An author seeks a chef for his latest book. Second draft of Chapter I
Here it is. The second draft of the first chapter of an as yet untitled story. I am not creating a new item and am replacing the text of the first draft with this. A big thanks to all the people who sent me their reviews and sugestions! Don't forget to tell me what you think of it.
“I’m afraid there aren’t any Chefs available at such short notice” said the restaurant manager to the eager gentleman.
“Not even one?” he asked dejectedly.
“I’m sorry, Sir.”
“But I’m desperate. I really need a chef for my book!”
“For your book?”
“Yeah, I’m writing a book- a novel if you please, which takes an in-depth look into a chef’s life gone awry. It’s gonna make me millions! Since I don’t know anything about chefs, I thought it would be nice to do a bit of research on them. You know how any writer worth his salt is supposed to research his characters to make his writing more believable? It’s called ‘realism’ or ‘getting a feel of the character’ …..”
“Get out!” screamed the manager.
“You want to hire a ‘Grandioso’ chef- one who is sought after by the elitist of the elite for their grandest events! It’s preposterous!”
“What? It’s not like I won’t pay him. In fact, he can have 1% of the royalties from the book sales…and an honourable mention in the book…though I can’t guarantee that I’ll use his real name-makes it seem more mysterious, don’t you think?”
“I’m going! I’m going!”
As he walked away, Viz was still as determined as ever to get his writing career off the ground. He thought he had found the easiest gimmick to get rich quickly. After all, he figured that a writer was always one best-seller away from becoming a billionaire. And even though he didn’t know much about writing, he believed that ‘researching the character’ was absolutely essential. And since he was writing a murder mystery with a chef as his protagonist, he needed a chef!
Viz looked around as he prodded on towards the bus stop. The street was full of fancy restaurants with glass windows. His eyes lit up as he saw a sign on one such window.
“Kitchen Help Wanted” it said.
‘That amounts to a front row seat to a Chef’s performance’ he thought. What better place to observe a chef than his kitchen itself.
So, off he went to check if the vacancy still stood.
“I hope you have the requisite experience for the position?” the manager asked him after the preliminaries were complete.
“I can boil eggs.” Viz ventured.
“You’ve studied cooking at college, of course?”
“I boiled eggs when I was at college.” replied Viz earnestly.
“Oh, what the heck, you’re hired. The last guy who applied couldn’t even do that. Welcome to the 'Palate'” There was a tinge of eagerness in his voice.
“Great! When do I start?” Right away. I’ll introduce you to Chi, our head chef.” said the manager as he led Viz into the kitchens.
“Chi, this is Viz. He’s the new helper.” He said to the lone person in the kitchen.
“Hmm…” he said looking him over with uncertainty.
“I hope you have the requisite….” He began, but he was interrupted by the manger.
“Don’t bother. He can boil eggs though.”
“Oh well. That’s more than what the other guy could do.”
“I’ll leave you two to get acquainted.” said the manager before leaving.
Viz scrutinized the kitchen. It was rectangular in shape and had cabinets, for appliances and dishes, at one end and wash-basins at the other. There was a large rectangular marble slab, built around a pillar, in the centre of the room where the major cooking related activities seemed to take place. A bunch of wires were plugged into a switchboard near the wash-basins. The other end of the wires vanished under a door to the side.
“What do you know about digital circuits?” the chef asked Viz suddenly.
“Never mind.” he said wistfully.
Viz couldn’t figure out the relation of digital circuits to the art of cooking, but he let it go.
“Where is the rest of the staff?” Viz enquired, looking around at the empty kitchen.
“What staff?” Chi said distantly. He seemed to be busy scribbling in a small notebook he had just taken out.
“The cooking staff. You couldn’t possibly run a restaurant kitchen with just two people, can you?”
“Oh, we manage to get by.” His scribbling intensified.
“How?” asked a bewildered Viz.
“I suppose I’d better tell you all.”
End of Chapter I