Any mention of fellow GA members has been done with their permission.
Storyverse: Stealing the Show - 3. Chapter 3 Iron Mom
Spoilers for @kbois's Hybrid Journey series.
To those that were messaged... Keep waiting.
The roar of the crowd was barely muffled as intense music filled the studio. Holding her microphone, Hoda Kotb took center stage. "Hello, and welcome to another exciting episode of Iron Mom, the cooking face-off between moms across the world to showcase their skills and recipes. This week, we're going supernatural! Our three contestants are proud mothers of shapeshifters; a race known for devouring everything and the kitchen sink. Between these three battle-tested moms, we're looking for someone to properly claim the throne as the Iron Mom.
"Let's meet our contestants.”. The cameraman followed Hoda as she stopped in front of the first station. "We have Elaine Wilson from Owensville, Kentucky. Elaine, tell us about yourself and what it's like to feed a hungry teenager with paws."
The brunette in a sunny yellow sundress folded her hands and smiled, maintaining eye contact with the host. "It can be brutal, if I'm being honest. Feeding my son, Mason, was a hassle, on top of my mate being an alpha. You can imagine the grocery budget when we found out Mason was one as well."
"Yeesh!" Hoda turned to face the camera briefly. "Feeding two alphas! Which one of the two is the picky eater?"
"Well," Elaine pondered aloud. "It used to be Mason, but then his mate came around and stuffed him full of spinach and mushrooms. Now, it's my husband, Leidolf. I try my best, but no matter how hard I hide and smother it, I can not get him to eat broccoli."
Several of the kids in the audience collectively blurted, "Yuck!"
Hoda and Elaine chuckled. The host stepped away, smiling brightly for the camera. "Now we know what kind of crowd we're dealing with. I hope no one uses broccoli in their recipes today.” The host turned to the next contestant and smiled. “Next up, we have Sandi Triggs from Silverton, Montana. My card says you and your mate, Wayne, do not have any children. How did you make it on the show?"
Sandi nodded, bobbing her blonde hair. "No kids of our own just yet, but I cook for enough people to call them my kids. Wayne and I help take care of his brother's children after their mom passed away in an accident. Plus, I cook for the alpha, his mate and council, and anyone else that comes to the lodge with hungry bellies."
Hoda beamed with amazement. "Wow! So you feed plenty of mouths. How do you handle what must be, truckloads of fussy eaters?"
She slapped the station countertop and grinned. "Cheese, and lots of it! Either that or they can go hunting for their own dinner in the woods."
A chant for cheese broke out, and Hoda laughed, then flashed her bright white teeth for the camera. "Looks like we know what the main ingredient should be for the dishes. Let's hope these ladies keep that in mind. Onto our final mom of the evening. She hails from Northern California. We have Maria Francesca 'Mama' Williamson."
The short Latina waved feverishly to a random camera until Hoda pointed at the one being used. "Mama," Hoda said calmly, "is this your first time on TV?"
"Isn't it obvious? ¡Hola Papi! ¡Tyler, Elena, Declan, Malcolm, Felix, Micah, Kaya, Elijah! ¡Mama te ama!" she exclaimed with a shriek at the end.
"Mama, you're so full of energy! How much of that comes into the kitchen with you?"
"All of it, absolutely. Cooking in my house is a family activity. Everyone is involved, whether they like it or not."
"Well, you're all by your lonesome today," Hoda observed. "Will that hinder you in any way?"
Mama stared at the host for a moment, only to laugh and slap her thigh. "No, no, no. I can do bad on my own."
Facing the camera, Hoda made her way over to a long wooden table. "Plenty of spunk and tenacity in the kitchens! The question is whether our judges can handle it. Introducing our beloved critics, we have everyone's favorite bovidae shapeshifter: Chef Gordon Ramsay!"
Clad in a white, short-sleeved, chef jacket, Gordon walked with a pep in his step. "Good evening, Hoda," he said, pecking both of her cheeks.
"To balance out Chef Ramsay's critical feedback, welcome Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski!"
With a peach-orange dress shirt, slender khakis, and colorfully loud sneakers, the cooking personality pranced toward Hoda. "Oh my gosh, so good to see you, Hoda! Hi, Gordie!"
The judges shook hands, Gordon trying his best to keep smiling.
Hoda ventured to the audience. "And now for our guest judges. We're looking for… Section B!"
The middle portion of the stands clamored.
