“You guys really didn’t know this?”
Deborah asked with an incredulous look, earning her an equally confused look from the chefs . Deborah sighed deeply before continuing .
“Michelin inspectors don’t just come once . They have rules, you know . It makes sense that Minjoon wouldn’t know, but what excuse do the three of you have? You’ve all worked in a restaurant before . ”
“I don’t think Michelin inspectors ever came to my restaurant . At least not while I worked there . ” Javier answered .
“Alright, fine . But what about you, Anderson, Janet? You two should’ve known better . ”
“…Don’t really know . I’ve never really thought about them coming to visit . ”
“I feel the same way as Janet does . ”
Deborah sighed again in frustration . She was shocked, to say the least . The three of them just thought that this one time thing was it for them .
‘Rachel’s pretty mean, too . ’
Rachel must’ve known that the three here had this misunderstanding . She probably wanted to tease the chefs a little bit by not telling them . After all, they’d be a lot more desperate if they thought the inspectors would only come once .
‘…Maybe I shouldn’t have told them?’
But the dice had already been thrown . Deborah found herself sighing yet again .
“When visiting a new restaurant, inspectors come around three times . That’s how they can get an accurate assessment of a restaurant . Trying to review a restaurant with just one visit is just plain rude . ”
“It’s weird thinking about how these people like food so much, but don’t actually cook . ”
“Just a personality difference . Some people like cooking, some people like tasting . What about you guys? Do you like eating more than cooking?”
The chefs just rolled their eyes in response . Deborah smiled inwardly . She could somewhat guess why they were responding like that . Minjoon stepped forward to speak for the others .
“If you’re just talking about fun, of course eating’s more fun . I get jealous of tasters sometimes . ”
“Oh… you do? You must regret turning down that offer to be a taster, then . ”
“I don’t regret it though . Cooking’s just a bit more difficult is all . The biggest reason I like tasting to begin with is because I can think about how I can cook a dish after I taste it . ”
“That’s right, that’s what a chef is . That’s what makes us chefs, and them tasters . ”
“So is there anything else we need to worry about? For Michelin?” Janet asked .
Deborah thought for a second . Rose Island . The main store, of all things as well . If you were a taster, you’d inevitably want to come here . After all, this was known to be the best restaurant in all of the United States . Deborah shrugged .
“Michelin inspectors actually hate reviewing popular restaurants . They’re probably all trying to delay it . ”
“Is it because they’d get a lot of threats thrown at them if they reviewed one badly?”
“That too, but the real reason is something else . ”
Deborah put up three fingers to the chefs .
“Michelin inspectors can’t visit the same restaurant twice in three years . ”
“…Ah, I see . ”
They all understood . Rose Island was a restaurant loved by tasters . Almost half of their customers were tasters as a matter of fact . It wasn’t like normal customers didn’t like their restaurant . The restaurant was just that popular .
One of the tasters once said Rose Island reminds them of a dish that they had before becoming a taster . That the food here let them enjoy food for what it really was .
The chefs didn’t like staying too traditional, but they weren’t going for anything too modern or complicated either . They were looking for balance . If one were to tell a taster that they couldn’t eat at Rose Island for three years after tasting it… No taster would find that news to be a good one .
“How many of you put your own recipes on the menu again?”
The demi chefs all looked away nervously, earning a laugh from Deborah .
“If you want to make good memories about the menu, you’ll have to hurry . These people literally come out of nowhere . ”
“So only a few days left until the filming ends, huh . ”
The cameraman spoke with a calm voice . Minjoon turned to the man with a smile .
“Thank you for everything . I hope I don’t look like a weirdo on the big screen . I heard that word a lot when we filmed hunger trip . ”
“I mean, what can you do? You really are a weirdo . ”
“If you’re saying that too… Doesn’t look like things will change for me any time soon . ”
Minjoon smiled awkwardly . The cameraman spoke as he looked at Minjoon through the camera lens .
“Do you have anything you want to say to the audience?”
