“Hey, ugh, why don’t they stop?” The woman says in complete frustration. It’s moments like this she wished she had a car, but living in New York City it’s cheaper to be frustrated.
“Miss, are you ok?”
“I’m trying to get a cab, but as you can see…”
A guy whistles and the cab stops.
“Are you serious, I’ve been standing here for ten minutes, but thank you,” she says and extends her hand to shake her new found hero as he holds the cab door open for her. “I’m Mia Bishop.”
“Hi Mia, I’m Marc, Marc Simmons.”
“Marc Simmons, the chef?”
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Oh my, umm, here’s my card.”
“Are we going,” the cab driver says.
“One moment, sir, please,” Mia says before Marc could answer, but he cuts the driver a look and that shuts him up. “Is there any way you can call me? I’m looking for someone to cater an anniversary dinner, a wedding, and a few other events in the next few months.”
Laughing, Mia says, “No, I’m an event planner, my clients are pretty high-end and the one I had has a family emergency. My assistant called yours, but the woman, Lydia, I believe her name is, said you didn’t cater anymore; it’s too bad, you’re losing money.”
“Hmmm, I never said I didn’t cater, but that’s neither here nor there, Lydia no longer works for me. Umm, this is the best number to reach you?”
“Yes, I have an opening for tastings tomorrow at three; I know it’s short notice, but…”
“I’ll put some things together, can you meet me at the restaurant?”
“Yes, I can. Thank you so much! I’ll see you then,” Mia said and got into the cab finally releasing her breath she was holding. She’s seen many pics of Marc in magazines and once she caught his act on Steve Harvey’s show, but never in her wildest dreams did she think Marc Simmons was as dreamy as he is.
“Damn,” that’s a fine woman. “Jayson, hey, have Vanessa call me when she gets a minute, thank you,” Marc said and found a nearby park bench and jumped on his tablet looking for information on Mia. He needed to see who some of her clients were so he and Vanessa could design solid menus; plus he wanted to impress her he found within himself. “Vanessa, hey, listen I need you early tomorrow say noon, we’ve got a potential catering gig.”
“Cool, I wondered why we had stopped doing them.”
“I know why, now, and although I dealt with it, I didn’t know Lydia was the cause of us not getting any more catering jobs.”
“Well, damn, ok so what’s going on?”
“So, I’m looking for a high-end menu for A-listers, and I don’t want any seafood, just because…and I need ideas by 5 today.”
“I’ll see you soon, I need to go to Larry’s, anything that we’re low on not on the list?”
“No, wait, mushrooms, I can’t remember if I added that.”
“Got it, later,” Marc said and looked at his phone. He had messages from several people wanting everything from him writing a cookbook, to his upcoming TV cooking appearances, but he only cared about the message from Mia.
Mr. Simmons, it was a pleasure running into you this morning, I was wondering if you are available this evening to meet with the clients at their home so you can get a feel of what they’re looking for. We’ll be there about 6:30.
Marc smiles and responds, tell me where I’m going…
Wonderful. The address is 285 W 110th Street, 9A we’ll see you then.
Marc didn’t respond, but knowing the city as he does, he knew that these clients were made of stupid money and his instincts about not serving seafood unless they specifically asked was right on point.
When Marc arrived at the apartment building, the doorman had him sign in and showed him to the elevator. Marc was nervous; he was both excited about seeing Mia again, but he was more so excited about adding new clients to his list.
“Welcome,” the young lady said and held out her hand to greet Marc. “Mr. Simmons?”
“Yes,” Marc responded.
“Great, I’m Tracy Rutledge, Warner’s assistant—please come in.”
“Can I get you something to drink,” Tracy asked.
“Apple juice if you have it.”
“Certainly, please follow me. Mr. and Mrs. Warner, and Ms. Bishop, Mr. Simmons has arrived.”
Mia smiled and went to Marc, “Hello again, didn’t I just see you?”
