Published at 13th of December 2020 11:30:07 PM
“Being polite isn’t bad . And I’m Asian . You know well what kind of environment we have lived in . ”
“I know, but I’m just frustrated . ”
“And this is not just about me . How many chefs in the world do you think are there who won’t get frozen before teacher Rachel? You’re already good enough since you spoke out before Rachel without getting cold feet . But challenging her now is very ridiculous . She is not your rival, Kaya . It’s like a child fighting an adult . ”
“Why do you think I can’t be her rival? Just because she is famous? Because she cooks so well?”
At that moment, Min-joon suddenly stopped to think over her question . What was most intuitive was the cooking level . Rachel’s cooking level was 9, while Kaya’s was 8 . The difference between 9 and 8 was so big as to describe . Besides, Rachel was regarded as a chef who was beyond comparison even among those with the same cooking level .
But, as always, he couldn’t express what was on the system window . He was about to agonize how to answer when she said with a sigh, “Yeah, I admit there is definitely a difference between me and Rachel . Given she has much more cooking experience than me, it’s only natural there is a difference . But I am not saying that I am going to fight Rachel . I am just trying to defeat the old Rachel . You want me to stop even that? You just want me to look up to her? I don’t think she wants that . ”
Rachel didn’t want it? When Kaya said that, he flinched for a moment . Come to think of it, he always thought he wanted to be like Rachel . He had her in mind when he thought of the highest goal he could achieve . He never thought he was going to be greater than Rachel .
He looked at her with an unusual expression . She was right . In some respects, it was natural that she thought of challenging Rachel . How could one grow when one got wedded to the thinking that someone was always greater than oneself?
Kaya muttered in a low voice, “I hated those who were better than me . So when I was in the market, I hated everyone outside the market . ”
“I guess you have much fewer people you hate than before . ”
“I will probably hate nobody because I am going to surpass them . I’m going to beat them before they learn . That’s me . ”
He didn’t take any issue with that . He thought the fight could be a difficult and lonely journey for her, but that was just his own opinion . Maybe it was harder for Kaya to accept that she was under someone else’s influence .
“You are more ambitious than me,” Min-joon said .
“Well, it’s nothing new, isn’t it?”
“Okay, then I won’t say anything about it anymore . All I can do is just cheer you up . What about the recipe? Any idea?”
“Now I love the way you speak to me, Min-joon . ”
She smiled, then her smile quickly disappeared from her face . She then began to explain about the recipe in a serious voice . After hearing her quietly, he opened his mouth in a slightly embarrassed voice .
“So, what’s the goal of this recipe?”
“Do you think they love your showing off? Besides, You are not faster with your hands than others…”
“There are also several kinds of showing off . Some people will hate my showing off, but others will take delight in my showing off . And I have nimble fingers . Don’t you remember what they said about us at the Grand Chef? They said if we could work together, we could be as effective as five chefs . ”
“Well, they said that as a joke . ”
“You can make their prediction come true,” she said calmly .
She didn’t crack any joke, nor did she try to bite more than she could chew . Her eyes and expression were overflowing with confidence, which made him tremble for a moment . He could find in her expressions the old Kaya that he used to know, who was his idol that he could see across the screen only .
“Good . Let me support you, Kaya . ”
He could not help but answer like that because he was her fan anyway .
Cooking was a more subtle art than one thought . Even if one was a chef with lots of experience, one couldn’t bring out the taste they want when they were faced with a new challenge . Even if a person didn’t have the experience, however, that person could bring out much more taste than the standard if he or she used a recipe that someone else had already developed .
In that sense, people could say that recipes have a much greater weight in cooking than people think, for the recipe was more important than the chef in most cases .
In that respect, Min-joon had the most universally appropriate talent as a head chef . Gourmets described him as ‘the chef who analyzes taste in the most complex and intelligent way . ’
But Kaya was somewhat lacking as a head chef . That was the case with her until she absorbed all of Min-joon’s strength recently because she was a chef who showed her true strength in perfect cooking that relied on her own senses . In that respect, she might be more suitable for making the dishes by herself, like sushi, rather than a full course that needed several chefs .
In that sense, the way Kaya chose her cooking this time was just like her .
“Are you sure you want to make this?” Maya asked with her eyes wide open .
Kaya nodded .
