The passion of the absolute sense of taste, Jo Minjoon.
Most people tend to at least have one dream. But no one can challenge that dream while also throwing away what they have. Because of that, all the while when I was about to go and meet the youth, my heart was flustered. How many people would there be that come to the US for a competition just with the passion for cooking?
Although he couldn’t attain victory, he gained popularity that chefs in Korea can’t get after ten or twenty years of effort. Although you wouldn’t know about Korean people, whose characteristics are that they aren’t interested on cooking programs, at least among Korean cooks, he would be the most famous one. Just when searching for his name on a site there are hundreds of thousands of articles related to him, so arguing anymore about his fame would be meaningless.
Some may think that for someone that doesn’t even have experience to get famous would be unrealistic. However I don’t agree to that thought. Jo Minjoon has plenty of qualifications to show off that popularity. The first one is traveling all the way to the US just by believing on his passion, the second is the absolute sense of taste no one in the world can have.
To interview him we came all the way here driving on the car and we almost crash on streetlights because I was drunk on expectation and a flustered heart. And after that danger, Jo Minjoon faced us with the vivid and soft smile we saw on the broadcast.
- You got a better start than most chefs that are in Korea, how do you feel about it?
- “Cooking is like that. Even if you cook it well, season it well, and also do the plating well, if you twist your feet in the middle of going to the customer it all disappears. I still haven’t finished the cooking process of that. And that’s why this moment feels more cautious. If I had ruined it, I would be more open headed. But at least the first step was good.”
- What’s the reason you weren’t conscious of your absolute sense of taste?
- “Mmm….. Actually, it’s a bit difficult to reply that this actually is an absolute sense of taste. I can only feel the ingredients well. Scoring it, well, I’m just talking about the cooking state.”
- Even so, the scene you guessed 20 ingredients consecutively, even I got goosebumps by that. Actually, it’s something impossible for anyone in the world. Most of all you even guessed what meat it is, no, what part it is.
(At these words, he just replied with a smile.)
– I heard that you were planning on dropping of college, won’t you regret it later?
– ”I won’t. If in case, I expend time in a path that wasn’t for me, I would regret that more. Life is short, and the twenties doesn’t come back two times. As it’s the most important time, I want to spend it on what I love the most.”
– I thought of this when you said that it’s the thing you love the most……But while Grand Chef was running, there’s someone you got related to that love.
- “Ah…..” (He put an expression as if what had to come had come.)
- Can I ask you what’s the actual relationship with Kaya Lotus?”
- “Actually even I thought of that when I looked at the edited parts. That it looked like a drama. But the certain thing is that our relationship isn’t that of a couple, but of friends.”
- Actually, even when you see it after removing the romantic parts, I get the feeling that you resemble each other a lot. On the side of cooking. Miss Kaya tends to cook international food, and you are also like that. What do you think about that part?
- “Saying the truth, I also thought a lot about that. In the case of Kaya, she can express every country as if it’s hers. But I can’t do as well as Kaya. It isn’t that Kaya studied all of those dishes, but she got accustomed to it because she experienced on her life.”
- “Actually, when I looked at people that call themselves masters, they investigate and improve one dish in tens of years. And I’m talking about things like Seolleongtang(설렁탕), Kalguksu(칼국수), Kongnamul kukbap(콩나물국밥), Sushi(초밥). Honestly speaking even if I do have some skills, will I be able to surpass the Seolleongtangs and, Kalguksus those people make?”
- It will be difficult.
- I don’t think that it’s difficult, but it’s impossible. No, even while thinking of their enthusiasm and effort, that can’t be possible. That’s why once, I wondered a lot. That as I make many things, the depth of it wouldn’t turn thin.”
- Taking into account you said ‘once’ does it mean that you got over it?
- Rather that getting over it, I think that I found the answer. In the end, the specialties are different for everyone. Being bound by boundaries or not, if you mix red and blue at first you will simply get a messy blue and red, but if you keep mixing it purple will come out. Then, you can take in this and that colour.”
- Having this conversation, I couldn’t help but be amazed. Actually, the biggest reason I got to meet him was because of his international popularity and his absolute sense of taste, but after meeting him it simply became to the point that I want to know more about his cooking world.
For normal chefs, precisely speaking young chefs, it’s difficult to even have a philosophy on cooking if they weren’t geniuses. But could it be because of the special situation? He had to wonder about a lot of things until now, and the result of that was that he had created his own cooking philosophy. Just like the worries of a chef deepens, it would be obvious for that flavor to also deepen.
Soon, Jo Minjoon will participate on the continuation program of Grand Chef called ‘Hunger Trip’, that’s about a tasting travelling. People that got access to this will focus on the point that a Korean would participate on an American broadcast, but I want to focus on another place.
