The New French Chef
Dan pushed his chair back from a table a few inches and patted his stomach appreciatively.
“Herb, that was an amazing meal,” he said. “I mean it. I go to restaurants at least four nights a week and I haven’t had anything as good as this meal in the past year.”
“Really? Thanks,” said Herb. He smiled almost shyly. “I’m glad you liked it. Cooking is a nice little hobby for me.”
“Don’t listen to him,” said Wendy, Herb’s wife. “He’s being too modest. Little hobby? Dan, did you know Herb went to culinary school before his dad made him switch to accounting?”
“No kidding?” Dan scooted back to the table and leaned toward Herb, excitement on his face. “Did you really, man? That’s great!”
Herb gave his friend a look of suspicion.
“Yeah, I did do the basic course. My old man wasn’t too keen on it, though. Why?”
“It gives me a great idea,” Dan answered. “How would you like to have a cooking show on t.v.? I know a guy at the Chef Network. I think we could give him a great pitch. What kind of food do you really like to cook?”
“Uh, well, let’s see,” said Herb. “I’ve tried a lot of things, but I guess my favorite is classic French cuisine.” He gave a sheepish grin. “Julia Child was one of my heroes when I was a kid and I think I saw every cooking show Jacques Pepin ever filmed.”
“That’s good, that’s very good,” Dan said, excitedly. He stood from the table and began pacing back and forth across the dining room. “That’s how we can pitch it. You’re this generation’s French Chef. You’ll bring French culinary knowledge into American kitchens again. I like it.” Dan rubbed his hands together. “I like it a lot.”
“You need a catchy name for the show,” said Wendy. “Something clever that tells the viewer what they’re getting. How about Preparing Paris?”
Herb snorted and shook his head.
“Flavors of France?”
This time, it was Dan shaking his head.
“I like the idea but that isn’t quite it, somehow,” he said. “Herb? Anything?”
Herb shook his head again. It was quiet in the room for several minutes as they mulled it over.
“Oh! I’ve got it!” cried Dan. “It’s perfect!”
“What is?” asked Herb.
Dan moved his hand across an imaginary marquee above them.
“You’ll be Herb of Provence!”
Herb dropped his forehead to the table as Wendy laughed delightedly.
“As long as we’re going for subtle sophistication,” muttered Herb.
But, he couldn’t help grinning.