Thailand and Japan were the most famous powerhouses in cooking for asians. Although you could also see some strong points in chinese cuisine, because of most of the chinese residing overseas the food got culturalized according to the country but compared to that japanese and taiwanese cuisine didn’t lose it’s colour as easily.
That’s why there were many cases where eating taiwanese food in the US or Europe is considered like a sophisticated tasting preference.
Pataya. That’s the region where they arrived. It was also one of the famous relaxation cities together with Bangkok. His heart was already filled with expectation. Thinking about the emerald light beach they would see soon and the lined up stalls in the streets with various colours, everyone could only put on a happy smile.
However when they finished the immigration procedures and were about to leave the airport, they could only cool down their excited hearts. Martin talked to them with an expression you couldn’t know the meaning of.
“I have a mission to give you.”
“Ah, there’s no need to be that wary. You just have to concentrate on your tasting lifestyle like usual. You came all the way to Thailand, and just like teacher Rachel said before you have to fill your bellies well. Today, specially, we will also give you unlimited meal fees.”
As he came out that honestly, they felt rather uneasy. Emily opened her eyes sharply and asked.
“Yes. And there’s one reason why i’m giving you this much consideration. Accomplish a mission.”
“……..Just what kind of mission is it?”
“There’s no need to think about it that seriously. The mission isn’t that hard. Every time you eat a meal anywhere, you will be given one point. And for each point, you will be given one hint.”
“The place where the next participants are.”
At that moment, Jo Minjoon let out an exclamation with an ‘ah’. Well, Martin had already said it last time too. That Anderson and Rachel wouldn’t be the last. Martin continued saying in a calm voice.
“Two participants are waiting for you. And now you will be divided in two teams.”
“We are each finding one?”
“Yes. If perhaps, you are lucky and fast witted, after you empty one dish and get a really important hint you will be able to complete the mission immediately. And there’s one more thing you have to know.”
Martin paused for a moment. When the eyes of the four of them were filled with stuffiness, he opened his mouth.
“The team that finds the participants first will be able to spend the night in the most expensive penthouse in Pattaya. Well, for the team that got late will be only a hotel.”
At those words Emily’s eyes shone. You would wonder what meaning was there for a daughter from a house with a lot of money, but rather because that was the case she knew the value of the prize Martin gave even more. She quickly asked.
“How do we make the teams?”
“I would like to say to make the teams freely……But unfortunately, the participants that will appear today are related to you. Emily, Rachel. Today, you won’t be able to form a team.”
“……It’s a bit confusing, but the both of them are people we know?”
“No. There’s one acquaintance for Emily and one for you. So you will each have to face your own friends.”
Rachel didn’t reply and fell in her thoughts. As he said acquaintance, she could only feel more uneasy. She didn’t meet anyone for 10 years after her husband died. It could only be difficult to hear good things with whoever she met. She remembered the words she shared with Douglas yesterday.
‘Are you planning to raise that guy instead of Daniel?’
What did she answer to that? It was when she was thinking like that. Rachel slightly turned her head at the gaze she felt. Anderson tried not to show it, but he kept glancing at her. Rachel smiled bitterly inwardly. She had only cooked for her a few times and treated him well when he was a kid, but it seemed like Anderson engraved that goodwill too deeply in his heart.
But of course, it wasn’t that she disliked Anderson’s attitude. Who in the world will be able to hate someone that adored and liked you? Rather, she also felt sorry. Compared to Anderson’s feelings, she was paying too much attention on Jo Minjoon.
“I will go with Anderson.”
At Rachel’s words, Anderson put on an absentminded expression as if he was surprised and then smiled brightly. Martin looked at that Anderson and smirked, and then asked Emily.
“It seems like the two of them decided like that, don’t you have any objections?”
“……..Whatever I say, it doesn’t seem like he will come with me. For me it’s good going with Minjoon, but will he like it?”
Emily turned to look at Jo Minjoon. He grabbed his bag and said.
“What will we eat first?”
There were four things that took their attention the most while walking Pattaya’s street. The first was the face of the king. TV, posters, bills and also in taxis. It was to the point that you would remember his face for life even after walking Thailand’s streets for a day.
