08 Apr PART 1, From Zeina’s Kitchen to Television
After I won a soup contest in Hudson, my brother encouraged me to apply as a contestant for a new French culinary competition on TV called Je Suis Chef.
More excited than confident, I filled out the application. When the phone rang the next day, just before 4 o’clock, I somehow knew that it had to do with the show. “We loved your application and we would love to meet you,” the assistant producer said. She started to give me the details about the competition and how the show would be filmed. As I listened to her, I could not sit still. The entire time she talked, I was either jumping up and down or walking around the house trying to control my excitement. I could tell by her giggles that she was amused by me. She went on to say that we had to fix a date for an interview in person, and we did. She was ready to hang up, but I wanted to stay on and keep chatting. It was almost like I was afraid that if I hung up, all of this would go away, but it didn’t. We would meet one month later. I called my husband with my big news. “That’s great! “he said. I could hear in his voice how proud and happy he was for me. What a day!
A wonderful feeling on a fantastic day! I will never forget it!
The day finally arrived to be interviewed in person. To avoid traffic, Robert and I took the subway to the show’s offices near the Old Port. I immediately noticed the address over the heavy metal door. How did I not notice this triple four earlier? The number four has always been lucky for me.
I came to Canada at the age of four. I live with my three boys and husband – that’s four men! I had started my last two jobs on a fourth. And I share my birthday with my son Nicolas, on October 4th. And now, I was staring at a trio of fours. I took this as a positive sign. It gave me the confidence to walk in, ready to be myself. I was fired up and prepared to give it all I had to be chosen for the show. Robert kissed me goodbye for good luck before leaving for a cup of coffee. I was now on my own.
The session lasted about 20 minutes. First Maxence, a very nice young man with an impeccable Parisian accent welcomed me. He was not tall, but slim with long wavy hair. He asked me to smile for a picture then walked me into an office where three women sat waiting for me. One was responsible for the menu choices, another one was the assistant producer who had called me a few weeks earlier and the third, sat behind her computer ready to document every word I said. Ouff! It was awkward at first. I felt like I was on trial, but only for a few minutes. They quickly helped me to relax. I answered all their questions well. I even told them about the magic I felt when I realized the address was 444. We had a lot of fun talking about my lucky number. I felt comfortable enough to ask them to put me on the fourth episode if they decided to choose me as a contestant. A few laughs later, they said “yes, absolutely!”
I would have stayed longer but my time was up. More people were arriving. It was now their turn to be interviewed. I felt good about how it went. I walked fast to find Robert, eager to tell him everything. “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing I said. I felt like I had just fallen in love with my life all over again. I had Robert’s hand in mine and was so happy in my heart.
TO BE CONTINUED