Published at 1st of January 2021 08:18:28 PM
In other words, Rachel’s successor was like Daniel’s successor . Enzo also knew another gossip circulating in the gourmet circles that it was her fascination with Min-joon’s cooking talent that she finally ended her long seclusion from the cooking world and made a comeback . He also heard that Min-joon had a perfect palate as well as extraordinary cooking talent .
At first, Enzo was in doubt about the rumors . But when he first tried Cho Reggiano that shook the American cuisine world, he was immediately persuaded that Rachel might have found a replacement to make up for Daniel’s absence .
Of course, he wasn’t going to compete with Min-joon now . He and Min-joon walked a very different path . Since the start line was different for the two, there could be only exchanges, not competition, between them . In fact, he had a different reason for coming to this cooking contest .
“My son is going to beat him . ”
“You mean Theo?”
Bastien looked at Theo with a little surprise . Of course, he didn’t doubt Theo’s ability, for he was also known as a very promising one among young French chefs . However, he was not sure if Enzo’s son could beat Min-joon as well .
Bastien turned off the microphone and whispered in a quiet voice, “That young chef’s reputation is not groundless . Since I just finished evaluating his dish, I can tell you more confidently . It’s going to be a pretty tough competition for Theo . ”
“If I had thought it would be easy, I would not have even brought my son here . Since Min-joon is such a great chef, I want to give my son the opportunity to compete with him . At least in this competition between my son and him, I want to win . ”
Who said one tended to be more stubborn as one grew older? Bastien felt sorry for Enzo and understood him at the same time . He thought Enzo might want to overcome the legacy left by Daniel, which was so big that he was so conscious of it even now when he became a great chef like the symbolic figure of French cuisine .
“I wish you good competition . ”
“That means that we have passed the qualifying round, right?”
“Of course . To be honest, I thought it was a common idea when I saw it first, but when I tasted it, it wasn’t common at all . What did you add to this cream in this oliebollen?”
“Banana and thyme, and shrimp powder . ”
“It’s definitely far from an ordinary combination . Thank you for the recipe . See you in the main round . ”
Enzo and Theo nodded leisurely at that . Letting out a sigh, Bastien evaluated the rest of them .
He felt somewhat worried about French participants because he still had to evaluate the dishes of four other teams affiliated with Rose Island, but he could get the load off his chest .
“You failed . ”
“You failed, too . ”
“You passed . But it’s going to be pretty hard in the main round . You need to work in tandem more closely . ”
Two of the three demi chef pairs from the Paris branch of Rose Island failed to advance to the main round . Only one of them survived . Bastien didn’t have to worry that the Paris International Cooking Contest would be dominated by the chefs from Rose Island .
And now he was looking at the last pair from Rose Island . They were Janet and Havier . Their tense eyes turned to Bastien .
Bastien opened his mouth .
“I watched you cooking pretty carefully . Chef Janet was mainly cooking while Chef Havier was focused on assisting her . ”
“Well, she is a little better at cooking this kind of dish,” Havier said with a smile .
Looking at his face, Bastien had no choice but to correct what he thought about them a moment ago . He initially guessed Havier just focused on assisting her because she was so strong-minded and stubborn . But Bastien thought the opposite might be true, given his calm attitude .
‘Is she controlling a wild horse running wild?’
But he could not make a conclusion before trying the dish first . Even if his assumptions were correct, it would be meaningless if their cooking score was poor .
So, Bastien turned to the food .
“Oh, this is French toast . ”
It seemed to be common everywhere . Surprisingly, it was a rare dish in this competition because French toast was basically a very common dish that people enjoyed not only in France but also around the world .
But its popularity made people have bad prejudices about it . In other words, they had the prejudice that French toast was not difficult to make . But it wasn’t . French toast was actually very difficult to make properly . Properly controlling the intensity of the fire so that both eggs and bread could be cooked evenly, was very tough for amateurs .
Janet said, “I soaked the bottom of the French toast in custard, then baked it in the oven, and served it with whipped cream prache, blueberry compote, and caramel sauce . ”
“I guess making this kind of French toast was not easy . ”
“Well, what matters at the end of the day is it should be delicious,” Janet said confidently .
When Bastien kept looking at her, she opened her mouth in a dry voice .
