How To Draw The Eye of a Dragon (2)
The smile on Minjoon’s face stiffened . He responded with a shocked voice .
Rachel’s words sounded especially tough on him . But he knew Rachel wouldn’t say this without reason . Rachel opened her mouth calmly .
“It’s tasty . A good dish, no doubt . And the story… You probably wanted the pomegranate to look like a birthday present . ”
“…I’m surprised you could figure that all out . ”
“It looks too obvious . If you just put a ring in it, it’d make a great proposal . ”
“N-no . I can’t . Kaya got mad at me for suggesting that last time . ”
“That girl’s quite something herself . Well, besides that, this dish is still incomplete . ”
“…Yes, I see . ”
Minjoon lowered his head in sadness . Rachel looked at him like a loving mother .
“Don’t be too sad . I didn’t say I wouldn’t allow it on the menu . It’s just a little lacking, still . ”
“Could you tell me what’s missing?”
“Well… That wouldn’t be very fun, would it? Besides, it wouldn’t make the dish entirely yours if I helped you . ”
Minjoon nodded slowly . He couldn’t call the dish entirely his if Rachel was the one to fix a critical error in it . Rachel smiled .
“Sometimes, knowing that your dish is imperfect can be the biggest help . You know if you have to improve your dish or not, after all . I hope you find an answer soon, Minjoon . ”
“Yes, thank you . I’ll make something better soon . ”
Minjoon responded as calmly as he could, but it was impossible to hide the disappointment in his voice . By the time Minjoon grabbed the door handle, Rachel asked him a question .
“Did you let other people try the dish?”
“Mm… No . I took it to you before anyone else . ”
“Then give it to other people . The problem might end up getting easier . ”
“I understand . ”
The problem would get easier just by letting other people taste the dish . Minjoon left the room thinking about the idea . When he entered the kitchen, Janet was the first to greet him .
“What did Rachel say?”
“She said it needs improvement . ”
“Ah, pity . ”
“… . Did you smile just now?”
“What, should I be crying, then?”
“It’s not exactly a situation where you should be smiling either, you know?”
Janet just shrugged before turning away . The question of whose dish would be on the menu come christmas was a very sensitive topic between all the chefs . Minjoon tried a bite of the dish Rachel had just rejected .
The jam neutralized the icy coolness the ice cream provided . The balance, in fact, amplified the sweetness of the dish further, providing a very nice balanced flavor to the dish .
‘What am I missing here?’
Minjoon remembered what Rachel had told her right then . He took the dish and walked towards the other chefs . Javier, after trying the dish, cocked his head .
“It’s really good, though? Pretty fun to eat as well . Why this would’ve gotten rejected… I’m not sure . ”
“Anderson, what do you think?”
“I agree with Javier . It tastes perfect . I like how sweet and sour it is . It’s pretty perfect as far as desserts go . ”
Minjoon looked at all the chefs around him . They seemed a bit surprised, as they didn’t expect to have to provide their opinion . The first to speak was Gerrick .
“They say the three most important elements for food are flavor, look, and texture . This has all three . I don’t know what you’d want to fix from here . ”
“I agree . It tastes a lot like pomegranate as well… I wonder what Rachel found wrong about it?”
“Mm… Maybe she was telling you to improve instead?”
Maya was the one who said the last sentence . Minjoon turned to look at her . Maya looked away unconfidently when their eyes met .
“Continue . ”
“N-no . I think I just said something useless just now . ”
“I’ll be the one to decide that . I need every advice I can get right now . ”
“The dishes of Rose Island isn’t just tasty . It’s all about showing the guests some sort of freshness, or depth, in the flavor of the food . It should make the guests go ‘Wow, so food can taste like this, too?’ or ‘Huh, this food has such an incredibly complex flavor . ’ Ah, not that your food is bad, of course . ”
The girl seemed incredibly nervous as she talked . Almost as if she was afraid that Minjoon would misunderstand . Minjoon spoke to her comfortingly .
“Don’t be so nervous, Maya . You know me . I can take a beating or two . Tell me what you think . ”
“…Honestly, it was a little meh . It’s super tasty, but it felt like something from a great restaurant elsewhere, almost? It felt a little lacking compared to the dishes here . ”
“So it’s lacking that wow factor . ”
“Mm… I suppose that’s what it is . ”
Maya smiled awkwardly . It was never easy critiquing someone’s food . Especially if that food was made by someone more skilled than her .
Minjoon tapped the dish as he spoke to himself .
“A wow factor…”
There were a few things a person gets used to when they start working at Rose Island . One of them was good food . Most of their meals were composed of experimental dishes a chef had been developing . But since most of those dishes were done by Rachel Rose herself, even those experimental dishes were much better than most high class restaurant dishes .
The second thing the person would get used to was famous people . LA was a place full of hollywood stars and whatnot . Visits from stars were quite commonplace, and some people even came to taste the food by plane . Even the second richest person in the world swung by a few days ago to eat .
But even with that, he wasn’t used to the people on the table out in the hall right now . That is, Minjoon wasn’t used to them . One of them was a famous comedian, and the other was a famous female MC . The other one was a familiar face to him . Martin . Martin was on their table . But they weren’t the reason why Minjoon felt the way he did to that table .
“So Chloe’s gotten big enough to hang out with those kinds of people now . ”
Minjoon stared at the table dumbly . Of course, it wasn’t like he knew what would happen to people in the future, but he was still surprised to see someone he lived with a few months back on a table full of superstars . Anderson responded with a smile .
“You didn’t know? Her cookbook has been a best seller for a while . She’s been getting on all sorts of shows . ”
“Why do you look so proud of that fact?”
“I’m not . ”
“Yeah, sure . ”
“I’m really not, though…”
Anderson made an annoyed face, but Minjoon ignored it . Janet walked up to the two with crossed arms .
“Are you good friends with Chloe? She came by last time, too, if I remember correctly . ”
“Well, yeah, we’re pretty good friends . Aren’t we friends, too?”
Minjoon turned to smile at Janet, but the woman looked at him coldly in response .
“You know you’re really cringey sometimes?”
“…I guess I am . Alright, I’m sorry . ”
“You really need to fix that . Some of the chefs can’t even work properly when they hear you speak . ”
He really didn’t know what to say to that . When Minjoon scratched his cheeks awkwardly, Anderson turned to look at Janet .
“You should fix your personality as well . You’re giving your chefs a ton of stress . ”
“I don’t think I should be hearing that from you of all people?”
Anderson wasn’t a great boss to Antonio either, all things considered . Anderson could only stand there, unable to respond at all .
When the meal was finished, Minjoon and Anderson headed over to Chloe’s table . Minjoon smiled, and offered them his greeting .
“Hello, Martin, Chloe . Ah, greetings to you two as well . It’s our first time meeting, yes?”
“We were dragged over by Martin and Chloe, haha . It turned out well, though . “
The female MC spoke jokingly . Martin looked at Minjoon with a smile .
“Minjoon, Anderson, it’s good to see you working hard here . How is it, do you like it here?”
“Very . It’s a great job . ”
“There’s no reason for me to not like it . I’ve worked as a chef my entire life, after all . ”
Anderson responded with a bored voice . Minjoon poked him almost annoyedly .
“Hey, stop being so mean to the customers . ”
“…There’s lots of mean chefs out there already . ”
“It’s ok, Minjoon . That’s just what Anderson’s like . ”
“The two of you are still the same as ever . ”
Chloe smiled, and Minjoon shrugged in response .
“It’s only been ten days, you know?”
“Ten days in Hollywood is really long . Tons of stuff happened . ”
Chloe sighed . The other two who were on their table soon left due to their schedule, and Minjoon and Anderson were able to sit down .
“So, that pomegranate dish . Has that been going well?”
“I thought it did, but… Rachel told me she couldn’t put it on the menu . ”
“She wouldn’t tell me . I think she wants me to find out myself . ”
“Hm… Makes sense . ”
Chloe nodded . Martin looked at Minjoon with a curious face .
“Could you show us? We can give you feedback as customers . Plus, we just finished the current menu, so we can compare quite nicely . ”
“Is that fine? The dish might ruin the experience for you a little . ”
“…I can always come back later . As long as you could get a table for us?”
“Alright, I’ll try . Please wait . ”
Minjoon walked into a kitchen, and brought out the pomegranate candy and jam . Chloe expressed amazement after breaking open the shell .
“Wow, it’s so pretty!”
“And now you pour the jam in here . ”
Minjoon poured the jam in one fluid motion . Chloe took a spoonful of the jam, ice cream, and toffee, and trembled with joy .
“Ughh, it’s so good . Minjoon, you’ve almost gotten annoyingly good . ”
“Can you tell what’s wrong with it?”
“No, not really…”
Minjoon turned to look at Martin, but the man seemed to be just as confused . As Minjoon let out a sigh, Chloe continued to eat the dish . Right then, Chloe tilted her head in confusion .
“Well, the flavor keeps changing, I think . It’s almost like I’m growing numb to the flavor…”
“That’s because you keep eating the same…”
Minjoon closed his mouth . A moment later, he opened his mouth again, seemingly exhausted by the wave of ideas that swept over him .
“…They say you can never stop learning . Thanks, Chloe, you saved me . ”
“What, you thought of something?”
“Yeah . ”
Minjoon spoke with a calm face . Chloe looked at him dumbly . Why did that face of his look so trustworthy?
“The answer . I found it . ”