Published at 12th of January 2021 02:25:03 PM
“I guess we have been too complacent . ”
While watching the news on TV, Dobby spoke with an empty smile .
Eva shrugged at that and said, “They don’t have to make a fuss over it . You haven’t even shown your dish yet . ”
“Why are you talking about that?”
“Because I know you can make a better dish than this one . ”
“Don’t say that . If you say that, it looks like I’ve not done my best . ”
“You haven’t done your best, have you?”
“I’ve done my best,” he replied with a stubborn voice . Eva’s eyes narrowed .
To be honest, she felt he didn’t maximize his cooking skills when he made the dishes for this contest .
He smiled lightly at her suspicious look, “Do you think I’m lying right now?”
“I know you’re good at cooking . I also know you can’t be pushed out by Min-joon so easily . ”
“Then you should know I didn’t lie, right?”
“Tell me in plain English why you said you really did your best?”
“Well, I’ve always done my best when cooking . The dishes I made in this competition were the best I could ever achieve with that concept . ”
“You didn’t have to stick to that concept, right? You don’t want to say there is only one cooking concept in your mind . ”
“Of course, I had more concepts . But I just wanted to make the dish when its concept came to my mind at that moment . That’s why I made it . ”
“It would be no problem in a normal situation, but you’re participating in the international cooking contest . You have to win, right?”
“Did we lose?” Dobby asked back in a calm voice .
But Eva could not reply, stuttering . It was rather ambiguous to say that he lost or did not lose . The Dobby pair didn’t get the first prize, but they achieved the goal of surviving this contest .
He said with a smile, “What we need to focus on right now is surviving, not ranking,”
“But you have to pay attention to the rankings . For now, you can get 2nd or 3rd place . But you won’t be satisfied with that . Wouldn’t it be better for you to adapt to the reality that you’re now participating in the contest?”
“You’re right on that . Maybe I was just enjoying cooking too much here . ”
“You’re really weird . How can you be so complacent when you’re so anxious to be the head chef of a local Rose Island? If I were you, I would be on alert and bend over backward to get the first place . ”
“You and I know well that chefs racking their brain to make the best possible dish are leading a tough life day by day, right?”
Eva didn’t have to think about what he was referring to . It was June, the head chef of the Rose Island’s New York branch . Dobby respected June very much, but that didn’t mean he wanted to live like her . She had unrivaled culinary skills, cleverness, and charisma, but he didn’t want to live like her who was basically too busy to feel relaxed at the end of the day . Maybe it was for this reason that June liked Dobby because he didn’t act like her . Even though Dobby led a liberal and leisurely life, he achieved what he wanted . So, it was not strange at all to say that June was getting a vicarious satisfaction in his easygoing life .
“Let me show June that she could enjoy life even if she didn’t lead a busy life .
“Man, don’t do it,” she let out a sigh as if she had nothing to say .
He said with a bright smile, “Don’t worry . I’m done enjoying it . Now…”
“Yeah, try to focus more on this contest . Think of a dish that can give you an overwhelming victory! You might not believe it, but how you are building up your good image can also help you get a better evaluation . ”
“Eva, what I wanted to say is I’m going to enjoy my life more fully from now on . ”
She frowned her eyebrows . He opened her mouth, squeezing the wrinkles between her eyebrows with his fingers, “I’m going to enjoy not only cooking, but also competing in this contest . Of course, I’m going to enjoy the victory, too!”
On the bed, Chloe curled up like a baby in a soft blanket . It was 12:30 am . If she didn’t go to sleep now, she would be in trouble the next morning, but she couldn’t sleep . Her head was throbbing, and her eyelids were so heavy, but she could not have any sleep for some reason .
Since she couldn’t sleep, she wanted to read anything, but she threw herself into bed after reading about ten pages of a novel . She wondered that if she closed her eyes hard, she could get some sleep, but it didn’t work . After all, she looked out the window with a gloomy expression . It was raining hard, which she could not see in Los Angeles . She got close to the window and whispered with resentment, watching the rain that came down on and off, “Why are you so mean? Just stop raining . I can’t go to sleep because it’s so noisy…”
She threw a tantrum like that, but she knew that it was not the rain alone that made her unable to sleep . She turned away from the window and pulled the blanket over her head . The noise of the rain faded then what the judges said in the contest was echoing in her ears .
