Published at 16th of December 2020 05:33:46 PM
“Oh, she is a very beautiful lady . ”
“Look at that woman on that table . She must be a gourmet, right?”
Maya asked with her eyes twinkling .
Min-joon looked askance quickly then opened his mouth again while trimming the jelly .
“Well, it looks like a grandfather and his granddaughter just stopped by for dinner . ”
“Are you kidding? How come a grandfather and his daughter visit a restaurant like this? You know this place needs a reservation well in advance . If they come, they usually come with their family members, not separately like them . ”
“Who knows, they might be a family of two? By the way, I don’t want to gossip about our customers . Got it? I’ll be mad about you if you do . So, stop gossiping about the customers . It’s not good manners . ”
“Got it, Chef…”
“Go and check the Parmigiano Reggiano foam if it’s good enough . ”
With her head down, Maya walked away with a gloomy face .
Watching her quietly, he was lost in thought for a moment .
‘Did I let her slack off ?’
There was something called the good person syndrome . Someone with this syndrome usually tries to say something nice and easy in any situation . In some respects, Min-joon fell into this category . Unless someone went too far, he haD always tried to make them comfortable .
But it didn’t mean he was just too weak-minded in everything .
He hated bad people . When he was a student, he made up his mind that he would never be such a person, watching the teachers who were faithful to their feelings without taking any responsibility . When he actually became a teacher, he valued each student more than anyone else . He understood, taught, and guided their respective position and personalities . Even after he quit the teaching position, his students were always in touch with him, so nobody disagreed with the fact that he was a good teacher .
That was the same when he was a cook . He had to serve those superiors who made ridiculous demands to him . Some of them wanted him to peel each garlic by hand instead of shaking it in a bucket . Some even let him took care of their job .
While going through such experiences, Min-joon made up his mind that he would never become a boss who gave a hard time to his junior cooks . That was why he tried to be nice to Maya as much as possible . But this time, he was disappointed .
‘Well, she is behaving like a baby these days . ’
Of course, she worked hard . And she was obedient to Min-joon as her boss . She even tried to help him when he developed a new recipe, and she was passionate about learning when she discovered something new . However, the problem was she approached her work too lightly as if she came out to the kitchen for a picnic . He wished she could be more attentive and alert, but he was not sure if it was alright to ask her for it .
At that moment, he felt dizzy . He barely tightened his legs and put his hands on the countertop to support his body . His head was throbbing . Was it because he was overdoing things these days? Was it because his fatigue had piled up?
The moment he breathed slowly and deeply, he heard somebody asking him, “Are you okay, Min-joon?”
Min-joon turned his head . A woman’s gorgeous blond hair caught his eyes first, but his vision got blurred, so he couldn’t see her face clearly . So, he closed his eyes for a moment then opened them . Only then could he see the woman’s beautiful face .
With a pale smile, he asked, “Ah, Annie . What’s up?”
“I was going to pass by, but you looked so tired as to fall anytime . Don’t you think you’re too hard on yourself?”
“I’m sorry . I’m just weak physically . ”
“I’m not saying that . Hmm… What should I do? There are still some customers in the dining hall . ”
“Don’t worry . I felt dizzy because of the kitchen heat . ”
“Whew! You can’t take a break anyway . Let me give you a vitamin . ”
When she said that, he looked at her with a puzzled expression .
Annie smiled neatly and opened her mouth .
“Some of the customers look like gourmets . It seems they were quite impressed with your dish . ”
“My dish? Um… Are you talking about the Cassoulet?”
“Yes . I saw them admiring its taste while they were eating it, and at the same time, they kept exchanging views about it . It’s amazing . It’s just a Cassoulet . They made a surprised expression as if they tried Cassoulet for the first time in their lives . ”
“Thank you . It’s a good vitamin . ”
Min-joon smiled brightly . In fact, he felt energized when the customers, especially the gourmets, admired his dish . He recalled what Rachel had told him before . ‘You’re so greedy!’
‘How did you think of capturing all this taste? You are greedy about bringing out all the tastes of the Cassoulet, not just one . An average chef would go nowhere because of that greed, but you have realized that greed beautifully . ’
He was not sure what kind of expression she made at that time . Was she crying or smiling? Or did she smile and cry? Or did she make no expression?
He couldn’t remember . All he could remember was what she said next . Just remembering that made his heart full .
‘And you make me as greedy as you, so much so that I want to have you . Even though you are already in my arms, I want to hug you again . ’
But he remembered her face back then . She was wet with tears . She shed tears a little more than he thought .
‘I am so happy to be able to teach you . ’
Recalling Rachel’s warm encouragement back then, he felt so happy . The smiles of his customers made him happy, but nothing made him more pleased than Rachel’s recognition .
Min-joon looked to the side . He saw Lisa baking a Cassoulet in the oven . Since the oven was Patissier Lisa’s realm, he was a bit worried that he might have bothered her by increasing her workload . But right now, he got bigger fish to fry . With a weary expression, he handled the edible film . Film dumplings with cold vanilla cream and crushed peanuts .
He put one of them in his mouth and said, “It tastes good . ”
No matter how hard his work was, he just felt so energized when he ate something delicious like this . He looked at the customers in the dining hall . He watched those eating his Cassoulet, in particular . When their embarrassment about the Cassoulet sandwich turned to admiration and happiness a little later, he smiled broadly like them .
Annie smiled quietly, watching him, then said cheerfully, “Min-joon, you really look like a geek . ”
“You are praising me, right?”
“Of course . They say all geniuses are geeks . Beethoven and Einstein, for example . ”
“I feel embarrassed to be compared to such greats . Please stop it . ”
“You are attractive as a geek, though . ”
“Don’t have a crush on me . I’ve got a girlfriend . ”
“Well, you can’t control romance on your own . Besides, you are not married yet . ”
Although Min-joon said it jokingly, Annie seemed to have been hurt .
As if she noticed he was embarrassed, she lifted the plate with a smile .
“Don’t be scared . I’m not going to ask you out . ”
Having said that, she turned .
Watching her curiously for a moment, he glanced back at the kitchen table . He could not afford to toy with lazy thoughts now . Was it because he felt heavy? He could not concentrate well .
A little later, he was given a good scolding by Rachel .
“Min-joon, come here,” she said harshly .
“Look at this . What do you think?”
What Rachel pointed to was the soy jelly covered in foie gras . He looked into the jelly .
But at that moment, he groaned a little . The outer surface of the jelly was softly distorted .
“I’m sorry . I’ll make a new one right away . ”
“How come you made such a mistake when you usually checked it in advance?”
“I guess I was distracted . I’m sorry . I’ll focus more . ”
He lowered his head with a heavy expression .
Watching him quietly with a mysterious expression, she patted him on the shoulder silently .
“We’ve got lots of orders . Go back to the kitchen . I believe you won’t make the same mistake . ”
“Of course, not . ”
He was about to lower his head habitually and turn, biting his lips, when he noticed a cold-hardened jelly on the stainless steel tray . He was thrilled with its beauty, but he just closed his eyes before he knew it .
He was tired now . Was it because his fatigue was visible on his face?
Rachel didn’t feel comfortable at all while watching him . She could not allow any more staff in the kitchen to collapse because of overworking . Just one who had collapsed was enough for her . She didn’t want to see another falling in the kitchen .
Deborah, who was stuck in a corner of the kitchen so as not to disturb the kitchen staff, said, “Rachel, it looks like he is going to collapse . Don’t you want to have him take a vacation leave?”
Rachel didn’t answer . It’s not because she wanted to ignore Deborah’s recommendation but because she had a lot on her mind at the moment . At the same time, Rachel was closely examining the completed plating on the dishes .
Deborah looked back at Min-joon . She was bothered by his hollow eyes and haggard chin and cheeks . She felt so sorry for him because he looked so gaunt .
Obviously, Rachel’s heart must have ached for him more than Deborah . Actually, Rachel saw her husband collapsing in the kitchen . Back then, the reporters praised Daniel as the giant chef or beautiful soul of the cuisine world, commenting that he dedicated his last moment in the kitchen . But Rachel regretted so much that she had to let him collapse like that .
‘Don’t make your teacher’s heart ache for you, Min-joon . ’
Deborah looked back at the dining hall . All the tables were occupied, and the customers were all happy . Watching them, she let out a sigh before she knew it .
‘Dang it! I can’t afford to worry about Min-joon . ’
By chance, Annie saw a napkin dropping from Jeina’s lap . Although Annie was still in her twenties, she was very good at checking the status of the hall because she had worked as a server for a restaurant since she was a teenager . It was natural that her colleagues said she would take on the job of a hall manager within a few years .
Annie quickly picked up the napkin and handed a new napkin to Jeina .
She said with a kind and pretty smile, “Here you go . It’s a napkin . ”
“Oh, thank you . ”
Jeina smiled at her brightly . Looking at her mysterious smile, Annie felt something strange immediately . She felt Jeina was now grading the service quality of Rose Island .
Suddenly Annie remembered what she heard about the Michelin inspectors . A man and a woman from Michelin, who are paired and dressed in a suit, drop something on purpose to check the service quality of the target restaurant . She was not sure if such rumors were true or not, but she suddenly felt the two before her eyes might be the very Michelin inspectors…
‘Well, let me report to Rachel anyway . ’