“It’s good to see you again.”
Alan said with a composed voice. He hugged Rachel and Emily for a moment, and then looked at Jo Minjoon.
“Minjoon. It seems you grew a bit?”
“No. Even if the soles of my shoes do grow, it won’t happen that I grew.”
Jo Minjoon laughed playfully and pointed his shoes. After Alan greeted Anderson, he looked at Jeremy and Sera.
“It’s been a while, Mister Jeremy. I’m holding the evaluations you left after you came to my restaurant deeply in my heart.”
“…….Uh, I don’t remember well, but did I compliment you?”
“I wonder. If I were to tell you some things I remember……. It would be that the apple rice cake I made for dessert was disgusting, and that other people made so many good comments to the point your stomach hurt that you would refrain from it. Well, it would be that.”
“Hoho, people nowadays don’t have the time. I don’t like looking at the same contents again.”
Jeremy laughed naturally and spoke. Perhaps he wasn’t thinking to talk back, but Alan smirked, turned away, and put a soft smile.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Alan Craig. Just call me Alan.”
“Ah, yes. I’m Sera Keitch. It’s good to see you like this. You are someone I wanted to meet one day.”
“Wait. Alan, you know Sera?”
“She came out as the model for the main page in the Cuckoos magazine as the sexiest epicurean in the world. Everyone that should know, knows about her.”
“…….But you aren’t the type to look at magazines.”
Alan evaded to answer and looked away. Jeremy smirked next to him.
“Even if you don’t see magazines, there are times you get to buy it. That’s why the strength of the cover is that great.”
“I understand what you are talking about.”
Sera smiled sexily like a model and looked at Emily. Emily moved her mouth sluggishly as if something was bothering her, but she didn’t say anything.
“But how did Alan come? Ah, is it because of teacher Rachel?”
“That’s the biggest reason. How can I not come when my teacher came.”
Alan put a smile that didn’t suit him and looked at Rachel. Rachel cleared her throat. Alan said with a serious voice.
“Thank you for returning, teacher. I wanted to see you standing in the kitchen again, teacher.”
“……..You didn’t learn long below me, but your feelings are the same as the others.”
Rachel said with a bit moved face. Alan was still in his middle thirties. When Rachel left the kitchen Alan was barely 24…..And obviously, he had only learnt for a few years below her. So she could only feel thankful of Alan’s feelings. Alan replied with a calm voice as if it was obvious.
“Just because it’s short it doesn’t mean it’s shallow.”
Soon, they got up on a van and went towards Florence. When they first arrived on the airport they thought that beautiful buildings of the time of Roma would greet them, but what was in front of them was only a plain and a wide road. Soon, Martin contacted them with a radio.(walkie-talkie?)
[ Ah, ah. Can you hear me?]
“Yes. We can.”
[ Right now it’s vaguely the time to eat lunch or dinner. That’s why I think that it would be fine to visit places until it becomes night. Alan. You know many good places, right? ]
“I even know how many buildings there are on Florence. Don’t worry.”
[ How many are there? ]
Silence flowed through the radio. Alan placed it down as if he had won. Anderson, that was focused on driving asked.
“How do you know that?”
“I just guessed.”
Emily asked with a surprised face. Alan shrugged his shoulders and said.
“I don’t even know how many forks there are in my kitchen, how will I know the amount of buildings in Florence? Even so, Martin will be investigating right now. If I said it right, or if I just guessed.”
“……..You also like teasing people.”
“I’m not that vile of a person. I just like teasing Martin.”
“Last time when he came to my restaurant, he vomited on the floor. Even when I told him to control himself with the alcohol……..”
Jo Minjoon burst out of laughter. And then he opened his mouth as if he was curious.
“Now that I see, are there also many jerk customers in your restaurant? At least, I don’t think they will pick a fight with the flavor.”
“Why won’t there be? Even when I was running teacher Rachel’s Rose Island that was in Venice, there was at least one jerk per day.”
“How were they?”
“I will answer that. There are people that spit on the dish and at times people that vomit at it…. And there are people that smoke on places that were VIP and were no smoking places, just because it was VIP. There were also some that skipped the bill, it was only once but there was someone that pretended to order something and left a dead cockroach on the dish.”
“……The last one doesn’t seem to be a jerk, but someone that suffers of a mental disease.”
“The heart of people are like that. However much you hear that it’s delicious, that it was a good time……. After they experience it once the good energy they had piled up through the day disappears in an instant.”
Rachel pouted with a regretful face. Alan added.
“Anyways, as we are now functioning with reserves, at least those kind of terrorist became harder to see. But of course, in the case the restaurant isn’t popular to get filled up, it would be vulnerable for those kind of people. Actually, the reservation is difficult by itself. As there are people that just make the reservation and don’t appear, there are many cases where you are keeping a table and just throw off money. No show. You heard of it, right?”
“Ah, yes. I really can’t understand that. You just have to call once.”
“Even I can’t understand it. But the problem is that non understandable problems are too frequent. There are more restaurants you can think of that go bankrupt because of no show. That’s why there are places that don’t take reservations at all.”
“Anyway, since we are now operating through reservations, those kind of terrorist acts became harder to see.
Alan said as if he couldn’t do anything about it and soon smirked and looked at Jo Minjoon.
“Why? Are you worried for when you get to run your own restaurant?”
“I know. I would be thinking of a future that’s too far away.”
“No. That’s a desirable look. But a problem you can’t do a thing about it, just don’t think. There’s no need to stress yourself mentally.”
