Chapter 21

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Christophe placed four more small plates onto the quickly crowding table and the bus boy leaned over Cameron’s other shoulder to fill the water glasses.

“Today you will be having an assortment of tastes from our kitchen.  I am sure you will find them appropriate and to your liking.”  Christophe gestured to each of the plates and began to list off the delicacies that occupied them.  “Here you will find morels stuffed with garlic and almond, olives anchova, pesto rossa made with sun-dried tomatoes and bell pepper, no cheese in this,” Christophe winked after he added that necessary qualifier.  He then went to the next plate, “Wild mushroom, morel again, and asparagus ravioli, also no cheese, zucchini carpaccio, crispy eggplant with tomatoes and basil, baby artichokes in a black truffle sauce, and lastly, chanterelle mushroom on wheat berry risotto with sage leaves.”

Christophe stood straight and placed his hands together in front of him.

“The presentation is excellent,” said Cameron, “very…  Provencal.”

“Very good Monsieur,” said Christophe, then closed his eyes and bowed his head.

Christophe then glanced down at Marie.  Cameron could tell that Christophe was obviously waiting for a comment.  Marie placed both of her hands flat on the table, looked across to Cameron, and then surveyed the foods Christophe had presented.

Christophe drew his next few words slowly, “Our apologies Madame, perhaps we have offered too many mushroom dishes?”

Languidly Marie turned her head up toward Christophe, his opened mouth smile turning to an inviting gape, his head beginning to droop.  “Disappointing,” said Marie, “mushrooms in any form disagree with me.”  Christophe’s head shot back up and his smile went full, “I am sure Madame will find these mushroom’s very much to her liking.”  The Maître d’ approached the table slightly nudging Christophe for position and produced a plate domed with a silver lid.  “I think you will find these sweets to your liking as well,” said the Maître d’.  He placed the plate on the table and bowed.  Christophe and the bus boy bowed as well.  “Bénisse, personne n’est content que nous,” they said almost in unison.  Marie and Nicole bowed their heads back at them and repeated the greeting.  The Maître d’ then, along with the bus boy, turned away from the table and headed back toward the kitchen.  Christophe lifted his hands, still clasped together, to his chest, “If you need anything, let me know.  The bus boy will be bringing some bread shortly.  We are baking it fresh for you.”

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