"Row twelve… seats five and six!"
A lady and her son jumped for joy as they slid past the neighboring audience members to get through. Both had matching red and black flannel shirts, as they danced toward the stage.
Hoda held out her microphone. "And you are?"
She stooped and lowered the mic to the youngster. "And what’s your name?" she asked.
"I'm Zack, and I'm seven!"
"Alrighty then, head on over and meet your fellow judges."
Gordon and Antoni brought the mother and son to the judges' table. High-fives were shared and everyone took a seat. Spotlights moved collectively, shining on the three contestants.
“Elaine, Sandi, Mama,” Hoda called out. “Iron Mom is about to begin. You each have sixty minutes for preparation, forty-five minutes to produce an appetizer, sixty for a main course, and thirty for a dessert. Your dishes will be judged on presentation, taste, and the audience's Kid-ometer scores. Those are balanced out between the kiddos and the parents, so feel free to think outside the box. In your kitchens, you have every appliance at your disposal. Off to the right is a fully stocked and departmentalized pantry with everything you could possibly need. To the left is an equally packed cooler with various cuts of protein. Beef, chicken, lamb, veal, pork. You name it, it’s back there. Your sixty minutes of preparation begins now.”
There was a sudden flurry of activity as the three contestants scurried to get started. Hoda gave one more dazzling, flashy smile to the camera as it panned out.
With the preparation round complete, all three moms had their kitchens ready. The contestants used their time wisely by pre-cooking a few ingredients for their dishes and collecting the necessary pots and pans. When Hoda announced the start of the appetizer round, Elaine got moving. Her wolf knew what she had to serve, even before the competition started. Every dish had to be the best.
This competition was wild and knowing one of the contestants personally was even more insane. What were the odds Sandi would be her direct competitor? They weren’t close, but Sandi's mate was one of Dave's distant cousins. Small world…
In the first minute, Hoda came over to her station. “Elaine, what are you cooking?”
Slicing raw bacon, Elaine smiled. “One of my family’s favorites. Bacon-wrapped pineapple chunks.”
“Wow, bacon and fruit! This sounds wild.”
“Every time I bring it to a party or gathering, they’re the first hors d’oeuvres gone. My mate says pineapple doesn’t belong on a pizza, so I did the next best thing.”
Hoda beamed. “Just wrap it in bacon. How clever! What’s the greatest challenge with this recipe?”
With a clean knife in hand, she transitioned to slicing fresh pineapple. “The tedious wrapping. The pineapple can’t be too big since it’s a powerful fruit.”
“A powerful fruit with a powerful meat."
Hoda left to interview the other two ladies.
Elaine worked diligently, ensuring her slices were fit to wrap around the fruit. Once they were slid into the oven, she prepared the brown sugar dip. Whipping the sugar with melted butter and honey, she diluted it. In a final act, Elaine tasted the sauce, deciding it needed a touch of cracked black pepper.
Just as she poured four dipping bowls, the buzzer sounded, ending the round.
Hoda started with Sandi. “Alright, Mrs. Triggs. Describe your dish.”
The blonde lycan presented her chicken tempura with a marinara and parmesan dip. Each plate had three skewers overlapping each other in a triangle with the sauce cup in the middle. "Just stuck the thin tenders on a stick, seasoned the panko, and air-fried them."
"Healthy cooking option," Gordon commented. "Presentation lacks a bit. Could use some herbs or grated parmesan on top."
Antoni leaned forward. "I think it's perfect. And they're on skewers! Kids love anything they can eat with their fingers."
The four judges tasted the dish, and Zack hummed. "They're good!" He scooped a glob of sauce on his chicken before taking another bite.
"Easy there, tiger," Gordon warned. "We got a lot of food to eat today."
Darlene cooed and held up a half-eaten stick. "I love how you chiseled off the pointy end."
Sandi nodded. "Don't need anyone getting hurt."
Zack looked disappointed.
"Alright," Hoda said, "Audience, give us that Kid-ometer!"
The monitor next to Zack lit up with a multitude of colors as digits changed rapidly. A score of seven was the final number. "Seven out of ten! Solid start, Sandi," Hoda commented.
Mama was next, showcasing her Mexitalian pinwheels. "I used a pie crust and rolled it with a raspberry-jalapeño jam and cream cheese blend, bacon, and mozzarella."
Elaine worried. That sounds delicious, she thought. It was clear both her rivals were talented.
