Published at 1st of January 2021 08:18:30 PM
When Anderson showed a tepid reaction even after passing the test, Bastien walked up to another pair with an awkward expression . A little later, he came to evaluate Dobby’s dish . It was the blue tart whose cooking score was 8, which Min-joon confirmed on the system window .
While examining the blue tart for a moment, Bastien looked at Dobby and said, “I guess it must have been very difficult for you to make this within an hour . Are you sure of this one?”
“Well, it shows the best of my skills . I’m quite good at cooking!”
While saying so, he made a proud smile, which didn’t look ugly . But honestly, Bastien wasn’t very excited about his cooking . A tart made with blueberries and blue cheese as the main ingredients . It wasn’t a common combination, but he was not sure if it was creative enough .
But the moment he held it and smelled it, the sour smell of blueberries was mixed in that pungent smell of blue cheese tickled his nose, and the moment he smelled the savory scent of butter filled with tart, he felt something that he didn’t expect at all .
Bastien bit the tart as if he could not believe his eyes . At that moment, he looked at the tart incredulously .
‘How can the combination of blue cheese and blueberries bring out this taste?’
He made an incredulous expression at the fantastic taste of the tart that he had never experienced . The moment blueberries and blue cheese were mixed, a completely new taste that he had never experienced was created . It felt like a completely different sauce .
It tasted sweet, but at the same time, it tasted light, along with the soft texture of the tart .
“Do you like it?”
“I wonder if there is anybody in the world who doesn’t like it . Even if I am allergic to cheese, I want to eat it . ”
Dobby laughed at his honest praise . At that point, Bastien began to get nervous .
No matter how high the prestige of Rose Island was, he didn’t think their staff was so competent like this . He already disqualified many French participants, but not a single chef from Rose Island in America . As a French chef, he himself felt regret about it because he didn’t want to see French chefs losing to their American counterparts .
After evaluating the dishes of a few more pairs again, he was not heading to the Kaya and Min-joon pair . As if he was now more nervous, he swallowed when he stood before their dish . He opened his mouth, looking at the bread and butter pudding .
“It must have gotten a bit cold . ”
“It doesn’t matter . If it’s hot, it tastes good . Even if it’s lukewarm, it still tastes good . ”
“It seems like all the chefs from Rose Island are overflowing with confidence . ”
Honestly, they could be proud of his comment . They would have been embarrassed if his feedback was bad, but it was not . Rather, he praised them so much that he wanted even French chefs to take cue from their proud attitude .
Min-joon quietly waited for him to lift the fork . This moment might look trifling to others, but it was important to him because he finally had a French judge evaluate his dish .
‘Oh, this is a joint dish by me and Kaya…’
Min-joon glanced at her eyes quickly . Was it because it had been a while since she had her dish evaluated by a judge like this? She also looked tense and nervous . He wanted to tell her to relax, but he wanted to wait until the judge finished trying their dish .
Finally, Bastien put a piece of bread and butter pudding in his mouth . At that moment, he was thinking of two contradictory things . On the one hand, he wished the pudding would not taste delicious to save the face of the French participants . But on the other hand, he hoped they made the dish as well as their colleagues from Rose Island .
But the moment he ate the pudding, he couldn’t think of anything . He could not afford to think about anything like the harmony of the sweetness of custard spreading in his mouth and the chewy texture of raisins as well as the soft yet savory taste of apricot jam . Just tasting it alone made him stop evaluating it .
He just kept silent without saying anything for some time, just like a computer that lost power, then he came to his senses only when the people around him began to murmur .
He looked at Min-joon and said in a weary voice, “You said earlier you would be the star of this round…”
“Yes, I said we would be the star of this qualifying round . ”
Min-joon replied quickly, glancing at Kaya . She smiled in satisfaction .
As if he admitted it, Bastien opened his mouth in a moved voice .
“Yeah, you’re the star . ”
His comment could not be better because his suggestion that they were the star meant their dish was better than any other dish here . And it was not unreasonable that the participants around them made a serious expression to hear him .
It was quite heartbreaking to the French participants that though Min-joon was not a native American, he was from America who prevailed in the qualifying round right here in Paris .
Naturally, the French participants had no choice but to wish for someone else to restore their pride . And it didn’t take long for that person to appear to meet their expectations .
“Hey, it’s you, Enzo!”
Bastien’s voice was full of happiness when he saw the man called Enzo . He was not simply glad to see him . His voice was full of respect, anticipation as well as joy . Hearing his emotional voice was enough to confirm how prestigious Enzo was in the French cuisine circles .
