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Community Culinary Connection

Serendipity

An Unexpected & Happy Connection Between Chef Vikram Vij and Jane Fonda

THE DEFINITION

ser·en·dip·i·ty

/ˌserənˈdipədē/

noun

• the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

THE BACKSTORY

If you have been following along on social media, you’ll know that I won some tickets through the Hot Chocolate Festival and Everbean and Paramount.

I was excited about the opportunity to attend the opening and, at the same time, aware of all of the tasks that needed to be completed before the event that Chew On This is hosting tonight.

After a full day with coaching, planning, and learning, at 5 pm I still didn’t know if I was going to attend the 7 pm show in Downtown Vancouver. 

At 5 pm, I met a lovely mother and son at their first dinner stop for the Taste of the Spice Trail. After welcoming them to their evening, gifting them a couple of totes, snapping a photo or two, we carried on to our next stop.

This time it was a pickup in Burnaby for something that we’ll tell you more about later. If you are attending the special Chew On This event tonight, you’ll find out very soon!

We decided to head over to Vancouver and watch the movie. Time for some balance. 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF EVENTS

When we got there we walked into the theatre to pick up our tickets and discovered that seating was first come/first serve.

And it was busy! There were seats marked with “Press”, those marked with “Reserved” and then there were seats with names on them. ‘AA’ is the very first row in the theatre. It’s not easy to take in the giant screen from this perspective but it’s all that was left when we arrived. 

With just over 15 minutes left until movie time, there were quite a few unclaimed seats that had signs on them so I walked over to the “guy in charge”. He didn’t have a sign on him that said he was in charge, it was evident by the way he was handling things.

It turned out that he was from @paramountstudios and after a brief inquiry he went to look into how many seats he could release. Five minutes later he returned and said, “Okay, head on up and pick a couple of ‘reserved’ seats. And just like that, we had the best seats in the house.

And it got better, even before the movie started.

About 10 minutes prior to the movie a woman sat down in the empty seat beside me that they had removed the ‘reserved’ sign from. Assuming that she was another fortunate person I said, “We all got lucky because these were supposed to be Press seats.” And she said, “I am Press.” 

I asked if I knew who she was and she modestly said, “No, I just write for the Globe and Mail.” I said, “I read the Globe sometimes, try me.”

She introduced herself as Marsha Lederman and all of a sudden I was in a place of peace knowing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

IN A HAPPY WAY

You see, back in December 2022 I wrote an article digitally published by @West Coast Foods called “Slaying the Big-Hearted Dragon” telling the story of how I started the “With The Chef” program in collaboration with Chef Vikram Vij. In it I refer to an article written in 2014 by Globe and Mail writer Marsha Lederman.

Serendipity.

We chatted a bit. Found out we were both Toronto kids albeit from different ends of the ‘burbs. She of course was doing some research for an article she was writing. We agreed that our interest in the film would definitely be via the strong cast of women actors. Football just wasn’t “our thing”.

The movie was fine. It was a simple plot. For me, it offered a perfect escape in the midst of the chaos of the events of the week. 

One of the pillars of Chew On This Tasty Tours is connection. Meeting Marsha and being able to connect over Vikram and the article and Toronto was what last night was all about for me. 

I give it two emphatic thumbs up. 

Read all about the opportunity for experiential dining with Chef Vikram Vij and our community of Chefs here.

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