Posted: October 5, 2013 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , , , , , ,

fireFire leaped up at Jack’s face. He backed up, only a little, because he wanted to feel the heat on his body. He grinned from ear to ear. Opening night at his restaurant, Fork, had been rocking from the moment they opened the door. The fire eased down. Jack started heating olive oil in frying pan. Next, rosemary.

Tim, the maitre’d, walked into the kitchen and came right up to Jack. “We’ve got a situation.” Tim didn’t look bothered, or scared. He looked like he was about to jump out of his skin. “The food writer for the Telegraph is outside.”

Utensils clattered around the kitchen. “Keep moving, everybody! Nothing to see here!” Jack joked. He smiled with his voice but not his face. “You sure?”

“I’ve got his picture up on my desk at home. He’s wearing his beard disguise. That’s him.”

Jack’s heart dropped. On opening night? “All right. Get back out there. Flag his order when it comes in.”

“You got it.”

Time for rosemary. Thyme? No, rosemary, goddamn it. Jack started whispering a yoga mantra under his breath to calm down. He’d had a groove going and everything. He could feel himself sweating. No, that was silly. It was over eighty degrees in here. He’d been sweating for six hours.

The rosemary chicken was grilled to perfection when Tim came back in. “The big man’s order is leaf green appetizer…”

That was easy.

“And the chicken with spicy pepper salsa for his entrée.”

That wasn’t. “This guy hates spicy food.”

“In two years he’s always liked mellow food better,” Jim said.

The reporter had thrown a gauntlet. “All right. Got it,” He said. Jack thought of saying something inspirational, but he didn’t normally do that anyway. “Got it,” he repeated, like he would have said for any other order. Tim went back outside.

Jack handed off the rosemary chicken to be served. As he started gathering his ingredients, he thought about what he was up against. The reporter had done research. The spicy pepper salsa was Jack’s signature dish. He used a combination of spicy peppers and sweet fruits to balance out the heat. When he did it perfectly, it was heat that hurt so good. Should he dial it back for the reporter?

Spoil it, and it could set them back years. Nail it, and the restaurant would be running like a horses out of the gate. If he went with heat, he’d have to do it perfectly.

Jack slapped his hands together and rubbed them until he felt heat. “Time to knock this guy’s socks off,” he said.

This post is brought to you by the prompt “fork” from Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite.

  1. Tense and tasty! Love it.


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