“…And you told me not to take jokes seriously . ”
Anderson looked at Minjoon disappointedly . Minjoon promptly ignored Anderson and turned to Janet and Javier .
“You guys are in big trouble now . ”
“It’s not about who’s coming in second, it’s about who’s coming in last . And if one of you fails… You’ll have to suffer through one whole season . No?”
Janet and Javier looked at each other . After spending some time glaring at each other, Javier opened his mouth .
“Why don’t we just both give up instead?”
“You do that . I’ll get something up on the menu instead . ”
“Ugh… Do you really have to come out like this?”
Janet walked over to the sous vide machine instead of responding . Minjoon approached Javier quietly .
“Making your menu . I could help . ”
“Ugh… No . Don’t you dare . I need to do this by myself . It’d be cheating otherwise . ”
Javier seemed tempted, but his pride didn’t seem to allow him to get help . Minjoon leaned over his station .
“Well, for now, yeah . But after this season, we’ll all have to rely on each other . After all, it’s not like we’re all perfect like Rachel . ”
That was what Minjoon learned as he taught the three . Cooking couldn’t be done alone . Not just in the kitchens, but in developing recipes as well . Working together with others and constantly getting feedback was important in creating a perfect dish .
While he could say the pomegranate dish was made entirely by himself, in reality it only got this perfect thanks to feedback . He supposed he could call it advice hiding under the guise of tasting . After all, they were the reason why he was able to improve his dish to begin with .
But actually saying this would be pointless . There was meaning in understanding this by themselves . Perhaps Rachel gave everyone the chance to make them understand with this event .
“Anderson, you look really happy . ”
“Of course I am . I did everything I wanted . ”
“You want to try making a dish together next time? You might get sick from the stress if you kept making recipes like this time . “
“Sure, why not?”
“I can ask Kaya her opinions next time as well . How exciting . ”
The fact that this was his first dish, and the fact that it was going to be served to Kaya’s family made Minjoon unable to utilize her . It was a great pity considering her talents and her palate .
Kaya had always been Minjoon’s greatest helper from way back . It was inevitable, really . After all, her taste buds were one of the best in the world . She was able to pick out the weaknesses of a dish after just one bite of a dish . A smile appeared on Minjoon’s face as he thought about that talent . Utilizing it would be truly helpful to him . Anderson let out a sigh .
“I know you really love her, but can you really stop it with that?”
“What, you feeling it?”
“I’ve just grown tired of it at this point . ”
“Good . You’ll get used to it . ”
Anderson glared at Minjoon coldly, who promptly ignored it with a whistle . Right then, Janet walked up to Minjoon with a plate .
“Have some . ”
“…You know how much I ate today? Kaya’s going to get mad at me . ”
“I’ll give you something in return . So try it . I’m confident this time . ”
“You told me that every time…”
“For real this time . ”
Minjoon looked at Janet with a suspicious face, before looking down at the dish in defeat . Prawn Cannelloni . Beef braised with vanilla . And a turkey that’s been cooked sous vide, then glazed . After taking a bite of all three in order, Minjoon nodded with a smile .
“Much better than before for sure . Last time the turkey came through a bit too much, but not this time . Looks like you used something else this time… Is it pomegranate molasses?”
“Correct . I realized that I was holding back on my greed as I was cooking . So instead of trying to find a fine balance to my dish, I decided to set up a great finale with a pomegranate molasses that would bring out the turkey’s savoriness . ”
“I see . So you found the answer . ”
Minjoon grinned . It was obvious he was honestly happy for Janet . Janet wasn’t used to such a face . She looked away before continuing .
“Thanks for not telling me . I think learning this by myself really helped . ”
The understanding of sections . That was what Janet lacked . No, it was something that everyone lacked, really . No one really understood the importance of how well a course meal would meld with each other .
Anderson’s carbonara was too heavy as a main, but putting a small amount out wouldn’t be befitting of a main course either . Janet’s was the worst, though . Her dish had meat from the earth, the sea, and the air, but it lacked the oomph that was needed as a main dish .
But it was also pretty iffy to put out as an appetizer . Due to this, the perfect place for it would be as the first main dish of the meal .
In that case, the main would have to be a little filling, but it’d also have to raise a person’s appetite even more for the next dish . Janet succeeded quite well in that regard .
“It’ll go through this time, Janet . ”
“Hopefully . ”
“You won’t bother me now, right?”