< As a judge, it’s been a while since I didn’t like the scoring system . In the past, I was comfortable because I didn’t have to drop someone out of the contest, but I’m not now . >
< I can really feel that you’re a really good pair . I’ve never seen a pair like you who know how to maximize each other’s strength . And if Chef Kaya is a genius as far as adjusting heat is concerned, Chef Min-joon is a genius as far as seasoning is concerned . Lots of people don’t think much about jelly, but you have made it with a really exquisite combination . You have maximized the taste of fat, the taste of sugar, and the taste of wine without denying each other’s taste, and at the same time, you two upgraded the taste of the patties and foie gras . Aside from bringing out this taste, I think it must be very difficult for you to come up with such a concept . >
That was what the judges said in the contest . Of course, the target of their praise was Min-joon and Kaya, not Anderson and Chloe .
Chloe muttered in a soft voice, “Min-joon and Kaya, you guys are so cool . ”
Sometimes she thought about it . If Chloe confessed to Min-joon and he accepted it, would she feel so miserable now?
Come to think of it, she felt it was really weird . Obviously, she succeeded . People liked her, and even though she worked as a TV cuisine host for a year, her cooking skills were still excellent . Thanks to that, she earned enough money to forget her financial worries, and her carrier was full of stylish and luxurious clothes .
But she felt she was not as competent as before . That was so ironic . She wondered where people could find confidence . In the past, she thought she could find confidence because of her looks, money, or fame . She had them all, but she just felt empty . Because of that empty feeling, she could not sleep, turning over the pages of a novel that she could not enjoy .
‘How can I be cool, too, like them? How can I regain my confidence and self-esteem? How can I regain her position as the star? How can I have the skills of Min-joon and Kaya who made such a dish? Can I have it if I try?’
She kept agonizing over it, with her eyelids becoming heavier .
But she didn’t go to sleep . Her thoughts and worries, her angst and fear forced her to awaken . Eventually, she went out to the kitchen with a tired expression . She felt she had to do something . And what she could do for now was cook .
After pondering over it for a moment, she recalled Min-joon and Kaya’s recipe . It was a dish with foie gras, chicken leg patties, and chicken skin . However, there couldn’t be such ingredients in the refrigerator . She momentarily agonized about going to the market to buy the ingredients .
The door of the room where Kaya and Min-joon opened . At that moment, Chloe got tense . When she turned her head to them, Min-joon was standing there at the end of her gaze, who she wanted to see the most, but at the same time, she hated seeing him the most .
“What’s up? Why are you awake now?”
Chloe smiled awkwardly and put her hands on her stomach .
“Good . I was going to eat something because I was hungry, too . You want to go out to eat?”
“Sounds good . But how about buying something and cooking here rather than going out?”
Chloe looked at him cautiously . She looked restless like a frightened puppy, so he could not refuse her suggestion . He nodded, and she smiled as if she was relieved .
After that, they didn’t talk until they went to the market . She looked very tired, although she said she couldn’t sleep because she was hungry, so he wasn’t sure what to say to her now .
“Did you think about the recipe?”
“I want to make the dish according to your recipe . ”
“I was curious about why the judges praised your dish so much . Do you think I can make it, too?”
“Of course you can if you want to make it…”
“What a relief!” she said with a smile, which was the palest smile he had ever seen on her face . So, he guessed that she had something to worry about, but he was not sure if he had to ask or not . He would ask if she was just an ordinary friend of his, but she was not .
“At the contest . Everyone paid attention to you, listened to you, and swallowed while watching you and your dish . You were the star . I guess nobody would deny that . ”
“How can I look cool like you?”
It was an unexpected question . He looked askance at her .
She smiled as if she felt sorry, then said, “Sorry . I just feel under the weather tonight . I didn’t ask you out for this . ”
“Why do you think you’re not cool?”
“I don’t know . I just don’t know why I feel I’m lagging behind you . Maybe it’s because you and Kaya are so great . It seems you have gone too far for me to catch up with you . I find myself already feeling tired when I even think about it . I feel so pathetic about myself . Just edit what I have just said . ”
“What are you talking about? There is no editing in our life . This is not a broadcast . ”
“Oh, you’re right . In fact, when I was with you, we’re usually on the air, so I feel like it’s rather awkward that you and I are not on the air right now…”
After she said that, they became silent again . At last, Min-joon grabbed the umbrella and opened his mouth . It was raining hard, but his voice was calm . She could hear it clearly in the rain .
“I see you are faster with your hands than before . ”
“I mean your hands . You were not that fast with your hands when cooking . But when I saw you today, you were really fast with your hands . Am I flattering you too much if I tell you it’s cool?”
She burst into laughter as if it was funny . She looked down at her hands, which were small and delicate . She could not hold the handle of the umbrella with her small hand .
“Thank you anyway for praising me like this . ”
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