Pâtissier. The general perception of a pâtissier was that they were bakers, and in reality, the majority of their work was related to baking. A pâtissier’s original location was in front of the oven. All cooking related to an oven was supposed to go through a pâtissier’s hands, however, depending on how the internal battle for territory in the kitchen went, the story could change.
‘A pâtissier that even teacher Rachel wants to hang onto……’
Even though he didn’t know the name, the person must not be average. As if he could read the anticipation in Jo Minjoon’s eyes, Anderson leisurely started to laugh.
“If you taste his bread, you wouldn’t even want to put any other store’s breads in your mouth.”
“Stop exaggerating. No matter how good it is, how could there be bread that makes you not want to put any other bread in your mouth.”
“……I’m just … figuratively speaking.”
After becoming a liar in an instant, Anderson started to grumble in an upset voice.
It was definitely not an easy task to get out of the restaurant. The same crowd from when they were entering were still surrounding the store, and their eyes were focused on the main entrance. Thankfully, it was only tens of people now, but the moment Rachel and the others took one step out that door, the focus would be on them, and it was certain that more people would start to gather.
“……How do we get past that?”
“First, everybody get in the car.”
Anderson pointed at the 9-passenger SUV in the parking lot. Before they headed outside, Rachel turned her head to look at Isaac.
“Isaac. I leave the restaurant to you while we are gone.”
“Are you confident that you can convince Jack? You know how stubborn that fellow is.”
“I’m not sure. Either way, it’s not unusual for Jack to get angry.”
“The situation is different than last time. Jack’s been angry for the last 10 years.”
Jo Minjoon started to look through his memories after hearing Isaac. The main store also closed 10 years ago, so does that mean they have never met since then? Rachel frowned for a bit as if she was not confident, but soon enough, as if she had made up her mind, the frown disappeared.
“If he gets angry, I just have to accept it.”
WIth that, the four of them stepped outside the door. After watching them through a window, Isaac soon let out a deep sigh.
“That won’t be your only problem.”
[……This is the next news story. Rachel Rose has returned to Rose Island, which has been called a ghost restaurant in Venice for almost 10 years. Together with her was Grand Chef competition’s runner-up Anderson Rousseau, and Jo Minjoon, who came in third place.]
[That’s great news! It’s like LA has gained another three star restaurant.]
[Well, it isn’t a real three star restaurant. After being closed for 10 years, it has lost its stars. If you think about the Rose Island from 10 years ago, three stars wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s only if Rachel has not lost her touch during her break. In addition to that, the absence of her former husband, Daniel Rose, is also a problem.]
[I believe that Rose will be successful. True talent does not rust even over time. I’m also very interested in her two new disciples. Anderson, Minjoon, I’m personally a fan of both of them.]
[The funny thing is that Anderson Rousseau is the son the Rousseau couple, owner chefs of restaurant ‘Glouto’ that is next door. He’s pretty much battling it out with his parents. Right about now, they……]
Click. The radio turned off. Anderson let out an awkward cough. Amelia started to speak with a gentle expression. Of course, her voice was not gentle at all.
“Did you hear what that DJ was saying?”
“No, I didn’t hear it. I’m focused on driving.”
“He said that you couldn’t stand being at Glouto?”
“What? There was nothing like that!”
“Since you know they didn’t say that, you must have been listening. You dare to lie to your own mother?”
Anderson started to frown. Jo Minjoon started to laugh while looking at Amelia.
“Don’t blame him too much. I’m sure Anderson will mature soon enough.”
“I wish Anderson grew up a good kid like you. Maybe it was because you grew up in an Asian family, but you’re a really good kid. Your parents raised you well.”
“……Mom, you know that’s racist.”
“Does this generation call even something like this racist? I’m only talking about a positive aspect.”
“Whether it is good or bad, a stereotype is a stereotype.”
“Fine. Your mom was wrong.”
Amelia raised both of her hands as if she was giving up. This was the first time Jo Minjoon had seen Anderson win against his mom. After a moment of awkwardness, Jo Minjoon slowly answered.
“To be honest, I was quite envious of Anderson. I’m sure everyday would have been great growing up with such great chefs such as Amelia and Fabio. At least during meal time.”
“Hoho, I’m glad you would say that. It’s sad that I’ve never heard something like that coming out of Anderson’s mouth. Should we just take you in as our son, Minjoon? What do you think? They say a rock that has rolled in can push away a rock that is stuck, maybe you could push Anderson aside and become the future owner of Glouto……”
Anderson coldly answered as he stopped the car. Amelia glared at the back of Anderson’s head for cutting her off, but Anderson was not able to see her glare.
Jo Minjoon slowly got out of the car. Santa Monica, a side street next to Clover Park. It looked like they had modified homes and turned them into stores. There was just a basic sign that said [Bread]. It had no personality whatsoever.
The funny thing was that, regardless of such a simple sign, there were a ton of customers. Jo Minjoon felt around his pocket. Thankfully, he had his wallet.
“Rachel, can I buy some bread?”
“Let’s go in first.”
Jo Minjoon hastily started to walk. The aroma of bread at the edge of his nose was too fragrant. There were also numerous system windows that started to pop up. A series of 8 points. They didn’t add any special ingredients and simply baked the dough, but even without any cream or other additions, it was still 8 points.
If you were to compare it to cooking, it would be like making pasta noodles without any sauce and having the dish score 8 points. Since the basic bread was at that level, you didn’t even need to talk about the ones with cream, cheese, jam or other additions. There were plenty of 9 point breads as well, but no 10 point bread could be seen.
There were some dishes that were still good even with a low score, but Jo Minjoon had never seen a dish with a high score that was mediocre. Unless it was not a flavor you enjoyed, you couldn’t help but call these bread delicious.
