Published at 16th of December 2020 05:33:48 PM
However, it was difficult to judge what category of cooking this dish fell into . It looked like a traditional dish, but the jelly in it clearly showed it was not . Definitely, it tasted too authentic to classify it as molecular cuisine . In other words, it was difficult for even a professional gourmet to judge it accurately, given its bordering between traditional and molecular .
“So, how does it taste, Jeina?”
“I really don’t know . It’s really hard to judge . It’s modern and authentic . It looks like a fusion style, but it’s not that clear . What I’m certain for sure is it’s really delicious…”
The next dish that came out was shrimp Ceviche . Red sauce was beautifully scattered around the white shrimp, with the shrimp head above it standing out gorgeously . Its head was ornately carved like a chicken with a red crest . Annie said the sauce with Ceviche was made by mixing red bell pepper and chicken broth .
“Well, this is the first restaurant where they decorate all the plates like this…”
“Well, that’s a gift that only Chef Rachel can give the customers . You get the feeling of forgetting the interior of the building . Can you feel it?” Asked Paul .
“Well, it’s delicious, but I’m not still persuaded . I can understand why Rose Island received three stars . Given this kind of delicious taste, they deserve three stars . But can you really feel this best restaurant in America is anything different from other restaurants?”
“You’ve only eaten two dishes until now . You’ll know more if you keep enjoying the next dishes . ”
At that moment, the next plate came out . But Jeina could not help but make an absurd expression, forgetting she was with Paul . Even Paul seemed embarrassed at the plate . It was a long plate, with four bite-sized sandwiches with some red puree on it . To put it more accurately, baguettes added with Cassoulet, which was what they would see in a typical fine dining restaurant .
As if she could not believe her eyes, Jeina looked at Annie and said, “I really can’t understand this plate . This sandwich is like street food . Who would visit a fine dining restaurant for a sandwich like this?”
It was actually a Cassoulet sandwich Min-joon made . When Annie seemed embarrassed, Paul smiled at her and said, “I’m sorry . This lady is young, but she is pickier than me . Can I ask you to explain what it is?”
“Sure . The name of this dish is Cassoulet and baguette with different textures and flavors .
The crust of Cassoulet was put in the inside of the baguette, and the moist inside was mixed with the hard outside . You had better focus on how it tastes different from the different texture of the two . ”
“Thank you . ”
With a bright smile, Paul put the sandwich in his mouth . In the end, Jeina reluctantly took the flesh of the Cassoulet’s crust and the baguette into her mouth . The moment she tasted it, she hardened her expression with her eyes trembling in shock .
‘Oh, my… is this really Cassoulet?’
If no one had been around, she would have spit it out in her mouth .
First of all, it was completely different from the Cassoulet that she used to know .
Originally, it was supposed to taste spicy and sharp but it didn’t . The baguette wasn’t just served with Cassoulet for decoration .
Perfect taste, she felt it tasted completely different as if the dish was created for this moment . It was neither unorthodox nor an undignified, shallow dish . It was like a violent punch that crushed Jeina’s pride and her conceit that had been seizing her until a moment ago .
She turned her head to Paul, wondering what expression he was making . Even Paul, who seemed to know everything about food, seemed to be quite unfamiliar with the novelty of this dish . She shook her head as if she could not believe her taste .
“What the heck is this? It’s authentic, but at the same time, it’s not . I just don’t know what it is . What the hell should this dish be called?”
“Well, I can tell you only one thing,” said Paul with a smile .
But his smile was not for her, but the Cassoulet baguette dish he just tasted .
“What I want to tell you is you will forget to review and focus on eating at the end of the day . ”
“Focus on eating…” She repeated blankly .
She thought about when she started evaluating dishes rather than enjoying eating . It had been a long time since she felt her pride was offended by Paul’s critical comment .
She was spinning the fork on the plate before putting it down .
Then she held out her fingers . He looked at her curiously .
Turning her eyes away in embarrassment, she said, “It’s a sandwich . Isn’t it strange to eat it with a fork?”
“So, do you like the taste?”
“Well, it’s definitely delicious . Well, even if you go to a local homemade hamburger shop, you can enjoy it . But if you ask me if there’s more than just taste in it, I have no choice but to answer that it’s difficult to say so . I feel like I’ve got a difficult problem at the moment . ”
“Do you remember what the server told you earlier? This is not Chef Rachel, but Min-joon’s recipe . ”
“Why does it matter? Fundamentally, Chef Rachel approves his recipe . So, even if Min-joon has developed it, he needs to meet her quality standards, after all . ”
She knew that there were some gourmets and customers who claimed that Rachel should make the recipes by herself . But she didn’t care about it so much . She didn’t think one head chef should be responsible for everything in the kitchen such as the head chef grabbing the knife and frying pan in person .
What Jeina picked up this time was a sandwich with the moist portion of Cassoulet and the outer portion of the baguette . While enjoying it slowly, she narrowed her eyes with pleasure .
‘Man, this is what they want…’
She felt her pride was hurt, but she had no choice but to admit that this was the dish suitable for Rose Island, called the best restaurant in the United States . In fact, she was quite impressed with its delicious taste when she ate a piece of it, but this time, she was much more impressed .
Of course, it didn’t mean she was particularly impressed with this portion of the dish, compared with the earlier one, but she could still feel the difference in the taste, which was a delight, fun, and a beauty itself .
Paul also felt the same way . It was a fresh dish . It was not the taste of the dish itself . It clearly brought out the taste of the different parts of the dish clearly, so he could enjoy the difference in taste .
Paul asked himself, ‘I wonder if he is really Chef Rachel Rose’s student, or he was superbly qualified as a chef . ’
He pondered for a moment to solve that question . And the answer to his question was simple .
Min-joon was both . A seasoned craftsman found a beautiful and huge gemstone . If there was only one of them, it would be difficult to create such a pretty jewel-like dish .
Jeina asked in a weary voice, “Has Rose Island been like this all along?”
“Well, I’m not sure what you mean . ”
“This place really makes me tired . When I go to a restaurant, I am excited with feelings like, ‘Okay, let’s see what kind of food they’re serving here . ’ But I feel something different here . It looks like they are asking me something like, ‘Okay, let me see if you can really understand our cuisine . ’ Paul, you said it’s a good place to eat, but I don’t think it’s not . It’s kind of a testing place where they want to check our own gastronomic level . ”
“It’s not unreasonable you think that way . If you are not knowledgeable enough, it’s hard to understand Rose Island’s cuisine . ”
“How is it possible we have a restaurant like this in America?”
As if she could not understand, Jeina started staring at the plate now . What she felt while visiting lots of restaurants in the United States was that they were not better than those in Europe . European gastronomy puts more emphasis on authenticity, and the representative of the gastronomy world, Michelin . Jeina was a woman with the same cuisine guideline in her mind as that of her company . At best, she was an obstinate gourmet, but she was as stubborn as a mule at worst .
To her, American restaurants were like children without their parents, deprived of authenticity under the name of modernism . But Rose Island was different . They were unbound by any particular concept or authenticity, but at the same time, they kept the top-class taste .
Usually, restaurants that belong to this category would bring out a mix of ambiguous dishes,
But Rose Island was an exception because they served this particular dish today, which made her admire and shook her fixed idea of European gastronomy .
“Rose Island wasn’t recognized from the beginning . ”
“At first, they were persecuted by the gourmets a lot because they didn’t pursue authentic cuisine . There were gourmet critics who even said it was the shame of Western restaurants . But Rachel and Daniel never gave up their way . They didn’t break their stubbornness . At the end of the day, they got wide recognition . ”
“They were persecuted?”
“Yes . Isn’t it funny? Then and now, Rose Island served similar dishes . But they were persecuted back then, and they are praised as the best restaurant in America now,” said Paul self-mockingly .
Then he said while looking at the plate, “Whenever I feel like I’m being conceited, I always think of that episode . In other words, the royal road is not always the right answer . Those gourmets who criticized Rose Island as a low-grade restaurant were helplessly humiliated a few years later . They were harshly criticized by the public for their shallow review . ”
“Well, that’s not rare these days . If any restaurant is given a new positive review, those who gave it a bad review turned out to be third-rate gourmets, after all, because of their ridiculous reviews . ”
“Evaluating a chef’s dishes is like evaluating his lifetime . In other words, our comments in a couple of lines can make the chef’s life just worthless in an instant . And sometimes, it can kill a chef…”
Paul’s expression looked quite gloomy when he said that .
At that moment, Jeina suddenly recalled Paul’s old episode . He dropped the star of the restaurant that was in for Michelin evaluation by leaving a review that harshly criticized the restaurant for its lack of change, let alone improvement . A few days later, the restaurant’s head chef hanged himself in the kitchen .
“I don’t think it was your mistake back then, Paul?”
“Thank you for saying so . You’re really kind . But you know, there is none who can forgive me like you . There isn’t anybody who can judge if I need to be forgiven or not . So, be careful when you review . What you’re evaluating is the dish, but you have to keep in mind that you’re evaluating the chef’s life and everything about him . I’m not saying you should be critical, but my point is you should think seriously and deeply . ”
“Sure, I’ll keep it in mind . ”
“Well, I think I’ve made our great dining boring . I’m sorry . I’m disqualified as a gourmet,” said Paul, cracking a joke .
Then he asked again, “So, what’s your impression of the dish here? Do you feel you can like this restaurant?”
“I feel like I’m seeing a medieval lady with a smartphone . ”
“It’s a very esoteric evaluation . ”
“And…” She hesitated for a moment, moving her lips up and down as if she was agonizing whether to say it or not .
When she opened her mouth, however, there was no hesitation in her voice .