“I’m doing that. I feel flustered while thinking where to run my restaurant and things like that. Well, for now I will have to accumulate experience before thinking of that”
“If I got a place on my restaurant I would call you……But honestly speaking, even as I see it it’s not somewhere to come while learning Italian. There would be many places in the US, and in other places in the world welcoming you. Perhaps…..”
Alan glanced at Rachel.
“It may be on a closer place than you think.”
Florencia, it was one of the countries that was less exposed to the war in Italy, and of course in Europe. When they saw the culture of the buildings and duomo(cathedral) from hundreds of years ago that survived, and the Palacio Medici Riccardi, Jo Minjoon got moved more than when he saw the Thai palace. It was the first time he felt that buildings were pieces of art.
‘I want to open a restaurant on a place like that.’
“Let’s decide where to go.”
Emily said with hungry eyes that could be seen at one glance. Just like her reins loosened in front of food, it was also obvious that she got sharper in front of hunger. As you could clearly see that she wanted to run off to somewhere and shove in food, it was rather seen cuter. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“I’m certainly curious about pasta.”
“Panini for me. Pizza is also good.”
“Anyways, you have plenty of time so you will be able to eat it all. But first, you will have to erase the burden. I recommend sandwich. There’s a really famous store over here.”
Alan opened his mouth. As he was a resident, the weight of his words could only be different. All the others nodded unconsciously.
“Let’s go then.”
The place Alan brought them to was a store that seemed like a truck and also a container. There were only three people in the kitchen taking the orders, and in front of them there was a menu written in italian. Alan read the menu.
“First, I will explain the most basic composition. You can only choose the bread for sandwiches. And you can also choose the meat and the sauce you will put in.”
“……It’s similar to the sandwich stores there are in the US?”
“It’s similar, but the flavor can’t be compared at all. Trust me. Personally I recommend the lampredotto made with cow intestine.”
“Ah, wait a moment.”
Sera shone her eyes and then said something to the chef. In Jo Minjoon’s ears it was heard quite fluent, but he couldn’t actually know. Sera brought a panini after a while and lent it to Jo Minjoon and smiled.
“I have never seen your absolute sense of taste properly. Can you show it to me once?”
“………You are really a child in unexpected areas.”
“What can I do? Actually, I have always been curious, but I couldn’t ask you because I may seem ill-mannered. I think that we can start to ask these things now. Are we not that close?”
“Give it to me.”
Sera looked at Jo Minjoon with throbbing eyes. It was a bit burdensome, but soon Jo Minjoon took a bite of the panini. There were no grill marks, and the bread was quite swelled up. Jo Minjoon liked this panini more. If it was pressed in the panini, the slightly burnt feeling and the taste becomes more abundant, but it was easier to feel the texture of the bread and the original hardness of the bread.
Jo Minjoon looked at the panini for a moment. Next to the panini, the system window was telling that it was 7 points. It was a good dish. Because it was at a similar level to what he normally made. Nowadays he became more picky as he hanged out more with Rachel, but even so it was plenty to eat it deliciously.
The moment it entered his mouth the system was showing him the ingredients, but Jo Minjoon didn’t look at that. For now he wanted to guess until he could.
“……..First, there certainly is cow intestine. They fried onions and fresh basil in olive oil…… and they also put in garlic and peperoncino in it. Olives, simmered caper, rucula…… on the tomato sauce there’s tomato, fresh cream, a clove of garlic……Well, there’s the things I already named put in it again. Also…..”
From now on it was the territory of the system. Jo Minjoon slightly turned his eyes and checked the things he wasn’t certain about. And then said with a vivid voice.
“There’s white wine and honey. I’m a bit surprised about the honey. It seems like it was mixed with the sauce later on.”
Two things. The things he couldn’t guess were only two. Is it because of the continued training of eating by feeling the ingredients? As he put a proud smile, Sera looked at him with a speechless face.
“………Right. I don’t know the ingredients of the sauce, but you guessed the ingredients that are in it.”
“Honestly speaking, you can do it if you concentrate enough. You said you usually practiced feeling ingredients.”
“You know that it doesn’t have any credibility coming from someone that has an absolute sense of taste, right? I couldn’t do it however I tried.”
Sera pouted with a depressed face. Jo Minjoon felt rather strange. Sera’s tasting level was 8 like him, and his tongue wasn’t special at all. At least, that was what he thought. But he said Sera wasn’t able to do what he could.
‘Does the system also make my tastes more sensitive? Or……’
Originally he was sensitive, but he wasn’t conscious of it. It was when he thought like that. Sera put on a face that she wasn’t certain at all and then approached to the chef again and opened her mouth. An astounded expression appeared on the face of the chef for a moment, but after Sera’s words, he looked at Jo Minjoon with an interesting expression.
And then he took out some ingredients and started to chop it. He did it to the point you wondered if he wasn’t grinding it, and then smeared it on the bread. Jo Minjoon, that was looking at that at a distance, got astounded as if he was sick of it.
“You want to make me eat that?”
“Absolute sense of taste, I want to know how perfect it is.”
Sera’s eyes shone. It could only be like that for her. For someone that had an absolute sense of taste to appear before an epicurean was no different than Beethoven appearing before a musician. Even Emily, when she first knew that Jo Minjoon had an absolute sense of taste, approached him to make him an epicurean.
The newly made panini entered Jo Minjoon’s mouth. Everyone was looking at Jo Minjoon with nervous looks. Gulp. His adam’s apple moved and then……..
He opened his mouth.
< Florencia’s dawn (2) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading!
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Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa