It was early summer when I sat down for my first meeting with the owner of the restaurant, John, a middle-aged gentleman from Spain who spoke with a thick accent, though he had been living in the United States for more than 15 years. His soft spoken voice added to my communication challenge but I was determined to create the best public relations campaign ever. I always wanted to be the best.
The restaurant was already popular, catering to a hip crowd of late night diners and the bar was always crowded with beautiful people. John told me he offered free drinks to actresses and models when he first opened thinking the men would follow, and they did. But a major part of the restaurant’s allure was the food and that, John told me, was thanks to his Chef. There was never a question that John was a “Foodie,” through and through. His Buddha belly said he knew what he was talking about when it came to the subject.
He seemed to have thought of everything, so why did he need me? I was beginning to feel very nervous. My hands were sweating; my stomach was doing flip flops. I mean, I wasn’t a foodie at all. In fact, I would be satisfied eating Balance Bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I sat there listening to him, I began to panic. I didn’t even know which fork to use at a fancy dinner.
“I want the campaign to be as powerful as that Madonna singer,” John enthused. I tried my best to keep the smile on my face as I thought to myself, Madonna is a rock star. Restaurant 321 is a restaurant.
So there I was, wondering how I was going to accomplish this while John continued to make plans for celebrity parties, award show galas, art exhibits, charity balls to make his eatery world-famous when Chef Dave walked up to our table.
“Would you like me to prepare a little lunch?” he asked, although the question was directed to both of us, he was riveted on me.
My hand went slack and I dropped my pen. I tried my hardest not to stare at the boyishly handsome blonde haired, 6-foot tall chef with deep brown eyes in his messy white apron tied over his black-and-white checkered pants.
My pen rolled slowly off the table before falling to the floor. I didn’t even notice. I was too busy zeroing in on his hands. They didn’t look like they belonged to a man who worked in a kitchen. He had long, slender fingers with perfectly manicured nails. I thought that was a bit odd but his arms were muscular, with especially strong forearms from working with those heavy pots and pans, I assumed. Chef Dave chivalrously bent down to retrieve my pen.
“Let me help you with that,” he said as he placed the pen back into my hand, our fingers touching for a moment, just long enough to send sparks through my entire body. He looked at me with his mischievous eyes, winking as he put his hand in the pocket of his pants. His boss was oblivious to the fireworks that were exploding between the chef and me.
I thought to myself, wow, here’s an attractive guy, he’s got a job, a career even. He’s good looking yet he’s got food smeared all over his apron and his dirty blonde hair is messy. He exuded the independent spirit that I craved with the bonus of a job. I could smell it on Dave, attracting me to him like a dog to a steak.