The staff advised with a careful voice. Under no circumstances should they point the face of the king with their fingers. He said that Thailandeses treated the king almost like a living buddha, so if it seemed like they were being even a little bit disrespectful they would get caught for blasphemy.
The next thing they saw the most was funnily things related to hallyu. He had only heard the word and never experienced it…….But listening the K POP that was turned on stations or stores, he got a weird feeling. Could it be said being proud and embarrassed? He felt like a kid that got up on a school art stage. But of course, no one would pay him any mind.
The remaining two were envelopes and stalls. Thailandeses, that didn’t have kitchens in their houses and didn’t even know the concept of house meal, tended to eat a meal on a street stall. The result of that was that the culture of packing food simply developed, and looking at the transparent envelopes over the kiosks, he felt a really marvelous feeling. Night. The street tainted with the light of the sunset, and the many shapes hidden in the transparent things……
But of course, it wasn’t that everyone had packed their food. The kiosk Jo Minjoon and Emily were seated on was like that. Over a white and yellow dough heated in a steel pan with coconut oil, banana, strawberry jam and condensed milk was sprinkled.
The banana that was sliced by the half moon knife got placed in front of the lotti and Jo Minjoon and Emily shared it amiably. They had to eat many dishes a bit quicker and acquire points. Even so, as they wanted to enjoy more dishes, ordering one dish and eating it the two of them was a limit.
The cooking score was 5. But looking at the ingredients it contained, it couldn’t be not delicious. Inside the soft and sticky flour dough, the faintly spreading aroma of the coconut. When the banana that had condensed milk met with the strawberry jam, Jo Minjoon laughed unconsciously. Emily opened her eyes roundly and asked.
“Why are you like that?”
“Haha…..As it’s too sweet and delicious, I feel like I made a sin.”
Honestly speaking, it wasn’t a good dish. At least in Jo Minjoon’s standards, it was like that. However on the stimulation of the flavor, it was certainly stronger. Because that was the charm of food.
“There are many more things finer than this. Come here.”
Emily lead Jo Minjoon and moved. The sun was setting on the east with the sea, and the store owners were lighting a small lamp for the night.
Between the full stores, the sight of tourists and natives seating in seats that were so small to even seat caught his attention. Why could it be? That he felt a calm and warm feeling in that busy and non leisure sight.
“It’s good. Here.”
“It would be one of the most romantic places in Asia.”
At Emily’s words Jo Minjoon nodded. It was then. A loud voice was heard from a store. A youth that was wearing white runnings and shorts and was bulky was frowning while leaving the half eaten roasted chicken in front of him. From his mouth, a rough english intonation was heard.
“Hey, owner. Why is the state of the chicken like this? It’s too tough. Aren’t you using something past the expiration date?”
“Uhh….. I, can’t speak english well.”
“Only english? You also can’t cook. There’s also burnt traces in here. As you sell this, you also don’t have any conscience.”
As the owner was a bit dwarfish and old, he couldn’t reply anything and just smacked his lips with a perplexed face. The surrounding people did frown, but they didn’t butt in. Whether they were tourists or natives, they wouldn’t want to get mixed in things like this. On top of that, the one picking a fight was really muscly so it was quite overbearing. Honestly speaking, no one would want to mess with him.
Jo Minjoon just looked at the actions that youth did. His eyes were quite fierce compared to usual. If there were people that liked to stack and pile up things, there were also people that liked to destroy that and say whatever they wanted. And Jo Minjoon had never allowed the actions of those kind of people.
“Minjoon. Endure it.”
He didn’t reply. He was already enduring it. Because he was enduring it, he was standing still. But there was a reason why Jo Minjoon could get angrier than others. And that wasn’t because he was a chef. It was because he could see the cooking score of the chicken. Compared to how the youth was implying, he knew really well that it was a fine dish.
[Thailandese chicken breast barbecue]
Origins: (Too many ingredients to show)
Cooking Score: 6
The cooking score was fine coming from a cheap dish, and the freshness and the quality were also good. At least, it wasn’t a store that would mess with food. Because of that, he couldn’t consent at all those proofless criticism.
