In Guyana, many of the expatriates and prominent Guyanese citizens flock together. Once you meet one person, they introduce you to friends within their social network.
A couple months ago, I met an influential writer and consultant. He happened to know the Martha Stewart of Guyana (minus the litigious history and rumored malevolent nature) who has a program on national television called “Kayleigh's Kitchen.” The show is filmed straight from her magnificent kitchen and features guests who assist her with cooking. The best part about being a guest is that you get to eat all the food when she’s done cooking and all you really do is stand there and nod. The number of times you nod is proportionate to the amount of bites you get to have in the end.
This week Kayleigh needed guests on her show so our writer friend set us up with an appearance. It was such a special activity to be able to participate in. The kitchen was even nicer in real life than on TV, as was Kayleigh. While we were cooking I noticed two things that made the event so luxurious compared to cooking in our kitchen: 1) I was not sweating profusely, which would have made me a fat sweaty person on tv, which would have looked really shady being on a cooking show, 2) my legs were not being attacked by a million bugs and mosquitoes. I was also beside myself with joy when I used her bathroom and realized I didn’t have to fill up a bucket to flush the toilet.
During the filming of the show, I helped make homemade meatballs for the pasta, my roommate helped with the BBQ chicken pizza, and we all fixed ourselves a knickerbocker glory: a bowl of jello, fruit, ice cream, homemade whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and white chocolate shavings. It was heavenly.
Once we were done, the camera man promised to make us a copy of the program. It wasn’t until then that I realized the camera adds 10 pounds, which is exactly what I needed on a program showing me eating.