God of Cooking – Chapter 11: Grand Chef preliminaries, and… (2)

It was a really basic question. However it could judge whether or not you had real cooking experience.

The onion was basically a vegetable that had a texture. If you cut it vertically that texture would be followed, however the texture would die if you cut it horizontally. And an onion which texture died, compared to one that was alive, was softer and it felt less spicy.

Jo Minjoon answered simply to that question. Emily nodded.

“That’s right. Then the next question. When you cut bell pepper, do you slice it from the outside? Or from the inside?”
“From the inside.”

The part where people made the most mistakes when handling pepper was on this one. You chose to slice it from the outside because it looked easier, but in this case not only did the bell pepper not slice well, but the cells also got destroyed and the nutrients flowed out from the juices. Cutting from the inside was easier and could conserve the nutrients better.

“Fine. Then I’ll ask a similar question as before. What’s the difference when you slice bell pepper horizontally and vertically?”
“If you slice it vertically, the nutrients get comparatively destroyed. The taste is closer from a natural pepper, but it’s difficult to keep the unique aroma of the pepper. If you slice it horizontally, the pepper gets harder, however you can feel the aroma clearer.”

Even after that, he kept answering similar questions. The difference of low and high heat cooking. When making a dough, what were the differences when using different kinds of flour. They even asked the characteristics and harmony of the ingredient when you combined spices and condiments.

And after all that, the one who opened his mouth was Alan, who was silent.  He opened his mouth conservatively while keeping a blunt face.

“You passed the interview. Minjoon, prepare your signature menu. I’ll give you 30 minutes.”

“Yes. I understand.”

There was no congratulations. Nor cheers. It was obvious. This was only giving the first step. It was on the level where they let you hold a pan and a knife.

Jo Minjoon bent his head lightly and left the interviewing room. And he went towards the countertops. It was as if he heard the news of having passed, the cameraman came to him and opened his mouth.

“Congratulations. What kind of dish are you planning to make?”
“Roasted bream with pepper sauce.”
“Are you confident on being able to satisfy the judges standards?”
“7 points. I’ll make it.”

The cameraman couldn’t help but feel puzzled at the unexpected words of 7 points. He wouldn’t know if it was 10 points, but for it to be 7 points. Was it that he was expressing that he wasn’t confident? However Jo Minjoon’s face that was thinking like that wasn’t the slightest bit dark.

There was a reason Jo Minjoon talked briefly like that. Every broadcasts were the same, but on auditions, as if it happened all the time, was a character the audience shared in common. He didn’t want to talk long, fearing that he was going to get cut and edited from the video.

With exception of basic ingredients like garlic or onion, you had to bring the main ingredient in an icebox. Jo Minjoon walked towards where the Dean family was waiting. Lucas gave him the icebox and said.

“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who can give flavor and those who can’t. You are the former. I believe you will get good results.”
“Thank you.”

Jo Minjoon received the icebox as he smiled. The cameraman captured the moment when Jo Minjoon was with Lucas, no, the Dean family. Even at first glance, it was evident that they weren’t family. So what relation could they have? Of course, there was still no need to get curious. Jo Minjoon getting out in the broadcast was entirely up to the judges. Precisely speaking, it depended on how much fun factor was contained on the process. Jo Minjoon’s background was worth knowing when it became an issue.

Jo Minjoon went towards the counter. At the end of the table was a camera installed, and on each counter was a cameraman in charge. It was a bit awkward to cook as usual, but Jo Minjoon didn’t mind.  In the first place, he wasn’t the type to mind other people glances.

Jo Minjoon took out the ingredients from the icebox. Bream. And saffron. These were the ingredients Jo Minjoon prepared. And for the rest, he just had to pick from the provided ingredients by Grand Chef.

The system became helpful on cases like this. Because he could know the quality without touching or doing anything of the sort. So each time Jo Minjoon stretched his hand, he grabbed a top quality ingredient.

And the ingredients he grabbed easily were simple. Pepper, garlic, scallions, thyme, basil, olive oil, grape seeds oil, butter, salt, white wine, and bell peppers.

What Jo Minjoon tried to make right now was a dish that he had made several times, and perhaps more than a hundred times. The bream that was roasted using the arroser technique, and the spicy yet sweet pepper sauce. Also it was one of the dishes Jo Minjoon was the most confident at.

First of all, what Jo Minjoon handled first, was the bell pepper. After Jo Minjoon turned on the fire, he put the bell pepper above it. And he poured cooking oil moderately on a frying pan.

After that he trimmed the scallions. The skills which he sliced the white roots weren’t ordinary. Even Jo Minjoon got surprised. Was it because his cooking level went up that his knife skills got more proficient?

He didn’t have the leisure to be daydreaming. Jo Minjoon threw the sliced scallions in the hot oil. The nice aroma of the scallions expanded with the frying sound. Jo Minjoon turned his sight from the scallions and looked at the pepper. The side of the pepper that got in contact with fire was burnt black, but Jo Minjoon’s face was rather calm. It was that like he had wanted to burn it in the first place. If you burnt scallions, pepper or paprika, the smoked flavor sticked to it and the original aroma intensified.

The scallions got well fried after just a minute because it was thinly sliced. Jo Minjoon took out the scallions and put it on a kitchen towel. He needed to take off the oil. Anyways, the scallions were going to be used as decorations after the dish was completed. He had plenty of time.

Suddenly, the pepper got all of it’s sides burnt. Jo Minjoon peeled the burnt pepper while
cleaning it with cold water. If you cooked pepper this way, it’s flavor became deeper than when you cooked with another method.

However that wasn’t the end. Jo Minjoon wiped the water on the pepper with the kitchen towel, and put the garlic, thyme, basil, grape seeds oil, salt and pepper in the bowl. After that, he started to grate it with a hand blender. This was going to be the sauce.  A sauce that shines a delicate green. If you filtered it with a sieve and compressed it, it became pure. So it wasn’t that he was going to make the bream outstand, but was going to cover it all.

As he finished the sauce, the last thing left was the bream. Jo Minjoon spread olive oil on the frying pan and turned on the fire. Then started to handle the bream. After sprinkling white wine as if applying, you put on some salt. Of course it was moderately. Because the seasoning was the sauce.

Jo Minjoon put the bream on the hot oil. After he felt that the skin was getting crunchy, Jo Minjoon flipped it around making the skin face upwards. And he put in a lump of butter.

The butter that melted instantly started to mix and concentrate with the olive oil and the fish’s oil. Jo Minjoon tilted the frying pan a little and sprinkled the oil over the breams skin. *Arroser technique(glossary). The technique was also called as basseting when using it to fry meat or fish.

If you kept sprinkling oil like this, the exterior got crunchy but the insides got moist.

When the bream was almost done, he still had 5 minutes left. Jo Minjoon slowly poured the pepper sauce on the plate. The sauce got larger as if brush painting, and on top of that was placed the bream. After that, placing the already fried scallions was the finishing touch.

[You completed the bream with pepper sauce!]
[As you tried making a difficult dish, you are given an additional point!]
[Roasted bream with pepper sauce]
Freshness: 89%
Origins: (Too many ingredients to figure out)
Quality: High(Average ingredients)
Cooking points: 7/10

< Grand Chef preliminaries, and… (2) > End

Translator’s note: Regular chapter of the week!

Regular chapters being released on tue, thurs, sat and sun

Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled

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