*this fan fiction commences at the wrap party of the hit ABC TV show ‘The Cook and The Chef’ which starred Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant.
The wrap party was in full swing, Maggie had booked out the private bar at the Adelaide Hilton to celebrate the end of the series. In typical Maggie style the party was about rustic excess, everyone was doing cocaine off those small wooden chopping boards. The verjuice infused gin was flowing and everyone seemed to be having fun, everyone except Simon.
The party was cluttered with the who’s who of the food world, ABC network execs dressed all in black with red glasses rubbed shoulders with local Adelaide organic butchers. Wow, even the woman from Landline was here! Simon looked around nervously, hoping for a familiar face, but these were all Maggies friends. ‘This must’ve cost a mint’, thought Simon as he made his way through the throng to the food table. Poh from the ABC hit show ‘Poh’s Kitchen’ bumped into Simon as was trying to make a beeline for some rustically arranged canapés, ‘getting loose tonight are we Simmo?’ asked Poh as she raised her hands above her her to give the double bird, she spilled some of her Bloody Mary and pearl barley infused cocktail down his only pair of black jeans. ‘fuck off Poh’ said Simon. He wasn’t in the mood for her shit tonight.
He pushed past more foodie wankers on his way to the snacks, ‘I breed my own Berkshire pigs just for Christmas’ said Neil Perry, ‘there’s just no where to get good duck fat in this town replied the Brand Power lady. ‘ Now there’s some facts and value for you’ replied Neil Perry as he put his hand in the small of her back, which we all know means his wants to do a sex. Simon rolled his eyes at lady killer Neil Perry. Simon was beginning to get mad, none of these fat wankers will ever understand how good a packet of mi goreng is when you’re stoned, and he was drowning in a sea of douchebags, but he was hungry so he kept going through the party.
His hands still burned from the filming earlier today, because like most celebrity chefs Simons hands were full of blisters from pulling apart steaming hot food with his hands for the camera and pretending that doesn’t hurt. He pushed through the crowd of douche canoes eating their caramelised pork hock pad thai mini noodle boxes and arrived at the food table. His bliss. His special place. His nirvana. Oh no, don’t look now but here’s his Courtney Love.
Of course Maggie was there, hobnobbing with some of her cronies from the quince paste factory. ‘Hi Maggie, mind if I sneak behind you and grab a deconstructed peking duck crepe?’ he asked timidly, with his weird leather cuffed hand reaching out to grab the ducky delight.
‘Simon, my darling Simon’ said Maggie, he knew her well enough to know that she was drunk. ‘Good to see you Maggie, thanks for putting this big party on’ Simon said shoving the duck crepe into his mouth, some of the hoi sin dripping down his black shirt. It was his good luck shirt, he wore it every episode for the past five years. It didn’t seem to be working tonight. ‘You’re welcome Simon, this party ain’t no thing, I gots dat cray salted caramel ice-cream money, you want a cocktail? The special tonight is fennel infused vodka and blood orange?’ she asked as she hulked her impressive frame right into Simons personal space.
‘No thanks Maggie, I don’t drink and neither should you’ Simon retorted. ‘Oh come on Simon loosen up a little’ said Maggie shoving a handful of Ricotta into her mouth. The DJ started playing Beyonce’s ‘All The Single Ladies’ Maggie grabbed Simon by the wrist and pulled him onto the dance floor, she ground herself into his groin at full force. ‘Dance with me Simon, we’re like tomato and basil you and I’ Maggie whispered into his ear. ‘No Maggie we’re not, we’re like a line caught northern territory Barramundi milkshake, we don’t go together’ said Simon as Georgie Parker joined Maggie in squishing Simon into an older lady sandwich on the dance floor.
As they gyrated their significant pelvic mounds on him, he felt it again, the rage, the same rage he felt that afternoon, the afternoon when it changed forever. When a certain grey haired lady with a banging turquoise necklace ruined everything he’d worked so hard for. He danced on, but his heart wasn’t in it.
He knew it wouldn’t be long until she turned on him, she’s a terrible drunk. She starts off fine, then it’s all ‘I’m a pate baron and suck my dick South Cape fig paste you ain’t got shit on me’. He could tell from the look in her eye she was about to say something horrendous. Her eyes went from that of a person to those of a sow stall free pig who’s just had her piglets removed from her before slaughter. George Parker must’ve sensed something was about to happen; she stopped gyrating on his buttocks and busied herself pitching CSI: All Saints to a network exec from SBS. Maggie put her Clare Valley Riesling down and started the tirade;
‘Oh come on Simon, what are you mad about tonight? Is it because your semifreddo was semi fucked-o, you’re so uptight, we all burn crackling, or in your case crap-ling, zing, high five!’ Maggie left her wrinkly hand in the air waiting for a return high five, but no one palm slapped her. ‘Oh well fuck you all, guess what I just increased the price of my balsamic glaze by $2.34 mama wants a beach house!’
Maggie slurred, she was drunk on power, and organic craft beer from the Adelaide Hills. Simon couldn’t hold it together much longer. He felt the pressure rising inside him, like when you try and boil orriechete with the lid on.
‘Enough Maggie! I want you to apologize to me for you what you did all those years ago’. The party fell silent, Matt Preston shoved his crayfish and saffron mayonnaise slider into his suit pocket. All eyes were on Simon and Maggie.
‘Apologise for what?’ Maggie mumbled stumbling backwards into the food table, planting her hand firmly in a wheel of gorgonzola.
‘I want you to tell all these people what you did to me!’ Simon had beady eyes like a corn fed Hunter Valley chicken. He was simmering, but enough about his ragu, back to the story.
‘Oh Simon, that’s just how showbiz works, I do you a favor, you do me a favour’. Simon had never felt more angry, well except when someone sent back their Steak Tartare and said that it was the worst hamburger ever.
‘I’m sick of being nothing to you, I’m tired of feeling like your dirty little secret’ Simon said, his voice as weird as it was in the tv show.
‘Simon, you’re embarrassing yourself’ Maggie spat back.
‘If you won’t tell them Maggie, I will!’ said Simon, his small man body shaking with rage;
Simon turned to address the crowd of publicists, foodies and assorted tossers and said the following;
‘one rainy Barossa afternoon I made my way into ABC Adelaide for a meeting, the ABC had a new cooking show planned and they needed a chef to star alongside Maggie Beer. I hoped in the cab and made my way past the two buildings that make up the Adelaide CBD.
I went into the meeting, she was there, by herself at the end a long boardroom table, she was sipping a ’98 McLaren Vale Shiraz, she was already drunk, on power, and her own importance. ‘Come up here’ she said, ‘don’t be shy, I don’t like shy boys, shy boys don’t get their own TV show’ she murmured.
I walked to where she was standing, wearing some sort of Sari from Millers with brown Homey Ped shoes. She kicked her shoes off and poured me a drink. ‘Drink up little boy’ she said. I took a sip. I could tell right away that it was spiked, I lost control of my arms, then legs. She grabbed my hand and clutched it to her ample bosum, I felt a pen inside her bra, she forced it into my hand, before I went blank the only thing I remember seeing was a contract and Maggie forcing my hand into a signature, weekend at Bernies style.
By the time I woke up she was gone and a sectary was filing the contract, what did I sign? I said, still groggy. She gave me a copy, but it was too late. I’d agreed to some horrendous working conditions, I couldn’t believe it, I’d agreed to always compliment her food, say mmm great Maggie after everthing she cooked and that included the times when she just pilled ricotta on a plate and put sliced figs on it and called it lunch.
I’d signed my life away, I’d promised to always be second fiddle, to never cook anything that anyone would want to eat. I even agreed to do her prep for her. Did you all know that Maggie can’t use a knife? I’d agreed to do the show from her house every week, in her daggy 1990’s style kitchen. I’d signed that I’d vote for her for Senior Australian of the year even though the only thing she’d ever done for this county is to sell us overpriced pureed tomatoes called sugo for $12 a jar. I felt sick, I ran out of the ABC and went home and cried into my ambiguous sexuality.
Maggie is a monster, whose heart is black like olive tapenade. So there you have it everyone, the real reason for five series of shifty eyes from me, there’s the real reason I let her get away with having no cooking skills whatsoever. She owns me, owns me like her quince empire’ Simon buzzed adrenaline, he finally shared his secret.
The room fell silent, then Georgie Parked yelled out, ‘The Cook and the Chef more like the Cunt and the Chef’
Everyone laughed the party started up again and for a time all was well.