“She’s here! She’s here!”
Travis screamed at the top of his lungs triggering immediate chaos in the heated kitchen.
This was it. This was the moment of truth; the moment of judgment. The moment of reward; it was dooms day. Miss Amelia Clark was her name. She was the most recognized food critique and food connoisseur in all of Manhattan and today she would be tasting our food. The front page of the socials section of the tribune would either be framed right at the entrance of our restaurant or it would be in shreds in the trash along with out reputation. It would be decided tomorrow.
I peeped from the circular glass windows of the kitchen’s door inside the restaurant just to catch a glimpse of the devil. It was hard not to notice her. She sat at table table 19 she wore a black velvet coat with lipstick as red as blood. She had her black hair slicked back and tied in a bun. Talking to someone on the phone she raised her eyebrows and rolled her brown eyes while people around her murmured and stared as they knew exactly who she was.
“What the hell are you doing Liz? Time is money!” Andrew shouted at me while grabbing me from the arm and lightly pushing me towards the counters.
Andrew was head chef. He had been running the Lavista ever since I joined three years back. He was polite some days, but most days he would be red with fury screaming at us while shouting orders. If you multiply his normal rage and perfectionism by double, that would be how he was feeling today. I could even see him go from red to purple to blue to white at one point.
“What did she order? Did she order from the specials? Did she order a chef’s special? Speak boy! Has a cat caught your tongue?” Andrew screamed at Travis the waiter who was comparatively new and still not completely used to Andrew’s screaming.
“Uh…she… no she didn’… she ordered a salad. She ordered the greek salad and iced tea.” Travis stammered.
“Thats it?” Andrew asked while transitioning from red to blue.
I was confused too. We had a wide range of classic pastas, steaks and delicacies but she decided to order the simplest item off the menu. Our greek salad was pretty ordinary, something you could find even in a local two star restaurant.
“Maybe… maybe we can add a few more ingredients just to spice things up?” I suggested.
“Liz, stick to your criteria, go chop the carrots and finely dice the capsicums and stop with the idiotic ideas! Do you think my recipe isn’t good enough, eh? You think you know better than me?” Andrew scolded and immediately turned his back and strutted off to Mike and Olivia who were preparing the dressing for the salad.
“Yes chef.” I replied in a robotic tone.
I silently cut the vegetables and gave them to Olivia to toss the dressing. I knew we would barely even get two stars from her if we presented her with the ordinary recipe we had followed. I decided to take matters in my own hands. While preparing her iced tea I decided to add some extra flavor by adding peach malt and strawberry citrus. Then I sneakily went to see the salad. It was ready and just needed garnishing. I volunteered to finish the job. I added caramelized cashews and roasted garlic to the garnish and added half a perfectly poached pear underneath the lettuce, finishing it off with extravagant and flavorful spices. I handed the dish to Travis and told him it was ready to serve.
After about twenty minutes Travis came in and told Andrew that Amelia wanted to see the chef. My heart sank. I knew I messed up. I should not have tampered with the recipe. I should have stuck to being irrelevant. Now Andrew was going to fire me. How will I find a new job? How will I pay the rent? Millions of emotions ran through my mind. My hands started to tremble and all color was flushed out of my face.
Andrew walked back in and I had already gotten up to give in my apron and pack my knives.
“Who messed with my recipe?” Andrew questioned looking at all of us. Everyone started murmuring in confusion.
“Me! It was me… listen Im really sorry and I understand if-“
She loved it. It was a brilliant idea, a brilliant idea indeed.” Andrew interrupted while giving me an almost smile as if for the first time I had actually impressed him.