Published at 7th of December 2020 05:40:08 PM
Chapter 338: If You Don’t Have It, You Can Make It (4)
The anchovy foam melted as soon as he put it in his mouth then disappeared like a bubble as if the ice cream falling on the furnace did .
But even after it disappeared, the lingering taste was still there in his mouth . He felt like all the air in his mouth had the taste of anchovy and oil . Rich olive scent and anchovy scent . The scent of anchovy was particularly subtle . It had a sea scent like a typical anchovy, but at the same time, it had a completely different taste of seafood like snow crab or shrimp .
‘How on earth can he bring out this taste?’
Forgetting even his jealousy of Min-joon, Brian got drunk on the taste . It was a taste he couldn’t even imagine . It seemed he was feeling the taste with his whole mouth, not just his tongue . And even the mix of flavors was by no means banal . It was a taste of sensational harmony and balance which could be found in the most ideal combination in taste . The filet was washed with oil, so the peculiar fishy smell of anchovy disappeared, but didn’t lose the taste of anchovy itself .
When he got a grip on myself, he found himself already cleaning the last anchovy foam on the bread . Watching Brian quietly, Laura got curious about Min-joon once again .
‘He said he made himself a genius . How could he do that?’
When she first saw Min-joon’s cooking, she admired it . Over time, she distrusted herself . She then got a bit disappointed with herself, not him . During the time when he improved his cooking skills so rapidly, she wondered what she had been doing and why she lagged behind him with less cooking experiences than her .
Now she was burning with the spirit of competition with him . The game was not over yet . For her and Min-joon, they still had enough time . This meant that she could somehow close the gap in cooking skills and even overtake him, depending on her efforts . Of course, someone might ask if the difference in their cooking skills was too big to narrow because he already became a celebrity in the country where his name was widely known .
‘If I had given up because it was hard, I would not have even thought about pursuing this career in the first place . ’
Thinking like that, Laura cleared the anchovy plate then took a plate of duck confit . It was a dish that reminded her of the traditional American dish, Turducken . Although it did not contain turkey and chicken, it was made only with duck meat .
“You seem to like the nuances of the same ingredients very much . ”
“Well, I like the subtle differences of ingredients to be revealed as they are . ”
“You’re a pervert anyway . ”
Grinning at him, Kaya raised a fork and knife again . Then she slowly began to cut the duck meat . The crunchy skin was pressed against the blade, boasting of its elasticity when the cut meat bounced to both sides . But that wasn’t the end . After that, the elastic leg and the chopped tenderloin at the bottom split softly like tofu .
“It would be much more fun if you ate this separately rather than together . First, try the peach first . ”
“Have you grilled this peach?” Emily asked, noticing the grill marks left on the peaches .
Min-joon nodded and said, “Yeah . I think that will maximize the sweetness of the peach . ”
Having said that, he put the peach in his mouth . The fragrant aroma of butter on the surface of the hard peach and the subtle savor of sugar got mixed with the rich sweetness of the ripe peach to stimulate his tongue . It was literally heating up his tongue . Even without listening to his explanation, they immediately put the duck filet into their mouths . Right now, they were convinced that this was the best moment they could enjoy the duck meat .
Her conviction did not go wrong .
“Damn it! This is crazy . ”
Jaden spat out a curse with his distinctive black pronunciation . And he was amazed that just a single bite of duck meat could fill his stomach . To put it precisely, he wasn’t full . He was more satisfied than when he ate a hundred chickens, so he just forgot to eat any more .
‘Man, I just thought he was merely a good chef . ’
He realized Min-joon was way beyond a ‘good chef . ’ In fact, when he was coached by Min-joon at first, he wasn’t sure whether he could make a good dish . Although Min-joon gave him a good direction, it would depend on the quality of his finished dish whether his direction was really effective .
But he got the answer now . It wasn’t particularly hot, or the duck meat wasn’t hot, but Jaden had sweat . Until now, he couldn’t be sure what it meant to be a competent chef . He merely felt if he made lots of efforts, he would naturally be a competent chef . He even believed he was already a good chef, given his cooking skills . But now, he could think out of the box and peek outside the well where he was . He now realized there were lots of snakes and beasts that could swallow him anytime once he was outside the well .
‘It’s scary . ’
Jaden turned up one corner of his mouth and smiled . He didn’t smile because he was happy, but because he felt rather bitter . He was dejected . He wasn’t sure if the day would come when he could make such a dish . And it wasn’t just Jaden who felt that way . Other participants there could not help but feel the same way .
