arcy had a lot to say about the kitchen. Kaylie was glad she was saying it — someone had been needing to say this for about 15 years or so.

They sat around in Daddy’s office, Daddy frowning, of course, Mommy listening, Mimi’s face unreadable. Kaylie clenched her fingers beneath the desk.

Marcy was waving a menu. “We want to figure out what key areas we want to improve. Of course, part of improving means removing outdated menu items as well.” She glanced at the menu and smiled ruefully. “This will be a big revamp, but also fun. Pipiklech? Kishke? What are these things?”

Kaylie smiled. Daddy sniffed. “Pipiklech are actually quite delicious.”

Marcy nodded, trying for diplomacy. “So, I’ve been to The Hive and I studied their menu. Here it is.” She fished a sleek orange and black menu card from her bag. “The good thing about their menu is that they feature dishes from various cuisines. I’d like to see Zoberman’s incorporating some Chinese food, and Italian cooking of course — different pastas with lemon and wine and savory vegetables.”

“And sushi,” Kaylie added. “That’s a staple everywhere.”

Daddy was still frowning. Mimi cleared her throat. “There’s nothing wrong with adding a sushi bar, and other things, but you do realize that our hottest menu items were traditional, old-fashioned foods. Things like potato kugel, grilled chicken with fried onions, and Bea’s beet salad, that’s the most frequently ordered salad here.”

“And lukshen with brazil, and yapchik, and cholent egg,” Kaylie muttered, rolling her eyes. “It’s time to get with the times.”

Marcy looked thoughtful. “Let’s take this slowly. Sushi, though, is a great start. And we want some new, exciting dishes. I just had a tomato cashew pasta with garlic and basil at an Italian place, and it was wonderful. Gnocchi and bread-based goodies.” She turned to look at Daddy, “An upgraded menu depends heavily on your kitchen staff. We’ll need a sushi chef, first. And you may not be ready to hire a new chef, but we’ll need somebody young, new energy, who has experience with some of the dishes we’d like to try.”

“There’s nothing wrong with our chef,” Daddy said gruffly.

“Bea’s great,” Kaylie said quickly, softly, “but she doesn’t have experience outside her field of Hungarian cooking. We can hire an assistant, kind of, a sous-chef, to help her out with the new dishes.”

Daddy nodded, but he wasn’t happy. Kaylie inhaled, trying to breath past the heaviness in her gut.

The rest of the week Marcy spent in the kitchen, interviewing a stream of young Japanese guys... or they looked Japanese, anyway. Bea was keeping up a steady grumble, Manuel shot fire if you crossed his path, so Kaylie did her best to stay away. But she couldn’t really — Marcy was in the kitchen, and she needed to show her that she was the one to speak to. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 594)