Gordon clapped. "It looks stunning. I could see this in a restaurant."
"I thought the same thing," Antoni chimed. "The only ingredient that concerns me, kid-wise, is the jam. I've had bad experiences eating jalapeño."
Chuckling, Gordon shook his head, raised his hands, and mocked, "Tan, I just ate a jalapeño! That was classic. What I'm worried about is the amount of cheese. Let's taste, shall we?"
Silverware clattered as Gordon and Darlene cut into a wheel, while Antoni and Zack picked it up for a bite. The seven-year-old made a flurry of faces. "I like it."
"As do I," Gordon commented. "It's quite exquisite. The jam is amazing, but as an appetizer, it's filling. If I ate two or three of these, I'd question whether I could eat the next course."
The Kid-ometer screen showed another seven. "Oooh!" Hoda cooed, "Looks like it’s neck and neck already. Let's see if Elaine can pull ahead."
Hearing the critical feedback, Elaine nervously presented her food. "Bacon-wrapped pineapple."
Gordon rotated his plate as if to examine the dish from all perspectives. "Pineapple? I'm… Wow. I'm excited for this. You know pineapple is a risky fruit to play with, right?"
"Yes," she responded. "But it's my go-to for party pleasing, and all the little ones try to gobble them up before the grown-ups get a chance at them."
Without comment, Antoni popped one in his mouth. His eyes widened, and his cheekbones rose. "Gordie, just shut up and eat. I haven't even touched the dip, and I'm ready to clean the plate!"
After Antoni's comment, Zack and Darlene shared the same reaction. Gordon ate one, then dipped another in the bowl. "What is this?"
"A honey and brown sugar sauce," Elaine answered.
All was silent as a cameraman rolled his dolly closer to the chef. Gordon shrugged and blinked a few times. "Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I see why grown-ups have to do battle for these. It's amazing. Beautiful dish."
Elated, Elaine sighed in relief.
The judges conferred after the Kid-ometer flashed a nine and awarded Elaine the round.
Okay, Mama thought. Time to put up or shut up.
After her failed pinwheels, she was bound and determined to execute her entrée. As the alarm blared, she scurried back to her kitchen. With a very limited time for her main course, she spent half of her prep time on her signature dish.
Working with determination, she diligently blended her signature cheese sauce for her famous macaroni. The noodles dropped into a pan of boiling water while she kept a close eye on the sizzling ground beef. Once the meat was fragrant and browned, she drained it and lined the casserole pan with butter. With practiced ease, she drained the macaroni, added the cheese, and set it to the side.
Time to create the masterpiece. Pulling the casserole pan close, she spooned a generous layer of cheesy macaroni into it. Next, she crushed tortilla chips. She preferred homemade but the time restrictions didn’t allow for it. She was in it to win it. A layer of beef and tomatoes sprinkled lightly with her secret ingredient; a sun-dried tomato seasoning. Not too much, or else it would overpower the rest of the flavors. A light layer of freshly grated mozzarella went next. Then she repeated the process until the last layer of mozzarella threatened to tumble over the side of the pan.
She had never made a small batch before. Feeding a family of nine required an enormous amount of food, and a baking pan big enough to stuff it all in. Filling the ten-by-thirteen casserole pan forced her to question the layers. No, she thought. It'll come out fine.
Once in the oven, all she needed was patience. Hoda trotted over and clapped her hands excitedly. "A casserole! The greatest weapon a mom has in her tool belt. Is forty-five minutes enough time for it to cook?"
Mama licked her lips and peeked through the glass door. "This tiny thing? Absolutely. Nothing beats my taco mac-n-cheese." Glaring at a nearby camera, she growled, "Nothing."
Hoda pointed to a different camera, one with a red light illuminated on top. "Say that again, would ya? Hair flip and stare."
Mama looked at the right camera and repeated herself. Hoda and a producer cackled; it was perfect content.
With seven minutes left on the countdown, Mama pulled out the dish to let it rest. In the final two minutes, she spooned out generous portions and topped with some of the leftover chips. Peering at her competition, she was confident. Glancing at Elaine’s creation, she thought, Looks like a sandwich, and Sandi's got veggies plain as day. That won't fly with the kiddos.
They brought their dishes before the judges again, this time Elaine was first. "Inspired by one of my pack members, the Chicken Muenster Monster."