Marc smiled, giggled, and said, “Why yes you did!”
“So this is Vincent and Kristen Warner, they are planning their 35th wedding anniversary dinner. Vince, Kristen, this is Marc Simmons.”
“Chef Simmons, it’s a pleasure meeting you. Mia was telling us how you two meet and we’re so glad; we hope you’d be able to cater for us?”
“Well thank you, and please call me Marc. So, where is the dinner going to be,” Marc asked, getting straight to the point.
“Here,” Mia said and continued saying, “It’s for 20 people.”
“Ok, and what would you like to have,” Marc asked and Mia noticed that he’s all business right now which she understood that that’s why he’s successful.
Once everyone sat down in the living room overlooking Central Park, Mia showed Marc the boards that she designed for the dinner. It was going to be an elegant affair, and the food would also have to be elegant as well.
“So Mia was saying that you’ve scheduled a tasting for her tomorrow,” Vincent said and Marc nodded. “There are a few things that we’d like: nothing with peanuts or nuts in general and no seafood, our daughter-in-law cannot eat that; other than that, feel free to be as creative as you like. Mia has our budget and our confidence.”
Marc looked at Mia and thought she’s that good, huh?
“Ok, and dessert?
“Ooh, we have that covered, we’re just needing dinner…”
“Are you thinking of 3 course or…”
Cutting Marc off, Kristen said, “Ooh, I’d love a soup, appetizer, a combo type dinner and tons of veggies.”
Marc nodded thinking about the request, “Anything specific as far as entrée?”
“No, no, just surprise us.”
“Ok, I can do that, so if there’s nothing else,” Marc said standing, needing to get to work on their menu, “I’ll be going. It was a pleasure meeting you both, I look forward to delighting your appetite.”
Both Warner’s stood, shook Marc’s hand, and watched Mia’s face go red.
“So Mia, I think we’re done for the night, you’ve been working non-stop I think you should get out of here.” Mia looked at Kristen confused at first, but then Kristen nodded at Marc when her husband walked him to the door. “Don’t you think he’d like to drive you home?” But before Mia could answer, Kristen went to Marc and said, “Marc, dear, would you mind giving Mia a ride home or sharing a cab, I didn’t want to assume you have a car,” Kristen being a smart woman knowing that most New Yorkers don’t have cars.
“It would be my pleasure,” Marc said and Kristen turns to look at Mia and smiles at her. “Mia are you all set?”
“Ah, yeah; Kristen, Vince, I’ll let you know how the tasting goes, ok,” she said and hugged Kristen.
“Make sure you enjoy yourself,” Kristen whispered in Mia’s ear. Kristen has known Mia since she was in college with her son Adam. Mia started as an intern in their fabrics company and when she told the Warner’s that she had a business plan, and a little money, to start her event planning company—they gave her money and their entire contact list of all the heavy hitters in New York City and their friends, and so on…so, for Mia they were more like her parents rather than just her clients.
Mia nodded, got a kiss on her cheek from Vincent and told Tracy good night. She went with Marc to wait for the elevator, but she didn’t bother to say anything. She had a million things she could say, but didn’t bother.
“Your design for this dinner is absolutely beautiful, I understand why your clients are happy with what you create.”
“Thank you, I only work with the best and I’m excited to work with you too.”
“But you have no idea what the quote will be…”
“It doesn’t matter, when I told them I had found you as a replacement they were ecstatic! They actually increased their budget because they didn’t want you to be limited.”
“Well, all right,” Marc said and led the way to his car. There was another moment of silence until they got to Marc’s car.
“This is your car?”
“Yup, you like it?”
“It’s awesome,” Mia said about Marc’s 1969 Ford Mustang Grande 1.
“Thank you, I love classic cars, but this one only comes out on special occasions.”
“Well, this one is definitely a beauty…so, ah, you might need my address, right?”
“Yes, but how about we stop for ice cream?”