Doing something with a good will didn’t always show good results. And like that, the dish Rachel made for the king with all her power brought an unexpected bad……no, a little weird situation.
Jeremy was right like that. Could his satisfaction because of Rachel’s back rib have been instantly raised? He spat out bad comments on every restaurant he went.
“You just seeped in the smell and the flavor can’t even be felt properly. I told you to cook but you are doing fraud.”
As he was an epicurean, he could do that much of an evaluation. But what made the situation complicated wasn’t that he was talking by himself, but that he was saying those things to the chef himself. Even so, if it was on English he would be able to understand…… But he searched on a thai dictionary and complained really earnestly.
Could the grudges of those people reach the heaven? The day before they were supposed to leave Thailand, a sound of the clouds tearing was heard and soon rain fell as if it was exploding. In the end, the flight got extended, and the staff and the participants all had to stay in the waiting room of the airport.
While sitting on a not that comfortable chair, Jo Minjoon organized the dishes he ate while he was in Thailand on a palm sized note. And on that note, it didn’t simply had the things he ate in Thailand. Dishes he ate on Brazil, and even when he was at Grand Chef, the recipes and tips and the characteristics of dishes by countries were written.
For example in India, there was a thing like the preferred spices when cooking dishes with fruit and chilli, and excluding the ones that had dairy products. How perplexed was he when he first heard that. Fruits and chilli. It wasn’t a combination to be easily imagined because of his culture.
Sera, who glanced at Jo Minjoon’s note, expressed amazement.
“You are really meticulous.”
“I decided to become a chef. There’s only one path I have to walk, so I need to at least do it well.”
“…….A man that works hard, how cool. Minjoon. Keep maintaining that posture. You look really sexy.”
“Is that sexual abuse?”
“What a woman as charming as me does isn’t abuse, but seduction.”
Sera talked like that and flew a kiss on the air. It was at that moment she thought that Jo Minjoon lowering his head was quite cute. Emily pulled Sera and then sighed.
“Don’t bother an innocent person.”
“Lecturing me again, I’m not a kid anymore.”
Jo Minjoon just looked at the two of them. There was one thing he realized while being with them, and that was that Sera was quite aware of Emily. At first it seemed that Emily lost some pace because of the blunt character, but after a while it rather felt that Emily was taking care of her spoiled niece……. Sera was strange. Could you say that she was a little sister admiring her older sister and acting that she wasn’t? And actually the difference of ages was like that. Sera was 24. Emily was 31.
“Hey, look at this.”
Anderson called Jo Minjoon. His finger was pointing his cellphone. Jo Minjoon, that extended his head, soon smirked.
“It looks like she is doing well.”
It was Chloe’s picture. She was wearing a chicken costume, and was cooking for children. As she went to a 5-minute recipe broadcast constantly, it seemed that she was also being called from other places. It was also because there were children, but looking at her face that was blooming with a smile he felt good. Anderson, that wasn’t only showing pictures of Chloe but on Marco, Hugo, etc. opened his mouth.
“Aren’t you thinking of starting Starbook?”
“I have never thought of it.”
“You don’t lose anything by using it. It’s also important for chefs to improve their image.”
“……I thought that you were going to be quite reserved on these things, you are quite open minded.”
“I’m realistic. If it’s helpful I’ll do it. Rather than eating something without knowing who I am, it would be more delicious to be expecting me. Then, is there a reason not to do it?”
“If you tell me to find a reason, it’s not that it doesn’t exist. You know that. Things like blind test. Simply evaluation without looking at the exterior of the dish.”
“That’s a method used in competitions. In the end, the image of the chef is also put in the dish. Before the food touches your tongue, raising your expectation isn’t only the aroma and the appearance.”
“I understand what you are trying to say. In the end, you are telling me to start Starbook, right?” (PR: So it was at this point that I realized that it’s like Facebook. Sorry I’m slow.)
Anderson touched the screen. Many familiar faces appeared.
“Look. Kaya is also using it. Although she’s not the type to upload many things frequently, look. She already has ten thousand fans.”
“And how many do you have?”
“…….Uh, I started recently.”
“So how many do you have?”
At Jo Minjoon’s stubborn question, Anderson smacked his lips for a moment as if he was perplexed and then lowered his head with a sulky expression.
“Two thousand seven hundred.”
“Oh, that’s a lot. But why are you putting that dispirited face?”
“It’s not a lot. Compared to the others, it’s so so. Even Chloe passed six thousand people.”
“You said you started recently.”
“……Actually I was the first to start after the competition ended.”
At the attitude of confessing an important secret, Jo Minjoon couldn’t hold his laughter anymore. Anderson frowned.
“What is so funny?”
“Kuhu……..It is. For the unparalleled Anderson to be suffering with these things.”
Anderson snorted as if was spouting nonsense. Jo Minjoon smiled brightly and said.
“One day, you will naturally pile them up. What will happen if teacher Rachel joins Starbook? How many tens of thousands……No, won’t it be possible to get some hundreds of thousands?”
“I wonder. She is indeed famous, but she also has her age. The fans of teacher don’t have the age to be looking for famous people on Starbook……”
“You are a fan but are young.”
“There aren’t many like me.”
“Now that I see, why are you following teacher like that? No, I know she’s someone you can only follow……Perhaps, did you go when you were small? To Rose Island’s main branch.”
It was a short reply but Jo Minjoon’s eyes shone even more brightly. He asked with eyes filled with curiousness.