If this young and talented cook experiences various foreign cultures, so if he makes it his own, just how wonderful of an experience will the dishes he cook be? Jo Minjoon said that his final objective was to make food that made people happy. I think that his dream will probably be realized. Because just by imagining about his cooking, I already got half happy.
Song Mingi : Jo Minjoon you are cool.
Ahn YaeSeul : Certainly my man.
ㄴNopeMan : Nope.
ㄴAhn YaeSeul : @NopeMan ㅡㅡ
Yakult : That Hunger Trip won’t be available nationally, right?
ㄴ DumbNDumber : I heard that it won’t. I don’t know about cooking competitions, but if that’s broadcasted in Korea it will have quite many viewers……
ㄴ Yakult : @DumbNDumber There are similar broadcasts nationally. But I think that’s the reason why it’s not popular. There will be few people that look for foreign dubbings or subtitles.
Lee JungSeok : Just look how incompetent that reporter is. She can only do that much? You should at least ask him when they will marry.
MJ : I actually saw Jo Minjoon, but he’s more fine than on the screen.
ㄴ NopeMan : Nope.
Jo Minjoon read all of the comments. His popularity in Korea could be said that it is ‘Ah, I did hear about that. He has absolute sense of taste?’ There weren’t many people that recognized him on the streets, and when some did recognize him it wasn’t to the point to ask him for an autograph. Although very few people did ask him to take a picture with them……
And on this place, you couldn’t feel their interest at all. Brazil. Jo Minjoon hanged a piece of paper that had Emily Potter written on it and stood on the entrance. Jo Minjoon said to his appointed cameraman.
“Emily’s late. The plane should already have arrived an hour ago. Is there something on the examination that takes long?”
It was obvious but the cameraman didn’t reply. He couldn’t make his voice go to the broadcast.
Although he heard that there were many participants, he had to be alone with Emily on today’s broadcast. Could it be a feeling like looking for your comrades? Martin said that the others would slowly appear. Honestly speaking, he didn’t care what happened with the others. What bothered him the most was what kind of food would he eat.
‘Will I eat meat first?’
He thought of roasted skewers. Churrasco. It was a traditional Brazilian food that you put meat, vegetables, etc. on the skewer and ate it. There would be many other dishes aside of that, but Jo Minjoon had only eaten that Brazilian food.
A woman with blonde hair came out of the gate and was looking around. She wore short jeans that sticked to her body, a white shirt with Picasso’s self portrait and a cardigan that had gray and blue mixed in it. It seemed like she tried not to look extravagant, but the feeling overflowed. Even if she half covered her face with a sunglass, you could know that she was Emily Potter.
Jo Minjoon raised his voice. Emily turned her head and soon, smiled brightly and approached him.
“Ah, sorry. I was late, right?”
“Did something happen on the examination?”
“It wasn’t me, but a person that was in front of me seemed to try to come in with drugs, but he got caught.”
“………How scary is Brazil.”
“Isn’t the US like that too? It’s almost the same.”
Emily talked like that and took off her sunglass. She frowned because of the sunlight and then opened her mouth.
“Martin, where are we going now?”
“Before telling you where we are going, we will tell you the basic rules.”
At Emily’s confused expression, Martin laughed ill naturedly.
“You have to have three meals per day. It doesn’t matter whether you buy it or do it yourselves. Only, you have to eat something that can be called a meal.”
“What if we don’t?”
“You will be given a penalty. For example sleeping outdoors, reduction of activity fees.”
“……Fine. Is there something else we have to know?”
“As it’s the first day, let’s pull a simple joke.”
“You will soon know about it.”
Emily and Jo Minjoon looked at each other without saying anything. Their own faces became a mirror. The nervous mirror. The two thought simultaneously. ‘It’s not the romantic atmosphere I thought it would be……’ Martin checked the time and said.
“It’s 10 in the morning. As today is the first broadcast, I will give you one privilege.”
“You can only eat lunch and dinner. We will overlook breakfast.”
They couldn’t understand just why was that a privilege. Emily’s face became anxious and then opened her mouth.
“How much will you give us for the food?”
“Even I don’t know about that. You will have to decide.”
“We can choose how much we get?”
“A choice is a choice.”
Martin lent a can. It was a can that had long wooden sticks in it. And then said with a wicked voice.
“Here, pick one.”
< Hunger Trip (2) > End
(PR Note: Looks like a start of a new arc… I feel excited… and hungry.)
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading!
PR note: So, in the end, it looks like Anderson’s going with Jo Minjoon. I knew it. Hehehe. Just kidding.
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Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa