Published at 4th of December 2020 06:15:13 PM
Chapter 329: Their Counterattack (4)
“I’m not seeing an illusion, right?”
“What are you talking about, Kaya?”
“You’re so mean and cold-hearted! You didn’t call me often when I told you to, and you talk to Ella more than me . ”
“I was more comfortable talking to Ella on the phone . Ugh!”
At that moment, she pinched his side and looked angrily at him .
He looked at the cameramen, touching his side gently, and asked, “Why are the cameramen here?”
“I’ve already told you they are here to shoot the Grand Chef competition . ”
“Last time you came as a special judge, and what has brought you here this time?”
“As a coach . ”
“It’s a long story . Let me tell you later . By the way, why is your face looking so haggard? Even your arms are skinnier than before . ”
“Well…” He blurred, smiling awkwardly .
She said, snorting at him as if she already read his mind, “You must be agonizing about something weird again . Tell me quickly . Let me date my boyfriend after a long time . ”
“I heard something weird from a chef recently . She said that just because I’m good at cooking, I can’t run a restaurant successfully . When I heard that, I suddenly came to think about what kind of chef would be successful . What do you think? ”
She did not answer . Watching him blankly for a moment as if she could not help it, she said with a sigh, looking at the camera lens, “I’m sorry . My boyfriend is kind of a nerd”
The cameraman burst into laughter at that . While Min-joon was looking at her angrily, she tapped him on the shoulder gently then stepped forward .
“Jump in! Let’s go . ”
“You’ll find it out soon . ”
She responded quickly and got into the van first . Grumbling a bit, he sat next to her .
He was sharply conscious of the cameraman’s gaze then thought to himself, ‘Is it meaningless for me to ponder over that question?’
He was also aware that people around him thought that he had a unique personality . But he had never thought that it was his shortcomings because his agonizing always led to the solution of his problem . And the answer was often more valuable than people thought .
Watching him silently, she muttered, “Man, you are still thinking about it?”
“Well, you didn’t reply to my question, Kaya . ”
“I did! I told you that you shouldn’t think about things like that . After all, it depends on how you think . You know the answer already, don’t you?”
“Well, things don’t work out as you think in this world . ”
“I know . Just because things don’t work out as you think, you don’t have to follow what they think . Dreams can’t always be real . I think we have already talked a lot about this . ”
“I’m sorry . Yeah, you’re right . I forget it too often . ”
“Then don’t think about it today and focus on me . It’s been several months since we met like this . Ordinary lovers typically show their affection in this situation, right?”
He was thinking, ‘Man, it looks like you and I are not going to be ordinary lovers . ’
But he swallowed such thinking and just smiled at her .
He said, “By the way, why don’t you tell me where you are heading for now?”
“To a nostalgic place . ”
“You mean that place?”
Surprised a lot, he looked at her . He was always thinking of going there, but he didn’t expect it was today when he was going there .
She replied with a mischievous but nostalgic smile, “Yeah, we’re going to the Grand Chef House now . ”
Grand Chef House, if he or she were a Grand Chef participant, it was a place meaningful to them for the rest of their lives, regardless of the final results . That was especially meaningful to Kaya and Min-joon because their meeting there was a milestone in their lives .
Standing in front of the Grand Chef House, he couldn’t even step inside for a long time, just staring at the building blankly . She didn’t look at him strangely because she felt the same when she came here again .
Kaya turned to the cameramen . They were still directing the camera lenses at them .
She said in a gentle voice, “Please go in first . I’ll give you a short break . ”
“Oh, that’s okay . ”
“I’m not okay, please go in . Why don’t you pick up on social cues?”
This time, she spoke in a stern voice, belying her kind attitude a moment ago .
The cameramen signaled the two with glances then stepped inside the building .
Grinning at them, she quickly moved to his side, who was still looking around the building and the surrounding landscape blankly .
“You missed this place?”
“A lot more than I thought . That’s why I’m surprised to realize how much I liked this place . ”
“Well, I understand . I feel the same . ”
Saying so, she raised her thumb and pointed to the trail . He nodded and stepped off .
While following the trail, he was shrouded in some strange feelings that he could not express . He opened his mouth as if he couldn’t even imagine .
“What if we hadn’t participated in the Grand Chef competition?”
“Well, we would not have met . And we would not have to agonize over the shallow topics like how to be ‘a good chef’ or ‘a successful chef . ’ Maybe I would be helping my mother in the market . I don’t know what you might have done, but probably, you are going to college or land a job at a restaurant and move up step by step . ”
“Either way, your future and mine didn’t look hopeful back then . ”
“Compared with me, you’re in a better position now . ”
“Yeah, I guess so,” he said in a calm voice . He was sure of that .
Back then, when he was just adapting to reality without participating in Grand Chef, or when he recklessly started as a restaurant apprentice, his future was pretty unclear . Even now, it was not that clear, either . But this time, it was rather unclear in a different sense .