“So, I decided to count on the taste for my victory . We’re from Rose Island . When it comes to making delicious food, we are second to none . ”
Having heard that, Bastien tore French toast with a fork . French toast baked well in the oven was smelling butter scent as if it was made of brioche .
The moment he put it in his mouth, it tasted so delicate that as a dessert, it could not be better . He thought it would be okay to use it in any situation . For example, it seemed like it would be okay to eat it as a meal, not as a dessert . It could also be wonderful as an appetizer because anybody who ate this might feel like eating it more .
‘I think the chefs from Rose Island’s main store are definitely different . ’
He thought it would have been nice if there was such a great store in France .
He could not believe at all that the chefs in front of him were only demi chefs .
So, he asked, “Are you guys getting any special training at Rose Island?”
“No, we’re not because we’re going through it everyday,” Havier replied carefully .
Then he continued with a soft smile, “Each one of our chefs at Rose Island is amazing . Not only Min-joon, who you just praised as this round’s star, but also Anderson and Janet are all excellent chefs that I can’t catch up with . And working with them is good training for me . ”
“Do you really think so?”
“So, I’m sure one of our chefs from Rose Island will be the winner of this competition . ”
Havier dared to predict proudly even though he was a timid guy . But he didn’t look embarrassed at all . Rather, he seemed to be proud of having said that .
Looking at his proud expression, Kaya murmured to herself with mixed feelings, “Well, I am not from Rose Island . ”
“Hey, how come you can say I’m going to be the winner?” Kaya said .
“Not you, but us,” Min-joon replied .
“Lower your voice . I don’t want to be hated by French participants here,” she quipped .
“If you’re going to be hated for that, that’s fine . No matter what you do, people who like you will like you anyway, but those who hate you will hate you, too . Let me live by just doing what I want to do,” he said .
“Yeah, you’re right . I like that,” she said .
As if he was not sure how to refute, Min-joon muttered, smiling feebly . In fact, it didn’t really matter what she was talking about because Havier already made a bombshell prediction . Normally, the teams from Rose Island would have won this competition .
There were three teams from Rose Island’s main store, one team from its New York branch and one team from its Paris branch . Besides, all five teams except two passed with favorable reviews, while not a single team from the main restaurant failed .
Furthermore, Min-joon received the highest praise from Bastien that he was the star of today’s qualifying round . In such a situation, Havier even said the Rose Island team would be the winner of this competition . So, it was obvious that Bastien would take his prediction not as a joke or brutal courage but as a declaration of war or a terrible hostility .
“Man, I am so embarrassed,” Min-joon said, scratching his cheek .
It was obviously Havier who mentioned it first, but Min-joon got more intense attention from other participants . Believe it or not, they thought Min-joon was the leader of the Rose Island teams .
To be honest, Min-joon didn’t feel that bad, for their intense attention meant that his dish was the most impressive . Frankly speaking, he wanted to serve them the dishes he made . And he wanted to shout, “Yes, this is my dish! I’ve come a long way to do this!”
‘Gosh, how my desire is so childish!’ he thought to himself .
However, that childish desire was the driving force to motivate people . Min-joon moistened his lips with his tongue .
Bastien was already evaluating the dishes of the last participants .
Kaya whispered, watching him quietly, “Isn’t it amazing?”
“You know we passed so easily when there were so many participants struggling to pass the test . ”
“Well, that’s the case when we were at the Grand Chef . Out of tens of thousands of participants, we were selected as the finalists, and you won . ”
But the two events are different . At the Grand Chef, the participants are not professional chefs, as you know . Most of them participated because they were simply interested in cooking . But the guys here are professional chefs . ”
“You’re right . ” He nodded .
Even though she made a proud expression, she frowned slightly as if she could not believe what happened to her and Min-joon was for real .
“I wonder if we can continue to impress the judges in the main contest . ”
“You seem to care a lot about this contest . ”
“It’s the first contest that we take part in as a team . ”
“Do you think it’s meaningful?”
“Of course, it is,” she replied firmly .
The moment he was about to ask her why, Bastien climbed onto the podium after he was done evaluating all the participants . He shouted in English and French alternately .
“Thanks for your hard work, everybody . Whether you have passed or failed, I hope your visit to this place itself was meaningful to you . The main round will begin in three days . We’re going to announce the theme of cooking on the same day . So, all you can do now is take a rest until then, so you can stay in your best shape . See you in four days!”