Published at 30th of November 2020 09:25:06 PM
“Jenin? I’m sorry…” June said, feeling sorry .
“Oh, you don’t have to be sorry . In fact, I was just thinking of talking to that cute guy over there . ”
Jenin smiled, pointing at Min-joon who just entered the entrance . With Jenin walking away toward him in a relaxed manner, June grabbed Rachel and headed toward the terrace . It was cold in the terrace where they stood after passing by the curtains and glass doors, but June was not in a mood to feel it .
“Rachel, why did you say that in front of Jenin?”
“Did I say anything wrong?”
“Don’t pretend you didn’t understand my point . It’s not like you . ”
“No, I’m not pretending I didn’t understand it . I never said anything I should not . ”
June agonized so much when she said that . She mumbled, looking at Rachel with mixed feelings of respect and resentment, love and hate .
“Teacher, you are so terribly selfish . ”
“I don’t want to refute what you said . ”
“It’s been 10 years . You’ve not grabbed the steering wheel of Rose Island for 10 years . During that period, there might have been numerous accidents, but it didn’t happen . Then you come back like this and tell me I’m not the owner of the car who I have been taking care of until now . Is that what you want to say?”
“If somebody heard you, he might think Rose Island survived because of you . ”
June retorted, “If somebody heard you, he might think Rose Island would last forever without anybody’s help . ”
Rachel couldn’t answer that . Watching Rachel remaining silent, she continued in a quiet voice, “You always used to tell me that I should think of and lead Rose Island as if it was mine . I have done so . Even when you were not here, when I heard from the head chefs at other branches that they were having a hard time, I would fly all over the United States and even other branches abroad . I met all kinds of people so that the name Rose Island wouldn’t get buried in history, and I tried my best to make dishes that weren’t out of date . That’s the way I’ve defended the name Rose Island . Even though you own Rose Island, I can certainly claim a certain portion of your stake in it . ”
“Yeah, I admit . You did a good job . I know you have made lots of efforts to make sure the name of Rose Island won’t fade away even when I was not here . I don’t intend to undermine your credit because you are my student, too . ”
“I’m competent . I’m sure I would have done a great job even if I had left Rose Island . Do you think I’m arrogant?”
“No . I know how competent you are . You are right . You must have done a great job outside Rose Island . But you didn’t leave Rose Island,” she replied calmly .
Her policy was to recognize her student’s due credit . Not all her students devoted themselves to enhancing the reputation of Rose Island, for they felt like they were a supporting actor, not the main character, if they were a chef at Rose Island’s branch rather than at its main restaurant, no matter how good it was working there . There were many students who wanted to be the protagonist rather than playing a supporting role in a movie even if the movie was not a blockbuster .
When June volunteered to take over one of the branches of Rose Island, Rachel was honestly puzzled because as far as she knew, June was a woman who was never satisfied with a supporting role . And it didn’t take long for Rachel to figure it out .
“Do you really want the job of the general manager of Rose Island?” Rachel asked, looking at June . June was burning with anger and resentment at the moment . She looked at Rachel who she loved, still loves, and will love .
June answered, “I’ve always looked forward to that position even in my dreams . ”
‘Man, the atmosphere here is rather uncomfortable for me to get used to…’
Min-joon pretended to be absorbed in enjoying sushi while putting sushi made from tuna belly in his mouth . If he didn’t do this, he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to adapt to this strange atmosphere at the party . There were lots of people mingling at the party who were smiling and talking here and there, trying to look sophisticated, but not conceited .
‘Is this the difference between New York and Los Angeles? Or are June’s regulars usually like this?’ Min-joon was not sure . However, their terribly soft and calm, but businesslike atmosphere made him feel uneasy .
‘I want to see Kaya . I want to see Ella, too . ’
He suddenly missed Los Angeles so much at this unexpected moment . At that moment, a woman approached and spoke to Min-joon .
“Hello . ”
“Oh, hello . ”
“My name is Jenin . ”
“Ah, my name is Min-joon . ”
Jenin said with a smile, “I know . I’ve come to see you because I know you . I haven’t seen the TV program about you, but I remember enjoying Cho Reggiano several times . Recently, I heard that Jefferson and you are also preparing to market a new dish . ”
“Rumors fly, don’t they? I thought he was proceeding with it quietly . ”
“Yeah, I know . Rumors are really spreading fast in this cuisine industry . They’re eager to spy on what other chef or restaurants are doing”
Jenin’s words rather made his hair stand on hand . After all, if one tried to hide a secret in this restaurant world, one couldn’t hide it . Of course, Min-joon had no secret to hide, but when he thought that they might be able to find out what he was doing, no matter what he did, he felt quite scared . As if she read his mind, Jenin waved her hand with an amusing smile .
