Published at 29th of November 2020 02:00:11 PM
“Yeah . It tastes very similar to my pizza . ”
There were some differences in the details of the two pizzas . However, the pizza tasted so similar to Serhi’s that one might have thought that his student, who inherited all the know-how from Seri but haven’t perfected his skills yet, made it .
‘Then, are these people waiting in lines here going to eat my kind of pizza at the moment? Do they like it?’
Serhi looked at them with a calm expression . He could understand why Min-joon and Anderson dared to take his pizza as their theme, and why they asked him to come here .
“I guess you wanted to show this to me . ”
“I mean the people waiting in lines . How do they look?”
“They all look good . ”
“They look good, eating my pizza, hahaha . ”
“Gosh, you are at it again? This is not Serhi’s pizza! If you want to call it that, then you better call all the pizzas in the world like that as well . ”
Serhi didn’t answer when Emma balked at her self-praise . Looking at the customers waiting before the food truck, Serhi was lost in thought . He pretended to be calm, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel bitter . After he switched to pizza and pasta, the tables at his restaurants, which were fully booked most of the time, were mostly empty .
But he didn’t think he was wrong . He became a chef because he liked cooking, not because he wanted to make money . He wanted to run a restaurant in a way he could enjoy himself . However, sometimes, he was skeptical . Even though he believed he was on the right path, he wondered if he was being overconfident .
But now, this food truck gave him a clear answer to his anguish . People loved his pizza and his cooking style . This meant that someday, people would appreciate his cooking style and his pizza .
After all, Serhi couldn’t leave the food truck until their business hours were over for the day . Serhi grinned every time they handed pizza to the customers . When people expressed satisfaction with the pizza, he smiled more broadly .
Of course, people around him looked a bit uncomfortable about his queer expression, but he didn’t care .
Serhi mumbled in an ecstatic voice without looking back at Emma, “I must have been hungry for a while . ”
“Hungry for what?”
“Well, for customers, and especially many customers . It’s really good to see so many people coming here to enjoy my pizza . I love this food truck . Can I give up my restaurant and start a food truck business?”
“Well, I would praise your joke in a normal situation, but not now because you might really open a food truck business . ”
“Don’t worry . I’m not that impulsive . ”
“I know, but if you really feel up to it, you will translate your idea into action, right?”
Serhi just chuckled at her . He didn’t know how many times he smiled today .
‘I think I know why he looks so happy,’ Emma thought to herself .
She just made a bitter smile since she could not tell him off anymore . She knew that although he pretended to be okay and courageous behind her back, he had been agonizing because of the customers’ indifference to his pizza and pasta until now . But he was getting vicarious satisfaction through Min-joon and Anderson today, who might have given him comfort like a small oasis in the desert .
Was it because of that? When Min-joon and his coworkers came out after cleaning up the food truck for the day, she looked at them more gently than ever .
Min-joon said in a tired but satisfied voice, “Oh, you’ve been waiting for us until now?”
“Well, you’ve been fighting on my behalf until now, so it’s only natural that I’m waiting for you . ”
“Oh, I’m flattered . I just wanted to support you, Chef Serhi .
“I would say you’re my best supporter . Which chef would bring a food truck to cheer me up like this?”
“Haha . How did the pizza taste?”
At that moment, Min-joon seemed to want his recognition . Min-joon’s eyes were also shining in anticipation . Serhi rather smiled at his question .
“Well, I wouldn’t say what they say, namely it’s delicious or something like that . I was really surprised . How can you bring out the taste similar to my pizza in a poor working situation like a food truck?”
“I had a tongue, and Anderson had hands and experience . ”
Saying so, he looked back at Anderson, who looked a bit embarrassed . In fact, Anderson deserved credit for this pizza because he contributed to making the pizza as much as Min-joon .
At the same time, he was the man who reminded Min-joon of the meaning of hard work and experience .
‘Yeah, it would have been difficult without Anderson…’
The system window showed him how to do it, but it didn’t mean he would be able to do it . Min-joon knew how to make Serhi’s dough, but he couldn’t make it the same way he did .
All he could do was give advice to Anderson .
Serhi asked, “His hands and experience? You must have had the same thing, Min-joon?”
“Well, I don’t have them as far as the dough is concerned . All I know is how to do it, and I tried my best to give Anderson my best possible advice on making the same dough you made . Anderson took my poor advice perfectly . ”
“Why the hell are you praising me like that? Please stop there, man,” Anderson said .
“Got it . ”
Min-joon shrugged with a smile .
Watching the two, Serhi thought deeply .
“Yeah, they are the best students of Rachel . They are really awesome . ”
Easier said than done, as always . Anybody could analyze and keep trying to remake a certain recipe, but it only took one day for the two to remake Serhi’s pizza . Maybe less than a day, given the time they spent moving around, sleeping, and chatting .
