Published at 16th of December 2020 05:34:08 PM
He could not figure out how it would taste at the end of the day, but looking at the cooking score, he didn’t think the Cassoulet was an odd assembly of ingredients . It was definitely worth a try .
The cooking process required his patience . Although it wasn’t done yet, the scent of Cassoulet was so rich and sweet . The strong scent close to the mixed scent of Korean sausage stew and Korean beef ribs stew was tickling the tip of their noses for over four hours . After all, Rachel Rose couldn’t be in the office, so she came out into the kitchen .
“It smells very strong . Is this Cassoulet?”
“Yes, I’m thinking of making a Scotch egg with Cassoulet . ”
“Cassoulet Scotch Egg…”
She made a strange expression as if she couldn’t imagine how it would taste . She stood by the oven and sniffed for a moment then looked back at him with a smile .
“How long does it take?”
“I’m almost done . ”
“Hope I won’t bother you even if I am waiting here . ”
“Not at all . ”
“Thank you . It’s been a while since I felt better by just smelling food . ”
She smiled at him and stood in one corner of the kitchen . When he was done with the Cassoulet, his cooking would be done . He crushed the beans on the Cassoulet into a syringe then inserted them into the egg yolk . After that, he wrapped the egg with garlic leaves once then combined the sprouts, the chicken, pork, and sausage on Cassoulet before wrapping them with the egg again . All he had to do now was lightly apply frying powder and fry it in oil to make it crispy . That was the end of the whole process .
[Cassoulet Scotch Egg score is 9 points!]
‘Good . ’
The fact that his real cooking was the same as the expected cooking score meant he didn’t make any mistake in the cooking process . After he played the Scotch egg on a bowl, he took it to Rachel . She looked at him inquisitively . When she opened her mouth, however, she asked him not about the dish, but something he didn’t expect at all .
“How are you feeling these days?”
“People around you start to look at you differently, right? I wonder how you feel . ”
“Ah… I am basically the same back then and now, but it’s pretty amazing that people look at me differently now . ”
“That’s how the people look at you . They don’t look into who you are, but your successful story,” she said calmly .
He nodded with a sigh and said, “What is a chef supposed to act in such a situation? Sometimes, I think that a real professional show his skills with the taste of his dish, but sometimes, I feel it might be too stupid and narrow-minded to stick to that idea . It’s always hard for me . ”
“It looks like you want to find an answer to your question, but I’m sorry . There’s no right answer to your agony . I used to agonize about it many times . Okay, let me try this first before talking further . ”
“Oh, please go ahead . ”
She looked into the Scotch egg . It was quite impressive with slightly sliced meat on it without grinding, and the bean stew instead of the yolk was also quite fresh . She swallowed half of the Scotch egg in her mouth . As soon as she smiled brightly after eating it, she put the fork down . He was embarrassed and asked, “You don’t like it?”
“Apart from its taste, it doesn’t have any deep flavor . The mix of ingredients is okay, but that’s all . Min-joon, can you bring me the Cassoulet dish you have just made?”
Asking her with a perplexed expression, he gently placed the Cassoulet on a plate . He decorated it as best as he could on the plate, but it was basically a stew . No matter how beautifully he decorated it on a plate, the soup inevitably looked thick and sticky without any look of a high-class dish .
“Cassoulet… I’m not from a French family, but I used to enjoy it often at home when I was a kid . Of course, I ate it on a very special day . As you know, it takes time and lots of effort to make this . ”
“Yes, that’s true . It really took me lots of time and attention . ”
But it was one of my favorite dishes, and it is even now . Sometimes, I miss this dish more than a finely decorated dinner at a high-end restaurant . It’s not just because of my memories, but because of its crude and rough taste . Its taste is so attractive . ”
With a smile, she put bean stew, pork, and sausage on a spoon in her mouth at once . And she was relishing in the deep lingering taste that she couldn’t compare with the Scotch Egg .
He looked at her in a little embarrassment . Actually, he used Cassoulet to get a better cooking score, so he made it more luxurious and more complicated . But…
She opened her mouth, at last .
“The Scotch egg tasted a little bit vague, but this Cassoulet dish is a piece of art . ”
She said Min-joon’s Cassoulet was a piece of art, but the Cassoulet Scotch Egg wasn’t as good as Cassoulet . It wasn’t just Min-joon that was surprised by her comment . Those in the kitchen also opened their eyes wide as if they were quite surprised .
Min-joon didn’t say anything . He put the Cassoulet Scotch egg into his mouth . The crispy and crunchy texture of the frying powder stimulated his tongue for a moment then crumbled with the strong scent of Cassoulet in the meat . The egg hidden in it rinsed his tongue like tofu, and at the same time, the Cassoulet sauce inside it got mixed with his saliva .
