"Haha…… that is quite the confidence."
Even Matthew, who had many years of experience, could not help but be nervous for a second at that response. It was not just him. Some of the chefs and audience members were laughing while others were in awe. Matthew asked the question they all wanted to ask.
"I am curious about the source of that confidence. Is it the Rose Island's name?"
"Is there a tree with only one strand of root anywhere in the world? The source of confidence is the same. Furthermore, the name of Rose Island … gives us more of a sense of duty rather than confidence."
Chloe suddenly interjected. She asked with a beautiful smile.
"What is the thickest root for Minjoon?"
Jo Minjun stopped speaking for a moment. His eyes didn't know where to go and looked up into the sky. The contemplation did not take very long.
"I would have to say, my teammates."
"You do know that is a very typical answer right?"
"It has to be a typical answer. Universal things like this tend not to be wrong."
"Your old-fashioned personality is still the same."
Jo Minjun quietly responded with a smile at Chloe's response. The Q&A portion continued on to the other teams. The funny thing was that there were more teams that talked about Rose Island than those who did not. One of the most memorable ones was what Glouto's demi chef team leader had to say.
"Our head chef-nims gave us one special order."
"What special order?"
"We don't care if you don't win. Just make sure you don't lose to a child like Anderson."
Anderson grabbed his forehead like he had a headache after hearing that. He looked around at the audience with a resentful gaze. It was not hard to locate where Amelia and Fabio were sitting since they were putting their fingers in their mouths and whistling their approval. Janet started to speak as if she was making fun of him.
"You have really good parents, don't you?"
"……Don't rub it in. It's annoying."
The rest of the teams pretty much said the same thing. The desire to surpass the legend of Rose Island. There were even quite a lot of people growling and saying they will take Jo Minjun's confidence down a notch. However, Jo Minjun was not nervous.
'……Firstly, there is no one with a cooking level of 9.'
It was pretty obvious if he thought about it. A cooking level of 9 was not something that was so easy to find. However, there were quite a few people with level 8. It almost filled all ten of his fingers. Lee Tae Hoon, the Korean man who greeted Jo Minjun earlier, was one of those people.
Of course, there was no team as strong as Rose Island when looking at the team's averages core. They had two level 8 and two level 7. He was not worried. However, he still had to focus. Letting your guard down always causes unexpected results. Jo Minjun looked toward the other three members and started to speak.
"There is no reason for us to lose. Rachel teacher's recipe is perfect, and we have practiced enough. What we need to look for is not just a victory …… but to let them know that Rose Island is back for good. We need to show them the most overwhelming presence possible. Even if we have to draw out our souls, we need to be the best version of us that we have ever been."
"……You seem really confident."
"I told you already. I trust you."
Jo Minjun answered in a 'is there even a reason to ask' type of expression. Janet felt a part of her heart started to quiver while looking at Jo Minjun respond like that. Trust. It was a word that was missing from her mind for many years. She had never expected anyone to accept her as a teammate like this.
Jo Minjun did not care that Janet was a female chef. But it was not just Jo Minjun. Anderson and Javier as well did not try to discriminate against her because she was a woman. They did not try to help her because of it either. They just treated her as just another chef.
'……I need to show it to them as well.'
She needed to show that she was a strong chef just like they trusted her to be.
"The judging will be done by 11 epicureans. We cannot reveal the names of the judges until the dishes are completed. Please make a dish that can win over any judge, no matter who it is!"
"You have exactly 30 minutes to cook. Is there anybody who is not finished setting up yet?"
There was no response. Chloe nodded her head and shouted out loud. Her heart was beating fast. Although the location was different, she was able to say the things the judges used to say to her when she was competing on Grand Chef.
The moment Chloe shouted out loud with an excited expression, the chef brigades all started to move.
The team with the unique countertop was probably Rose Island. They had many different machines for molecular gastronomy.
The appetizer Janet was making a jelly solidified with gelatin after liquefying a salad. After that, she will sprinkle sugar over it and caramelize it, giving the jelly a crunchy feel like it was a thin candy.
Anderson's dish did not use any molecular gastronomy techniques. He was personally making a shrimp ball and carrot gnocchi dough and cooking it, before putting a shrimp bisque made of shrimp shells on the dish like a sauce and finishing it off with a pea garnish.
In Javier's case, it was a mix of traditional cooking and molecular gastronomy. Javier put the charcoal they brought to roast an eel and will end up putting boiled lentils on a dish with the eel on top of it. He will then have to jellify a soy sauce to put on top of that and finish it off with a foam ginger cream. It was a reinvented version of a Japanese eel roast.
As for Jo Minjun……
'I never expected a day like this when I would be holding a syringe at a cooking competition.'
His dish was a variation of the jelly spaghetti he made before at the tasting. Rachel's recipe was simple. Boil water and agar together and add white chocolate and coconut liqueur before letting it simmer down slightly. Then do the same thing he did before to make the jelly spaghetti: put the liquid in the syringe to push into a tube and let it cool in ice water.
The chocolate spaghetti made that way was white in color that it made it look like a regular spaghetti noodle. On top of that will be a carbonated strawberry sauce with strawberry pieces to represent the tomato sauce, and the couple raisins on top will represent the meatballs.
At first glance, it looks like a spaghetti, however, the taste is completely different. Dishes like this were called fake dishes.
It was a type of cooking that even epicureans were always excited to try.
Jo Minjun first prepped the strawberries. There were two methods to carbonate fruit. You could either use a siphon or ISI foam machine to add the carbonation, or you could put the fruit on top of dry ice. Jo Minjun chose the latter method.
The strawberry for the sauce and the strawberry for the decor were cut into different sizes. After putting all of those strawberries on top of the dry ice, he needed to quickly prepare the filling for the chocolate spaghetti.
The audience was mainly focusing on Rose Island. It was not just because of the Rose Island's name. There were some teams that were also doing molecular gastronomy, but no teams that were focusing on molecular gastronomy like Rose Island. For a restaurant like Rose Island that represented the glory of the past to be doing modern cooking like this was interesting.
"Little Anderson's dough making has improved quite a bit."
"Of course, he needs to do that much. Did you forget whose son he is?"
Amelia and Fabio were not even looking at Glouto's demi chefs and were just focused on Rose Island. To be specific, they were only focused on Anderson, but they ended up looking at the others every so often in the process.
The one to get their gaze the most after Anderson was Jo Minjun. It was because his cooking was the most unique, as well as the fact that there was a lot for him to do. Not only did Jo Minjun have to cook his dish, he had to check the status of the other team members as well. Fabio started to speak as if he was jealous.
"Minjun really has strong kitchen commanding skills. Maybe it is because he has a great palette. He's able to figure out the issue after tasting things just once."
"Our Anderson needs to become like that too."
"He just hasn't had the opportunity yet. If he gets the opportunity, he will do well."
"But Minjun will still be better."
A husky voice suddenly interjected from the side. Amelia and Fabio started to frown as they looked to the side before becoming confused. It was a woman with long, black, curly hair. She also had sunglasses and a mask over her mouth. There was no way to figure out who she was.
The woman lightly lowered her sunglasses. However, Amelia and Fabio still could not tell who they were. In the end, she needed to lift her mask as well before they finally realized who it was and let out a gasp.
"Kaya. It was you."
"It's been a while. We've seen all of your endeavors with joy until now."
"Endeavors? I really haven't done much."
"Well. You know. Is the mask you're wearing the one you wore that time?"
Kaya started to blush as she finally understood what they were talking about. As Amelia started to laugh, Fabio subtly elbowed Amelia's side. Fabio started to smile as he looked at Kaya.
"So who are you here to cheer on today? Grand Chef restaurant? Or Rose Island?"
"Ay, you can't answer like that. There should be someone you are pushing for more than the other."
"……I guess Grand Chef restaurant?"
It was a surprising answer. Amelia asked with a confused expression.
"This is surprising. You are not taking Minjun's side."
"I don't know."
Kaya shrugged her shoulders. Honestly speaking, the reason she wanted Grand Chef to win was because of Jo Minjun as well. She wanted to see Jo Minjun with a disappointed expression. She wanted to be able to console him and hug him tightly. She also wanted that sense of we beat you and wanted to remain the main character that he once said he admired as a chef.
"What about the two of you. Do you want Glouto to win? Or do you want Rose Island to win with Anderson as the star?"
"Of course Glouto. You enjoy a child's growth only until they get to about your chest. Once they start getting taller than you, then they start to become a bit disgusting."
"……I'm taller than my mom too."
"Too bad. You ended up a disgusting daughter."
"It's okay. Minjun tells me I'm pretty."
Amelia looked at Fabio as Kaya said that. Fabio just looked at her wondering why she was looking at him. Amelia let out a sigh.
"Fine. I lose there."
"Just when did the two of you start competing?"
"……Honey. Can you do me a favor and just shut up?"
Fabio closed his mouth and pretended to close a zipper over it. Amelia looked at Kaya and responded with a challenging tone.
"Just wait. My son will crush your boyfriend."
"Hmph. Minjun is not that weak."
"For not being weak, I think my son beating him in the recent Epicurean show."
She was talking about the competition they had on Hunger Trip. Kaya could not respond to that and just twisted her lips behind the mask. She then started to mumble in an angry voice.
"Just wait. Today, Minjun will definitely beat Anderson."
"You sure? I think we'll need to wait about 10 years for that to happen."
Fabio started to mumble in disbelief.
"Umm…they are on the same team…"
Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Dragneel, Illidanstormrage
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