“To the audience? Well… Just don’t hate me, I guess? Not just me, but Kaya as well . All we care about is food . Nothing else . We’re just normal people other than that . ”
“I don’t know if many people would necessarily find you normal . ”
The cameraman answered seriously . At least, Minjoon was very abnormal to him . Not just talent, no . Minjoon’s inborn personality by itself made the man quite strange . What with him looking at strange things for minutes at a time…
“You’ll find the interviews very entertaining when you get to watch it later . A lot of people here talked about you . ”
“…Man, now you’re making me nervous . Should I watch it?”
“I need those views to stay afloat, you know . Please watch it . ”
The cameraman playfully said from behind the camera . Minjoon just shrugged in response .
“Sure . But I wish you could’ve stayed long enough to get to see the Michelin inspectors . ”
“Well, it’s whatever . Plus, we wouldn’t even know who the inspectors are anyway . But I do hope the rest of the demi chefs manage to get their recipes on the menu . ”
“That’d be good, but if they can’t… It is what it is . ”
“You’re calm about it, Minjoon . ”
“Is there any reason not to be?”
Minjoon answered calmly . He turned to look at the kitchen . His eyes towards the other demi chefs seemed very complicated . Right then, Janet walked up to him with a dish . Minjoon looked at Janet with a slightly afraid face .
“This’ll pass, I promise . ”
“I feel like I’m eating seven or eight meals a day because of you…”
“You didn’t get fat, though . ”
“That’s because I work so much . ”
“Perfect . You’ll just become malnourished without more food . Here, have some of this . It’s lobster bisque . I used cloves and champagne in it . I cooked the claw, and the ceviche underneath was made with the body of the lobster, bell peppers, onions, and sauteed zucchini . ”
“Sounds sweet . ”
Minjoon tried a bite of it with a mumble . The taste of raw lobster with vegetables was quite a bit different from what he expected . It tasted very… modern . The bisque melded well with the champagne, and the balance formed by it and the lobster ceviche was rather nice . But…
“This won’t work . ”
“The texture’s good . The balance of flavors is alright as well . But that’s it . It’s too obvious . ”
“Hah… Then what should I do?”
“That’s up to you . ”
“Eh… . Maybe change the bisque itself, or add something new on it? You might even want to just give up on the bisque entirely . Maybe a bell pepper puree would be nice on it . By the way, since when did you start paying attention to my words?”
Minjoon looked at Janet curiously . Sure, the others thought he was a supertaster . But none of them asked him this directly for advice many times . Janet chewed her lips for a second before answering .
“You always manage to get your recipes ok’d by Rachel . You know what she wants . ”
“I don’t know what she wants . ”
“Then what is it?”
“Eh… A blessing of the pig, I guess?”
“…The hell is that?”
“Go to the gallery if you’re curious . ”
Janet closed her mouth . She didn’t want to admit that she’d gone to all the art galleries in LA after hearing how Minjoon got inspiration from one of them . Anderson turned to ask her a question as she returned to the kitchen .
“What, Minjoon said it wouldn’t work?”
“Yeah . Too average . ”
“It did look pretty plain . I mean, you don’t really like complicated things to begin with . You could still go to Rachel . Get her opinion . ”
“It’s fine . He’s better than an average taster anyway . ”
“Better at cooking, too . ”
“…You really want to put it that way?”
Janet glared at Anderson with a lowered voice . She continued with an icy tone .
“You really have to make yourself lower than him like that? Is that why you asked to go to the galleries with me?”
“Two things . I’m not intentionally making myself lower than him, it’s just reality . He’s good at cooking, admit it . Second, you asked to go to the galleries, not me . ”
“You were talking as if you needed a partner to go with from the start to begin with . Fine, let’s say I face reality . I’m not going to just take it with my head down . I’m going to get through it . I’m going to improve . ”
“If you want to argue, go do it with Javier . I have a lot of work to do . ”
“Same here . ”
Janet and Anderson turned away from each other angrily . Right then, the office door opened . Javier was walking out . The man’s eyes met with the couple’s, and he raised an empty dish with a grin . Janet and Anderston slowly turned to each other .
“We shouldn’t be fighting . ” Anderson said .
“…You want to start discussing things?”
The two of them spent the rest of the night trying to surpass the wall that was Rachel . Unfortunately, they couldn’t come up with anything .
And the next day, they came . Without the chefs knowing .