Gordon spun the plate. "I would normally criticize being served a sandwich as a main course… but this thing's meal-worthy. Antoni, do you see the size of this thing?"
"Chef, all I can see is chicken, cheese, and sauce." Antoni drew his finger over a dollop of orange sauce and stuck it in his mouth. "Uh oh," he said, finger between his lips.
"Uh oh?" Zack asked.
"Uh oh," Antoni repeated. Interlocking his fingers, he sultrily stared at Elaine. "Can you tell us what's inside?"
"Roasted chicken with cajun seasonings, sliced Muenster cheese, and a buffalo-ranch sauce."
"When did you find time to roast a bird?" Gordon asked as he picked up a half, examining the bottom.
"I baked a few chicken breasts during our prep time, then flashed them in a pan before pulling."
The chef grimaced. "Oh, dear. You're a gambler, aren't you? This has a great chance of being drier than the Sahara."
The judges tasted the dish, and Gordon nodded. "Not as dry as I thought, but definitely overcooked. Wonderful flavor, though."
Antoni held the sandwich up. "This tastes awesome, but I think some thicker bread is needed. It's fine on the fly, but if you use a Texas toast slice, you can get away with adding just a touch more sauce."
The Kid-ometer gave Elaine a seven-point-five, and it was time for Sandi's dish. "Grilled chicken with my stacked potato casserole and veggie medley."
"Nice sear and marks on the chicken," Gordon commented, slicing into the breast. "A little overdone, but that's being picky. Everything looks quite nice. Equally balanced; protein, starch, side.”
“Darlene—” Antoni leaned toward her, “—how do you get Zack to eat vegetables?”
Zack balled his fists at his side and glowered. “I eat ‘em!”.
“Only when I cover them in cheese,” his mother clapped back.
“So,” Antoni continued, “Sandi, how do you get the job done? Because you have some buh-rock-oh-lee on that plate!”
With a fat smile on her face, she tapped her clip-on microphone, raised it, and whispered, “With a light brushing of bacon grease.”
Mama’s jaw fell slack. Gordon’s brows raised. Antoni’s eyes were bugged out. The gauntlet was proverbially laid down.
Forks were picked up, and much to Mama’s dismay, they weren’t going to be set down anytime soon. Zack even ate the broccoli. Despite having slightly overcooked chicken, the judges were beyond impressed with the potato casserole. Cheesy, scalloped taters rested atop mashed spuds. Mama saw them from where she stood; they were immaculate, and a direct competitor to her dish as it earned a nine from the audience.
It was finally her turn. Presenting her creation, Mama beamed with pride. "My taco mac-n-cheese."
Antoni's mouth was open as he inspected the food. "I… love mac and cheese! I love tacos even more, and you've combined the two."
"It looks so yummy!" Zack whispered to Darlene, not realizing his microphone had picked up every word.
"I know!" She responded in the same tone.
Gordon was the first to scoop some onto a fork. "What sells me is the equal blend of beef, cheese, and noodles. Taco mac can ride a fine line between main course and side. Seeing how you’ve incorporated some tomato and a healthy amount of beef, this is absolutely a main course. Bloody brilliant.”
Bites were accompanied by hums. Zack, contrary to Chef Ramsay’s earlier advice, cleaned his plate. Darlene reminded her son not to talk with his mouth full, but Mama didn’t mind. Nothing but compliments were coming from the little man.
“Antoni?” Gordon asked. “Do you… uh. Do you and the mac need a room?”
True to the chef's insinuation, Antoni was chewing slowly. He slowly looked at Gordon, then nodded with the spoon in his mouth. “Make it a two-night stay.”
“A macaroni room?” Everyone turned to Zack. “I want to go!”
The three adult judges reacted. Darlene, with a smile on her face, distracted Zack from the imaginary macaroni and cheese room. Antoni and Gordon, both with flushed cheeks, tried their hardest not to burst into laughter. Mama and Elaine snickered, and Sandi shamelessly guffawed.
While Hoda did her best to calm the panel, the Kid-ometer illuminated. It flashed a ten, and Mama squealed. She scored perfectly, and the judges were swift in awarding her the round.
The dessert stage started, and Sandi rushed. With little preparation completed for her dish, she hustled. Grabbing the chocolate pudding from the fridge, Sandi popped the lid off the marshmallow creme.
"Alright, Sandi," Hoda cheered, "I'm already sold by what you got going on here. Is this your redemption round?"
