“For us, of course we can. No, even if we couldn’t we would make it so it becomes possible. How many people there are that really want to taste Rose Island, you know that real well. Rachel.”
The king said while smiling calmly. Rachel smiled brightly and turned to look at Martin. Martin didn’t even think about it and nodded fiercely. Rachel Rose that would be cooking for the king. Whatever you did for dinner it wouldn’t be as exceptional as this. He didn’t have any reason to stop her.
“Fortunately, it seems like our PD is also fine with it. Then, should we do it for tonight?”
“We are always ready. I will immediately tell it to the kitchen.”
“There’s no need to hurry that much. I don’t know who they would be, but there are these many desserts made with care. Let’s enjoy it a little.”
“Oh my….I was a bit too hurried.”
It was a scene that didn’t suit the king at all, that was picked as one of the calmest person by the media. But he could only be like that. Ten years of not having tasted Rachel Rose’s food passed like that. Precisely speaking, they were dishes made by her and her husband Daniel, but even if Daniel wasn’t here Rachel was a plentily amazing chef.
Anderson split the crepe that was below him and soon said with a careful voice.
“Teacher Rachel. May I help you?”
“Thank you Anderson. Always so gentle.”
Rachel looked at him as if he was admirable. Anderson put a smile on his cold face and then ate the crepe again as if nothing had happened. The crepe with tens of layers and the cream of the cake was surprisingly soft and sweet. A feeling you were eating the sweetest and coldest meringue on your mouth. He couldn’t know if that was simply because of the skill of the chef or because of Rachel’s compliments. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“I will also help.”
Sera quickly said after Jo Minjoon. As the situation turned like this, it became an atmosphere where Jeremy and Emily couldn’t stay still. Jeremy cleared his throat and said.
“Huh my, I didn’t think I would return to the kitchen.”
“I didn’t tell you to help me though?”
“Acting that way again. Rachel. Even if you don’t like me at all remember this. We are broadcasting right now.”
“I know. That’s why i’m saying such pretty words.”
Jeremy smiled and shook his head. He didn’t want to argue anymore. He didn’t have the leisure to think about anything else other than being drunk by the after taste of the ‘tom yum thai’.
Emily hesitated for a moment and then looked at Rachel with an awkward face.
“I really can’t work well……But should I help you?”
“Help is always thankful. Think as it as you are doing a wife class. It will be quite a funny experience.”
“Wi-wife class? I still don’t have anyone for that…..!”
“I wonder. As I heard nowadays……ah, nothing.”
Rachel looked at Emily with an ill-natured face and then shut her mouth because of the king. She asked to the king.
“Do you have a dish you want?”
“Actually, there’s a menu I longed for the past 10 years.”
“What is it?”
“I’m talking about the two-course menu you made me and my wife.”
“……Ah, you were talking about that.”
She seemed to be searching in her memories and soon she nodded. She was also like that, but now her eyes were shining quite seriously. Jo Minjoon read the state window that appeared next to her.
Cooking Level : 9
Baking level : 8
Tasting Level : 9
Decoration Level : 10
‘……She’s certainly amazing.’
However much he saw it, he always got amazed. Cooking level 9. When he first saw this he thought that it was obvious. And he wasn’t that surprised at the baking level 8. Because he thought that as she had age, she would also have the time invested in baking and had the time to polish it.
But for the tasting level to be 9, it was really surprising. She was on her sixties. Her tasting pores should already have been dead. But even so, to maintain the level 9……..It meant one of the two. That she controlled it well despite of her age, or that her tasting level was so high even those dead cells couldn’t do a thing. Perhaps, her cooking level could have been 10 at a time.
And the decoration level was also another thing. 10. Actually, this was the first time he had seen another person reaching level 10 aside of Kaya’s tasting level. Just how good is her handicraft? Even Anderson, who had a decoration level of 7, showed luxurious pieces of art that made people get surprised several times. A kangaroo made with lemon, the back of a turtle made with olive. It wasn’t just once or twice that he got amazed looking at it.
Just how luxurious things would Rachel be able to make. He could only expect. In the other side……
Cooking Level : 6
Baking Level : 5
Tasting Level : 9
Decoration Level : 4
In the case of Jeremy, excluding tasting level, his levels weren’t that high. He did say that he was a chef once, but as he himself said that he wasn’t a skilled chef… Maybe it could also be because his skills rusted on the time he rested for a long time.
But of course, an epicurean only had to taste well. And his tasting level was 9. Taking into account that he was older than Rachel, the standard of his tasting would be incomparable to ordinary people. It was like that even with the tip he taught him this morning. He showed him a magic that was sprinkling thai vinegar and chili sap on pad thai to instantly make it have a cooking score of 7 when it was 6. There certainly were many points to learn from him.
‘I’m going to take it all.’
It was a trip for that. But of course, the fees that were given to him were also one of the other reasons. The biggest reason Jo Minjoon decided to travel with them was on these points to learn. And right now, the kitchen to work together with Rachel was in front of them.
He was hungry. And to satiate that hunger, his greed was quite deep.
“Ah, I ate really deliciously.”
Kitchen. Jo Minjoon thanked all the chefs in the kitchen with a polite attitude. But unfortunately they didn’t know how to speak in English, and as they kept hearing “Aroi. Aroi.” that was ‘delicious.’ in thai they said “Thank you.” and smiled.
While the chefs were leaving the kitchen for them, Jo Minjoon looked at the back of the leaving head chef. She, who became 50 this year didn’t have a cooking level that high. 8. It could only be magnificent. It wasn’t because she became the head chef of the palace kitchen with a cooking level of 8. The tom yum she made, looking at the attitude of the king it seemed like the quality was always like that.
But she had a cooking level of 8, how could she keep cooking a 10-point dish that stably? He couldn’t do anything about thinking like that. But of course it would be possible for the recipe that was piled up for tens of years and she had the know hows……Even so, it was magnificent.
‘If I have a perfectly made recipe and experience, would I be able to do it?’
It wouldn’t be easy. The children that inherited a restaurant from their parents wouldn’t take tens of years to recreate the same flavor. Probably, the chefs of the palace must have spent quite a long time to recreate only one tom yum thai.
“We are going to make a two-meal course today. A starter and a main. Only two.”
“I was curious about that point. Why only a two-course?”
Emily asked with a curious face. Rachel replied calmly.
“When the king first came to our restaurant, he was quite exhausted on the culture of courses. He could only do so. In Thailand they don’t spend that long of a time in a meal. That’s why I thought I had to show a short and thick meal.”
“What kind of dish was it?”
“It’s simple. The starter was an avocado soup to relieve your nervousness. And the main……Back galbi which external part was cooked once in the grill, and after that cooked with tom yum in a low fire, and on top of that I mixed steamed crab meat and starch…… I cover the back galbi with breadcrumbs and fry it again.”
“……It’s really complicated.”
“It’s still not the end. We are going to mix apple cider and white wine on sugar and we are going to rest onion, cucumber, and cabbage. I’m going to peel the potatoes and fry it……”
Rachel started to have fun talking and then she felt the gazes and said ashamed while holding her hands.
“I’m sorry. As I will stand in the kitchen in a long while I feel scared and also flustered.”
“For now, shall we practice a bit? We have to raise the completion the most we can before it becomes night. Shall we start?”
The cooking started. As it was the kitchen of the palace, they didn’t lack any ingredients. Rachel didn’t rest for a moment and went here and there. She taught Sera how to stir the avocado soup next to her, and also talked to Jo Minjoon that was boiling the back galbi on the already made tom yum stock.
“Do you know why we aren’t resting the back galbi and boil it in a short time?”
“Mmm……Is it because the aroma of the tom yum is too strong? To the point that even if we don’t ferment it for a long time, plenty of flavor comes out.”
“That’s also it, but it’s to make the meat a bit softer. But of course, some people may prefer chewing the meat clearly, but our customers have a bit of age. Their teeth aren’t as healthy as the young ones. That small consideration makes the big difference. For a chef it may be just another gentleness, but for the concerned person it becomes a warm feeling to the point they get teary. The difference between a first- and a third-rate chef isn’t on the technique. It’s on the heart about the customer.”
