Published at 8th of January 2021 03:25:05 PM
Chapter 391: Thieves Who Stole France (3)
In a normal situation, Min-joon wouldn’t feel it strange at all even if his new task was more difficult than usual because one could reinterpret something basically only when one had a full understanding of the subject in question . However, he did not understand French cuisine very well . Although the cooking sections of Rose Island resembled an Italian kitchen a lot, the dishes they served often transcended nationalities .
However, Kaya was a bit different . In the market where she grew up, she could taste various cuisines of many countries, but they were literally ‘market food . ’ Even so, that was no problem . Min-joon made up for what Kaya lacked, and Kaya made up for what he lacked . Because they made up for what each other lacked, the pair enjoyed a better synergy effect than anyone else in this contest .
He said, “Well, I’m agonizing over whether I can make French ingredients in a completely different way, or change French cuisine in a completely different way . ”
“Foie gras is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to French ingredients . But they won’t find foie gras so fresh no matter how you do it . There are no western restaurants that don’t serve foie gras, and they are also localized in their own way . ”
“Then, would it be better to change French cuisine rather than French ingredients?”
“No . What I mean is it would be bad to make the foie gras that we are all familiar with . After all, foie gras is a steak style . ”
“How about using foie gras but not using it as the main?”
“You mean using raw foie gras but not making it main instead of pate de foie gras?”
Min-joon nodded . But she got confused . As far as the taste of foie gras was concerned, she was confident she could come up with a recipe that could surprise the judges, but the problem was how the French thought of it .
“I don’t know how open-minded the judges are, but can we impress them with foie gras that they are so familiar with?’
Naturally, French gourmets and chefs have a great love for foie gras, for foie gras was the pride of the French . They could never give up on that cuisine, although many countries around the world blame them for abusing geese and ducks too much .
That was why many French gourmets, or even non-French gourmets, couldn’t tolerate a dish with foie gras served not as main . They even complained about how the chefs could think of such a precious and delicious ingredient as a minor dish . And complaints like this were common in the French gourmet world .
Min-joon fully understood Kaya’s worries . No matter how delicious their dish was, the judges would not give high marks if their first impression of it was not good .
“You’re right . Making foie gras is certainly very risky . It’s hard to overcome the judges’ prejudice by making our dish delicious in an ordinary way . ”
Kaya didn’t say anything . She looked into his eyes instead . And she read what he was thinking . She felt what he was thinking was not much different from her idea .
After all, she said, chuckling, “You and I are so stupid, right?”
“Don’t you feel comfortable if you think so?”
The more the pair thought something was impossible, the more they thought they could make it . So, the more difficult and tough they felt their task was, the more attractive they felt it by nature .
“Okay, how are you going to make foie gras? You’re going to grill it anyway, right??”
“I think so . Let’s focus on the fat of the foie gras . Considering that the French chefs are judges, we should make sure we bring out the best taste of foie gras even if we do not make it the main . ”
“Well, it’s a disqualifying factor as a chef if you can’t do it regardless of who the judges are . ”
“I’m going to deep-fry the chicken skin and set it under the bowl, then let me put the well-cooked foie gras on top of it, and the patty made of chopped chicken legs on top… Oh, I think I have to make some sauce . ”
“It would be good if the sauce is sweet . How about just putting some wine on the oil left after cooking foie gras on the pan, then scraping it with wine for the sauce?”
“Wine sauce would go well, but it isn’t fresh . ”
“Jelly is your specialty, isn’t it?”
“You want me to use jelly?”
The foie gras and patties would have enough juice, but he thought he needed more . When he checked the expected cooking score, it’s much better than he thought, but he didn’t like it .
“Shall I put some citrus foam on it?”
“Not air, but foam? Wouldn’t it be too thick?”
“Well, I have to adjust its thickness properly . You only need to put it in just enough to remove the fatty taste . ”
“If that’s the case, I think lime or lemon would be better than citrus . Are you going to add herbs when you grill foie gras?”
“It would be better to add rosemary . ”
“I think rosemary is rather banal… Well, I guess it’s okay because other combinations are fresh . ”
Kaya nodded .
Normally, they finished coming up with the recipe idea in less than half the time than other chefs spent, this time they didn’t . It was a tough theme for them, too . So, they discussed a lot this time . They kept finding errors and corrections . After discussing with her some time, he finally saw a new system window .
[The expected cooking score for a grilled dish with chicken thigh patty, fried chicken skin, and foie gras is 9 points!]
‘Good! The cooking score is perfect . ’
Recently, he was generous about the cooking score . In the past, he felt like he achieved something only when he had 9, but these days, he was often satisfied with 8 . Of course, it was not because he compromised with reality . It was because he felt clearly these days that he could not rate the value of dishes with cooking scores .
“Do you want to add or modify anything?”
“I don’t know . If we have more time, I can check, but we only have an hour . ”
“Man, we’ve already used it all up again . ”
“You bet . I feel like we started only a little while ago . ”
Since they concentrated on how to make the dish more perfect, they didn’t feel how fast time passed, so they didn’t notice at all that the spectators at the venue started to look at them from a different angle this time .
“Wow! How come the pair kept talking for a couple of hours without stopping at all?”
“Did they also talk about something other than the recipe?”
“Well, they seemed too serious to talk about other stuff…”
The spectators muttered as if they were impressed by the way the pair conducted before the kitchen counter . Since they were not chefs, whatever the pair did look cool and fresh .
And it was right at this moment when they could get the best grasp of what they were doing .
When the pair made their supernatural concentration, which was incomparable to the ordinary man’s concentration, they realized that the pair were living in the same world as them, but in a different world at the same time .
“Now, everybody, please start cooking!”
The judge’s voice echoed along with the ringing of the bell that announced the start of the contest . Min-joon and Kaya quickly went to the pantry and brought the ingredients .
When the judges saw the ingredients they brought, their eyes sparkled .
“Chicken leg and chicken skin, and foie gras . What are you going to make?”
“Whatever you make, foie gras won’t be the main . I think you’re thinking of making foie gras part of the dish… To be honest with you, that idea isn’t good . ”
“I agree . The strong taste of foie gras is the most pungent when you deal with it as the main . Well, the chefs are Min-joon and Kaya, so let me look forward to their dish . No matter what they make, they always produce a dish that exceeds our expectations . ”
“That’s right . We don’t have to have a bias against them from the beginning . ”
Their conversation showed that the problem that Min-joon and Kaya were most concerned about was already solved . Although their existing perception of foie gras was the same as before, they began to relent after finding the pair was about to cook it . What Min-joon and Kaya were not conscious of was what kind of impression they gave to people around them . So much so that they were ready to believe that even if the pair would make tofu with red beans, they would watch it in anticipation .
Kaya and Min-joon started cooking . It was Kaya who dealt with the heat, as usual . At least for today, she had to take care of the heat unconditionally . Min-joon’s cooking level was the same as Kaya, but honestly, he could not catch up with Kaya when he was at cooking level 7 when it came to the sense of taste .
‘This must be her talent . ’
He would feel jealous if other chefs had such talent . But he didn’t because it was Kaya . Kaya had always been the subject of his envy, not jealousy . What was interesting was that the person who could bring out the abilities of the subject of his envy, namely the one who could help Kaya best develop her talent, was none other than Min-joon .
He could never know whether it was because he started to learn cooking after looking at Kaya’s future, or for other reasons . He didn’t want to know it that much because that wasn’t a big deal .
‘Depending on what I do, I can affect Kaya’s path . ’
When he thought about it, he felt his heart was full .
Chopping the chicken meat, he watched her start cooking foie gras . The thick-sized foie gras began to be cooked brown like sausage, spilling fat on its own even when she didn’t use any special oil .
She would certainly fulfill her role perfectly . Then he had to take care of the rest . He began to focus on chopping the chicken meat again . He didn’t have to chop it too perfectly because he had to leave the lumpy flesh as it was to bring out some moderate chewing texture .
After chopping the meat like that, he sprinkled salt on the lumped patties .
‘Seasoning would be already done in the process of lumping if it’s a normal patty…’
But he didn’t want it this time because he wanted to give the patty a more steak-like feel .
The difference between the salty taste from the inside and the fleshy flavor from the salty outside was surprisingly big . Knowing this difference, he was always careful when he dealt with ingredients . On the other hand, Kaya was different . She turned foie gras boldly like a general on the battlefield . She was full of confidence when she roasted something, so much so that he wondered if she could check the ripeness of the meat just by the sound of roasting .
When she fried the chicken skins or baked the patties that he already made, she was bold and confident in taking care of it . He was always curious about it and actually asked her .
However, she asked back simply, “Can’t you feel it?”
And since then, Min-joon stopped asking her about it .
“I’m done roasting it . Perfectly,” she said .
After she finished roasting foie gras, she wiped the sweat off her forehead with a handkerchief . He nodded and quickly snatched the pan from Kaya . Then he poured some red wine and added a little sugar before boiling it . When the sauce that boiled like lava was thick enough, all he had to do was cool it by mixing it with gelatin dissolved in boiled water again . When the jelly got cold, he would season it with air made from oranges with high sugar content .
He looked at the finished dish, groaning a bit . The expected cooking score was 9 points, but the finished dish far exceeded his expectations .
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