First let me say that I have the express written consent of both of these ladies to tell their tale. See below...
So here is the story of two ladies who most of their friends and acquaintances know as fun loving and "good" girls. You know, the kind you would take home to meet your Momma if you were dating either of them and if you were a guy.
It was a cool and breezy typical late Spring day in Michigan when Corky pulled into Michele's driveway to gather her friend for a nice dinner and catch up evening. They had been friends for years and their mutually busy schedules had kept them from having much time together lately. This evening they planned to just chat and sip a glass of wine or beer and fill each other in on what was happening in their worlds.
Corky had chosen a new outfit for the evening. She used this 'date' as an excuse to splurge on a new outfit. It was a linen pant suit in the palest of lavender shades and fit her as though someone had sewn it just for her. The blouse she wore was a little lower cut than her usual choice because the colors of it's paintbrush-stroke pattern were exactly right for the suit. Her hair was fluffy and curly and all in all, she just looked sexy and fun. Which she also felt the moment she looked in the mirror wearing this new and different look. She had stepped into her comfortable 3 inch nude heels, which she seldom wore, but this outfit was complete when she saw her reflection sporting these oh-so-cute shoes.
Michele had begun a new job only a few weeks earlier and had taken herself shopping for a new wardrobe appropriate for her new job and was wearing one of those for her 'date' with Corky. Her hair had just been cut and it was perfectly styled. The pants she was wearing were a dark chocolate brown and the top was of lime green, lemon yellow and a touch of aqua running through the color block pattern. Her shoes were the same lemon yellow and sported a very daring, for her, platform of over 3 inches. They had a nice natural soul and ankle strap, very sexy shoes and very classy, yet hot look.
These two looked like they were out to impress someone and in fact, perhaps they did!
Once in the restaurant with beers ordered and delivered, they began to earnestly chat. Corky had been up to her ears in catering jobs for Spring parties and wedding showers and loving every minute of the work, but still feeling a little bit overwhelmed from time to time. Thinking a vacation at the end of the Farmer's Market Season might be something to look forward to! She filled Michele in on all the details of her summer plans and asked if she would like to join her at the market from time to time.
The new job was mostly what Chele wanted to tell Corky about, but agreed immediately to helping out from time to time at the Market as she enjoyed being there and would do anything to help Corky out.
It was a nice dinner and both enjoyed their food choices and laughed and talked for over an hour after the food was gone.
"Excuse me, ladies." The voice came from the table to their left. Both ladies turned to see the source. A gentleman in his late 50's maybe, was smiling at them. He appeared, though seated, to be a tall and lanky man, very well dressed and was reaching into his jacket pocket as he spoke, "My name is Eric Pangle and I work for Gourmet Magazine. I heard you mentioning that you both cook and can and I think I heard 'catering' in there somewhere?" Still smiling and extending his hand which held a card toward them.
Michele reached out and retrieved the card. Looking at it, but not really reading it, she asked, "And...?" Corky remained silent and reached out for the card.
"I was wondering if you'd like to interview for a spot we are trying to fill. We are looking for a mid-west cook to photograph with her work and honestly, you two would be perfect. Beautiful women who can cook are always a good catch in the magazine world! Are you? Interested, I mean?" That smile was a killer.
"Maybe. I mean, I would be, if you're legit. Michele?" Corky thought it would be great fun, if he was for real.
"Sure! What would we be doing, exactly?"
He told them all the details of the program he was trying to staff and answered all their questions. He also sent them each another drink (or 4) while they talked. At some point, they don't remember when exactly this happened, another man joined the group. He stated to Eric that he had no luck where he was fishing. The girls both knew instinctively that he had been elsewhere doing what Eric had been doing; eavesdropping and trying to find some cooks with some experience. What an odd way to find cooks! Oh well, whatever. It still sounded really, really fun to these two.
Plans were made and the scene was set.
In two days, Thursday evening, they would all meet at Corky's kitchen for a run through and possibly filming for an audition. If Eric and Pete (his friend and associate) could round up a film crew and get them to Owosso by then. Michele and Corky would choose the 3 items they would prepare for the camera and many stills would be taken after the preparation had been filmed. How exciting, the girls thought! Whether they were chosen for the mag or not, this would be fun!
The ladies spent Wednesday evening setting the kitchen up for their 3 chosen projects. They made sure everything was on hand and the kitchen was film-ready! They decided to wear dark shirts and the starched white aprons which Corky kept in her kitchen for all occasions. They bore an embroidered "C" and looked very professional.
One hour before the scheduled time, they arrived to primp and check each other out. Once satisfied that each of them looked sexy, kitchen savvy and hot, they moved on to the food prep business. They lined up the ingredients and cooking utensils needed for the molded salmon salad, the chicken croquettes and the raspberry filled cupcakes they would be preparing. Everything was ready when Eric and Pete arrived. The film crew would be there in a couple of minutes as they were checking into the local hotel, The Comstock, at this very minute.
They ran through the usual way things are done and Corky asked a few questions as they went along. Michele was to be her assistant, basically, and Eric wanted them each to talk as they went along. Laughter was encouraged, but he warned to maintain control at all times, less cutting that way. Laughter was a given for these two, control, maybe.
The front door opened and in walked the film crew. The first one through the door was Maksim Chmerkovsky and following him was the actual camera man, Val Chmerkovsky his younger brother. They were the official film crew in their off season from Dancing with the Stars. They both loved this work and right now, they were seriously being adored by their new subjects!
Talking was a big problem for both ladies at this point. They were decidedly star struck. Two of their favorite dancers were setting up equipment to film them! They were going to get the undivided attention of these two hunky guys for hours! Holy COW man!
It took 7 hours to complete their film and still shots. The food was perfection and the photos of it were scrumptious. The ladies had relaxed after spending a few minutes with the Chmerkovsky brothers just getting acquainted.
Now would be the time to tell those who don't know that Corky is married and Chele is not.
As everything wrapped up and everyone, exhausted and done for the day, was packing up to go, Maks quietly asked Chele if she'd be interested in a quiet drink somewhere. Since it was now early morning, he suggested coffee somewhere.
I will tell you only that Chele called into work, risking her new job because when EVER was she going to get this opportunity again? Her new boss totally understood and told her to go for it!
The entire magazine crew left Owosso later that evening missing one member. Maks and Michele had gone incommunicado. I do not have these details. I believe only two people have them and don't want to share. I can imagine though that when Michele showed up for work on Monday, three days with Maks?, she was smiling ear to ear and when I saw her two weeks later, still smiling!
Coffee? It mighta started with that, but somehow I gotta think and so do you, it got around to breakfast, lunch, dinner and a helluva dessert!
Gotta love those good girls.
And by the way, they weren't chosen for the magazine, but neither seemed to care!