“How was it?”
“It’s impossible to tell me to express it with words. Even so, at an age that my tongue was sensitive…..It was shocking. I can’t say more than that.”
His chest heaved just by imagining the restaurant. Maybe, 10-point menus would have been waiting in line on that restaurant. Just what kind of heaven could have been? Jo Minjoon regretted that he wasn’t born earlier. If perhaps he had, he would certainly go there. And meet him. The husband of Rachel in his younger days. There were many things he wanted to ask, learn and feel from them.
But he still had an opportunity. Although he wasn’t at his best, he still had Rachel next to him. He remembered the words Emily said to him. That getting the attention of Rachel is something most chefs can only dream of. And Jo Minjoon wasn’t planning to let go of that chance.
Jo Minjoon looked at Rachel. His eyes, which was looking at the tired Rachel who was sleeping with her head tilted, wasn’t normal. It was at that moment when Anderson glared at Jo Minjoon. Martin approached them.
“I got contacted just now. They say that the flight will be released in one hour.”
“Ah, we will be able to leave immediately?”
“Yes. If you have things to prepare before you leave, do it now. And if you want to go to the store you can also go.”
“Where are we going after Italy?”
“That’s of course a secret. You will get the fun of expecting. You can guess.”
“Well. Actually, it’s too much just expecting for where we are going right now. Italy. Personally, I like Italy’s dishes from Europe the most.”
Jo Minjoon gulped down the gathered saliva. He had many things he was curious of. When he went to Italian restaurants in Korea, the cooking point was different for each chef, and he also wanted to know how an ideal al dente felt like……..And he also wanted to know how the flavor of an Italian meat would be, and the flavor of the sauce or purée made with Italian fruits was. Thinking that he would soon be able to experience it, his heart beat as if he was going to an excursion.
After everyone talked for a moment, it became silent. Some chose to sleep, and some looked at their cellphones. Jo Minjoon was the latter.
[ Me : Are you busy? ]
[ Kaya : No. I’m going to the airport right now. ]
Fortunately, it didn’t seem that they missed the time. As it was a message from quite a while, Jo Minjoon moved his fingers with a really excited face.
[ Me : Can I call you? ]
[ Kaya : Yes.]
[ Me : I will call you. Wait a moment. ]
Jo Minjoon pressed the call button and brought his cellphone to his ear. As Anderson looked at him with a weird face, Jo Minjoon smirked and moved his mouth to say ‘Kaya’. Anderson turned his head after putting an astringent face.
The signal was long, perhaps because it was an international call, but soon a familiar voice was heard. Kaya opened her mouth. If perhaps what came out of her mouth was a dish, it would be good to express it as it was fermented with sleepiness and roughly cooked.
[ I’m tired. ]
“Why are you saying that since the start? Are you sleeping nowadays?”
As Jo Minjoon started the conversation, Martin sent an eye sign implying who it was. Next to him, Anderson opened his mouth instead. “He say’s it’s Kaya.” Martin sent an eye sign towards the cameramen and asked them to zoom in on Jo Minjoon. Jo Minjoon didn’t even know that situation and continued the call with a comfortable expression.
“No. It’s still not the time to sleep. How’s over there?”
[ It’s dawn. Don’t tell me to sleep. How do you know when we will speak again? ]
“What’s that important? Your body becoming bad is more of a problem.”
[ This is a problem for me. I don’t know when was it since I had a conversation like conversation. The people I meet are always residents, customers, or other chefs. When I contact you and the others at times, I feel that I’m resting. ]
“Who do you contact with aside of me?”
[ It’s obvious. Mom, my sister, and……Marco. Chloe and I couldn’t match our times that easily. So we send and receive messages once a day. ]
“Chloe is also busy. So, is your body okay?”
[ I don’t know. They don’t even send me to the hospital so how should I know? I don’t. When I get to know later on, I may have an incurable disease. ]
Jo Minjoon frowned. He didn’t feel good even with imagining it.
“Don’t say that. So, where are you now?”
[ Germany. But in a few hours I will be at Italy. ]
“……..Italy? I’m also going there. Are you appearing on our broadcast?”
[ No way. They say they are doing a Grand Chef broadcast on Italy, and they told me to show myself as the winner. Even though I don’t know any Italian. ]
“Will we be able to meet?”
[ If it’s near we will be able to. Escaping when it’s dawn.]
“It would be good if it’s near.”
The conversation between the two didn’t finish for a while. Ten minutes, thirty minutes, fifty minutes. Only after it became time for the plane to depart did Jo Minjoon finish the call.
“I soon have to get on the plane. At least get some rest on the plane.”
[ Yeah. I will hang up. ]
Only after he ended the call did he realize that the other people were all looking at him. He said with an awkward expression.
“Is there a problem?”
The flight time was a bit more than 12 hours, but because of the time zone difference, it was exactly 2pm when they arrived at Florencia. As they passed the immigration post and got outside, Martin cleared his throat and gathered everyone. Then he opened his mouth.
“This is Italy. And today, we brought a special guide that will lead you.”
“A special guide?”
Emily asked with a strange voice. At that moment Jo Minjoon thought up of Kaya. Kaya certainly said that she was coming to Italy. Although she said that she was going to Italy’s Grand Chef…..Maybe? He thought of that.
Martin just looked back instead of replying. The man that was a bit farther away than him slowly walked towards them and took off his sunglass. At that instant, Emily gulped some air.
< Florencia’s dawn (1) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading!
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Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa