And it had only been a few seconds after Minjoon told Janet and Javier about Anderson’s work ethic, too . Minjoon looked at Anderson with an annoyed face, but Anderson seemed unfazed .
“Aren’t you going to help me?”
“…Wait . I need to talk to Janet and Javier . ”
“I’ll listen too, then . ”
Anderson walked over to the couple in front of Minjoon casually, and crossed his arms . Janet seemed to be suppressing a mocking laughter as she looked at him . Minjoon looked at the three with a tired face .
“Tell me what’s wrong with your dish . You can’t be thinking it’s been failing because you don’t have molecular gastronomy . ”
“Of course not . Lots of our dishes don’t use techniques from molecular gastronomy . ”
Javier nodded . Janet continued .
“There’s only one reason why we want to learn molecular gastronomy from you . Rachel wouldn’t think much about whether or not we use molecular gastronomy or traditional methods . She’d look for creativity and skill from our dish . ”
“So what’s that got to do with molecular gastronomy?”
“Creativity . ”
Janet responded curtly . When Minjoon motioned for her to continue, Janet shrugged .
“Traditional food’s advanced for hundreds or years . At this point, fusion is the only way to add any real creativity to a traditional dish . But as you know, my dish isn’t very… fusion-esque . Trying to add any more creativity would require me to use molecular gastronomy . We don’t have much time either . ”
“…Makes sense . There’s not much time to create a new fusion dish . Javier, you?”
“Same as Janet . I also feel like molecular gastronomy will be useful for me in the future, too . So I decided to just try and learn it from you . ”
Minjoon’s eyes finally drifted over to Anderson .
“I just have one reason . I need foam for the recipe I’m thinking of making . I’m not trying to be all aimless and hopeful like these two here . ”
Janet glared at Anderson, who just smiled in response .
“How are you two thinking of using molecular gastronomy in your dish, then?”
“…I have my plans . ”
“See? You can’t even be descriptive . ”
“Stop fighting, you two . You’re just wasting time . ”
Minjoon lowered his voice threateningly . Janet still seemed to want to say something, but she knew Minjoon enough to not speak any more/further . If they really started fighting, Minjoon would just give up on teaching them completely .
“Fine . Begin . ”
“Teacher . ”
Minjoon grinned .
“Call me teacher . ”
Minjoon’s teacher play didn’t just end there, though . Lots of other demi chefs constantly asked him questions about molecular gastronomy during break time and whatnot .
Anderson was no different . Perhaps he took a liking to the craft, or maybe he realized how important it would be to him?
“Did you know this would happen when you assigned this role to Minjoon?”
Raphael asked as he looked over the demi chefs with a curious gaze . Minjoon’s role as a teacher had, as of now, become the talk of the town in Rose Island .
“How could I? It’s just… I knew that chefs of similar skills could become teachers for one another when they gather . ”
“But it’s just Minjoon who’s taken on the mantle as a teacher here . ”
“Sometimes, even the student can become the teacher . You know this, Raphael . ”
Raphael nodded in understanding, then turned to Rachel . He seemed to want to say something .
“What’s with your expression? Do you want to ask something? I’ve never seen you hesitate from asking a question before . ”
“Mm… Are you the same way? I can’t stop thinking about the idea that a student can become the teacher . ”
“What, you want to take me in as a disciple or something?”
“I’d be honored if that were to happen . But I’m thinking of someone else . A person that broke a chef out of hiding after a full decade . ”
It was obvious who Raphael was talking about . Rachel put on a bitter smile instead of responding . Raphael continued with a cautious voice .
“Was it that you didn’t actually take Minjoon in as a disciple, but you wanted him to be your teacher?”
“…There’s one thing that you learn as you age . It’s that even a stone that you might find on the road can become your teacher . There’s no reason why Minjoon can’t become a teacher of mine . ”
“It’s a bit different, isn’t it? You’re not trying to learn something from Minjoon . You’re hoping that Minjoon’s tongue can give you something that you don’t have . ”
“What, are you saying that that’s bad?”
“It’s not . But what if his tongue gets damaged? Those tastebuds of his won’t last forever . They’ll go away as he ages . Would his tongue be an exception?”
“That doesn’t matter . Getting a taste of ‘that world’… is unforgettable . ”
Rachel looked at Minjoon with soft eyes . Raphael continued to push at her, though .
“Is there a need to rely on him, though? You’re not relying on him at all right now, but you still managed to fully revive Rose Island . All the critics are raving about you . Isn’t that enough?”
“We just managed to poke our head out of our hiding hole . Things might be different when we fully rear ourselves . And what’s important aren’t the critics . It’s confidence in our food . What you said about the tongue is correct . We can’t taste too well when we get older . There are indeed times when I get nervous when I cook . ”
“…You’re telling me, having Minjoon eat your food is a big help to you in of itself?”
Rachel smiled weakly .
“Yes . That’s why he’s so reliant on me right now . …Does this sound a little too weak?”
“…I understand . Anyone’s going to have to face this eventually . But it is a little regretful . I’d love to see you with a bit more confidence . After all, Rachel, you’re the best chef I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting . ”
Rachel made an awkward face .
“You’re one of the best sous chefs I’ve had as well . ”
“Come on, you’re just trying to be nice . ”
“Yes, I am . ”
Right then, Anderson walked over to Rachel with a bowl full of pasta .
“I’m really confident this would be it this time, Rachel . ”
“…I honestly think I gained weight because of you at this point . You know old people have to keep track of their weight quite a bit now?”
“No need to worry about getting fat because of me anymore . This should be the last one . ”
“Good, good . Fine, I’ll try it . ”
Rachel stood up with a smile . The first thing she did was checking the shape of the pasta . It looked almost like a Japanese soba . But it was different . The pasta was a ravioli, to begin with . The sauce on top looked like an egg white of sorts, but it was actually parmesan foam .
“So you decided to use a ravioli this time . ”
“Yes . Last time you told me it was unfit to be put out as a dish with large portions… So, I just changed the direction to an appetizer instead . ”
“Right . I suppose just this one would raise a person’s appetite quite well . What are you planning on calling it?”
“Carbonara Ravioli topped with parmesan foam, was what I was thinking . ”
“How’s the taste? Did the others like it?”
“Try it, please . ”
Anderson spoke with confidence . He was actually sensitive about getting rejected, so he had been getting quite a lot of feedback from fellow chefs . The result of his work was the ravioli .
Rachel put the ravioli on her spoon, and put it all into her mouth .
As most people interested in cooking would know, real carbonara didn’t actually contain any cream in it . It was something that was made with just egg yolks and cheese .
Anderson’s ravioli didn’t have any real sauce on top of it, aside from the cheese foam . The real sauce, in fact, was all inside . The egg yolk inside burst out as soon as Rachel chewed . The yolk had a flavor akin to bacon, and topped with a light flavor of parmesan… The flavor of the dish was exactly like the real dish, though it looked completely different .
“The pork… You used guanciale?”
Guanciale . It was an Italian bacon made out of a pig’s cheek . Anderson nodded with a smile .
“Yes . I tried to bring out the traditional aspect quite a bit . ”
“Good job . Carbonara’s actually quite difficult to fit into a high end restaurant, but you managed to do it perfectly . How did you keep the egg yolk so creamy and saucy inside? I’d have thought that it’d cook as you steamed it . ”
“I used a needle . ”
“Ah, the power of technology . ”
Rachel nodded with a smile . Anderson looked at Rachel with a nervous look . He’s worked very hard for this dish . Minjoon even had to do all sorts of stuff to try to help Anderson without interfering too much .
The idea for the ravioli only came out because Minjoon said ‘I feel like with the spaghetti, the dish becomes too focused on the pasta . ’ Minjoon probably wanted to tell Anderson to go with ravioli right then, but he most likely refrained from doing so . After all, there was no greater joy than creating a dish all by oneself .
That’s why he wanted this dish to pass . Rachel, on the other hand, was ignoring Anderson as she savoured the aftertaste of the ravioli in her mouth . She turned to look at Raphael .
“I said before, didn’t I? That there’s always new things to learn from everything . Look . I was completely shocked by this ravioli just now . It’s very new, very modern, yet… so traditional . Thank you, Anderson . I’ve learned a lot . ”
“No, I’m thankful that you even think that of my dish . But…”
Anderson looked at Rachel nervously, who smiled in response .
“What was the name of the dish again? Ah, right . Carbonara Ravioli topped with parmesan foam . I’ll have to tell Isaac to include it in the menu . ”
Anderson let out a shout of joy as he jumped up from the seat . It was very unlike Anderson’s usual character, but this only served to show just how happy he was . Rachel smiled again .
“Keep working as you did from now on . You can’t cook alone . It’s something that can be done only with multiple people working together . We’re nothing without the customers . ”
“Yes, I understand . ”
Anderson left the table with a massive grin on his face . Most demi chefs were able to tell what happened through that expression alone . Janet looked at Anderson with a complex expression .
“Yup . ”
Anderson looked at Minjoon as he said this, who opened his mouth with a smile .
“Congrats . ”
“…I’d have kissed you if I was a girl right now . Same for the other way round as well . ”
Minjoon seemed a little shocked .
“Who said I’d take that kiss?”