Those were words that didn’t need to be long. There wasn’t other magic word like ‘delicious’. At that short word, Jo Minjoon could once again feel his heart beating. The judges didn’t keep wasting words and went past Jo Minjoon. Then continued judging.
Jo Minjoon looked at the catfish meatball stew. There were no mistakes.
[Catfish Meatball Stew]
Origins: (Too many ingredients to know)
Cooking Score: 7/10
Jo Minjoon turned his head and looked at the judges. Kaya’s turn was near.
Kaya’s dish was catfish tangsuyuk with red sauce. The judges took a bite, and said that it was delicious without thinking it twice, and then left her. Even Kaya couldn’t make them stay. Because there were still a lot of people to evaluate.
Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya’s catfish tangsuyuk. It showed that it was a 7 points dish. When he noticed that her cooking level was 7, he could tell that her dishes would probably also be 7.
However at that moment, Jo Minjoon felt the strongest of the temptations. The temptation to go and try Kaya’s dish.
Jo Minjoon even tried a 9 points dish in a Michelin restaurant. He didn’t have the need to lust over that 7 point dish. In the first place, wasn’t it a dish he could make if he didn’t do any mistakes? But even so, the catfish tangsuyuk was really charming. Because it was Kaya’s cooking.
What chefs put on a plate wasn’t only the cooking. The brand they had was put on the plate. Jo Minjoon wondered, what kind of flavor could the name of Kaya add?
However, he couldn’t just run to her and try her cooking in the middle of judging. The atmosphere on the place was serious. Because, even at that moment were people being disqualified. Those who heard that their dishes weren’t delicious left the room without any strength.
The judges that finished their evaluation went up to the platform. Emily smiled and said with a calm voice as if nothing had happened.
“Congratulations. Earlier was a qualification phase, but now you got to the real qualification phase. From the elected people, you were once again elected.”
Jo Minjoon calmly checked his surroundings. There weren’t many people left. Thirty, maybe there weren’t even that much. With just one judging, this much people were disqualified. Joseph that was next to Emily, opened his mouth.
“The reason you survived today is simple. You know how to handle the ingredients, and give it flavor. It’s the most important quality for a chef. You have your foundations and are indeed a chef.”
Jo Minjoon thought that Joseph was a really good speaker. Just when he thought that his beating heart calmed down a little, him saying that he was a chef made his heart beat again. It was as if he became a high schooler that fell in love.
“There’s a huge difference between people who cook and chefs. Now you have to hold that responsibility on the tip of your knives. The responsibility to make things delicious. The responsibility to not ruin the ingredients. I hope that you will be able to keep that until the end.”
The silence filled the atmosphere. Jo Minjoon was biting his lips and looking at the judges. Alan opened his mouth.
“The next mission will be in two days. During that time, you are free to stay in the rooms of Grand Chef’s building. Of course, you can use all of the ingredients in the kitchen before you get disqualified. Let’s hope that time to be meaningful.”
As the judges finished their words, they left the place. And so did the participants. They would be really exhausted whatever they did. Because it would be quite burdensome for so many cameras to be installed on the countertops.
However Jo Minjoon didn’t leave the place. There was still some catfish meatball stew left. He didn’t even fail it, so he didn’t want to throw his dish on the bin. Jo Minjoon poured the stew on another plate. There were still 6 more meatballs. After pouring the soup and putting the meatballs, he placed the fried skin.
He took that and went to Kaya. She was one of the participants that didn’t leave the countertop. And Jo Minjoon thought that she was thinking the same thing as him. A good cook wouldn’t be able to throw their own dishes easily.
As Jo Minjoon got close, Kaya opened her eyes sharply and stared at Jo Minjoon. She was lower than 170cms. She was even wearing high heels but she was at least a hand shorter than Jo Minjoon. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“Do you know about bartering?”
“The manners of our ancestors. I want to experience it. How about it?”
Jo Minjoon said that and pointed her catfish tangsuyuk and his catfish meatball stew with his eyes. Kaya laughed awkwardly.
“You want to trade?”
“What if your dish is not delicious?”
“But even the judges said that it was.”
Kaya opened her eyes rebelliously. However the words that came out of her mouth were different to her expression.
Kaya said that and lifted her fingers. She said with a provocative voice.
“One meatball for one tangsuyuk.”
Of course, what she had just said didn’t match with her expression. Jo Minjoon laughed brightly and replied.
“It’s a rational deal.”
Jo Minjoon stood next to her and ate the tangsuyuk with a fork. It was certainly a 7 points dish. He got a feeling of something exploding in his head but was not disgusting. A dish which bases were perfect.
The sauce was strong. The aroma roamed around his mouth as if a kind of herb was put, and the catfish meat was perfectly cooked, so it was moist and soft. He thought that the meat was going to crumble because of it’s weak characteristic that broke like tofu, but it didn’t. Naturally, the crunchy fried coating that was combined with the sauce, and the bland flavor of the meat mixed well with the sauce’s sweet flavor.
Jo Minjoon looked at the recipe. There wasn’t anything different with a normal tangsuyuk recipe. It was a recipe that immediately popped out of the internet if you searched. The fishy smell was held with lemon, and a sweet potato dough was mixed with potato dough on a 7-3 ratio. Now the point here was to control the amount of cooking oil used.
The next step was like usual. You fried it, and you boiled vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and dough water thickly. And after that, if you put vegetables and pepper powder in that sauce, and cooked it a little was the end.
To get 7 points on a sauce that wasn’t special meant that she cooked with her senses that much. Jo Minjoon savored the tangsuyuk and opened his mouth.
Maybe she wasn’t accustomed to compliments, but Kaya replied with an awkward voice. Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but find it strange. The person he used to watch on TV was now saying that his dish was delicious.
The feeling you got when you felt something that changed could be described as right now. It seemed as if he was a step closer to his dream. But suddenly, Jo Minjoon started thinking. What was his dream? To make a delicious dish? Or to be a famous chef?
He didn’t keep worrying any longer. Kaya was saying with a flushed face.
“I’m eating one more.”
“I’m going to eat one more. Your meatball. So you too, eat one of my tangsuyuk.”
Right. It was bartering. Jo Minjoon laughed and gripped his fork. Right. Even if he made a delicious dish, or became a famous chef, if he could keep cooking with the same heart as he had right now……
< The 100 chefs (4) > End