It was delicious . Why the hell wasn’t this as good as the Cassoulet? Thinking about that, he tore a little bit of chicken breast in the Cassoulet and put it in his mouth . He looked at Rachel as if he realized something lacking while chewing the meat .
“You’re right, Rachel . Eating Cassoulet alone tastes much better . ”
Surprisingly, that was true . When he ate the Cassoulet Scotch Egg alone, he found its complex flavors very appealing, let alone its luxurious look . However, when he ate the Cassolute alone, he didn’t feel anything like a luxurious or special taste in it . Nonetheless, it was more delicious .
She said, “Your idea was good . An improved version of the Scotch egg . But I have the impression that you just stuffed your idea with the ingredients . I can’t sell this recipe, Min-joon . ”
“I understand . ”
He lowered his head with a gloomy expression . After trying both dishes, he understood her critical review . When he hit upon this dish, he didn’t start with the idea of trying to improve the Cassoulet . The first thing that came to his mind was how to improve the Scotch egg in a different way .
So, he thought that the combination would be okay if he used Cassoulet, so he just made it without thinking further . Come to think of it now, that was a mistake . He should have thought more carefully about whether he could really bring out the taste of the Cassoulet .
“Are you becoming impatient to develop a dish, Min-joon?”
Rachel’s question hit the nail right on the head . She was right . It had already been about a month since he made Cho Reggiano . Of course, he didn’t want to develop another recipe that would shake up the cooking circles like Cho Reggiano . The reason why Cho Reggiano was so popular among the general public was not just because of taste but because of an unexpected popularity that spread widely on the internet .
Rachel muttered with a bitter look, “Dishes served at restaurants should be different from typical ones . That was what chefs and gourmets keep repeating like a parrot . But it sometimes pressures us too much . Some of us tend to take it as meaning that we should not make ordinary dishes rather than developing new dishes . It looks like they want us to fence our kitchen and can’t go outside even if we can make all kinds of dishes in the world . ”
Not only Min-joon but also Anderson nodded at her remarks . In fact, that was what they felt while going through the Grand Chef competition .
Rachel opened her mouth in a calm voice, “I don’t want to say that’s not necessarily bad . If the well you have to dig by shoveling gets narrower, you have to dig it very deep . It’s because they have been confined to such an environment that there are craftsmen in a certain field . But sometimes, it turns out that you get into trouble while you try to change a dish that’s already complete on its own into a restaurant menu . Now, look at that!”
Rachel pointed to the fountain in the center of the hall, the sculpture of a cherub tilting a bottle of water . Since the naked, fat body of the cherub was so cute, some customers were seen looking at them blankly, rather than focusing on their food .
“For example, If you feel the sculpture is incomplete so you think about putting a child’s clothes on it, how do you think it will look?”
“Well, I think it looks very cheap . ”
“That’s the same case with this dish . ”
She said, pointing to the plate that had Scotch eggs in it, “The reason you put the Scotch egg on top of the Cassoulet was probably because you’re so greedy . At the same time, you must have been obsessed with something a lot . In other words, you were obsessed with developing something special, not routine and banal, because this is a restaurant and the most famous one at that . ”
“You’re right, but it’s hard to take off the clothes of the cherub, right? This is a restaurant . It’s a place that requires dignity and decency . What should I do?”
“Okay, let’s imagine a woman appearing on the street wearing only her underwear . People will point their fingers at her, saying she is crazy, no matter how beautiful she is . But what if she was not on the street, but at a place where she was doing a shot for a pictorial magazine, how would they feel about her?”
“In that case, she is definitely a beautiful woman, not a crazy woman . ”
“The plate here is like the place . Depending on how you display this Cassoulet, it can be a simple dish or a beautiful dish . ”
At that moment, Min-joon remembered what Rachel had said before . She said what she valued most was the look of the food . Because of that, her decoration level even reached Level 10, so he thought she had a reasonable reason to say so .
Min-joon asked, “If that’s the case, do you think if I plate up the Cassoulet in a fresh way, you can include it on our menu?”
“Well, it depends on how you plate it up . As I said, it tastes really good, so much so that it’s as good as the Cassoulet dish served at the restaurant specializing in that dish . But plating isn’t just about telling good from bad . If you can truly understand its individuality and artistic sense, you will get the answer yourself . ”
He lowered his head silently at her comment . It wasn’t because he was disappointed . He fixed his eyes on the Cassoulet on the bowl .