I’m sorry I spam you with chapters. D:
But the cook didn’t swing his knife at the girls. He simply maintained his pose and facial expression, obviously trying to scare them away.
“Excuse me, sir,” Keisha said in her most polite voice. Leesh had to stifle a giggle. “What are you doing?”
The kinfe holder’s expression got angrier. He had a large, red face, veins obvious on his forehead. His eyes were a menacing ice blue and he had some stubble on his chin.
“I chase all unwanted people away from the kitchen. You’re not allowed here,” he growled.
“Actually, sir, I think you’ll find that the kitchen is quite alright to go into. Do you see a ‘Forbidden Entry’ symbol?” Keisha asked, holding the map under his flat nose.
“No,” the cook said, his blood boiling. Keisha thought he needed to go to anger-management classes.
“We’d like to pass, then,” she said as kindly as she could.
He fumed, lowered his knife and burst back into the kitchen. Keisha stopped the doors from smacking into her face when it swung back and walked in with Leesh.
The kitchen was a busy, sweaty workplace of cooks of all shapes and sizes. They all were doing different things. A skinny cook was using a blow torch on a meringue, while a larger, tougher-looking cook beside the skinny one was chopping onions at record speed without shedding a single tear. Another cook was carefully making a neat mountain of strawberries coated in sugar, while another was setting a mountain of wobbly green jelly down on the bench. They were all working hard and wore the same white cook uniform.
“Work faster! No, don’t cut it like that, cut it like zis! Hey you, stop! You’re about to make it collapse. Ugh, zis is ze worst cooking crew ever!” yelled a voice angrily.
Keisha and Leesh looked ahead and saw a plump, beefy-necked man walking down the line of cooks, inspecting and yelling out orders to the cooks. The girls could tell from his huge hat that he was the chef.
“Come on, let’s go meet him!” Keisha whispered.
Leesh looked at her doubtfully but succumbed to peer pressure and followed Keisha, who was proceeding towards the chef.
“Hello, sir. What’s your name?” Keisha said like an innocent ten-year-old. Leesh let out a little snort, then quickly looked away, humming.
“Augustus. Chef Augustus. What is it to you?” the chef grunted with a strong Russian accent. “Children are not allowed in my kitchen.”
“We’re terribly sorry but we just wanted meet the creator of such wonderful food. I’m sure that when I taste the food tonight it will be marvellous,” Keisha said.
“Of course it will. ‘Tis being prepared by Chef Augustus.”
Keisha looked doubtfully at Chef Augustus, and then the hard-working cooks, but she turned back to him. “Indeed. Would you mind me asking what’s being prepared tonight?”
“I would. ‘Tis a surprise. But I tell you children a secret. Your principal is getting special meal. Source has given Augustus a recipe of principal’s favourite meal. THOMAS!” he called out.
A tall, stocky man with a frightened look on his face brought a platter over to the children and the chef. On it sat a range of prawns, shrimp, crabs and lobster, all perfectly cooked and sitting on a huge green leaf. Parsley was sprinkled on top.
“Wow,” Keisha said, meaning it. Principal Ivory was a lucky guy.
“Mm, Chef Augustus has done a good job, has he not?” Augustus said.
“He has,” she said, sneaking an apologetic look at Thomas who had done all the work. Thomas scurried away like a squirrel and resumed his work on the platter.
“Hey, you kids are not too bad. Won’t hurt Augustus to show you around ze kitchen,” Augustus said, twirling his moustache. He was obviously proud of his kitchen which his slave cooks had created.
“That’s a great idea!” Keisha exclaimed, still using her innocent voice. Leesh sighed and tagged along as Chef Augustus showed her around the kitchen, Keisha by his side like a puppy dog. She wasn’t exactly a fan of Augustus, but she had to act all angelic if she wanted to see the kitchen. And also, it was fun to play games with people. Leesh loved how silly her friend was.
“Zis is ze dessert section of Augustus’s kitchen. I make sure ze cooks make zeir creations boisterous, but not over-the-top,” Chef Augustus said. “Here, why don’t you taste-test Augustus’s new Cosmic Cream. ADRIAN!”
A very tall man who lumbered over everyone presented Keisha and Leesh with a spoon each of cream with the texture of yoghurt. Keisha put it in her mouth and let the smooth cream caress her tongue, a blend of sweetness and an unexpected blast of something tangy. Like an orange, or a sprinkle of chilli.
Keisha grinned. “Beautiful! What’s that tangy thing I taste?”
Augustus leaned close and grinned. “‘Tis Chef Augustus’s secret ingredient.”
Keisha gave him a mystified look because she was, indeed, mystified.
“Let’s keep touring Augustus’s kitchen. Here is ze vegetable and fruit section.”
Keisha took a good look at all the cooks chopping, grating, boiling, stirring and coating all types of fruit and vegetables. Even though Keisha wasn’t a particularly a vegetable lover, the vegetables looked exotic and flavoursome and the fruit looked like it was the quality of diamonds.
“Augustus always has at least one taste-tester with each section. LIAM!”
A big, burly man carrying a bundle of chilli bit into a chilli heartily, not a sign of discomfort visible with the bored expression on his face.
“Wait another day and they’ll be perfect, mate,” Liam said with an Australian accent.
“Good, good. Let us continue exploring, my dear,” Augustus said to Keisha. Leesh’s eyes were still wide after seeing Liam eat a chilli without pain.
Suddenly, an alarm rang loudly, blaring through the large kitchen and leaving a ring in everyone’s ears.
Author’s Note: This was sooo fun to write! I think El Pandoro is a lot like Augustus, except with a Mexican accent.