"Good work today, Chloe."
"Ah, thank you for your hard work as well."
Chloe looked back at the PD and smiled brightly. The PD admired her expression for a while. After working together for long periods of time, your mind is likely to let loose a bit. Once you get used to the faces of the people you are working with, it was normal for the expressions to become almost stoic.
But Chloe was not like that. From the moment they scouted her until now, she was always nice and respectful. The PD's voice naturally ended up extremely gentle as well.
"How are you doing lately? Isn't it difficult to be filming?"
"Compared to you and the rest of the staff, it is nothing. All I have to do is cook like I always do and just read the script."
"If it ever gets too hard, let us know. We will do what we can to help you out."
"Please continue to take good care of me."
Chloe gently smiled. She then slowly headed out of the studio.
On her way out, every staff member Chloe ran into smiled brightly and greeted her. Among them, many of the men even asked if Chloe was available for dinner, but as usual, Chloe just responded with an apologetic smile.
Even after leaving the studio, peace did not come easily. Surprisingly, Chloe was a popular star. If you looked only at the numbers, she might even have more fans than Kaya or Jo Minjoon. At least among the housewives that is.
Unlike Grand Chef which was full of complicated and difficult dishes most normal people wouldn't dare to attempt, Chloe's current program, Recipe Pro, focused on recipes that were easy to follow at home. It was to the point where the majority of housewives would search the internet for 'Chloe Jung recipe" as they were deciding on their dinner menus.
Thanks to that, many of the people she ran into while walking would request a picture with her or ask for her signature. Maybe that was why, but Chloe did not look good as she walked across the parking lot. Her agent who had been standing next to her asked in a concerned voice.
"Chloe, are you okay? If it's too hard, should I push back your other meetings for today?"
"I know those aren't available to be rescheduled. Don't worry. If I sleep a bit in the car, I should be better."
"Don't be sorry. It's my job."
Chloe strained herself to smile for her agent. It was a smile that seemed to be a bit weak. After that, Chloe took out her smartphone. The agent didn't know what else to say, and just continued to walk with her.
But it was at that moment. Chloe suddenly stopped. Her agent could only look at her in confusion. Chloe looked like a frozen person as she just continued to stare at her phone. Her agent started to speak.
"Chloe, is everything okay?"
Chloe lifted her head. The expression that Chloe made at that moment, the agent knew that he would never forget that expression in his life. He then lamented the fact that he wasn't an artist. If he could paint the expression that Chloe just showed, that picture would definitely be a masterpiece that will remain in history.
"I want to respond that something did……"
Her voice sounded like she was about to cry.
"But now, it ……has nothing to do with me."
"……Looks like they decided to go all out now. Extremely all out."
Rose Island. Hall. Anderson looked at his smartphone with a disgusted expression. On his phone was a picture of Kaya and Jo Minjoon. Of course if it was just that, there were plenty of pictures of the two of them on the internet, but these were special.
"Hamburger kiss, French fry kiss, and now even mask kiss……what kind of movie were they filming the last two days?"
"…… I hate movies." (TL: Author put hamburger but probably meant the hot dog kiss)
Ella mumbled in a sad voice as her eyes started to turn red. Anderson used his finger to get Ella's hair out of her face.
"I'm sure Santa Claus won't give any presents to any movie directors. Right?"
"No. I'm sure they'll get more than most people."
"…… sob sob."
Ella started to sob as she laid down on top of the desk. Janet who had been watching form the side looked at Anderson as if saying what are you doing to a kid, but Anderson didn't care and just shrugged his shoulders.
Kaya and Minjoon's pictures started to be uploaded since yesterday. For someone with Kaya's level of popularity, having paparazzis around all the time was unavoidable…… but the fact that they were showing multiple displays of affection in public places like cafes or restaurants without even caring about the paparazzis made the story bigger. Their pictures were even on the phones of regular citizens as well.
The pictures weren't the only things to spread. The fact that Kaya met with her biological father also instantly started being uploaded through articles. The first article came from……
It was the woman who broke the story about the Tess Gilly incident. How she even managed to get a hold of the story and managed to so quickly post an article……
As usual, Jessica Prada managed to twist the details in a way that would make for good gossip. After living without a peep for 18 years, her father showed up once Kaya became famous. Unlike Kaya, he was wealthy, and Kaya treated her biological father with a fierce attitude……
Of course Kaya's agent posted an official statement soon after. The content of it was something like this. He did show up after Kaya became famous, but the time he happened to be looking for her just ended up overlapping with the time Grand Chef broadcasted. It was only recently that he became wealthy, and Kaya understood the situation her father was in.