Fueled by determination, Sandi furiously scraped the cream with a rubber spatula. "This will win. I bring this to the big family reunion every year. Even Wayne's distant cousin from Kentucky comes just for it."
"For chocolate pudding and marshmallows?"
Sandi shot Hoda a glare. The host was getting on her nerves, but she needed to add hype for her dessert. "For Sandi's frozen s'mores."
Hoda leaned closer and whispered, "Can I get some?"
Giving her a wink, Sandi returned to her dish. Just as she put the first layer of cream in the pan, a spark of inspiration struck. "Duh!" She bolted for the pantry.
Elaine and Mama noticed her as she returned with a box of waffle cones. Drizzling chocolate syrup and spinning a cone at the same time, Sandi grinned wickedly. Her frozen s'mores were always served in a pan, but for today, it needed something to outshine both Elaine's appetizer and Mama's entrée. It needed pizzazz.
Carefully stuffing the cones with layers, Sandi retrieved a wire rack and set it down. Topping each cone with a small scoop of ice cream, she rolled the hemisphere in pudding, then crushed graham cracker dust. Placing the five cones in the holding rack, Sandi slid it into the freezer.
She looked at the clock. Fifteen minutes left. Was that going to be enough time? She normally needed half an hour for freezing. I used ice cream, she thought. And they're smaller. They'll be fine.
The alarm sounded, and Mama was critiqued first. "Choco-cherry empanadas."
Sandi's heart rate faltered. The filled pastry looked immaculate, and with a drizzle of icing running down the middle, it could easily be another winner. How many recipes did this little lady have? During the time the Williamson family relocated to Montana, Mama and Sandi had an unspoken rivalry in the kitchen. While Sandi was confident in her southern cuisine, the petite human's food made quite the name for itself in Sebastian's pack.
The judges, once again, were delighted. There was only one problem. Zack took a bite and removed the cherry.
"Sorry," Darlene apologized. "Cherry is the one fruit he's not a fan of."
Not even Gordon and Antoni's praise was enough to salvage the low Kid-ometer score; a seven. All eyes turned to Elaine and her cheesecake mousse, and Sandi felt the pressure. It looked classy, elegant, and worst of all, delicious. Resting in a rocks glass, the pale-yellow dessert was divided by layers of graham cracker crumbles and sliced strawberries.
"That"—Gordon pointed with a spoon—"is delicious."
"I could eat this entire thing," Antoni commented. "I'm torn though. Making a mousse turns this into a delightful end to the meal, but I can't help but feel it's too light. I think a chocolate or strawberry drizzle would elevate this to a new level."
Given an eight from the Kid-ometer, Elaine nodded as her dish was carried away by stagehands. After a deep breath, Sandi carried her cone rack to the judges’ table. "I have frozen s'mores using a waffle cone and a scoop of chocolate ice cream."
She noticed Zack and his beaming stare. Every word she said must have set off fireworks because he would not sit still in his seat. Her confidence reached new heights.
Gordon hummed. "Miss, you prepared five. Why the extra?"
"For Hoda, of course," Sandi said with a smile.
"For Hoda? I… I think that's a first for Iron Mom history; preparing the host a plate. Hoda, come on and get yours, darling." After Hoda claimed hers with a flash of her pearly whites, Gordon examined his more closely. "S'mores in a waffle cone. From what I saw in your prep, this should be a delight."
"The question is," Antoni noted, "is whether there's a glob of chocolate at the bottom of the cone?"
"That's the best part!" Zack yelled.
"I know!" Antoni mimicked.
Darlene grabbed one. "And it makes fewer dishes to load in the washer."
The judges ate in their own ways. Darlene and Zack tore into it from the top, while Antoni took a bite before copying Gordon. Chef Ramsay used a plate and fork to separate the ice cream and the cone, revealing the marshmallow and pudding. "Pudding? Not solid chocolate?"
With his mouth full, Antoni answered for Sandi. "Izz surred fwozen." He swallowed. "If it was solid chocolate, our teeth would be in a world of pain."
Sandi pointed and winked at him. "That, and who doesn't like chocolate pudding?"
"Very clever," Gordon commented. "The ice cream on top doesn't scream s'mores to me, but the rest is fantastic. I normally hate goopy foods, but the pudding and cream both blend and co-exist. Add the graham crackers and cone, this is a hit. Well done!"
Licking the inside of the cone, Antoni hummed. “Oh-Em-Gee! I thought Loren Patrick’s Dirty Dr. Pepper was my favorite sweet treat, but guurlllll, this blows that coconut-infused concoction off the map! Hashtag goforsmores!”
Sandi adored the judges' remarks, but she wanted the Kid-ometer score more. When the digital numbers spun on the screen, she bit her bottom lip.
A ten. She scored a perfect ten! Sandi yelled, "Boo-yah!"
The three contestants stood behind the remains of their three dishes as they rested on a stand. Hoda, next to the judges, held her microphone. "Judges, you've tasted the best these three mothers have to offer, but only one can earn the title of Iron Mom. Chef Ramsay, Antoni, Darlene, and Zack. Can we hear some final feedback before we announce the winner?"
Gordon clapped. "Right. All nine of your dishes were exciting and worthy of being on this show. There are actually a couple I wouldn't mind seeing in my restaurants. To pick a winner between you three… That is a tough call."
Antoni nodded. "I agree. I think we need to start over and try more recipes."
Laughter and applause came from the audience. Hoda waved it down. "We don't have time for all of that! Darlene and Zack, what do you guys think?"
The mom smiled and ruffled her son's hair. "I think we need to swap some recipes before we leave."
Spotlights from above circled the stage, and the lights dimmed. Hoda spoke lowly, "From the judges' discussion and the Kid-ometer scores, in third place… Elaine."
Sandi and Mama were swift in giving Elaine a well-deserved hug but were quickly overtaken. Coming from backstage, Elaine was surrounded by three alpha lycans, two large in size and the third quite smaller. "We're proud of you, Ellie," whispered the man with a handlebar mustache.
"Yeah, Mom. Great job out there."
"Sandi, Mama," Gordon said, grabbing their attention. "Please step forward."
Leaving Elaine and her family behind, the final two contestants stood before the judges. Gordon was stoic, and Antoni had a mischievous grin on his face. The stage music faded to silence, and lights shone on the finalists. Hoda raised her microphone again. "The winner of this week's Iron Mom… "
Sandi and Mama held each other's hand.
Their grip tightened.
Hoda was cut out as screams and applause drowned everything. Sandi hugged her friend as they both sobbed. Even though she was bittersweet about losing, Sandi was beyond elated for Mama. It was most deserving. "You earned it, lady."
Weight surrounded them, and after sniffing, Sandi knew it was both of their families. Separating her from the victor, Wayne, Brad, Jimmy, and Lila swarmed Sandi. "You did good, Auntie Sandi!" declared Lila.
"I know, Lilapad. I did my best."
Sandi turned to see the entire Williamson clan hovering over their mother. Confetti fell all around them, littering the stage. Gordon and Antoni clapped, joining in congratulating the winner. Mama looked at the wrong camera twice before finally smiling brightly at the correct one. Bless those poor cameramen and producers.
As Hoda approached a camera and performed the closing announcement, a bar cart with champagne flutes and several bottles of spumante was rolled out. Afterward, the group moved to the after-party across the set lot.
Hoda approached Sandi with a glass in hand. "Listen, I just got off the phone with the producers. I would love to have you on the Today show."
Sandi's jaw dropped. "Are you serious?" She hugged Wayne and squealed, "I'm going to be on the Today show!"
Elaine joined them in celebration. "This has been crazy! Chef Ramsay just offered me a spot to compete on the next season of Hell's Kitchen."
"Girl, you're going to win that. I can already see you dealing with some stupid people."
Elaine shrugged. "I'm not sure. I've never cooked a scallop."
"Better start practicing, Ellie," Leidolf said with a smirk. "Where's the lamb sauce?"
"Hey, big boy," Gordon pointed from across the room. "Don't make me say it."
Elaine's son, Mason, trembled as he tried to control his laughter. "Please, do it!"
With a smile, Gordon waved an arm, ending the motion with a finger pointing toward the door. "Get out!"
Everyone applauded, then cackled as Zack mimicked the chef. Mason's mate, Vincent, hollered with Antoni, asking for Zack and Gordon to synchronize. More laughter ensued as they shouted the line together.
The party went on for another hour until the celebrities had to leave for other scheduled events. In parting, Elaine exchanged contact information with Sandi and Mama, eager to exchange recipes and even plan a get-together. Their families wouldn’t know what hit them.
On a completely unrelated note, I'm off to a buffet...
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