First Steps (2)
While Rachel was steeling herself in the kitchen, someone else was sighing in disappointment . It was Pabo, the main PD . He muttered to himself as he looked out into the hall .
“Look over there . That’s Mary Stacey, isn’t it?”
“Looks like Cersei Martelle is right next to her, too . ”
“And that over there’s Rupert Van Hudson, with Chris Patrasche… Dear god, literally everyone famous is here . ”
“Of course they are . This place is right next to Beverly Hills . I’m more surprised about the fact that these people managed to get tables reserved for themselves to begin with . I heard there were tons of people trying to make reservations . ”
“Those people can just hire the ones you’re talking about . ”
“Ah . ”
Pabo took a look at the people’s faces, leaving his staff behind . He let out a deep sigh .
‘…I wish I could take a picture of their reactions . ’
All sorts of expressions were appearing on the guests every time they took a bite . Pabo could understand why . After all, there had been multiple occasions where he had been able to taste Rose Island’s dishes as he filmed the restaurant . He knew very well that the food was well past the realm of just being “amazingly delicious” .
All humans imagined what a perfect something might look like . To Pabo, Rose Island had reached the perfection of food itself . It was inevitable that people would react in such a manner to perfection .
Pabo truly regretted being unable to film the entire thing . Of course, there were cameras set up on the ceilings . But that alone was not enough to capture the expressions that each of these people were making, nor was it capable of taking an interview of the guests in the restaurant . The reason why they couldn’t actually take an interview was rather simple . Rachel wouldn’t allow it .
– The guests aren’t here to film . They’re here to eat . I won’t allow you to interfere their meal just to capture a moment . Please allow these people to focus on their meal .
He couldn’t try to push any further after hearing that . He was up against Rachel Rose here . Even the director of the channel would not be able to do anything in front of her . Pabo sighed and looked at the staff .
“Where are those people?”
“They said they just got out of the airport, so it shouldn’t take them too much longer . Maybe five minutes at the latest… ah . ”
The staff member paused to look at the door . Two men and a woman walked in in pure joy and excitement . Pabo walked over to greet them .
“Joseph, Jeremy, and Sera . Nice to meet you . ”
“It’s been a while, Pabo . ”
“It’s nice meeting you all here . Sera, this is the first time we’ve seen each other, yes?”
“Yes . I heard pretty much all famous foodies have your name card in their wallets . I suppose today’s my lucky day?”
“I didn’t know my name card was so valuable . Please, come over . I’ve been sitting by myself at the table over there for the longest period of time . ”
Pabo led the crowd with a smile . Their table was in a separate room, next to a window . Coming back to the room full of cameras gave Pabo some odd sense of comfort . One of the staff members dropped their jaw when they saw Sera walk in .
Sera’s tight red dress seemed to show just why she was so famous on television recently . The staff member whispered to Pabo with a smile .
“You’ve brought her here on purpose, didn’t you?”
“Do I really look like that type of person to you? You’ve been with me for years already . ”
“Well… You do, honestly speaking . ”
Pabo coughed a few times in embarrassment . He spoke again, a bit more seriously this time .
“What do you think is the thing that these three have in common?”
“Mm… They all know what chef Rachel’s food tastes like? Though pretty much any famous foodie would have tasted it by now . ”
“Well, you’re on track, at the very least . What do you think Sera has, compared to all the other older celebrities?”
“What she has… Ah . ”
The staff member nodded .
“She’s on good terms with Minjoon and Anderson…?”
“That’s right . And you’ve spoken as if knowing chef Rachel’s food was a positive a moment ago, but not knowing what it’s like might be a positive in itself . If Rachel’s food is better than anything Sera’s ever tried, she wouldn’t just be shocked . A food that even a foodie would have no words describing… Dang it . Chef Rachel seriously owes me one . ”
Pabo wasn’t wrong . Sera did look incredibly excited as she looked at the menu . Jeremy let out a small laughter .
“Sera, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this excited before? Not even during the hunger trip . ”
“I mean, it’s inevitable . The best restaurant in the world that’s closed . How sad is that?”
“I was pretty annoyed too . Do you know how it feels to be unable to find your favorite restaurant for ten years straight? Ah, I’m not saying your restaurant’s worse than mine . Not that it’s about the same either . Mm… What should I say?”
“No need to try to be nice . I know I’m a lot worse than chef Rachel . ”
He was pretty humble for a world-famous chef . Sera took this chance to open her mouth .
“Aren’t you jealous?”
“Well, maybe if we were the same age . But since I’m quite a bit younger than chef Rachel… She feels more like a role model than a rival . ”
“It’s pretty interesting . Taste is subjective in the end, but all chefs end up getting strangely competitive all the time . ”
“Well, it’s impossible for one to not want to be the best in their field . ”
Just then, a server brought in a basket of ciabatta bread as a snack . As the server proceeded to pour dry red wine into their glasses, Sera took a small bite of the ciabatta bread .
“This is really good . Their baker must be something special . ”
“I heard it’s Jack’s daughter who’s in charge of that . Ah, Jack’s the old baker from Rose Island . He was amazing . ”
“Like father, like son, huh?”
By the time the ciabatta was half-gone, the amuse-bouche had arrived . It was the fried scallop that had been served to the chefs of the restaurant previously . A powder sauce made out of green mustard, and a fried scallop made with shrimp and pork . Joseph put a piece in his mouth and closed his eyes .
Using shrimp and pork with scallop was a technique that was common in Chinese cooking . It was often employed to raise the texture of the scallops . Thanks to this, every time Joseph chewed, the scallop’s soft, firm texture seemed to almost bite back at his mouth with flavor . The juices that were spilling out of the meat almost tasted like the tastiest piece of chicken Joseph’s ever tasted .
This scallop, combined with the powdered green mustard sauce, formed a rather amusing combo . No, it wasn’t just amusing . Unlike the light flavor that most dishes made with molecular gastronomy had, the sauce had an extremely strong flavor .
‘It tastes incredibly deep . This savouriness is just… I wonder if I can even begin to describe this . ’
Powder sauces were harder to make than one might imagine . After all, one had to taste the sauce in its liquid form before making a powder form of it . And as one might expect, the powdered form of the sauce tasted entirely different from the liquid version . Of course, this was probably made under Rachel’s careful instructions for now, but… Sera looked up to ask a question .
“Was this made by Anderson or Minjoon?”
“Well, Minjoon did touch this . The fried scallops were made by chef Janet Paye of the appetizer team, and the sauce was made by chef Minjoon of the molecular gastronomy team . ”
“I never thought Minjoon would go into molecular gastronomy… What do you two think?”
“Not all molecular gastronomy is equal . The story would change depending on how much this restaurant ends up relying on molecular gastronomy . It is quite normal to make sauces like this, but…”
Joseph took a look at the butter, tapenade, and the pate that came out with the bread . If Minjoon was in charge of those three things as well, it was clear as day what Rachel was announcing to the rest of the world . That she’d finish Minjoon as fast as she can in this kitchen .
‘What are you planning on doing… After you complete him?’
Of course, there was no answer to this question .
“Chef! Chef! Do you know who just came in?”
“Probably someone famous . Ah, I did see Joseph and the others come in a while ago . ”
“That aside, Cersei Martelle and Mary Stacey are here too! I’m a huge fan of both of them!”
“We need to focus . We can’t have those people eating dishes with your spit on it . Take that dish away . You got your spit on it . ”
“…Sorry . ”
Maya put a piece of the jelly in her mouth with a sad face . Then, she proceeded to make an intensely strange face . What she just ate was a jelly made out of fish stock, meant to be eaten with the ceviche . She shook her head before speaking .
“This is weird . It’s good with the ceviche, but…”
“It taste like pure fish stock by itself? I know . I did that on purpose . ”
“Weird, isn’t it? They taste so good together, but by themselves, they’re just…”
“I’m more amazed at your inability to shut up . ”
Maya smiled awkwardly before returning to her station . She proceeded to shoot glances at Minjoon from there . Minjoon seemed almost hypnotized by something .
‘Again with that . ’
Occasionally, Minjoon would make a face like that . Almost like a child completely taken by a game . His eyes were burning with passion, almost enough to make Maya shiver .
Recently, Minjoon had been putting more and more attention into plating . Since molecular gastronomy had a lot more to do with measuring than anything, it was hard to find the fun in things while cooking . Due to this, Minjoon was only really able to have fun when he was plating a dish .
Of course, it wasn’t like he could invest that much time into plating each dish individually . They were getting flooded with orders, after all . Thankfully, Minjoon had previously gotten advice on how to plate from Rachel . Her way of plating was revolutionary, to say the least . She was able to make a dish look full with the least amount of food… and was able to show beauty with even the biggest dish .
Minjoon could feel himself growing as he followed Rachel’s footsteps . He wasn’t just imagining things either . Minjoon was able to take Rachel’s perfect techniques and was slowly making them his own .
Trying to replicate Rachel’s technique every time wasn’t as boring as one might think either . Every dish felt different . Each time he poured his sauce on the plate, it felt different, and every time he plated ice cream would feel different as well .
Minjoon recalled what he heard about Mona Lisa long ago . That the painting wouldn’t have been famous without her mysterious eyebrows . In other words, something as tiny as the eyebrows had the power to change everything about a painting . And right now, Minjoon was drawing countless Mona Lisas on the dishes he plated . Each one of these paintings were the same, but united in their own unique way .
This allowed Minjoon to grow . He could feel it . In fact, the notification that he hadn’t seen for the longest time was even telling him about it .
[You’ve realized the beauty of plating through replicating the techniques of a giant!] [The level of your plating technique has gone up!]