They began to chat in French, not English .
While the cameramen were busy filming Enzo and Bastien, Min-joon asked Kaya, looking at them blankly, “Do you know who he is?”
“How would I know that French chef?”
“It seems like a chef that Bastien likes very much… . ”
The person who stood in front of Bastien was a senior man who seemed very old even at first glance . There was a young man who looked like his student standing next to him .
Min-joon had no choice but to pay attention to them at that moment .
‘Cooking Level 9 and Cooking Level 8 . Actually, they are the most fearsome pair I’ve ever seen . ’
Did he come here to show other participants the best of French cuisine? At that age, he must have earned the prestige and honor that other chefs could not even imagine or compare with . Then, why did he go to the trouble of taking part in this contest? Min-joon felt strange about it because he would lose more than gain something if he came for the contest this time .
Min-joon looked at the Enzo pair’s dish . At the moment, he made a puzzled expression . The dish they made was oliebollen . It was a donut they enjoyed traditionally not only in France but also in Belgium and the Netherlands .
The looks of oliebollen they created was very simple . Sprinkled with lots of sugar powder on a spoon, it was cute . Underneath it was something that looked like a cream sauce .
Min-joon narrowed his eyes, closely looking at it .
Kaya said, tilting her head, “Bastien looks like a great chef by the way he speaks, but this dish looks pretty ordinary . It’s not even an appetizer, but just amuse-bouche . They put a spoon on it . Is that it?”
“Besides, the oliebollen itself is also smaller than a typical one . ”
Originally, oliebollen itself was less than a fist, but what they made now was less than half the size of the typical one . Even if it was a large spoon for the amuse-bouche, it was enough to contain the oliebollen in it .
‘Cooking point 8…’
Min-joon was rather tense when Enzo’s cooking level was 9, but it was obvious that he didn’t do his best, given the cooking point of his current dish . Or he might have tried to bring out the light and intense taste peculiar to the dish .
At that moment, Bastien put the oliebollen in his mouth then soon smiled gently and chatted with Enzo . Although their conversation amplified through the microphone was resonating in the contest place, they talked in French, so Kaya and Min-joon could not understand it .
“You’re still the same as ever, Chef Enzo . ”
“Same as ever?”
“I mean your consideration for your dish . As for this amuse-bouche, you have made it in consideration of the fact that I will be trying many different dishes for evaluation today, right?”
“It’s the basics of a cook to take into account the taste and circumstances of the customer . ”
“Chef Enzo, that’s why you are so different from an ordinary chef because you can treat a judge as a customer, not a judge . ”
“Don’t flatter me so much . I heard you telling that young man he’s going to be the star of this qualifying round . ”
“Did you learn English?”
“Nope . My son speaks English very well . ”
Enzo patted the man next to him with a very proud expression .
Bastien looked at the man and said with a smile, “Theo, last time I saw you, you looked like a boy, but now you’re a grown man . ”
“Yeah, I’m an adult now . ”
“By the way, I never expected Chef Enzo would come to this competition . Isn’t that the first time?”
“It’s not my first time coming here . Actually, it’s my second . ”
“Oh, did you participate in the contest last time?”
Instead of answering, Enzo looked at Min-joon for a moment . At that moment, Bastien recalled a very old episode . It was about why Enzo did not participate in this competition . He said he suffered a very painful defeat at that time . When Bastien recalled the name of the chef who had defeated him resoundingly, Enzo said, “Daniel . I was defeated by that chef . ”
Enzo still couldn’t forget that moment . Since he received the attention of the gastronomic world as a head chef in his 20s, his pride knew no limits . He thought he was the best chef in France, so he never thought he would be defeated by a chef from America, and someone his age at that .
But back then, Daniel defeated him easily as if he was making fun of Enzo . He didn’t simply beat Enzo, but literally “trampled on” him . Although Daniel was only focused on his cooking, his cooking level at that time was brutally higher than anybody else .
Since then, Daniel had not taken part in the Paris International Cooking Competition . Enzo always expected he would come back, but Daniel did not try to climb the mountain again that he had already conquered .
Enzo was so frustrated . He wanted to get even with him in the competition, but he didn’t have a chance to meet him . Besides, he could not fly to America to throw down the gauntlet, complaining that he was so sad to have lost to him .
And when Daniel passed away, Enzo spent day by day meaninglessly, shocked by that tragic news . As a result, the Paris International Cooking Competition could no longer be the subject of his interest .
But now, he was here again . The reason why he came here was simple .
Enzo looked at Min-joon and thought to himself, ‘That guy is most likely Rachel’s successor . ’