“You don’t have to make such a serious expression . That doesn’t mean that I can get the information about your foot size or blood type . It’s just speculative information . Of course, when I have a lot of information, I can sometimes find out which way the wind is blowing . ”
“That’s interesting . Are you a food columnist? Or…”
“No . I’m a businesswoman running a hotel . It’s in New York, called Redglass Hotel . Have you heard of it?”
“No . I don’t know much about hotels . ”
“As soon as you hear that I’m running a hotel, it looks like your expression turned dark . I guess Delia is giving you a hard time . ”
This time, Min-joon’s expression got so serious at a glance because he never expected she would mention Delia .
Shaking her head, Jenin said, “Don’t get me wrong . I have never done anything like a background check on you . Delia is very notorious for acting like that . There was a lot of talk and speculation among us when we heard that she found a new partner . ”
“Well, I don’t like the fact that I am the protagonist of such a rumor . ”
“I understand, but you don’t have to hate it so much . Thanks to the rumors, there are quite a few who got to recognize your name . Well, you got famous for declining Delia’s offer rather than accepting it . I think it might be better for you over the long run . ”
Not knowing whether he should laugh or cry, he made a complicated expression . He wondered if he could really benefit from Delia’s persistent approach .
Jenin asked in a calm voice, “Are you close to Chef June?”
“Well, this is the second time I’ve seen her . So, it’s hard to tell you that I’m close to her . How about you?”
“Well, I think so . I have something to get from her, and she has something to get from me . Apart from that, June is a pretty attractive person . She’s one of the women who is pursuing her dream most fiercely . ”
When she said that, Min-joon suddenly recalled what Raphael had told him before . He said June was a perfectionist and that her greatest threat was none other than Min-joon . So, Min-joon felt a bit uncomfortable when Jenin praised her so much .
‘Well, I just want to be in Rachel’s kitchen . ’
Jenin could read mixed feelings on his face .
She opened her mouth, watching him, “June is clever . When others started their own restaurant with the support of other owners, she decided to make the name Rose Island her own restaurant, and actually, she is the one who’s closest to realizing her dream, and she has the right to claim it . For the past ten years, she has dedicated herself to protecting Rose Island more than anyone else . And look at the people now . ”
At that moment, June was looking around the party hall with the white wine glass in her hand .
“June has come a long way, and she is famous enough to rent a banquet hall in a hotel like this to hold a party . Besides, she has the power to invite all the celebrities in New York to this party by using her personal connections . Do you know that the rent of the building with the Rose Island New York branch, as well as those around it has shot up?”
“No, I’ve never heard it . ”
“Yeah, June is such a woman . To be honest, I feel jealous, but I have decided to support her as a business partner, as a friend, and as a fan . I’d love to see her realize her dream . ”
“I would love to see it, too . ”
Jenin looked at him as if she couldn’t understand . But Min-joon looked at Jenin silently .
Jenin said subtly, “Good . I trust you because I see no reason not to believe you . Let me offer you something, based on this trust . How about working with me? I’m sorry . I think I’m offering you the same proposal as Delia did, but you know the nature of the proposal is different, right?”
“I don’t know why your support of June has something to do with your offer to work with me?”
“It’s not meaningful for you to just work with me . What’s important is you leave Rachel and get some time to get disillusioned with her . In fact, you don’t need Chef Rachel’s support, given your cooking skills, right? You’re already attracting the attention of people not because you are her student, but because you are pretty much competent on your own . ”
Min-joon did not respond hastily . Looking into his dark and mysterious eyes, she said in a softened voice, “I’m sorry to tell you this so quickly . I’m not saying you have to accept my offer right now . I think you might have to learn a lot from Rachel . When you are done learning and you can’t find a good restaurant, please let me know . I’m not making this offer just because of June . You’re a gem that anyone in the hotel business covets . And I’m willing to give you the most beautiful platinum, or…”
She paused for a moment then continued, “Aren’t you also greedy for that position, too? The top position of Rose Island . ”
He looked at her with a serene expression .