At first glance it might seem like quite a severe situation, but Anderson did not worry much about Kaya. It wasn't because of the 'love-hate' relationship he had with her. It was because Minjoon was by her side. He believed that Minjoon would be taking perfect care of her to the point she wouldn't even have time to worry.
There was actually someone else he was worried about.
'……Is she suffering on her own right now?'
He suddenly started to sigh. As he was about to remove the last of the sigh from his lungs, the door opened and Jo Minjoon entered the hall with a casual expression. The demi chefs, prep cooks, apprentice Justin and Ella, and even Lisa and the bakers all looked towards Jo Minjoon. Jo Minjoon couldn't help but flinch and stop because of this baptism of gazes.
"……Why are you all looking at me like that?"
Ella jumped off the chair and ran towards him as fast as she could with her short legs. She stopped right in front of him and opened her arms. Jo Minjoon quickly peeked towards Lisa, and seeing her nod her head, he cautiously lifted Ella up. Ella put her face in Minjoon's neck before puffing up her cheeks like two dumplings.
"Uncle, you're not going to leave once you get married, are you?"
"Hmm? Why would I leave?"
"But you are getting married?"
"I don't know. At least I don't think I'll get married right now."
"Then you'll continue to stay with Ella?"
"Yes. So don't worry about it."
Seeing Minjoon gently console Ella, Javier spoke with admiration.
"Minjoon really seems to be popular with the ladies."
"Why are you saying that while looking at me?"
"Nothing. I was just wondering if you liked him too."
"……The only emotion I need to bring into the kitchen is my competitiveness."
"Not a very welcoming answer since it's clear that we are both aiming for appetizers."
Janet looked at Javier with indifference. Javier went ack! before closing off his shoulders.
"I'm sorry. Please don't look at me like that."
"I just looked at you normally. Since my eyes are slanted, I guess it could seem like I am glaring at you."
"Ay. What do you mean slanted……I guess they are slanted."
Janet's gaze was fierce. Javier spoke with admiration.
"Oh, this time, it really looked like you were glaring at me."
Janet answered in a cold voice.
"This time, I really was glaring at you."
Javier just scratched his head looking like an idiot.
Jo Minjoon and Anderson came face to face a bit later. Once the weird atmosphere died down a bit, Anderson asked in a stoic tone.
"So things were taken care of then?"
Remembering that Ella was still in his arms, Jo Minjoon quietly answered. Ella was in a similar situation as Kaya. He didn't want to casually throw out the word 'dad' in front of her.
"I'm sure she still hasn't healed all the pain in her heart. It's been quite a long time……since they last met."
"Who haven't you see for a long time?"
"Nothing. Someone Ella doesn't know."
"Is it someone important to them?"
"……I suppose so."
"It must hurt."
Ella mumbled in a quiet voice. Jo Minjoon sat Ella down on his lap before looking at her. Ella looked back with her round eyes wide open.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"……No reason. You just answered like an adult."
"If you don't see someone for a long time, it hurts. I hurt sometimes too. I want to see my daddy."
Ella mumbled in a teary voice before cautiously looking towards the kitchen. On one side, Lisa was busy discussing a new cake recipe with her assistant bakers. Even if she spoke normally, Lisa probably couldn't hear it, but maybe she felt guilty, Ella continued to whisper in a quiet voice.
"Don't tell my mommy. She'll be sad if she hears it."
"Okay. I won't tell her."
"Heehee, thank you."
Jo Minjoon lifted Ella back up. Because she was such a lovable child, her innocence made him feel even more sorry for her. Seeing Ella like that, Anderson felt like he could understand what Minjoon was saying. Can't heal all the pain in your heart. The thing that made a child unable to act like a kid and ……pay attention to her mother's heart.
Anderson let out a sigh before changing topics. If it is a conversation that'll just give you a heavy heart, there was no reason to hold on to it.
"Now that I think about it, you wouldn't know about this. While you were gone, Teacher Rachel left us an announcement before she left."
"Announcement? What was it?"
"A sous chef is coming tomorrow."
Next day. 10am. Everybody, including the demi chefs, were gathered in the hall. The reason was simple. They were there to greet the sous chef who should be arriving with Rachel soon. But it wasn't like they had a welcome card of pamphlet or anything. They didn't feel the need to do something so troublesome, and even if they wanted to, they couldn't do it because they didn't know the identity of the person.
"……Even Chef Rachel has a mean side."
Janet spoke as if she was a bit tired. Jo Minjoon nodded his head as if saying he agreed with her.
"I think teacher has been influenced by Martin too much."
"Martin….. you mean the PD you mentioned before?"
"Yes. He liked to keep people in suspense like this."
"Who do you two think will show up?"
Javier asked. Neither of them could immediately answer him. It wasn't like they knew about all of the sous chefs throughout the country. Maybe Javier realized his mistake, but he started to speak again.
"I guess I asked the wrong question. What kind of person do you think will show up? Their experience level or expertise."
"We can at least say for sure that they won't be someone from a hotel."
Jo Minjoon answered without any hesitation. Javier nodded his head. Other than successful owner-chefs, hotels were where chefs could make the most money. If a Hotel Chef was to leave a hotel, it would be to open their own restaurant, not to be a sous chef at a different restaurant.
Of course when talking about someone like Rachel who has a lot of fame, even if they were to come as a sous chef, there were probably enough people thinking about doing it to learn the know how from her. But there was no way Rachel would accept people like that. She needed someone who would properly work for her restaurant. Javier scratched his head as he started to mumble.
"Most of Teacher Rachel's disciples are head chefs now so there is no way they would come here as a sous chef……"
"Won't she just bring a sous chef who is working somewhere else? Or maybe she's bringing a sous chef from one of the branch locations."
"I'm not so sure about that. Then that restaurant would be missing a sous chef instead."
At Janet's answer, Minjoon just shorted interjected. Janet just shrugged her shoulder and didn't say anything else. At that moment, Anderson finally started to speak.
"For example, if it is a head chef who failed and ruined their own restaurant, most owners would not want to make a contract with them. They have the skills, but have nowhere to go. Then they might be cast as a sous chef here. I've seen many people we know stay at our restaurant for a few months at a time while I was growing up."
"I don't know. That's the same story in the end. Would someone like want to to continue to stay at this restaurant? They would want to be a head chef again."
In the end, they couldn't come to a conclusion. They all just quieted down and looked at the clock. Suddenly, they heard a weird engine noise coming from the front of the restaurant. What they saw through the window was a pink ice cream truck. Jo Minjoon started to speak in a 'there is no way' type of tone.
"There's no way they're planning to start selling over there right……?"
It was actually pretty common. While Rose Island was closed, many food trucks planted themselves in front of the store to sell food to the tourists who came to see Rose Island. However, it was something that cannot be allowed anymore. Once they reopened, they had to prevent food trucks from being parked directly in front of the restaurant. It was then that Justin started to speak.
"Ice cream! Sounds good. Should I go buy some?"
Jo Minjoon quietly stared at Justin. Justin finally realized it and started to speak with an embarrassed look on his face.
"Ah, I'll go tell him he can't sell stuff here."
Jo Minjoon stopped Justin and headed toward the window. Ella was stuck to the window, blankly looking at the text written on the ice cream truck. Jo Minjoon smiled while asking.
"It's kind of rude to just send them away, why don't we at least buy some ice cream before sending them away? Ella. Do you want to eat ice cream?"
Ella took a peek towards Lisa. Lisa let out a sigh and shook her head no.
"Minjoon. Ella's teeth will rot."
"……I guess not. Ella. Your mom said no."
Ella lowered her head with a disappointed expression. Jo Minjoon looked back and forth at Ella and Lisa. Seeing him like that, Lisa had no other choice but to give up. For him to like Ella so much when she wasn't even his own kid, Lisa didn't hate that feeling. Lisa spoke in a stern tone to Ella.
"Ella. Once you eat ice cream, you have to brush your teeth right away. Got it?"
"Yes! I even brought my strawberry flavored toothpaste!"
Ella smiled brightly as she answered. Jo Minjoon held Ella's hand and started to speak.
"Anybody else want one? Ice cream. My treat."
"Me. Cookies and Cream."
"If you want one, come with me."
"Nevermind then. Too much work. I don't want to go."
Anderson leaned his neck on the chair with a grumpy expression.
In the end, the people who headed off on the adventure towards the ice cream truck were Ella and Minjoon, and Janet. Maybe she really liked ice cream. No, maybe she wanted to see Ella's extremely happy expression after she eats ice cream. Janet surprisingly seemed to care about Ella quite a bit.
Jo Minjoon headed to the front of the ice cream truck. Past the open side door was a red-headed white man who saw them and nodded his head.
"Congratulations. Gentleman and little lady. You two are my first customers today."
"To add one more thing to it, we're sorry to say that we also have to be your last customers. I'm sure that you must have heard this place was closed before you came here, but that is no longer the case."
"Yes. Because of that …… huh?"
Instead of answering, the man placed a plate with two spoons in front of Jo Minjoon. It looked like the type of spoons used in restaurants for amuse-bouche. There was something that looked like a light green sherbet on the bottom, and in the center of the sherbet was a carbonated cherry.
Jo Minjoon blankly started to mumble.
Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Miraclerifle
Just who is this mysterious redhead? But more importantly, are there any actual ice cream on this truck? Just $10 more dollars before a sponsored chapter could potentially reveal some answers!