Jo Minjoon’s eyes glittered as he put a crispy doughnut, scone, and a croissant in a basket. He then headed towards the counter. The cashier was a memorable white lady with green eyes. She looked to be about 30 years old.
“How much is it?”
“Five dollars and thirty cents.”
“Here you go.”
(TL: Definitely some expensive bread. 3 breads for $5.30?)
Jo Minjoon took out some cash. The woman opened the register before speaking. She had a gentle smile on her face, and did not seem to be annoyed at all. Her sweet and gentle voice made him think of a stewardess.
“Will you eat here?”
It was the moment Jo Minjoon was about to eat the bread after staring at it lovingly as it was placed on a plate in front of him. There was a voice from behind Jo Minjoon. It was Rachel.
It was the first time there was a wrinkle on her calm face. She looked at Rachel with nervous eyes. Rachel searched behind Lisa with anxious eyes.
“That’s what you have to say after coming here for the first time in 10 years? Just……..”
“I hope to meet with Jack.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t think my father would want that.”
Lisa answered in a stern voice. In her eyes, there was no nostalgia against this person who had never contacted them for the past 10 years. Rather, her eyes were filled with a bit of uncertainty. Right as Rachel was about to ask about Lisa’s gaze, Amelia, who was just watching them from the back, stepped forward.
“Lisa, wouldn’t it be good to just let the two of them meet? There’s no reason for them to reduce each other to crumbs, but you can’t just put a band-aid on an open wound and call it good. You need to get it treated.”
“……Treatment? That’s fine. But that treatment should have come ten years ago. What does she want to achieve by showing up now? Amelia, you know how my dad is these days.”
“Did something……happen to Jack?”
Rachel cautiously asked after listening to Lisa. Lisa looked upset for a second before seeing the line of customers behind them and letting out a sigh.
“……Fine. Go through that door over there. I have to take care of the customers.”
“I’m sorry Lisa. Let’s talk again soon.”
Lisa did not respond. As Rachel and Amelia started to walk, Jo Minjoon secretly looked down at the paper box. He slyly took a scone and bit into it. He couldn’t help but smile at the happiness spreading in his mouth, and Anderson just looked at him with ridicule.
Jo Minjoon’s ears started to get red as if he was embarrassed. Anderson asked him.
“Is it good?”
Jo Minjoon nodded his head without talking.
“I think……it’ll be best for me to speak to him alone.”
“Will you be okay?”
“It’s our issue. The two of us need to take care of it. But, if it seems like our discussion will get rough, can I ask you to step in to mediate at that point?”
The hallway in front of the living room. Rachel stood still, calming her heart. It was beating quickly. This was the first time she was feeling this way since Jo Minjoon agreed to come to her restaurant. The tremor then was from happiness, but right now, it was from anxiety. That was the only difference.
There was an old man standing next to a fireplace that only had ashes left. Rachel’s feet stopped. The old man, Jack, was staring at her with his eyes. She would have found it to be normal for his eyes to be full of anger, however, that was not the case. Jack spoke with a calm voice.
“It’s been ten years.”
“Don’t think about apologizing, since I have no plans to accept your apology. The reason I am not raising my voice right now is not because I forgive you, but because I don’t have the energy to do so. Rachel, ten years ago, you let everything go, saying you could not run Rose Island without Daniel.”
“……Yes I did.”
Jack spoke in a tired voice. Rachel noticed that her friend had become old with the flow of time. Jack slowly continued to speak.
“Rose Island. It was a store for you and Daniel. However, I also had memories about the time I spent with the two of you, as well as dreams about the years to come. The moment you crumbled……my life also crumbled with it. You should have persevered. No matter how sad and heavy the burden may have been, you should have persevered…….!”
“At that time, I……had fallen in a swamp. I had no confidence nor desire to swim out of it. I’m sorry.”
“So? Did you find it now? What is it? What was it? What is it that made you finally come looking for me after not contacting me even once for the last ten years?”
Jack’s eyebrows wrinkled. Rachel hurriedly continued to speak.
“I found a child who was like Daniel. The world that he saw, I’m confident this child can feel it and make it his own. With it, he can help restore Rose Island’s old glory.”
“In the end, it’s still about Daniel. I know. He was a genius. He shined brightly. However, do you plan on devoting your life to imitate his light?”
“It’s not an imitation. If I had planned on imitating it before calling it good, I wouldn’t be able to stand in front of you and show my face. Believe me.”
Jack silently looked at Rachel. It was a heavy and hurting gaze. She wanted to look away, but she couldn’t avoid it. It was something she had to handle. Jack slowly started to speak. His voice that was full of pain, sorrowfully started to echo.
“It’s too late, Rachel. Ten years is too long of a time.”
“I know. I also know it’ll be hard for me to earn your forgiveness. That’s why I’m begging you. Just once……just close your eyes this one time. We can bring back our old kitchen.” (TL: Close your eyes this one time is like saying look past it.)
“Like I said. Rachel, ten years is a long time.”
Jack lifted his hand. The moment he lifted his hands out from underneath the blanket, Rachel’s eyes were full of shock. It was not because there were too many wrinkles on those hands.
His hands were shaking. It was so bad that you couldn’t help but wonder if he could even hold up a cup. It was not hands that could mold dough. Jack spoke in a shaking voice.
“If you had shown up a little earlier……just even by a few years, if you had come then ……I would have been angry, but in the end, gone back to you. However, Rachel, I am unable to do so now.”
“Why did it take you so long to come, Rachel. Why did it take so long?”
Tears rolled down his wrinkled cheeks. The regret and remorse, his crushed dreams, they were all melted into those tiny teardrops. The tears wet his lips and his words.
“Ten years ….. Was too much.”
<Party Members Wanted (2)> End
Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Miraclerifle