I’ve been recapping my trip to Barbados–highs and lows–for the past few days. Yesterday I posted about my lowest moment, which was escaping a potential sexual assault. However, today, I brighten things up with one of the best moments, which was kicking it with Mark McEwan for what we describe as our Sex and the City moment. And here we go…
Drama aside, I had more positive experiences with men on the island than negative. Enter Mark McEwan, our favorite Canadian top chef with whom we developed a casual acquaintance. Mr. McEwan is a cat daddy. A cat daddy is man of 50 and up who still has swag (I hate that word but work with me) and can successfully bag women who are 20 years younger. There was no bagging going on but he had all of the Parlour crew swooning.
Our first encounter with him was at Ambrosia III, one of the festival’s major parties where several chefs come together and dole out samples of their sumptuous food. I recognized Mark from TV and decided to try his dish. It was a ricotta gnudi with a lamb ragout. I don’t even eat lamb or much meat at all, and almost bypassed the table until I heard Mark explaining to other guests what he had made. I nearly fainted when he said his ingredients were fresh and local–that was the foodie in me–but had I actually fainted, I would have been resuscitated and then passed out again because he was so personable, friendly and charismatic. So, I tried it and fell in love and have made it a goal to visit one of his restaurants in Toronto in 2013. I was so sprung that my friend and I decided to get a picture with him, and his dish was the talk of the night and the next day when we spotted him on the beach.
My friend and I were lounging on the Tamarind Cove beach when Mark, who was staying at the same hotel, set up shop behind us.
Did you see our chef friend from last night, I whispered to my homegirl, who was completely oblivious.
“OUR CHEF FRIEND? HUH?” She blurted.
I looked at him kind of embarrassed but he just chuckled, so I played it off by telling him that his dish was the best.
After that, I started doing headstands–partially because I had been drinking rum but also because I just like randomly doing headstands–and he watched, amused. He saw that we were some fun loving chicks and wanted in on the ratchetry. Hell, it’s vacation, right?
Over the course of the next few whirlwind days, we ran into him on the beach again and again, exchanged more small talk with Mark and his crew (assistant and accompanying chefs), and one day, I found myself constantly tumbling off a paddleboard until Mark–a paddleboard aficionado–gave me some good tips that helped me balance better and voila, I got it (this is on video, btw).
That night, my girls and I ran into him on our way to the festival’s main event–dinner at The Cliff with Marcus Samuelsson–and he offered us a ride. We all silently screamed and felt major as we walked in with our boy. After dinner he asked us where the after party was, but we didn’t know because we separated from Shannon and Hills, womp. However, on our final day in Barbados, a swagged out Mark, who was also soaking up last minute sun before preparing to leave, came over to our entire group (which was about 5 deep) and asked us if we wanted some drinks. We all said rum punches but got quiet when he blank stared us (at this point, a rum punch in Barbados was cliche but we didn’t know any better). We felt like little girls getting schooled. He suggested a mango concoction and we all obliged because he is the chef after all, and when he walked away Hillary blurted, “Did we just get pimped into changing our drinks?”
Yes, we did. Indeed. That’s what that cat daddy vibe, which I also refer to as the Dracula Effect will do for you aka, have vegetarians eating meat and what not; so there. We got gamed and liked it. It was very Sex and the City but the international brown girl edition and I’m not mad. Again, I’m already on the look out for dates for the 2013 festival and I suggest you get on that program two. Food, wine, rum and fun with the girls on a beach? What more could anyone ask for? Oh, that’s right, hanging with top chef status. Enough said. See you next year?