‘When did I first take it for granted that I would be successful?’
Now, he didn’t even think for a moment that he might fail . There was a saying that all successful people didn’t imagine a future in which they would fail . Min-joon keenly felt it was true .
It was natural that he thought so . People already began to pay attention to him, and they love him . It would be difficult to imagine his career being ruined in the real world unless something extraordinary happened to break his life .
It wasn’t because he wondered whether he could succeed that he asked Kaya . Whatever the case, if he succeeded, he wouldn’t be able to tell whether it was his competence, not the working environment that had made him successful . And that meant he couldn’t really appreciate the real value of his dishes .
‘I have a cooking score, but I can’t trust it entirely,’ he thought to himself .
“Hey, are you thinking again?”
“Sorry . ”
“You don’t have to say sorry…” She suddenly stopped talking when she noticed somebody on her side . A group of people gathered around the pool on the side of the promenade .
“Chef Kaya, what are you doing here? Ooops!”
A woman, waving her hand at Kaya, saw the man next to Kaya and held her breath .
It wasn’t just that woman alone . Others stiffened after confirming he was Min-joon .
He whispered to Kaya, “Who are they?”
“Participants in the Grand Chef competition and my teammates . ”
“I told you already . I didn’t come as a judge . I’m here as a …” Kaya didn’t stop talking, but her voice was buried by their thundering applause like a stream of water pouring down a collapsed bank .
“I wonder what Min-joon is doing now . ”
“Well, he must be enjoying it . ”
Janet responded in a sullen voice when Anderson asked . Their surroundings were quite a mess . Various vegetables and unwashed pork oil were smeared on the cutting board, and dried garlic or onions were scattered on the pan .
Given that the most basic thing the chefs considered was cleanliness, such a scene was rather unusual . Since the two were quite methodical, they must have been exhausted if they could not clean up the kitchen .
“Don’t you think we’re so funny?”
Janet raised her arms and covered her eyes, lying on the couch . The couch wasn’t that high-end, with its back uncomfortable to lean against . Knowing that, however, she couldn’t even think of getting up from the couch . While Anderson was driving all day long, she wasn’t just taking a break . Sometimes she took the steering wheel, and when she didn’t drive, she figured out what to cook . And that was the same with Anderson .
The two were driving the same truck these days . They kept giving each other feedback on their recipes, and when they arrived at the hotel, they kept trying to make the best dishes based on their combined recipes .
He looked at her with a tired expression . Janet then closed her eyes .
He muttered in a weary voice, “It’s harder to be Min-joon’s rival than I think . I’m serious . ”
“But our recipe this time was good . I don’t think we’ll have bad feedback . What did Chloe say?”
“She said she would try making the dish in person because she had all the ingredients . ”
“Hope we’re not causing her trouble . ”
“You know what? She asked us to send her any recipes . It’s up to Chloe whether she would use our recipe or not,” Anderson said in a calm voice .
Janet was known as a very talented demi-chef in the foodservice industry, and Anderson was not as well known as Min-joon or Kaya, although he had a good name . What they could use in such a situation was Chloe’s previous proposal .
So, if Chloe liked the recipe that they sent, she would share the recipe on her cooking show on TV .
“Well, it seems that Min-joon is a good stimulus for us . ”
“I can’t deny that . If it had not been for him, we wouldn’t have tried to do this . Maybe we would be complaining about the hard work on the food truck . ”
Janet withdrew her arm that was covering her eyes . The light from the lamps shimmered over her moist eyes that she closed for some time .
Watching her, Anderson opened his mouth .
“Thanks to Min-joon, I realized how strong a weapon it is to be loved by the public . Sometimes, it can be a seasoning that cannot be compared with anything else . ”
“Yeah, being loved by the public is much harder than I think . ”
“Isn’t that the hardest thing in the world?” Anderson muttered in a bitter voice .
Honestly, he felt shameful for the current situation where he was lagging behind Min-joon .
He didn’t know when Min-joon began to surpass him . Above all, he didn’t like the fact that he was trying to rely on Chloe to catch up with Min-joon .
‘Man, I’m doing even this to beat you . ’
The moment Anderson was about to open another canned beer when his phone rang briefly .
It was Chloe’s call . Then her text message appeared .
[Chloe: I think this recipe is really good! I’ve made it for almost 4 people, but it looks like I could eat it all . ]
Anderson smiled for a moment . The happiest moment for a chef would be when a person was recognized by his or her customers or fellow chefs .
At that moment, however, another text message came up .
[Chloe: But I’m sorry . The ingredients are simple, but this dish is probably quite a bit too difficult for ordinary people to make, based on your recipe . I need a much simpler process . The viewers of our program are mostly ordinary housewives . ]
Anderson read it with a sigh .
He looked at Janet and said, “You do the dishes . ”
Janet responded, “You must be crazy . ”