The meal was perfection. Chef sat back in his chair and smiled warmly at his dining companion.
“You’re mentoring Luciano excellently,” she said. “Chef’s Special Pie was exhilarating today, adding spices into the pastry was pure genius.”
Chef smiled. “His own invention. Luciano’s very promising.” He leaned forward:
“But credit for all those pies must go to the quality of the meat. Rare you find meat of such tenderness.”
She giggled. “And from such an old and stringy beast, too!”
And when they held hands and told each other I love you for the fifth time that meal...
A sigh of relaxation.
Today, That Git’s wife dined without That Git. But not alone.
Today, Marvin was taken aback.
“I’m very well, thank you, Marvin,” she said sweetly as he prepared to take her order, “I think today calls for something different. Perhaps a Chef’s Special Pie.”
“Very good, Madam.”
And it was excellent. As was the Chianti. And the company.
It was Chef’s day off and he provided the company.
The meal over, even he remarked that the Pie was as good as if he’d made it. Via Marvin, he passed his compliments to trainee Luciano.
He always made a point of going to the table to apologise personally if a meal was returned. Whether the customer was right or wrong, Chef felt the least a customer deserved was an apology and an explanation: it was good customer service. It made for bigger tips and it bought them back again. Sometimes, if an error with the meal had really been made, he would offer to show them around the kitchen and share a post prandial cognac with them at the end of the night.
He’d done that with That Git once. But never again.
“Right, that’s it!”
The Insalata di Frutti di Mare Veneziana, the Venetian Seafood Salad, had been returned to the kitchen.
“Some facets overcooked, some facets undercooked, the sauce barely adequate.” Marvin repeated what That Git had told him. “That Git’s wife had the good grace to blush,” Marvin added, displaying the plate, “this meal is bloody perfect.”
“It is,” Chef replied coldly. “Does he want it replaced?”
“He wants the steak. Well done.”
“Then he shall have the steak. Well done.”
Marvin studied Chef. This wasn’t like him at all. He’d expected heat. What he got was ice.
“It won’t be right for that git. It never is.”
Marvin shrugged, as if to say “He pays.”
Chef glared. “Suppose.” He sighed again, “but that git never even tips.”
Chef hated That Git.
“His wife always leaves you a generous tip,” Marvin murmured. He didn’t want to upset Chef and he hated That Git intensely, too, but she did always leave Chef a sizeable tip.
“Not when she's with That Git, though.” Chef stressed every word, skewered them into Marvin’s ears so there could be no mistake.
Marvin nodded. Chef was right.
That Git was truly despicable.