Maya opened her mouth with a serious expression .
“Don’t you think cooking on the griddle is a bit difficult?”
“Why do you think it’s difficult? There are lots of food trucks specializing in hot griddle dishes . ”
“I’m fine . People like it, and it tastes good . But we have too many customers . They know how famous Rose Island is . What I mean is how can you deal with so many customers with the hot griddle dishes? Most customers will end up going back after waiting in lines for a long time . ”
Maya’s point was reasonable . Basically, it wasn’t possible to cook hot griddle dishes quickly .
Since one chef had to focus on a single dish, it was hard to mass-produce the dishes quickly even if they received several orders at the same time . Actually, even when Min-joon served the hot griddle dishes recently, he chose only two menus because of that problem .
“We’ve got so many menus . Besides, you should really not allow the customers to add toppings as many as they want . You can’t make all this at once . ”
“You can trust me . I can do it . ”
“It’s not difficult to trust you, but what if you can’t deal with the crowded customers?”
“If you think you can’t do it after trusting me, that means you don’t trust me . ”
Kaya stared at Maya with a displeased expression . Maya stepped back quickly then looked at Min-joon earnestly as if to ask him to stop Kaya .
But Min-joon said casually, with his arms folded, “Don’t worry, Maya . I don’t do things I can’t . You know that well, right?”
“I know that, but… . ”
“If you’re not persuaded, just try placing an order now . I want to warm up before getting down to work . ”
Embarrassed again by Kaya’s remarks, Maya looked at Min-joon again .
He looked at Maya with a smile and said, “Since we have decided, why don’t we make enough, so all four of us, even Justin, can enjoy it? I think you can understand it after checking how quickly you can make this, right?”
“Alright . Then…”
As if she really wanted to argue that this was a crazy menu, Maya ordered four different menus . Stir-fried noodles with a special sauce made with Masala, grilled jumbo shrimp with scallop stock sauce after being roasted with flambe, sirloin steak with puree seasoned with grilled onion and tomato, and mushrooms, garlic, and basil, and roasted scallops topped with a puree made of curry and parsnips, and then topped with mushroom sauce and parsnip chips .
‘It will take at least fifteen minutes no matter how fast we cook them . ’
Even if Min-joon and Kaya joined hands, there were limitations to their speedy cooking . After all, they had only one long iron plate . No matter how fast the two moved their hands, there were only four hands, after all . Besides, they had to add garnish and plating, in addition to grilling the ingredients . It was literally impossible to cook fast enough .
At that moment, Kaya exchanged a brief glance with Min-joon then immediately grabbed the spatula of the sharpened iron plate in her hands . In fact, as a chef, she didn’t use it often .
But when she grabbed it, she naturally handled it as if she had been cooking on the hot griddle for several decades .
And that was the beginning . Kaya sprinkled oil on the iron plate and quickly began to put the main ingredients on top of it . At the same time, Min-joon started to fry ingredients other than meat, such as onions, parsnips, or fried noodles right next to her . They were so focused that Maya swallowed in a tense mood .
Then she thought for a moment, ‘I can’t believe Chef Min-joon was so quick with his hands…’
As far as she knew, Min-joon was the type who moved his hands constantly rather than quickly . So, he was often slower than Anderson, Janet, and Havier in moving his hands . But she didn’t even feel Min-joon’s hands were slow . His hands did not stop moving even for a moment, timed with the roasting of the ingredients and the garnish on the hot griddle .
‘Wow, how can he do it, timed with that roasting?’
Maya watched him as if she could not believe her eyes . Maya watched him moving his nimble fingers in wonder . She had been clicking with him as far as cooking was concerned, for she was her supervisor and demi chef . But at this moment, he was showing the best of his skills that she had never seen before . When a chef cooks several ingredients in one pan, he was supposed to make a fumble, but Min-joon didn’t even make that kind of mistake .
Maya didn’t have to wait long . Even before she agonized a little more, Kaya and Min-joon already finished cooking then plated it with a pre-made puree .
Kaya opened her mouth in a relaxed voice .
“What are you doing? Haven’t you checked the time yet?”
“Oops! Let me check it now!”
Startled, Maya picked up her phone, and couldn’t open her mouth for a while .
She barely opened her mouth like moaning, “It took only seven minutes…”