Rachel looked at Jo Minjoon’s eyes.
“In the end a chef exists for the sake of customers. A chef that isn’t considerate on customers is just a person that cooks, and not a chef. Remember this. Between chefs that ignore customers, there is no one that lasted long. At least, the conclusion I got of my 60 years of life is like this.”
“I will take that into account.”
“I will be expecting it.”
Rachel smiled softly. Anderson came after he separated the giant crab meat and mixed it with starch. Rachel nodded and said.
“Now cover it with the coating and fry it. I will handle the potatoes for a bit.”
The giant crab meat sticked on top of the back galbi. He covered it with breadcrumbs again, and as it got inside the boiling oil, the bubbles that raised seemed just like lotus flowers. Jo Minjoon looked at that and thought. Lotus flower. Lotus. Kaya Lotus.
‘…..It’s a disease.’
It was when the back galbi got moderately fried. Rachel appeared. That moment, Jo Minjoon could only get shocked. The potatoes on Rachel’s hand had various shapes. Some were eagles with spread wings, and others had the shape of tigers. The amazing thing was that in the case of the eagle each and every feather and in the case of the tiger every lines were clearly done. And it wasn’t that she had taken long, but only some few minutes. Jo Minjoon said with an absentminded voice as if he was possessed.
“Your decorating skills are outstanding……..”
“Honestly speaking, my husband cooked better than me.. And I didn’t want to get buried by him. I thought that if my husband was in charge of the flavor, I would be able to catch the attention with the eyes. As I practiced all my life while thinking like that, sculpting became easier than cooking.”
She was saying it calmly as if it was nothing, but how much would have taken to say those things lightly. A married couple. Lovers. That was the most important thing in the world, but they were also the ones they didn’t want to fall behind to. Feeling a sense of inferiority by the one you loved the most was a really horrible thing.
The potatoes started to get fried on the oil. When they were taking out the back galbi, Sera approached and brought apple cider, cabbage and cucumbers rested in white wine, onions, etc. It seemed like she saying that she liked cooking wasn’t a lie. If it were, it would be difficult to be showing a smile like that that was having that much fun.
“I already pickled it. What should I do now?”
“A moment. This pickle…..The aroma is a bit vague. Was the apple cider or the white wine stored in normal temperature?”
“Yes. I think so.”
“Ah, I’m sorry but you will have to do it again. Only if you rest it coldly will the true flavor be felt. You can do it again, right?”
“Of course. I will do it right now.”
Sera, that got sent back right in front of her, didn’t feel bad at all. She nodded and walked away a few steps. And then she turned back and said.
“But what do we do with this? Can I eat this?”
“Of course. But don’t fill your stomach. I will make you something more delicious.”
Sera grabbed the pail that had the pickles with one hand and with the other hand she put a ‘fighting’ posture. Jo Minjoon smirked. She was a really energetic girl. Anderson opened his mouth.
“I’m taking it out.”
“Yeah, do so.”
The thongs raised up the back galbi. The crab meat and the back galbi that were in the dough got red on some parts which originally was transparent and white perhaps because of the tom yum. Then, Sera placed the rested pickles and Rachel placed the bok choy and fried potatoes. Jo Minjoon looked at the window that popped in front of him with a proud expression.
[Back galbi fried crab meat rested in tom yum sauce]
Freshness : 97%
Origins : (Too many ingredients to show)
Quality : High
Cooking Score : 9/10
9 points. Although he hadn’t completely made it, and only participated in one thing, a 9-point dish appeared with only following Rachel’s orders. He felt just how important a head chef was. Bringing a dish of a completely different level even with the same cooks. He could kind of feel what kind of feeling that was only now. His eyes could only be buried in admiration. But Rachel ate a bite of the back galbi and shook her head. She said with a firm voice.
“Let’s do it again.”
< In the royal palace (2) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading!
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Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa