“……..It was that delicious?”
Anderson frowned as if he couldn’t believe it. Jo Minjoon nodded.
“It was almost similar to what we ate on Alan’s Olive Island.”
It was an evaluation without exaggeration. Although he couldn’t see a 10 points dish until the end, making dishes on that level alone with limited ingredients meant that it was a plenty fine store even while compared to Olive Island.
“For a store run by one person to be similar to Olive Island……As it is you the one saying it, it shouldn’t be an exaggeration.”
“If you come to Japan later on, it would be good if you go there.”
“……Ah, Sera and I couldn’t enjoy it that much. Every sushi restaurants we went to had fishes on bad conditions, and when we entered ramen or udon stores, we saw that most of them used noodles made in factories.”
“Masters aren’t people you can see that frequently.”
“I heard by the staff, you only found good places. Can you get a feeling just by watching?”
“Well, it’s similar.”
Jo Minjoon shrugged his shoulders. Anderson lied down on his bed and looked at JO Minjoon with weird eyes.
“Do you know that you are quite detestable at times?”
“Yeah. A guy that has all the talent that can be named act as a normal person, and on top of that don’t slack off on working hard.”
“You already know that chefs can’t do anything with just talent and without working hard, why are you like this?”
“Did you see someone being jealous logically somewhere in the world?”
At the impertinent voice, Jo Minjoon turned his head and stared at Anderson. Anderson frowned.
“You are jealous of me?”
“Why? Am I not a person? Not even letting me be jealous.”
“……No, it’s just funny. Because I was also jealous of you.”
Anderson frowned as if it made no sense to him. Just who was jealous of who. He had never thought that he would hear the words ‘I’m jealous of you’ from someone that had an absolute sense of taste.
“Are you making fun of me?”
“No, it’s the truth.”
“Why are you jealous of me?”
“You cook well.”
Anderson still looked at Jo Minjoon with confused eyes. Jo Minjoon shook his hands and said.
“But i’m not saying that i’m still jealous of you. On the early stages of Grand Chef…..I was really jealous of you. You grew up from outstanding chef parents and absorbed all of their knowledge..Your basic skills that can only make your talent flourish, and the conviction I can feel in you about cooking when you gave me advice. And most of all……”
Jo Minjoon smiled playfully.
“You could face against Kaya in the finals. And I couldn’t. I was also jealous of that.”
“Don’t they say that if you don’t want to end as a normal person, you have to have a crazy part in you?”
“It is important on what are you crazy about.”
“On cooking. WHere else will I be crazy?”
“Only on cooking?”
Anderson’s eyes became sharp. Jo Minjoon turned his head.
“Sleep. We also have an internet broadcast tomorrow at midday, so it would be trouble if we have dark circles below our eyes.”
“If only you get out, I will go to sleep. So don’t mind.”
“Do I turn off the lights?”
Click. The lights got turned off. And after 6 hours from that, at 5a.m. The silent alarm started to ring. It was an old jazz music you would hear in old bars.
Anderson slowly lifted his body up in his sleepiness. Although they didn’t broadcast that late, they also didn’t do it this early. But even so, the reason why he woke up this early was simple.
‘I can’t lose today.’
Recently, Jo Minjoon and Anderson started to have some kind of weird competition. Perhaps, it may be better to think that it was a one-sided competition from Anderson…… He didn’t want to show his sleeping side when Jo Minjoon was cooking breakfast alone. To Rachel, to the cameras and to Jo Minjoon.
He may be able to win today. Even if Jo Minjoon was diligent, he wouldn’t be in the kitchen at 5 in the morning. It was when he walked to the kitchen while thinking like that. Anderson’s expression stiffened.
“…..What is it.”
The lights in the kitchen got turned on. There were several ingredients placed on the cutting board, and a few dishes on the table. Rather than having made breakfast, it looked like they were experiments. When he opened the turned off oven, he saw a still hot mackerel in it.
And Jo Minjoon was asleep while seating on the chair of the table. Did he fall asleep after setting the timer of the oven and waiting. Anderson opened his mouth.
“Hey, wake up.”
Jo Minjoon didn’t react. It was the same even if he shook him. Well, looking that the mackerel in the oven was still hot, he may have fallen asleep not a while ago. The exhaustion accumulated during the day wouldn’t have been normal, so it wasn’t impossible for him to fall asleep.
‘……Do I have to clean this up.’
Anderson glared down at Jo Minjoon. But if he just left it like this, it was obvious that he would feel bad about this wherever he went. Anderson let out a sigh and threw Jo Minjoon in the sofa. How sleepy was he that he didn’t show signs of waking up even after that fuss.
Although he brought a quilt from his bedroom, he didn’t want to cover him up himself. And even less if it was in front of the camera. Anderson just threw down the quilt over Jo Minjoon and returned to the kitchen.
“Just what did you make….”
Anderson calmly looked at the table. There were various things. Katsudon, gyudon with rolled eggs. He could also see sushi made with frozen salmon they bought in the market, and in the case of the mackerel that was in the oven, it was cooked in a sauce of unknown identity.
Anderson raised his chopsticks with sloppy movements and then put the mackerel in his mouth. At that moment, Anderson’s eyes loosened up. It was partly because he wasn’t fully awake from his sleep, but also because the sweet oil flavor of the mackerel woke him up.
It was delicious. THere were few cases that Jo Minjoon’s food wasn’t delicious, but this was special. Because it revived the japanese feeling in itself. Perhaps, he may have recreated what he ate today. While thinking like that, he looked at Jo Minjoon sleeping on the sofa.
“What he made in a day, and what was cooling down in the oven is this much……?”
If Jo Minjoon didn’t get asleep, so if he could eat this mackerel in its time…..the emotions he would feel by them wouldn’t be comparable to now. His heart beat. A faint fear grabbed Anderson’s ankle. He could know. That the Jo Minjoon he saw at first was different to the current Jo Minjoon.
The first impression Anderson had about Jo Minjoon was a bastard that made no sense saying that Kaya would win with just one grilled eel. But the more time passed, the more he realized that he wasn’t the reckless type but the calm one. And that his resolution towards cooking and his abilities weren’t weak at all. However he didn’t think that he was amazing. It was still like this even when he got to know that he had an absolute sense of taste.
But the more time passed, Jo Minjoon grew more monstrously. At first, he honestly thought that Jo Minjoon was below him. Be it on comprehension of ingredients, and the minute handicraft. But now, he couldn’t do that at all. However he saw him, Jo Minjoon wasn’t lacking in anything compared to him. But Anderson thought that he was lacking compared to him.
‘Will I……be able to keep receiving your jealousy?’
He didn’t want to get behind anymore than this. He had caught up a lot in a short time. Although Jo Minjoon may not know that accomplishment at all, there was one thing that Anderson wanted. To get the jealousy from Jo Minjoon, and being jealous of him. This kind of relationship. For this equal relationship to be maintained.
As a rival, as a friend……
Morning. He could feel the sunlight shining through the window. Jo Minjoon opened his eyes thinly and then closed it again. He feel sleepy. And tired. There was no place in his body that hurt. And his fingers were heavy to the point he couldn’t lift them.
‘Ah, the oven. I put the mackerel in the oven.’
As he had set the timer, it wouldn’t keep running. But the problem was after that. As the day was warm, perhaps it may have turned bad to the point that it wasn’t edible. Jo Minjoon raised his body. The quilt that was over his body fell down. He felt that he certainly felt asleep on the chair.
‘Did the snail bride lay me down……’
Maybe it was because he wasn’t fully awake that he was thinking about absurd things. It was when Jo Minjoon went to the kitchen. His face, that was depressed for not having washed the dishes became rigid. There were many dishes prepared on the table. There were things such as scrambled egg, and also fried fish and rice. It felt like a japanese styled table. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“What is all this?”
“What can it be? It’s breakfast.”
“Ah, are you also the one that took me to the sofa?”
“……I have never done that. You went and liad down yourself.”
Anderson paused for a moment and then answered. Jo Minjoon said with a confused voice.
“What is it? I wasn’t even drunk but I don’t remember that.”
“You would have been drunk in your sleep. Shut up and go and bring the girls. I already made breakfast.”
“Uh, yeah. Okay.”
Jo Minjoon was about to leave when he turned to look at Anderson.
“But what did you do with the things I made?”
“I ate it all.”
“Thank you. For cleaning up. And for laying me down.”
“I told you I have never done that…….!”
At Anderson’s words, Jo Minjoon smiled brightly and went to the girl’s dorm. Rachel, Sera and Emily seemed to have woken quite a while ago that they had clean faces.
Jo Minjoon, that sat down in the table, was putting on quite a bright face in a while. He could only do that. Because when you lived abroad, the hardest thing was eating a meal. ALthough he did eat mango rice in Thailand, etc. it had a strong thailandese feeling. To say nothing of Italy. Because there were more cases that they cooked the rice less and ate it as salad.
The food they ate in Japan was the most similar to a Korean table. Thinking about it, it was an ironic thing. That the meal his mother had prepared was something he couldn’t say was tasty even if it was a joke, but for his heart to get calmer in front of a table that was similar to that.
Rachel smiled brightly and said.
“Whatever happens, you do like white rice.”
“I thought that I wasn’t the type to be obsessed about it, but now I am slowly starting to become like that. When I eat rice I feel like I just had a meal, and however much I eat without rice it just feels like i’m just recharging energy…… I don’t even know what i’m saying.”
“I know what you are saying. Westerners feel something similar to bread. How can their eating habits change in a day to another.”
Jo Minjoon smiled brightly and put the rice in his mouth. A rice that had a violet colour because it was a bit mixed with black rice. It had a stronger aroma than white rice, and the sweet flavor was also deeper. It was to the point that he started to feel nice even when he was eating rice without any side dishes.
‘What kind of recipe will be possible with rice……’
If it wasn’t bokkeumbap(볶음밥) or bibimbap(비빔밥), it was hard to get more than 7 points of estimated cooking score. As rice was something really basic, he couldn’t think of making something special with rice. You would accompany it with something special, but there were almost no cases that you cooked the rice in a special way. Emily glanced at Jo Minjoon and said.
“You use the chopsticks really well. To be able to grab a grain of rice.”
“Ah, if you are korean, this thing is a basic. When I was in middle school I went to a competition that was about moving soybeans quickly using your chopsticks.”
“Ahaha, that’s a cute competition.”
“You don’t know how fierce it is when you enter. It also hurts your hands a lot.”
“It certainly hurts right now.”
Sera raised the ginger pork, that was pork rested in ginger soy sauce. Looking that the tip of the chopsticks was trembling, it seemed like she couldn’t put strength in her hand properly. It was childish but Jo Minjoon felt a sense of superiority at that moment. Could he say that he had become an elite in using chopsticks. Jo Minjoon smirked and said.
“Personally, the fork is more difficult for me. Especially for things like salad, I don’t know how to eat it with a fork. If you scoop it up, everything falls down, and if you stick it the things that are below don’t even get in your fork.”
“Hm. It somehow comforts me saying that using the fork is difficult. But even so, it’s not that my ability in using the chopstick becomes good. Ah, I don’t know. There are forks here right? I will just have to use one.”
“Ah, Sera. Bring me one for me too.”
Emily hurriedly turned to look at Sera and said. While Sera was pouting, Jeremy looked closely at the rolled eggs in his chopsticks. The white and yellow layers that were set up like crepes were lovely.
“Anderson. The rolled egg you made is prettier than the one Minjoon makes.”
“……..I can’t just let those words pass by. Jeremy. My rolled eggs aren’t normal either.”
“Don’t worry. Yours was more delicious. Although I prefer the texture for this one.
Anderson clashed gazes with Jo Minjoon. Jeremy looked at the two of them as if it was interesting. Anderson opened his mouth.
“Shall we go for a round?”
< Rival (1) > End
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa