Published at 11th of January 2021 03:45:05 PM
Checking their puzzled expressions, he said slowly, “The plate that traditional cooks used wasn’t that big . So, when they put foie gras on the plate, it was already full, so the sauce and ingredients overflowed over the plate and looked just ugly . So I thought about how I could match it with other ingredients on the plate rather than leaving it alone . So, I made the dish, based on that concept . ”
“I still don’t understand well . What do you want to express on this plate?”
“Try it, please The moment you try it, you will find out for yourself . . ”
Min-joon’s confident attitude had a strange magical power . It looked as if the dish they were seeing before their eyes contained some taste that they had never imagined .
They were thrilled with that feeling . Min-joon glanced down at his cooking . Cooking point was 10 out of 10 . In other words, it was a dish that combined his recipe and Kaya’s perfect sense of taste .
The pair’s dish that would steal France, or the French judges, was there .
“Gulp . ”
The sound of someone swallowing was heard quietly . It felt like the venue itself was swallowing . With great anticipation beyond description, they began to gather around Min-joon and Kaya .
‘They must be surprised . ’
Min-joon looked at the judges with confidence . It didn’t matter whether their dish was delicious or not . The recipe they developed for this dish was far from ordinary . A real gourmet could feel the taste of a dish based on witty ideas more vividly and deeply . In that respect, the judges might even feel the dish that the pair made today was not the subject of their evaluation, but something like a gift .
The judges began to move their jaws . Min-joon watched it . By now, they should be enjoying the juice of foie gras . In fact, they couldn’t call it ‘juice’ because foie gras itself was almost like a lump of oil . When the foie gras melted, it would seep through the minced chicken patties, then its greasy taste would further enhance the light and soft meat of chicken legs .
By the time they feel the charm of the refreshing sweetness, they would also feel the taste of the chicken skin over the soft chicken legs, and the wine in the jelly and the fat of foie gras would further stimulate their appetite .
The judges slowly looked at Min-joon and Kaya . The thoughts in those eyes seemed too complicated, so they could hardly see the pair face to face . One of the judges, Parnella, opened her mouth before remaining silent, as she couldn’t figure out what to say .
‘I can’t believe they cooked foie gras this way . ’
It was rather difficult to say that it was an innovative dish, for there were many ways to mix foie gras with other ingredients . And the recipe for using the fat of foie gras to add a more oily taste to the ingredients lacking in fat was not that fresh .
But the most attractive thing about this dish was that the chicken patties were served with foie gras . If the chicken thighs had been grilled in a steak style, it would not have been the same as now . However, the subtle gap caused while chopping chicken legs into patties, and the juices of foie gras permeating through the gap were different from the taste of ordinary steak-style chicken legs .
It was also a clever method that Min-joon and Kaya didn’t use a liquid sauce . If they had used a liquid sauce, the sauce would have already penetrated deep into the gap in the patties, which, in turn, would not only dilute the fatty taste of foie gras but also hardly bring out the unique taste of the chicken leg itself . This was the advantage of jelling the sauce .
“That’s a perfect recipe . ”
Parnella muttered as if she groaned . Rather than judging Min-joon and Kaya’s cooking, she uttered exclamations at the fantastic taste of foie gras in her mouth . She had no choice but to recognize its perfect taste .
Another judge, Asher, said while nodding at them, “I don’t think that there is a more balanced dish than this one in terms of the balance among all the dishes that we have judged in this competition so far . Who came up with this idea first?”
“Well, I can’t give you an exact answer because we just thought about it at some point while we were discussing it…”
“I wish I had heard your conversation, which I think would be really interesting . ”
So, Asher sincerely thought of getting close to the pair when they were discussing what kind of recipe they would come up with next time . But he could not afford to think about it now . Somebody held out his hand then picked the sliced foie gras, chicken skin, jelly, and patty with a fork . He blankly looked back at the judge, who did so at the moment . Sophie opened her mouth and put the picked ingredients in it .
“Hey, what are you doing, Sophie?”
Sophie didn’t answer, nor did she even look at Asher . With her eyes closed, she just enjoyed the taste spreading into her mouth . Compared to the general foie gras dish, she felt it was really delicious . Citrus air had a refreshing taste, but what impressed her the most was the chicken leg patties because that distinctive lightness of chicken reduced its greasy texture . While chewing the chicken grains left in her mouth, she eventually swallowed it . She opened her mouth, looking at the empty fork blankly, as if she felt a bit empty .
“Anyway, there are only sixteen pairs now . Even if we eat the dishes of just one team a little more, I don’t think it will affect our evaluation . ”
“But I’m not so sure, Sophie…”
“Sophie, it will taste differently if you eat it again . ”
When she said so as if she was completely charmed by Min-joon and Kaya’s dish, Asher as well as the other judges looked at the plates with intense curiosity . While checking each other’s expressions, they eventually reached out for a fork . A little later, there were no traces of any leftover on the plates .
‘Wow! How come they can make the judges have a meal and not just evaluate their dish?!’
Even the audience in the stand drooled, watching that very unusual scene . They knew that the judges here were not just ordinary, but famous and talented enough to represent France as far as French cuisine was concerned . But the pair’s dish made them unable to resist their appetite . What kind of taste did it have? They even thought that the pair’s dish could taste better than the main menu of a fine restaurant .
And Min-joon was able to answer yes if they asked him about it . Simply considering the intensity of the taste, this dish was the most overwhelming among the dishes with a cooking score of 10 that he had ever made . Of course, among the secret elements of this delicious dish were the luxurious fatty taste of foie gras itself and the perfect smoke taste created by Kaya .
‘Well, this means the best dish in my life is the one that I have made with Kaya . ’
Normally, Min-joon could feel it regrettable that he didn’t make it by himself without Kaya’s help, but he didn’t this time . Rather, he smiled before he knew it . Was it because he liked Kaya as a chef as much as he liked her as a woman?
Of course, Min-joon was standing in this venue with a light heart, but the judges had a lot of thoughts in their minds at the moment because the pair’s dish completely shook their existing perception of foie gras . They just wondered how the pair could bring out the taste of other ingredients while still reviving the original flavor of foie gras . They even thought that this was probably a recipe that would revolutionize the existing recipe for foie gras .
In fact, the gaze of other chefs participating in this contest was not usual when they checked the pair’s foie gras dish . At first, they simply dismissed it as a failure, thinking they made a mistake . But after checking the response of the judges, they now realized that the pair’s dishes far exceeded the judges’ expectations, let alone their narrow-minded thinking .
The pair could have let other participants draw the most attention of the judges and the audience at least once in this contest, but they never did like a greedy child . Watching this ‘greedy’ pair, Norris cleared his throat and said, “In fact, I think you already know what we’re going to say at this point . ”
“Yes, because this is the first time you’ve completely emptied the plates here . ”
“You have really surprised us in several ways . I like it from the beginning . You are transcending common sense and imagination . Ordinary people don’t even think of challenging it . ”
Maybe that was the thing that separated the genius from the mediocre . There were some people who just gave up even before they tried something, but there were others who kept trying to find the solution to a problem . It was only natural that there was a big difference in the final results of the two later .
“I don’t need to talk about your recipe for long . I think this balanced dish with foie gras and other types of meat is probably the best that I’ve tasted in my life . ”
“Thank you . ”
“What is as impressive as the recipe is the chicken patty . ”
When Norris said that, the other judges looked back at Kaya gently because they knew everything he was trying to point out . In fact, anybody could feel the difference even if they were not gourmets . Probably, the patties the pair made today would never ruin a restaurant, even if they serve it as the main menu . It was so fantastically roasted that even the judges wondered how the pair could cook like that . And they all knew that the one who was in charge of roasting was Kaya .
“It’s a perfect role distribution . Min-joon is in charge of the recipe and overall cooking, while Kaya is in charge of the heat adjustment . Maybe Chef Kaya’s skill in adjusting the heat is the best in the world . ”
“Thank you . ” Kaya smiled in satisfaction .
She knew now that the way she dealt with heat was her strength, so she was in the thick of developing it further these days because it would be beneficial to her to raise her superior skills to the point that nobody could catch up with her rather than trying to make up for her mediocre skills . Interestingly, she was already gaining an almost perfect control of the heat adjustment that nobody could even imitate .
“I can feel that you guys are a fantastic match . I have never seen a pair who knows how to maximize each other’s strength like you . If Chef Kaya is a genius in terms of heat adjustment, Chef Min-joon is a real genius in terms of seasoning . Lots of people don’t appreciate the taste of jelly genuinely, but you brought out an exquisite blend of taste from it . You maximized the taste of fat, the taste of sugar, and the taste of wine, but at the same time, you enhanced the taste of foie gras and patties . Aside from all that, it’s really hard to come up with this kind of concept from the beginning . But you’ve made it!”
“Thank you . ”
When Min-joon answered with a calm voice, Norris opened his mouth .
“Last time, I gave you 10 points, saying that you couldn’t make your dish better . Honestly, I feel the same thing this time . But I won’t give you the score this time . I just feel it’s funny for me to evaluate your hard work by the cooking score and praise it . ”
“I enjoyed it very much . It was one of the most popular foie gras dishes in my life . I even wanted to cook like this at home . Thank you for sharing this wonderful dish . ”
“You’re welcome . Thank you for enjoying it . ”
At that moment, other judges opened their mouth, clearing their throat .
“Well, unlike Norris, we have no choice but to give you a score . But I hope you know that we’re on the same page with Norris . ”
“Of course, I know . ”
“So, can you rate our dish?”
After a few moments, they showed the average score .
9 . 5 out of 10 points
That was the highest score in this competition .
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