Published at 28th of December 2020 02:25:06 PM
The qualifying round was over . Many participants let out a sigh here and there . Be it a sigh of relief or a sigh of lament, their sighs were more or less the same .
Min-joon was about to leave after putting his cooking stuff in the back when someone approached him .
“Hello, can I have a brief conversation with you?”
“Sure, what do you want to talk with me?”
“Oh, I don’t have anything particular to talk about with you, but I’m just curious about you . I just want to know what kind of person you are since they say you are Chef Rachel’s successor . ”
The young man was putting on a proud face .
Smiling at him, Min-joon said, shaking his head, “I think you’ve come to see the wrong person . I’m not her successor . ”
“Oh, I’m sorry . Lots of people are talking like that, so I made a mistake . Ah, my name is Theo . ”
“I’m Min-joon . She is Kaya . ”
“It’s nice to meet you here . Is it your first time visiting France?”
“This is my first visit . Kaya has been here before . ”
“The first time is always the most important thing . If you have time later, please stop by my restaurant . I’m going to make your first impression of France perfect . ”
“Thank you for the suggestion . ”
Min-joon nodded with a smile . At that moment, Theo rolled his eyes . Obviously, he wanted to carry on the conversation a little longer by changing the topic .
But even before Theo could say something again, another man approached them .
“Wow, I wasn’t expecting to meet you here!”
Min-joon turned his head to her and tried to recall who she was . But he couldn’t remember exactly who she was . It was Kaya who found out who she was .
Clapping her hands, she said . “You must be Angela?”
“Angela? Angela Eve?”
Opening his eyes wide, Min-joon also looked at her .
Angela said with a smile, “Yes, that’s right . This is the first time I’ve actually seen you, Min-joon . ”
Angela Eve, she was a reporter who wrote articles about Min-joon and Kaya from the time they took part in the Grand Chef competition . She was the first to break the story of their love by finding out the romantic atmosphere of the two . And when Kaya was put on the spot because of the Tess accident, it was also Angela who wrote about her in a positive way by reporting that it was too early for the public to make a judgment about it .
“I’ve always wanted to see you . Your article gave me a lot of comfort at that time…”
“I also wanted to see Chef Min-joon just once . I saw you Chef Kaya last time, right?”
“Yes, you interviewed me back then,” Kaya replied, nodding at her .
Since Angela, a total stranger to him, appeared suddenly, Theo was kind of confused . He could not leave in that situation without saying goodbye, so he spoke to them in an awkward tone .
“It looks like you know each other . ”
“Oh, yes, because I’m a reporter . I used to write some articles about them several times . I think I’m going to write about them this time, too . This is my business card . ”
“Oh, let me give you mine . ”
“Can I interview you later?”
“Sure, please . ”
“Thanks for making us Americans proud in France . I’ll see you again next time . ”
When she said that, leaving the place, Min-joon checked Theo’s looks . It was true that Min-joon and his colleagues from Rose Island made America proud, but at the same time, they hurt the French chefs’ pride . As expected, Theo’s eyes were now burning with determination to win in this contest, which Min-joon had not noticed a little while ago .
“My dad hasn’t been in this contest for decades because he was so shocked after he lost to Chef Daniel of Rose Island . And this time, my father asked me a favor . ”
“I think I know what kind of favor he has asked you . ”
“I want to realize my father’s long-cherished wishes . Let’s have a good competition . ”
Having said that, Theo reached out to Min-joon, who, in turn, also confidently held his hand .
“That’s what I want . ”
“Wow, you’ve come back as a star just in one day,” Brandon said with a mischievous smile .
When Min-joon looked back to see who he was talking about, he pointed his finger to himself .
Clicking his tongue, Brandon said, “Don’t pretend to be innocent . You are not cute at all . ”
Brandon expected that Min-joon would easily pass the qualifying round, but he never imagined he would shock not only the judge, but also many other participants in the contest with his fantastic dish . Besides, Bastien, the judge, even praised him as the star of the qualifying round .
Brandon looked at his demi chefs with a chilly expression . To put it precisely, he was staring at them except for Adrian and Talis who passed the qualifying round .
“What did you do there, guys? The judge even praised him as today’s hero, but you guys failed to pass even the first round?”
“Well, the judge was too strict…”
“So, you guys were so frustrated?”
The demi-chefs lowered their heads with gloomy expressions . Actually, they were depressed partly because they realized their counterparts from the Rose Island main restaurant were much better than themselves .
Brandon sighed as if he was also frustrated then turned his head to Min-joon and the others .
“Anyway, you’ll have to stay alert from now on . According to my sources, you guys are being closely watched by French chefs right now . They seem to have vowed they would never let you American chefs degrade the dignity of France . ”
“It doesn’t matter whether they are wary of us or not . I’m sure if we can make a good dish, we are going to have good results at the end of the day,” Janet said in a sullen voice .
While saying so, she glanced at Min-joon . She never imagined he would emerge as the star of the qualifying round . She felt that wherever he went, he was so good at making people around him focus on him with intense interest, regardless of whether he intended it or not .
‘It’s not the French guys that I need to be wary of . ’
Min-joon was the very man she was most wary of now . In fact, she had no problem with losing to the French chefs . France and America were different, and their cooking style was also different . Besides, French chefs’ experiences would be different from Rose Island chefs’ . But Min-joon was the very person right next to her in Rose Island . So, she would feel really embarrassed and shocked if she lost to him in this contest .
At that moment, Brandon turned to Adrian and Talis and said, “You guys did a good job . It’s the first time you avoided dropping from the first round . ”
“Thank you, chef . ”
“Hey, guys, please show these American chefs how competent French chefs like you are!”
When Brandon said that, Adrian and Talis laughed awkwardly . Talis, who was so hawkish toward them from the start, now relented a lot without responding at all . She already felt how far her colleagues here fell behind them . So, it would be very ridiculous if she continued to pretend to be their rivals when they clearly knew they were not .
“The reporters out there were also crazy about the demi chefs from the Rose Island main restaurant,” Talis said .
She felt proud that the chefs from the same employer, namely, Rose Island, received such a favorable reaction, but at the same time, she felt strange she was not included among them .
When she said that with mixed feelings, Min-joon seemed to understand her feelings to some extent . Comparing oneself with others . Actually, Min-joon himself led a life like that . And he clearly knew how Brandon might have felt to hear Talis saying that .
“Wow, it’s amazing you guys received such a good reaction from the French reporters . Awesome!”
Brandon muttered in a bitter voice . It took so long for him to get his position as a head chef! But Min-joon gained recognition in just one day, which took him several months to gain .
Of course, Min-joon might have gained recognition more easily because of the nature of the contest, but come to think of it, nobody could gain such recognition just because they had excellent cooking skills .
‘It’s easy to make delicious food . However, it is a completely different story to impress people with that dish and command their respect,’ Brandon thought to himself .
It had nothing to do with Min-joon’s cooking skills . It was rather something like his stardom .
At this point, Brandon was sure that Min-joon was a chef with star quality . Not only Min-joon but also other chefs from the main restaurant of Rose Island had also star qualities like him . They had charisma that drew people’s attention . In the case of Janet and Havier, they had a quiet personality, so they were not easily noticed by people, but they were also very good at cooking .
And now they showed their cooking skills and star qualities in the qualifying round .
‘How foolish you guys are…’ Brandon got frustrated, thinking about his demi chefs .
They were seen slowly approaching Min-joon or Kaya and speaking to them .
They were asking the two to comment about the dishes they made today and suggestions as if the two were their teacher .
Brandon looked at Min-joon among them . Since all this happened so quickly, Brandon didn’t have time to think deeply about it, but he clearly realized that Min-joon’s achievement was much greater than he thought . He drew rave reviews from Bastien, who was notorious for being strict as far as reviewing a dish was concerned, and he drew the attention of the French chefs and the press .
Considering how picky and strict the French gourmets were to overseas chefs, Min-joon’s instant recognition in France was very extraordinary .
‘Yeah, just like Chef Daniel . ’
Min-joon was still a foreigner and a stranger in France . But that stranger’s voice would sound louder than any French chef at the end of the day . Brandon wondered how far Min-joon would grow while enjoying such limelight .
“Can he beat June?”
Brandon muttered . He then seemed to think about something for a moment .
He then spoke in a different way, “Can June beat him?”