Eight months through the exciting launching of La Allegrina, Fabio got the chance to get a grip of what running your own restaurant demanded: spoil the customers, discipline the staff, and just forget about yourself.
Geena, his latest bet, was about to do a demonstration of the London’s do-what-you-want spirit: at the beginning he couldn’t make up his mind wether to hire this drama student- who desperately needed a means to survive – or not.
But Geena had that special something which very often brought good news.
After the double-day training (double, just in case) he watched her do her best with a sparkle in her eyes, returning to her notes whenever she went to the kitchen:
– don’t answer personal questions
– keep orders in strict order
– make eye contact
– don’t be flirtatious and don’t blush in reaction to compliments
– celebrity etiquette
– remember your menu suggestions will never be considered
– health and safety….
None of the crew had ever served a celebrity before, at least not on these premises, they were mentioning as they did the tables and candles; but “you never know”, stated Fabio as they were caught in the kitchen on gossip- mode.
”you never know”?
As real as a hunger pang. It was a very rainy Tuesday. At 9.03pm, a vibrant emotion rushed through La Allegrina: five overconfident indidividuals stepped in, escorting the real Dalia do Mito, who was overflowing with herself as she took a table with that stylish impertinence of hers. Not surprinsingly, she picked out her waitress too- like she was choosing a pair of new sunglasses.
Geena. The first celebrity customer of the business had just pointed her fake nail at her.
* * *
LED lights, music loud and the “closed” sign on the door.
– Garzonne! I shall start with two packs of prawn cocktail crisps before I have a peep at the menu… and…. ah! Elderflower sparkling water pretty quick…. please.
The guests were trying hard not to stare at the famous committee.
The crew sighed with relief: the diva didn’t order any alcohol, yet she presented herself slightly tipsy.
Crisps in the basket and Geena up for a challenge, Dalia had no time to click her fingers for the waitress: “garzonne” was standing right behind her shoulder.
– You’re not reading my whattsapps are you? asked the star.
– Hahaha, haha! The whole table of six relaxed.
Geena was unoffended, but she hit back:
– First of all, we need to ask you if you suffer from any food allergies, if you are pregnant and if you are on any particular treatment?
– Hahaha, hahaha!
– She’s got a prawn cocktail crisps issue! Hahaha, haha! said the bodyguard.
Dania wasn’t listening as one of her phones kept beeping with messages. Then she raised her chin and asked,
– Tell me, garzonne, what’s t that perfume you are using? It’s nice…
– I never spray perfume. Everybody has been asking me the same since I work here!
– So what have you been eating?
– Our special asparagus fettuccine only. Still can’t get enough…
– Oh right. Two of those for me please. Actually, three. No, six, seven, we’re all having that. And one more bag of crisps.
Fabio had been personally looking after the regulars, always keeping an eye on Geena.
“This is going to end up either a disaster or the jackpot” he whispered to Martin.
– Give her a chance….
* * *
– Garzonne! What’s the name of your left cow?
– I beg your pardon?
– your left cow! Dalia pointed at the new waitress’ earring.
– Its not a cow it’s a sheep. Geena was pulling her leg. As yet to be named!
– Oh. Dalia started playing with her fettuccine.
Fabian was smiling with his fingers crossed.
– Where did you get them?
– A friend of mine makes them. I can get you a pair ready for next week….
– This Garzonne is my star! she said with her mouth half full…. and how shall we name the new cows? Sorry, I meant the sheep. Hahaha, ha, ha!
– The diet sentinels! Said Garzonne, taking the opportunity to seize all the bags of crisps… even the unopened ones.
The couple sitting at the nearest table were waiting patiently for the right minute to ask for a selfie.
As if their minds had been read, the en vogue celebrity cried,
– Approach, it’s selfie time!
All guests dropped their cutlery and the three minute party started.
– Don’t nick my crisps, fans! She was oblivious to the fact all her crisps had been confiscated.
-Garzonne! don’t forget my sheep next Tuesday!
The jackpot bell rung like an unsound melody inside Fabio’s chest.
Before they even realized, the six visitors were gone, leaving behind crisp crums, plenty of notes on the table, and a very pleasant abscence.
The music was finally switched to lounge. Martin winked at Garzonne, and Christy poured the special liquors on the house.
Fabio, alone in the small, damp office, opened his secret drawer where he kept all his “unpaid bills”, and sighed….
”I’ve got paperwork to do tonight, Garzonne”….
Thanks for sharing!
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