‘Chef 26 is a HE?’ The question bounced off the walls of Kaima’s office. It was a breezy Monday morning, the first bit of information she was trying to comprehend wasn’t from a financial document, but from her close friend Cynthia. How can chef 26 be a He? She asked herself. She fired up her laptop and searched for Magic Menu restaurant on the web, when she found the page fitting her query, she accessed the site and looked up the chefs on the restaurant’s payroll, unfortunately, only a brief info about each chef’s background and culinary skills were on display, no pictures were made available. ‘Hmmm! Seems I’ll have to get there in person to meet chef 26’ she thought.
By mid day, Kaima was hungry again, this time she did not need to call Cynthia for pointers on which chef she should patronize from the magic menu restaurant. She placed her order via email, and as usual 15 minutes later, lunch was served packaged in the same way, but with a different content. This time it was rice and sauce with peppered chicken and fish, mixed with regular salad. The result was same as last week; the food was sensational, amazing and delicious. Even the bones of the chicken and fish disappeared. Filled with food that lightened her mood, she sunk into her chair pondering ‘who was chef 26? What was his name? What did he look like? Where did he learn how to cook?’ She had a thousand and one questions to ask, but more importantly she could sense a business opportunity. ‘I’ll stop by at the restaurant on my way home’ she decided.
The time was 4 pm, the sun had lowered its gaze, a lot of workers had started leaving their various offices. Kaima knew that if she didn’t leave the office now she could be stuck in traffic. Traffic was a norm in Victoria Island, a commercial hub blessed with tall, beautiful buildings and a lot of office executives.
Kaima took the elevator, seconds later, she was out of the silver building, a high rise building located at Roundy street, her office was on the 5th floor. In few strides, she reached the parking lot and angled purposefully to her car, a green Toyota Camry, 2010 model. As soon as she entered her car, it came to life, with two quick turns and simple manoeuvres she was out of the parking lot, soon she connected with the road and joined the scores of cars leaving Roundy street. Her next destination wasn’t home but the Magic Menu restaurant. 30 minutes later she was at the restaurant, when she walked through the front door, the picture she had in mind wasn’t what she saw. There was a front desk, with two doors on both sides of the front desk, the sign on the first door read kitchen colored in gold, while the sign on the second door read restaurant colored in red. Kaima approached the front desk and asked ‘if she could see Chef 26?’
‘A moment Madam’ the young lady at the front desk said and ushered her into a waiting chair for guests. The young lady at the front desk placed a call to the kitchen informing chef 26 that he had a visitor. Seconds later a man opened the kitchen door and went to the front desk, they exchanged a few words, before the young lady pointed at Kaima’s direction. The young man left the front desk and angled towards Kaima, he was draped in snow white chef garment, about 6 foot tall, mid-thirties, fair in complexion and good looking.
‘Hi’ he said to Kaima with a blinding smirk, ‘my name is Ikenna, and you are?’
Kaima stood up, stretched out her hand, which he gloved with his, ‘am Kaima’ she said as they shook hands.
‘Nice to meet you’ Ikenna replied.
‘Same here’ she said. Kaima didn’t know why, but her heart seemed to be racing, if a doctor was close to her, the doctor would have misjudged her increased heart rate and pulse as a sign of high blood pressure, but the truth was far from that context.
‘Am not chef 26’ Ikenna said, her pulse rate decelerated immediately.
‘What?’ Kaima said with a surprised face.
‘Chef 26 went home early after he cooked and packaged an order from one of the offices in the silver building’ he replied.
‘That must have been my order,’ she said to herself.
‘I am chef 10,’ he added.
‘Does he have a phone number I can reach him on’ Kaima asked.
‘Yes he does madam, but you’ll have to get it from him, company policy doesn’t allow us to give out employee phone numbers unless it’s an emergency. But you can check in again next week, he’ll be on ground then.’
‘Thanks for your time’ Kaima said. Ikenna gave her a low bow and played the part of a gentleman by escorting her to the door and opening it for her to exit the restaurant.
………….to be continued