Ep. 173: Sarika Mehta – Living the Dream in Napa

What’s possible when you step outside your comfort zone, push the limits, and refuse to let anything hold you back? As you might imagine, the sky’s the limit! Today’s guest has proven at a young age that chasing a dream can be satisfying and fulfilling beyond your wildest imagination. 

Sarika Mehta appeared way back in Episode 29 of Chasing Dreams, almost three years ago. She’s part of a new feature for 2019, in which I’ll check in with a previous guest about once a month, and we’ll see how the dream-chase is progressing. When we last spoke with Sarika, she was an 18-year-old student at the Culinary Institute of America. Today, she’s graduated with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Business Management, with a concentration in Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality Studies. Sarika has found a love for hospitality as a whole, not just in creating dishes for people to enjoy, but in interacting with guests during their entire experience. Fascinatingly, Sarika received an email during the recording of this conversation about a job she had interviewed for and was offered a position as Food and Beverage Manager-in-Training with the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver.

Changing Directions

Do you have the guts to change directions when you need to? Sarika had spent much time and education in learning kitchen skills, but then she discovered the broader field of hospitality, learning to “speak two languages.” She found that she enjoyed the art of managing, which means taking the responsibility for the kitchen and the dining room working together fluently. Communication is the key to prevent a disconnect in the hospitality arena. Sarika says the important thing is to find what YOU love to do, no matter what path others around you are choosing.

TWEET: I like having the freedom to take advantage of opportunities that come my way. #chasingdreams

New Year, New Aspirations

How do you feel when the job you’ve longed for just lands at your feet? As we were recording this conversation, Sarika received an email notification that the job she wanted and had just interviewed for was hers. She will start in February as a manager-in-training at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver. She enjoys the opportunity to rotate through different parts of the property and guest services operations to learn about a large scale operation. This new opportunity is a huge step where Sarika plans to experience lots of self-growth, new challenges, and more independence as her career advances.

TWEET: Get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to get out of your bubble. #chasingdreams

Thriving in the face of challenges

How do you learn to be independent in a new role in a new place? Sarika had to learn this skill when she lived and worked in Boston and didn’t know anyone there. Her advice is to surround yourself with what makes you feel comfortable, but not to be afraid to go, explore, and experience new things and new places. She calls it “being a tourist in your hometown.” It’s true that we take the things for granted that exist all around us, and we often don’t experience them until guests come to visit. In 2019, determine to explore and tour what’s around you, because you don’t need an excuse! 

TWEET: If you’re afraid of failing, then you will. #chasingdreams

Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–”Don’t be scared or nervous. Leave something old to pursue something new that’s your passion. Throw caution to the wind and take the risk. Don’t be afraid to fail—or you will.”


  • [:12] Revisiting and catching up on new developments
  • [1:36] How new experiences opened up for Sarika
  • [3:22} Choosing balance
  • [5:00] Figuring out the best track for YOU
  • [6:52] What we can expect next for Sarika
  • [9:44] Bucket list opportunities
  • [12:07] Continuing education opportunities for the future
  • [13:34] Would Sarika do a Food Network reality show?
  • [18:43] What Sarika wants for the new year–and then a job offer
  • [20:14] Learning to be independent
  • [23:04] Explore your hometown and learn to be a tourist
  • [27:03] Something Sarika wants to try
  • [31:20] ONE action for a dream chaser


Sarika on Instagram

Sarkia on LinkedIn


TWEET: I enjoyed learning to be “the bridge” between the kitchen and guest, and seeing the WOW moment. #chasingdreams

TWEET: Regret is a powerful drug that can hold you back. #chasingdreams

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