Published at 19th of December 2020 02:25:16 PM
Although he asked it, it wasn’t really a question because he already knew she really wanted to find her successor . He knew her better than any of her students . So, it was natural he already knew she had somebody in her mind as her successor .
As if she could not avoid his question, she said, shaking her head, “Dave, you’ve always been kind and nice . You’ve always taken care of the people around you . It seems you have read my mind this time, too . ”
“To be honest, at first, I couldn’t figure out what you were thinking . It’s only recently that I got the hang of it . I realized you were looking for your successor . But what you want is simpler than that, right?”
Rachel didn’t answer . Dave already read her like a book . If that was the case, she didn’t have to answer . So, she just sighed instead of replying .
Then she continued as if she was whingeing, “It’s simple, but it’s more difficult . Well, if I had thought of my successor, I would have considered you or June because that’s more realistic . Min-joon is young . It will take too long for me to wait for Min-joon to grow fully . And…”
Rachel suddenly stopped while trying to continue . She felt like she was diverting from the original topic, so she pulled herself together and said, “Whew! What matters to me now is I’m coveting Min-joon and Kaya . I think I have Min-joon under my wing now, but I have no idea when he will leave me, so I’m all the more nervous . ”
“Do you really need to be nervous? What you want is to recreate the landscape that only Rose Island could show, right? In other words, you want to see a restaurant like that again . If both of them can do it, you don’t have to have them on your arm all the time . Don’t you think so?”
“I thought you have read my mind, but it seems you didn’t . ”
He looked confused at her words for a moment . He couldn’t figure out what she was exactly trying to point out .
Watching him in confusion, she said in a low voice, “Rose Island . ”
That was all she said . But at that moment, Dave could get a complete picture of what she wanted . And he could not help but feel sad . Although this old woman who pretended she was okay as if she overcame everything, he knew she was still suffering from an indescribable trauma .
She opened her mouth in a calm voice as if she didn’t have the energy to scream .
“My successor should make the kitchen with the name of Rose Island during my watch . ”
What she just said was close to her desperate wish rather than her conviction . That’s why Dave couldn’t bring himself to tell her that the kitchen where she worked could not be revived, such a day would never come back and that Chef Daniel left a long time ago .
After moaning like that in an exhausted voice, Maya sat down on the floor of the food truck . Glancing at her, Kaya asked Min-joon in a calm voice, “Do I get paid for my work today?”
“I don’t know about that . I think I’ll have to ask . ”
“Never mind . I was kidding . I joined you for fun, not work . ”
At that moment, Maya trembled as if she was shocked by Kaya’s words . She heard that lovers resembled each other, but the way Kaya spoke was exactly the same way as Min-joon .
Besides, no matter how much one liked cooking, one couldn’t just enjoy it as soon as cooking became one’s job . But she said cooking was fun .
And that was the difference that distinguished top-ranked chefs, including Min-joon from other chefs . To enjoy cooking seemed simple at first glance, but it made a far greater difference whether one could really enjoy cooking or not .
Enjoying cooking didn’t mean simply enjoying cooking itself . If that was the case, it would be hard to find any chef who didn’t enjoy cooking . In fact, among those who start cooking, there were very few who start their cooking career without any interest in cooking .
However, if anybody was passionate enough to head straight to the kitchen table the moment he hits on a good recipe even if he was about to collapse at any moment because of fatigue, that was basically because he was blessed with enormous talent, which could only be granted only when he really enjoyed cooking .
“I envy you both,” Maya said .
“Huh? About what?”
“You are a genius . Oh, if you’re going to say that you are not, please don’t do it . You might think you can comfort me by saying that, but it’s not comforting me at all . So, please don’t deny it . ”
“Yeah, you’re right . We’re a genius,” Kaya said .
“Gosh, I didn’t expect you would agree with me like this . ”
Maya lowered her head at Kaya’s unexpected reply . But Kaya had no doubt that she was talented . In the past, she didn’t like being called a genius because she thought it would ignore her efforts . But she felt differently now because her talent was the most valuable gift she had . So, she thought she didn’t have to hide it, feeling shameful rather than proud of it .
“If I had not been a genius, it would have been impossible for me to come up here . I would never have met Min-joon . I would have never cooked like this now, and I would have never heard you calling me a genius . So, I love my talent very much . ”
“Of course, you’ll like it . But sorry I can’t like it . Honestly, I just get cold feet when I see chefs like you and Chef Min-joon . ”
“Well, I slept only three hours a day,” Kaya said in a calm voice .
At that moment, Maya couldn’t really understand her . Why did she suddenly mention it?
Looking at Maya, who seemed a bit embarrassed, Kaya opened her mouth in a casual voice .
“Of course, it doesn’t mean that I slept only for three hours and cooked for the rest of the time . Sometimes when I worked as a kitchen assistant, I worked like that . Besides, they were so suspicious of me when I didn’t appear on time, so I could not stay long . As you know, I was almost a white trash . You also know how miserably the white trash are living in poor treatment . ”
Maya couldn’t answer . White trash, she didn’t know much about them . It wasn’t because the miserable stories about them were not well known, but because she felt so uncomfortable seeing them .
And Kaya was from that very white trash family .
“White trash are more miserable than the homeless . To put it exactly, they are not better than the black homeless . They have their own solidarity . But we white trash don’t have it . So, the white trash are totally discriminated against at the bottom . So, I was desperately trying to get out of them . I struggled not for success but for survival . Even if I see numerous cockroaches crawling around in the house, I didn’t want to lose that house . So, I worked like hell . ”
“I know you went through hard times in the past, Chef Kaya . But what does your past have to do with this?” Maya asked .
“That’s how I earned the money . That’s how I bought the ingredients . Do you know how much I put time and effort into my cooking? You might think that it took only many minutes for me to do cooking, or I cooked several times a day . No, I was cooking all day long when I woke up . I just focused on cooking when I washed dishes, when I carried fruit, when I chased the guy who stole peaches from my stand and knocked him down . ”
While listening to her on her side, Min-joon seemed choked to tears .
But Maya couldn’t sympathize with her . She understood the situation, but she could not agree with what Kaya was trying to say .
“Do you mean I need to go through the hard times just because you already suffered?”
“I think you have to go through the hard times in one way or another . It’s up to you which person you want to resemble, Min-joon or me . Isn’t it too selfish if you want to achieve as much as what I’ve made while walking the easy path?”
“What should I do when I don’t have the courage to walk the difficult path?”
“If you think even that courage is also a matter of talent, let me stop talking anymore . It doesn’t make sense for me to talk more about it . Min-joon, can you take care of her?”
“Hey, Maya . Come here . ”
He called Maya, who approached him slowly after hesitating for a moment as if she thought she might be scolded .
But what he said was completely unexpected .
“You are talented . ”
“Are you sure?”
“You’re a cook at Rose Island . You’ve beaten a lot of competitors to come up here . What do you think it means?”
“Well, I might look like I’m talented in cooking . ”
“You don’t look that way, but you are really talented . If I hadn’t liked you, I wouldn’t have teamed up with you until now . But have you ever seen me complaining to you?”
Maya shook her head . He was always warm to her . Sometimes he got tough when they cooked together, but she took it for granted . When he wasn’t cooking, he was always kind to her .
But that was a problem . So, she was afraid his praise of her talent might have been disguised as his kindness .
Was it because she felt so?
“I agree with him,” Kaya said .
Maya slowly looked back at Kaya . Kaya continued, shrugging, trying not to make eye contact with her as if she felt a bit embarrassed .
“We were pretty busy today . I felt like five of us, not two, were cooking on the hot griddle . I think you really did your job as our assistant perfectly . In fact, that’s easier said than done . As an assistant, you played five roles very well . An ordinary cook would not have done that . ”
“Do you really think so?”
“I’m not as generous as Min-Joon . If I think you are stupid, I am not going to hesitate to say so . If I think somebody is dumb, I would call him so . ”
Saying so, Kaya looked at him for a moment . Maya smiled at the moment he was about to make an angry expression .
Maya said with a funny and pretty expression as if she was overcome with gratitude and sorrow, “Thanks for saying so . ”