“I have to work on the dish for next season now . ”
“…Please don’t . ”
Minjoon let out a pained voice . Janet smiled before walking into the office . Minjoon turned to look at Javier . The man was cheering Janet on, but also seemed pretty afraid of getting last place .
His fears weren’t unfounded . When the office doors opened, Janet’s dish was empty, and… . Janet had a look of satisfaction on her face .
“You wanna go, Anderson?”
The first thing that Anderson got when he entered the home was an insult . Anderson looked at Kaya tiredly . Kaya, on the other hand, was glaring back like a tiger . Anderson asked with a tired voice .
“What . What did I do now?”
“You told Minjoon you’d have cheated with him on me if you were a girl?”
“I never said that . I said I’d kiss him . ”
“Same thing . Can you not make me feel like your rival?”
“Seriously? Can you two stop it with this? It was just a joke . ”
“But you don’t joke . ”
“Yes I do . Just go clean . What the hell is up with this place?”
Anderson complained after looking at the living room . There were clothes and cooking utensils, and even bags of chips all over the place . Kaya snorted angrily .
“Stop talking to me as if you’re my husband . People might think we’re dating . ”
“We’re roommates . I think I can say something like this as a roommate . Did you forget our agreement?”
“I said I’d clean . I never said I’d do it often . ”
“…Oh, you wanna play that game with me?”
Anderson narrowed his eyes, as did Kaya . Minjoon stepped in from behind and grabbed Kaya from the shoulders .
“Don’t fight . I don’t want to hear you two shout as soon as I come in . I’m tired . I worked 14 hours today . ”
“…You should’ve gone somewhere better . Rose Island is weird . Most other decent restaurants don’t do lunches . ”
“It’s because we just opened . We’re gonna switch to dinners only from next year on . We just need to get over this hurdle . At least it pays well . ”
“You save all of that money though . ”
“…Spending’s hard . ”
Minjoon smiled awkwardly . Most Americans didn’t think too much about savings . They focused on building up a good credit instead, to get good deals on borrowing money .
They had confidence in their future, Minjoon supposed . With time, they’ll gain experience, and with that, their pay would rise . Their skills would improve with it as well . Quality would life would follow . Minjoon turned to look at Kaya .
“You’re not used to spending either . Did you spend all your money?”
“No, but I’m not trying to save it . I want to buy a house when I find a nice one . ”
“…My girlfriend’s gonna get a house?”
“Hmph, do I look more capable now or something?”
“I should treat you better . ”
“Keep doing what you’re doing . This is good enough . ”
Anderson sighed . These couples just made him sick sometimes .
‘…I’m an idiot for coming here to begin with . ’
Anderson sat on the sofa and turned on the TV . After clicking through a few channels, he stumbled on a familiar face .
“Oh, it’s Chloe . What’s this show?”
“How can you not tell? It’s a reshowing of Grand Chef . See? That’s you right there . ”
“…Man, watching myself makes me feel weird . But huh, my skin looks pretty good on there . ”
“It’s pretty good in real life too . ”
Anderson frowned . Kaya glared for a second, before turning her attention back on the TV . It was from the beginning of the show . When Minjoon and Kaya weren’t friends . Kaya kept shooting one insult after another at Minjoon from the television .
“How did you act so kind to me with me like that?”
“I told you, you were a respectable chef . ”
“No way . The only dish of mine you saw then was that eel dish . Plus, you aren’t the type to ignore assholes . You fell for me back then, didn’t you?”
Looks like she wanted to hear something specific to begin with . Minjoon smiled, and rubbed Kaya’s hair . Kaya smiled satisfyingly, seemingly happy with the silent answer .
After a while more of watching the TV, Anderson opened his mouth .
“Javier must be feeling similar to them right now . ”
“Javier? That guy? Why?”
“He still hasn’t gotten a dish on the menu . Ah, Anderson and Janet got theirs up today . ”
“Ah, I see . Grats . ”
A pretty careless congratulations . Anderson didn’t respond . He didn’t really expect anything to begin with . Minjoon hugged Kaya tighter from his seat .
“Sometimes, no, pretty often, I think of this one thing . That I’d love to have you in the kitchen . I get to learn a lot from other demi chefs as I work with them . I want to learn from you, too . Your world of cooking . ”
“Why not at home?”
“Not enough tools . It makes me sad sometimes . ”
“Aside from that…”
Anderson poked in . He looked more than just a little annoyed .
“Can you two stop acting so lovey-dovey in front of me?”