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Flirting with Food: Meet Cat Daddy and Chef Mark McEwan

Starr, Chef Mark McEwan and friend

This is a cross-post with the lovely GangStarrGirl, who joined us for Parlour’s Eat Play Love Barbados travel deal. As a woman of color travelling around the world, there can be a great many experiences including sexually inappropriate ones and unexpected compliments. Here’s the bright follow-up to GangStarrGirl’s cautionary tale. Enjoy ladies!

The High

Drama aside, I had more positive experiences with the men in Barbados than negative. Enter Mark McEwan, a celebrity chef and judge on Top Chef  Canada with whom my friends and I developed a casual acquaintance. Mr. McEwan is a cat daddy. A cat daddy is man who is 50 years-old or higher with swag (I hate that word but work with me) and can successfully bag women 20 years their junior. While there was no bagging going on Mark had the Parlour crew swooning.

Our first encounter with Mr. McEwan was at Ambrosia III, one of the festival’s major parties where a number of chefs come together and dole out samples of their sumptuous food. I recognized Mark from television and decided to try his dish, 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 his sample to a few other guests. 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 had to have been resuscitated and only so I could pass out again because he was so personable, friendly and charismatic. So, I tried Mark’s dish and I fell in love. I have made it a goal for 2013 to visit one of his restaurants in Toronto. 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.

As my friend and I were lounging on the beach at our hotel, Tamarind Cove, Mark, who was staying at the same location, 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.

Fuck! I thought. I looked at him kind of embarrassed but he just chuckled, so I played it off by telling him that his Ambrosia 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?

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