Published at 4th of January 2021 06:10:20 PM
Janet asked with a straight face, “Why did you come here then?”
“Because I have something to learn here . Min-joon is a person who I can learn a lot from as a chef and as a man, Don’t you think so?” Chloe answered .
“I agree because I’ve felt it to some extent . But if I were you, I think I would have been very uncomfortable being here,” Janet said .
“Well, I know, but there is something you want to do even if it’s hard,” Chloe replied with a light smile . “We are friends . And I want to show my friends that I can be a great cook, too . I want to show you I can cook by your side . That’s why I am still cooking so hard,” Chloe said .
Janet said playfully, “Well, I guess you want to sit right next to Min-joon than your friends here . ”
Chloe blushed silently when she pointed out mischievously .
Chloe said in a calm voice, “At first, I wasn’t sure what to do, but come to think of it now, it was simple . I’ve just changed my mind a little . ”
“Well, I decided to be his fan,” Chloe said in a calm voice .
“If I could not make a romantic relationship with him, I thought I had better become his fan . Well, in fact, I’m yearning for him as a man and as a chef . ”
When she said that, Janet suddenly became puzzled . She wondered how he could captivate so many around him like this? Chloe wasn’t an ordinary woman . No matter what, she was enjoying wide popularity as a cuisine broadcaster before she quit . Was it because of Min-joon’s talent or his passion for cooking?
‘I think it’s going to be very difficult for me to catch up with you, Min-joon,’ Janet thought .
But she had to . She couldn’t fall behind anyone because on the day she lost her child, she pledged to be the best in cooking . Right now, there was now a gap between him, the star, and her, the supporting star, but she was determined to close the gap .
At that moment, Chloe opened her mouth with a smile .
“By the way, you have come to me at the right time . Actually, I needed someone to taste my dish . Can you eat this carrot confit? I’m going to serve it in the morning . ”
“Then, you have been preparing breakfast from 1:00 am until now?”
“Well, if you include that one over there, I don’t think I’ve spent that much time . Isn’t it alright for me to feel a bit elated now?”
Janet suddenly recalled somebody at that moment, who was none other than Min-joon .
She wondered why people around Min-joon were so crazy about cooking .
‘If the situation has come this far, he’s like a virus . ’
It was not an ordinary virus, but a virus with no vaccine because one couldn’t use medicine for a crazy man .
“Why are you looking at me like that?” Chloe asked suddenly .
Janet could not bring herself to tell Chloe that she had already contracted the Min-joon virus because she already felt lots of mixed feelings toward him . Others often criticized Janet for her harsh criticism, but she didn’t criticize others without any reason . Of course, it was controversial if they could take her teasing of Chloe as something like invective .
Janet slowly moved to Chloe’s side and helped her make the dish . Chloe glanced at Janet slightly, but Janet said without looking back, “They’re going to wake up soon . They are early birds . ”
Chloe had a childish smile, as always . When the sun just appeared through the window, they were done cooking .
Janet asked, looking at Chloe, “Let me go and wake them up . ”
“Wouldn’t it be better for us to let them sleep a little more?”
“We’ve been cooking so hard early in the morning . But our dish is getting cold now . You want to feed them cold food?”
“Um… let’s wait ten more minutes . ”
Normally, Janet would have scoffed at her suggestion and woke them up, but she could not, given her pitiful look . Janet was a softie for a woman like Chloe . She would have been harsh toward a tough woman like Kaya, but Chloe was the opposite . Janet could not get angry toward Chloe who was now smiling brightly at her, so she just remained silent and decided to wait for ten more minutes .
Chloe said she would wait ten more minutes but eventually stopped moving at all close to 20 minutes . She was just smiling at the plates on the table . Janet looked at her quietly . Chloe was very pretty . That was why Havier always praised her as the ‘prettiest female chef’ on TV, but she was commendable in other areas, aside from her beautiful looks .
Looking at Chloe, Janet sometimes wondered if she really was a woman who was crossed in love . Could any woman in the world make such a pretty expression even after she got her heart broken? Janet would not care if she completely gave up on Min-joon, but in Janet’s eyes, she still had lingering affection for him .
“Uh? What are you talking about now?”
“Because you can smile in a situation like this . ”
Janet laughed . Chloe’s eyes were open wide at her smile, which she rarely saw . Unfortunately, Janet didn’t look happy despite her smile .
“If I were you, I wouldn’t be able to make a happy expression . ”
“It’s not new at all even if you are dumped . There are so many people in the world that are more miserable than me, so I can’t even pretend to be the protagonist of a tragedy . ”
“It doesn’t matter whether you feel hurt more than others . Whether you have your finger or arm cut, the thing is you and your lover feel hurt the same, right?”
“If I think I’m unhappy, he will feel more unhappy,” Chloe replied in a quiet voice .
Hers was a voice like a spring water filled with sweetness in a cozy forest .
“That’s why I don’t want to think I am hurt . I don’t even think about it . I have a lot of good friends around me . They like me . So, I don’t have any reason to feel hurt . ”
“Yes . That’s a good idea . ”
Without saying anything for a while, Janet opened her mouth hard with an effort .
Chloe stood up first and said, “Let’s wake them up . They might be waiting for us . ”
Chloe stood up and knocked on the door of the room where Havier and Anderson stayed .
But she didn’t want to tap the door of the room where Kaya and Min-joon stayed . Luckily, Janet read her mind . When Janet woke up Kaya and Min-joon and had them come to the table, everyone at the table looked at Janet and Chloe between sleep and wake .
“Have you made them early in the morning?”
“Well, I felt like I wanted to do it all of a sudden . ”
Chloe replied with a bright smile . Min-joon looked at the dishes that Chloe prepared on the table one by one . There were as many as three egg dishes . Frittata, open omelet with tomatoes and goat curd, and soft-boiled eggs with salted ham and asparagus . At a glance, one might think that it wouldn’t take long, but Min-joon knew that it would take some time to make them all .
“This omelet smells of saffron?”
“Yeah, I made saffron butter and cooked it with it . ”
“The sauce served with the soft-boiled egg here doesn’t seem to be just ordinary whole grain mustard . Did you mix honey and wine vinegar?”
“Wow, correct! Kaya, I wonder if you have a perfect palate like Min-joon . ”
Kaya smiled triumphantly at that while closing her eyes halfway from drowsiness .
When she was about to close her eyes due to drowsiness, Min-joon put an omelet in his mouth .
It was a perfect omelet with no sticky spots anywhere . If she went to an omelet contest, she would win the first prize without a doubt . He didn’t feel any fishy smell because saffron butter was strong in flavor enough to overwhelm the fishy smell of the eggs .
The soft-boiled eggs weren’t seasoned very much, but the soft saltiness from the salted ham spread to the yolk properly, so the seasoning was just right . Thanks to the freshness of the whole grain mustard sauce and the fresh taste of asparagus, he didn’t have to worry about the stale taste of eggs .
“Does it taste delicious?”
Chloe looked at him with tense expressions .
He said with a nod, “Yes, that’s good . It’s well balanced . You have cooked the omelet perfectly, so I can’t ask for it anymore . Wait a moment . Let me try the frittata this time . ”
Min-joon took some of the frittatas on the pan and put them in his bowl . The thick barbecue ham, darkly burned onions, and potatoes caught his eyes . The complex taste that he felt the moment he put it in his mouth was better than he thought . And he smelled a subtle saffron scent even there .
“You also used saffron here?”
“Well, I’ve made more butter than I thought . It’s a waste if I don’t use it . ”
“You’re making comments like a housewife . ”
Chloe scratched her head as if she was embarrassed when he said that . She felt so happy because he was praising her at the moment . Of course, her joy was different from Havier’s, who was also crazing for Min-joon’s recognition, but it was similar in nature .
Janet looked at Chloe silently . To put it precisely, she looked at the table . She stuck out as an amateur chef . It wasn’t that she wasn’t the one with quick hands or she lacked cooking skills . She could not find a professional touch in Chloe’s dish yet . In other words, she lacked the skill in calculating the taste of customers and the commercial success of her dish . Because of that, Janet felt like she was now seeing the cooking of an excellent student chef full of yearning . hearts .
Chloe’s dish was basically “warm”, given that she prepared the food for everybody here . Of course, it wasn’t a matter of gathering them at the table that made Janet feel her dish was more “warm” than hers . In terms of intimacy, Kaya and Chloe were not that close to Janet and Havier . Nonetheless, there was nothing awkward among them at the table this morning .
‘Can I also make this kind of warm dish for them? Or should I make it?’
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