Emily turned to Joseph and said in a small voice, “I don’t know about cooking as much as you, but I know food . So, I really do understand what you said, Joseph . ”
Joseph said Min-joon made himself a genius . Min-joon grew incredibly fast . She now clearly realized Joseph’s remarks about Min-joon . She might have thought Min-joon still had a lot to learn if he showed excellence in the appetizer alone, but the main course he served was a perfect harmony with the appetizer .
“To be honest with you, I think it’s unfair to call him a demi chef . How can you call him a demi chef when he is as good as a head chef? . I’ve never felt envious of Chef Rachel, but I am now . If he can show this kind of excellence, I would like to hire him as my sous chef . ”
“Well, scouting somebody with good talent is one of Rachel’s great abilities . I agree with you that you are envious of Rachel . ”
While the judges were exchanging opinions among themselves, Brian grabbed the fork . He had a longer career than Min-joon . Min-joon had no experience working as a sous chef, let alone a head chef, but he was already working as a head chef . But if somebody asked him to direct his kitchen staff and make such delicious food, he couldn’t say confidently he could .
‘He beat me not only in cooking but also in directing kitchen staff . ’
If this was a nightmare, he wanted to wake up from it by all means . He wondered how reality could be so terribly cruel to him . But he was not dreaming at the moment . When he pinched his thigh, it hurt so much he almost had tears, and the lingering taste of the duck meat on his tongue was so clear .
After watching Brian for a moment, Laura asked Kaya very curiously, “I think you must have been challenged by Min-joon . How do you feel?”
Honestly, if Laura were in Kaya’s shoes, she could not afford to be happy because a lovers’ relationship was more sensitive than friendship . She knew Kaya wanted to be on an equal footing with him as a chef, so it would be very hard for her to accept she was inferior to him .
At that moment, Kaya looked at Cho Min-joon with an ambiguous expression . As if he was curious how she would respond, he looked at her intensely with his chin on his hand .
She replied in a calm voice, “Of course I feel a bit jealous, but I’m not nervous because it’s just that my time hasn’t come yet . When my time comes, I’ll have the wings, too . It won’t take too long . ”
After replying in a calm voice, she took a sip of wine . She didn’t play the peacock . As far as cooking skills were concerned, she was more confident than anyone else . Although she was still young with not much experience in the field, she believed that over time, she would be able to hone her skills even more . Her confidence was not without any ground . She had a tongue that was more sensitive than anyone else’s . And that tongue was always telling her that her cooking was pretty good .
Joseph watched her with a smile . He knew arrogance was not a virtue, but that much confidence was a must for a chef .
He said in a calm voice, “Who knows? Someday the two might be sitting here side by side as the judges of the Grand Chef . And when I checked the dishes by Min-joon…”
Joseph put down the fork and knife on the empty plate, with no leftovers .
“I think the day will come sooner than later . ”
He made a happy smile while saying that . As a veteran chef, he was now happier because he found a more competent chef than him, just like a veteran general who felt more delight when he found a competent junior general than winning a war . He thought that was probably the way a man was getting old, and he was getting old . And he liked it a lot .
In fact, that was what cooking was all about . When one ate with those who were not comfortable to be around, one would find it hard to concentrate on the taste even if it was delicious . On the other hand, if one would dine with people they like, one could enjoy it, chatting and laughing, even if the food was a bit less delicious .
“I’ve got a lot of good memories of the Grand Chef, but I don’t want to be a judge,” Kaya said .
“I don’t think a Grand Chef winner like you can say that . Martin will be sad to hear that,” Emily said, chuckling at her .
But Kaya continued in a calm voice as if she didn’t care, “Martin’s sadness is my joy . To be honest, I can’t tell whether I’m Kaya or a Grand Chef winner because I’m called by other names so often . I would like to get my original name—Kaya Reuters—back . ”
“Great, Kaya . How about you, Min-joon?”
“Do you think this kind of conversation is important? No matter what Emily and I talk about, it doesn’t affect whether I’m selected as a judge or not, right?” said Min-joon in an uneasy voice .
Emily pouted as if she was disappointed with his tepid reply and said, “We don’t talk about only important things in our daily lives all the time . Let’s just assume you are invited to serve as a judge of the Grand Chef competition . Are you willing to accept it?”
“If you ask me if I can accept it now, my answer is no . ”
“Because I’m still busy with what I’m doing now, I can’t afford to serve as a judge . I have to focus on cooking . ”