Published at 4th of January 2021 06:10:20 PM
He thought that it was not appropriate to use the modifier ‘respect’ before the word ‘friend . ’
But he now had no choice but to feel he had to . Min-joon was half a teacher to him, and half a friend to him . Although he was next to Min-joon, the latter was always ahead of him whenever he reached out, Min-joon always responded . Sometimes Min-joon was walking with his back against him, but he wanted to catch up with him rather than be discouraged by that .
That was why he respected Min-joon . He tried to catch up to him . He tried to walk right behind him .
Clap clap clap . Clap clap clap clap .
Finally, the Rose Island team including him received applause from the French participants in the contest . The French citizens gave a sincere applause to the team of chefs from America who made brilliant performances here as if they were the stars of this event .
And at this moment, Havier was also shining like a star .
Feeling the applause from people around her, Janet was so thrilled . She could more clearly notice why June, the head chef of Rose Island’s New York branch, was so ambitious to rise to the throne of Rose Island and get ahead of others . To put it more precisely, she could realize what it felt like to get people’s attention, for there weren’t many opportunities for her to show off her skills in an international venue like this .
Maybe June could feel it every day in New York . She was Rose Island’s most likely successor candidate and the head chef of its New York branch, admired as one of Rose Island’s best branches . Besides, she had close contact with celebrities from all walks of life . So, Janet could feel clearly how difficult it was for June to prepare for her next role calmly without being excited while she was maintaining such a high and noble position .
“Janet!” Havier called her at that moment .
He was holding out his clenched fists, smiling at her . She just looked at his fists quietly .
He then put them down with an embarrassed look .
“Hey, can’t you sometimes make me feel better?”
When she said that, he raised his fist again with an awkward expression .
She touched her fist on his then said in a calm voice, “I owe you something today . ”
“You don’t have to say that . We’ve made the dish together . ”
“I tried to lead you, but it’s you who led me today . And the results are better . ”
At that moment, he checked her expressions, wondering if she got mad because she might have gotten disappointed with the better results he got .
But she didn’t show any disappointment . Rather, she was smiling slightly .
“I’m going to make it next time . ”
Having said that, she began washing the dishes left behind by the judges .
He looked at her blankly for a moment then smiled slightly .
By the time Janet was done washing the dishes, the judges already finished rating the last participants . And it was the pair of Adrian and Talis who got the tensest right now .
The two looked at each other and chatted .
“It looks like there are 15 participants who have passed until now . Maybe we can barely pass?”
“Only 15? I think there are more…”
“I don’t know . How can I remember? Let’s wait . We’ll find it out soon . ”
She wanted to know, but at the same time, she didn’t . She thought that it might be meaningless for her pair to advance into the octofinals because there was almost zero chance that they could advance to the quarterfinals . As a result, even if they managed to move and struggle, she was skeptical if her pair could get any meaningful results .
‘Oh, yes, I can show them that my pair can cook better than now in the next round . ’
She still remembered the judges’ comment that they were as good as the typical demi chefs . She felt their feedback was so painful . Since she was a demi chef now, she could not make any excuses by appealing to them she could not do any better, for the demi chefs from the Rose Island main store were much better than her despite their position as the demi chef . So, what mattered was their cooking . What they were doing as the demi chef was the same as her because they were supposed to do as instructed by the sous chef or Rachel . Nonetheless, they were far ahead of her in cooking skills . Then, what did it mean to her?
‘I guess they didn’t just do as instructed only . ’
In fact, that was natural because the fastest way for a chef to develop his or her skills was to lean over the sous chef or head chef’s shoulder . They had to make their own effort after pondering over the recipes carefully,
Talis regretted her past days when she had turned away from doing her best just because she felt it was hard . And that was why the chefs from the Rose Island main store were working .
If she knew they were competent, working hard every day, it would be hard for her to become lazy even if she wanted to .
“The first place in this first round goes to the two pairs, as you know . Min-joon and Kaya, and Enzo and Theo!”
Bastien called out the names of the two pairs loudly . With people applauding them, Min-joon looked around slightly . He felt the intense gaze of the French chefs, but he didn’t feel they were hostile toward him . He felt like they regarded him as a rival . Some of them were even looking at him favorably .
A chef was basically a person who likes cooking . Since a passionate gourmet could be his or her customer, a talented chef was always welcome . The problem was he couldn’t make them his regular customers here in France .
In no time, Bastien read down the rankings of the contest . The second place went to four pairs, namely Dobby and Eva, Chloe and Anderson, Janet and Havier, who all scored 9 points, and two male chefs who appeared to be from Asia .
Finally, the judges were about to call the last pair who would advance to the quarterfinals . Adrian and Talis, holding their hands together, looked at the judge’s lips, but their names were not called out . They put down their hands in great disappointment .
The contest for this round was over . Those pairs who would stay and those who would have to leave were decided .
Those who failed to advance turned, but they could not emotionally .
She looks at his face carefully, hiding her expectations and doubts . She had expectations he would be happy about her pregnancy or some doubts that he might not be happy . In fact, that was not her doubts, but her conviction that he would not like it .
There was a smile on his mouth, a fake smile mixed with embarrassment and disbelief . He clearly wanted to somehow avoid this place . Even if he began to talk to her with an effort, he would end up quarreling with her at the end of the day .
“Shut up! Even if you give up this baby, I won’t!” Janet shouted .
But what happened after that? She really gave up her baby . She even tried to forget her baby . If she had paid a little more attention to her baby, she should not have overworked in the kitchen like that . How could she overwork herself, knowing the consequences on her baby?
Startled by something, Janet woke up and opened her eyes, with her body soaked with sweat and gasping for breath . She grabbed the blanket . Moonlight, shining through the gap of the black curtain, rested on her face . She was not sure if the moonlight or her face was pale .
She groped around the glass she had placed on the nightstand and held it in her hand .
But the cup was empty . She held the empty cup in both hands, shaking her hands for some time, then quickly got out of bed and left the room feebly .
Shortly afterward, she ran into Chloe . Janet glanced around but could not see the watch .
“Janet . What’s going on? Why are you up already? Are you uncomfortable sleeping here?”
“No, I just woke up before I knew it . By the way, what are you doing now?”
“Well, I guess it’s about half-past five in the morning . ”
“You haven’t slept until now?”
“Not really . I woke up around 1 AM . Since I’ve been living irregularly, I don’t sleep at the same time, of course . ”
Chloe smiled nicely and kept moving her hand . Janet poured water into the cup, watching her doing something . She was boiling water over saffron . Seeing that there was butter melted at room temperature beside it, she wondered if Chloe was trying to make saffron butter .
She noticed some dishes on one side, which Chloe had already made .
Janet frowned and opened her mouth, looking at a dish that she had not yet removed .
“Ah, it’s the same one Min-joon and Kaya made in the contest today . Min-joon gave me the recipe, so I want to practice . ”
Janet silently looked at the empty plate . Traces of empty shells, pea puree, and cumin foam were clearly on the plate .
“The first dish I made together with Min-joon was this scallop dish . To put it precisely, each of us made a dish separately rather than making it together . ”
The smile on Chloe’s lips looked so pretty when she said that . So, Janet felt more sorry for her . She knew why Chloe’s smile was so beautiful . After all, she was a woman .
Janet muttered in a bitter voice, “Why are you living so stupidly?”
“Uh? Why did you say that suddenly?”
“I know you like Min-joon . ”
At that moment, Chloe stopped moving her hands . She didn’t do anything for a while . She then mixed water with enough saffron flavor over the butter . Then she looked back at Janet, putting it in the refrigerator .
“I’ve learned that just because I want to have it, I can’t have it all . ”
“So, why have you come here? Min-joon? Cooking?”
“I’ve got no particular reason . I just wanted to come . I wanted to learn how to cook . I would lie if I didn’t admit that I wanted to cook next to Min-joon . ”
“Well, based on my experience, you can’t have both . There comes a time one day when you have to choose between a dream and a man . ”
“Did you have that moment?”
Chloe glanced at Janet for a moment then resumed cooking .
“I don’t have the right to choose anyway . Min-joon has a girlfriend . I’m just doing the best I can now . In other words, I’m focusing on cooking . The reason I quit college was because I wanted to be a cook, not a broadcaster,” Chloe said .
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