Nevertheless, they succeeded in reproducing Serhi’s pizza almost perfectly . Serhi might have been surprised even if it took them 15 days to reproduce his pizza, but it took them only one day . He was just dumbfounded at the moment .
Serhi could breathe a sigh of relief only now .
“Anyway, thank you . I don’t have to worry needlessly . Obviously, people love my pizza . If I can appeal to more people, they’ll appreciate my pizza someday . ”
“Not only pizza, but also pasta . I liked it . Chef Sergi’s pasta . ”
“Everyone likes it,” Serhi replied with a smile .
Then he continued, “I’m looking forward to the day when you guys are leaving Rose Island to run your own restaurant . ”
“I have no plans to leave now . ”
“Well, that’s why I’m looking forward to your future . I wonder what kind of dish you are going to serve…” Serhi said, smacking his lips .
He spoke in a serious voice without any pretense, as if he was really looking forward to it .
“To me, it will be a long and painful wait . ”
There was an image that people often think of when it came to American highways—wide, long, and straight . Then came up the image of them turning the cruise mode on and taking their hands off the steering wheel while they’re driving .
And that wasn’t just a prejudice . In fact, on many highways in America, there were often highway sections where they could take their hands off the steering wheel with the cruise mode on .
Min-joon and his colleagues’ journey around the country on a food truck was like that . They were so busy preparing food until yesterday, but now, they were on a long journey again, but it was almost at an end .
Early night in New York . Raphael, the demi-chefs, and the cooks sat around in a downtown bar and clinked their glasses .
“Wow, it’s over finally,” Maya said in a quiet and relaxed voice .
Min-joon looked at her with a chuckle, “Man, you are already getting drunk with only a few drinks . ”
“Well, I don’t think you deserve to blame me when you can’t even drink . ”
“That’s not true . I drink when I’m thinking of a new recipe . ”
“You don’t mean that drink for the purpose of cooking, right?”
“Nothing to say if you blame me like that…” Said Min-joon, shrugging .
At that moment, Raphael, who was sitting across Min-joon’s table, glanced at him .
Then he opened his mouth, looking at other demi chefs .
“What is your goal, guys?”
“Sous chef, it looks like you’re drunk, given you are asking that question . ”
“I’m not asking because I’m drunk . I’m asking because I need to know . Hey, Havier, starting with you first, what’s your goal? What do you want to achieve as a chef?”
“Well, I can’t think of any good answer if you ask me all of a sudden . ”
“That means you don’t usually think about it . Okay, it doesn’t make sense for me to force you to answer . How about you, Janet? What is your goal as a chef?”
“The best chef . ”
Raphael raised one eyebrow at her short answer .
Instead of reacting, she leisurely sipped a bright red cocktail in her mouth . When Raphael stared into her eyes, she also stared into his eyes . Obviously, she was drunk .
“What? Sous chef, are you going to say I can’t be the best chef because I’m a woman?”
“When did I tell you that?”
“Oh, you’re right . I also want to be the best chef like Rachel . I want to hear everyone in the world say I’m better than a male chef . I want to hear that . Can you hear me, Raphael?”
“Hey, you are drunk . ”
“I’m not drunk . I’m completely sober!”
“You feel you are sober because you’re completely drunk . Get up for a minute . Let’s go out for fresh air,” said Anderson, raising her up .
When Anderson walked out to the door, supporting Janet who was a bit staggering, drunk, Raphael now turned to Min-joon . He held the straw of Mojito in his hand and drank soda, but he frowned over its sourness .
Min-joon said, “I always change . Sometimes, I covet Michelin stars, but when I see chefs cooking these days, I just feel sorry for them because they are craving for the stars only . I feel like I want to make the dish that I love . Then I find myself wondering what kind of dish I really like from the beginning .
“Yeah, I guess so . I understand . Long-term planning always makes people excited about their dreams, because they rarely come true . ”
“So, what do you want to say? I know you are asking us a loaded question . ”
“Man, you are smart, Min-joon . You are strong at reading one’s mind . ”
Raphael looked at Min-joon with a serious expression .
Then he grinned and said, “Okay, let me bluntly tell you what I have in mind . You convey my message to Anderson and Janet . ”
“Well, if it’s worth repeating to them…”
“Definitely it is…” Raphael blurred .
He raised their keen attention for a moment then said casually, “I’m quitting by the end of this year . ”
No one responded to that . Everyone expected he would quit someday, but at the same time, they didn’t know when .
Enjoying their silence a bit, Raphael said in a gentle voice as if to tempt them, “Don’t you think of taking over my position as sous chef for your short-term goal?”