Novel in progress: Working Title ‘Chef’
Due to his particular skills and previous history, a renowned chef at a top teppanyaki grill becomes a central person of interest in a soon-to-be-orchestrated heist. He finds himself gaining unsought attention from police and criminal masterminds alike, and is set on a collision course between them all, when he’d rather just go home and feed his cat.
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This is another experiment in differently styled prose – this time to use as few ‘which’ ‘that’ ‘like’ type of words as possible, and make it popping and fast. Also to push the textures and colours of the scenes.
The night had been a hectic hey-go-round affair. Knives were thrown, salt and spices tossed and diced together with the teppan sizzling shrimp, the fine sliced omelette, and the chef’s secret pork. Sweating madly before the grill plate on fire, juggling, slicing, throwing—What was that? Another joke? This chef is brilliant. Cool as this sparkling drop, the expensive, chilled concoction, slippery condensation on the flute. Sweet aromas everywhere between the fire and smoke, sweet sips, and the chilled sour tang of the exotic salad.
Chef mixes dishes, dee-jaying colour and flavour like music, pop-pop-pop, bu-doom-tish, cha! His knives fly, air jive, slicing mid air through meat and greens and fruit, ‘Look no hands,’ he jokes. Plate is never bare, only taste after taste, a journey, a symphony, then finale. Flames kick and grow, then only smoke. Then, no chef, just salt left in calligraphy on the silver teppan grill, a note: thank you.
Hands acknowledge the famous man, wow, the word does the rounds, spreading each to each till all recount their favourite part, till all sup and talk and wear the evening out.
Another couple’s whispering fingers find it’s time for sleeping eyes, their bright white smiles ask the aproned waiter to pass complements, a fine night, best place in town, chef’s grand, and pass on this gratuity too please, and this for yourself.
The main guest’s a hot-shot young entrepreneur type, rich, cashed up and chuffed, model wife sparkles on his arm, a bling thing, but no blonde bomb, oh no, she’s elegant and not just for show, her deep flashing iris suggests higher intelligence, but not her lips, they suggest more play, perhaps?
Side grill lounge two incongruous, black jacket men. Straight faced and laced, with measuring eyes, roaming the whole night. Seeming relaxed, but so uptight, a plaster smile. Out of place, not the type usually found dining so fine.
Teppan grill drips dry, until there’s none in sight but these two guys. Aproned waiter comes by.
‘Closing sirs, it’s after time.’
One knots his arms together, other lifts a wallet, flips it: a badge, so serious. ‘The Chef, if you wouldn’t mind. I trust he’s not already gone home for the night?’
Waiter nodded, and went behind.
The broad shouldered chef, tall, quiet type. Sits down calm and easy, rucksack in hand ready to leave but content to humour these men. He yawns, ‘I trust you enjoyed the meal gentlemen.’
‘Indeed we did,’ they said. ‘But we did not come here to discuss your culinary expertise my friend.’
‘Oh,’ the chef said, ‘has there been a complaint or something? Sometimes the unprepared customer can find my style a little confronting.’
‘What then? What else could have happened?’
‘The world is full of happenings Chef, even as we speak some are born, some die, some mourn.’ They spoke easy, but their eyes analysed.
‘Not one is me,’ the chef replied casual like, and with a smile. ‘Would you say what it is you’re after men, I’d be happy to be off, I’ve a cat to humour and a pillow to put to my head.’