna - May 12, 2014 Reply

    Yes, although word is, he wasn’t much different than you and I, normal kinda convo, friendly and chatty about the weather etc. I am grateful for the experience, its not every day we get the opportunity to assist in the planning of such an awesome event. 🙂

Nathan - May 9, 2014 Reply

Love the annual letter by the Gates Foundation. Amazing he was here 🙂

http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/

Alice - May 5, 2014 Reply

Hi Anna, This sounds like it was an amazing event and certainly a once in a life time opportunity. I can only wish I were a fly on the wall at this event and I’m sure it’s something that will stand out for many years afterwards in your mind too!

    Anna - May 6, 2014 Reply

    Alice, it really was incredible. As the event rolled out, I kept having those ‘pinch me, is this real?’ Moments. Bill Gates was a pretty down to earth kinda guy too. Big tick for the bucket list. 🙂

Krista - April 11, 2014 Reply

What a brilliant experience, luv!! 🙂 How fun to be part of creating such inspiring events with such cool people. 🙂

    Anna - April 11, 2014 Reply

    Sure was! Had a ball working on this event, annnnnd…. looks pretty damn snazzy on the resume too. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - April 10, 2014 Reply

Hehe I’m glad you answered what I was curious about. What he wanted to eat! Haha a cheeseburger and a Coke huh? 🙂

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - April 10, 2014 Reply

This must have been an amazing event! I don’t have a bucket list, but I have met some really famous (to me) people, the most notable being the F1 racing driver Fangio 🙂

    Anna - April 10, 2014 Reply

    It was incredible Tandy. One of those pinch me, is this real kind of experiences. 🙂
    Oh fun, I’m the worst kind of name dropper, I never know the famous people, but awesome you got to meet a fancy F1 driver.

Susan - April 9, 2014 Reply

Now thats the best rider – what a guy! Great read.

Elias Hallaj - April 9, 2014 Reply

That is such a cool story Anna! I love the guy even more because he just wanted a burger. Great yarn!

    Anna - April 9, 2014 Reply

    Thanks CBRFoodie. It was pretty special. I know what ya mean, makes him waaaaaay cooler requesting a burger. 🙂

Kris - April 9, 2014 Reply

That is pretty cool. I would of loved to have seen and heard him talk. There is something special about seeing someone that has had such an impact on our world.

    Anna - April 9, 2014 Reply

    It really was special to see him in the flesh. Pretty stoked I can say I played a part in the smooth running of his event.

Mandy - The Complete Book - April 9, 2014 Reply

Awesome! Now, I can stay I know someone who kinda sort of met Bill Gates and no less enjoyed a cheese burger with the man. Bam, tick that off my bucket list!
Have a beautiful day Anna.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - April 9, 2014 Reply

    Hahahahaha! You made me LOL. That’s 3 degrees of separation right? Defo counts for a tick on the bucket list. 🙂 Wishing you a super fun filled day too sweet Mandy. xxx

Pink - April 9, 2014 Reply

Awesome article miss thang. Nathan is having some serious geek envy. And great choice on the lunch.

    Anna - April 9, 2014 Reply

    Why thank ya lovely! 🙂 Haha… Bless Nathans geeky cotton socks. LOL! Yep, I agree, I’d have been happy with a cheese burger too.

Hannah - April 9, 2014 Reply

How excitement! Just a burger and coke thanks!

I don’t have an exact list but happy to say I’ve done the usuals like bungy jumping, skydiving, abseiling down a waterfall, a bit of travel, patted tigers and swam with dolphins.

I’d still love to travel more, go hot air ballooning and publish something!

    Anna - April 9, 2014 Reply

    Teehee… Pretty amusing he just wanted a burger. 🙂
    Oh WOW, you go girl, you’ve done a bunch of amazingly cool stuff. Skydiving? Was it terrifying? What would you like to publish? What a treat Miss HP. Looking forward to seeing you achieve all the other things on your list. xxx

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