And soon, when the youth turned over the dish and the chicken fell on the ground, Jo Minjoon had to stand up in the end. Emily hurriedly extended her hands, but Jo Minjoon was already walking forwards for her hands to grab her.
Jo Minjoon, that walked in front, grabbed the chicken that fell in front of the man that had his face reddened. The youth looked at Jo Minjoon with a perplexed face. No, it wasn’t only the youth. Emily, the owner, the staff and the tourists that were watching all looked at Jo Minjoon. Some were already raising their cellphones and pressing the record button.
And under those sights, Jo Minjoon chewed down the chicken that had dirt. There was also a time where he grabbed the norimaki a jerk customer threw. But this time, it wasn’t simply thrown food, but it fell on the ground and got covered in dirt and sand. But even so, Jo Minjoon didn’t hesitate. Because only after he ate this chicken would he be able to say something to this youth.
Some let out exclamations as if it was dirty and some that it was amazing. The sand got chewed between his teeth and disappeared. Jo Minjoon chewed the meat and sand still and looked at the man. He flinched for a moment, but looking at Jo Minjoon’s body that wasn’t too big he broadened his chest as if he had gotten himself.
“What are you doing right now?”
“It’s delicious. The meat isn’t tough but chewy. It’s not overcooked and the exterior that got burnt was seared on purpose. It’s not that it got burnt.”
“I’m saying that your evaluation is wrong. And also saying that the criticism you spewed was also wrong.”
Jo Minjoon said with a composed voice. But on his eyes, a cooled anger could be seen. If the youth also wasn’t blind, he would be able to see it. He laughed as if it was ridiculous.
“So, are you telling me to apologize?”
“If you did wrong, you have to. My parents taught me like that, but it seems like yours didn’t.”
“…….Just where do you get that confidence from? Are you going to get ahold of yourself only after you get beaten by me?”
The man talked like that and soon looked at the cameramen and staff that were a bit far away from them. He could vaguely realize that it was some kind of broadcasting. Although he didn’t know what kind of broadcast it was, he couldn’t ignore it at all. As there were also many cameramen around, there was a high possibility for him to get arrested if he swung his fist thoughtlessly without even being able to talk back.
But he didn’t want to lower his tail because of his pride. While thinking like that the man grabbed Jo Minjoon’s collar. But Jo Minjoon didn’t look dispirited at all. Jo Minjoon lowered his eyes as if he was disdaining him and glared.
“Shame? Shame would be shutting my mouth and not saying anything to you. If i don’t say anything now, who will open their mouth for me when I get caught up with a jerk like you?”
“Don’t talk as you please. When I can still endure it.”
“But why are you doing so right now? Before, you bent your anger on a fine meat. You may be able to endure it or not, but that person couldn’t say anything. What do you think is the reason? Because he’s really not confident on his dish? Because he really used a weird dish? No. The meat was fine. And the cooking was also well done. But that person couldn’t say anything. Because you are his customer. A chef can’t get angry on his customer. But. Are you really a customer?”
Jo Minjoon’s eyes became fierce. The man was really speechless. Normally, looking at his body even if you said the same words you would refine it a bit, but Jo Minjoon was charging at him right as if his family was the one that got bad mouthed.
Only then did the man realize that the atmosphere was turning to a bad direction. Just because he was big and had some trained muscles it wasn’t that he could control the flow. But rather, the strength right now was holding it the asian youth that was standing in front of him. Real strength was the silent cheering of the surrounding people, and the lens that were at the sides.
- Isn’t that person Jo Minjoon?
- Ah, the one that came on Grand Chef?
The words that came out from the words of some tourists was the decisive blow. Precisely speaking, he didn’t know what program it was, but it was certain that he was quite a famous person. He was an adversary he wouldn’t get anything good while confronting him like this.
In the end, the man let go of Jo Minjoon’s collar. He could only do so. Jo Minjoon spread the crumbled clothe with his hands and opened his mouth.
“I will give you an opportunity.”
“The opportunity to apologize to this person. Or.”
Jo Minjoon raised his finger. The long finger pointed at the strong clenched fist that was like a cannon ball. A chilly voice was heard.
“Hit me. However you want.”
< The envelope that embraces the street stall (2) > End
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Translator : Subak
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