[Jessie] : So the day the broadcast starts is today?
[Jo Ara] : Oppa, can’t you at least call us? Send us a picture.
[Lucas] : I believe you will also do well on the second phase.
Jo Minjoon smiled while looking at the accumulated messages on his cellphone. He was about to reply. Besides him was seated a young man. He had black skin and bulky arms and legs. It was Marco Denver who had come together from New York. Jo Minjoon looked at him and Marco smiled awkwardly. A husky voice with a slightly high tone was heard.
“We are both from New York, right? I just don’t have anyone to talk to.”
“I’m not exactly a native. But i’m a participant that came from New York.”
“Well, anyways, don’t we know each other by face already…….?”
Marco asked cautiously. The fat youth that was over 190cms tall to show such a timid attitude was quite a sight. Jo Minjoon nodded. It could be said that they already knew each other. Although the atmosphere became awkward because of Kaya’s and Amanda’s fight, Marco opened his mouth.
“What did they ask you during the interview?”
“I wonder. If I was confident on winning, who seems like a candidate to win. These things?”
There was no need to say that he was questioned whether he liked Kaya or not. Marco asked.
“Who do you think will win?”
Jo Minjoon didn’t hesitate a moment and replied. Marco nodded as if he agreed.
“If you saw her cooking in New York it is understandable to think like that.”
“What do other people think about who will win?”
“Well. I don’t know as I still haven’t interacted with them. Honestly, I think it is too early to determine who the winner will be.”
Jo Minjoon nodded, but he was opposed to that opinion. Putting aside that he came from the future, Jo Minjoon could see the cooking levels of the participants. And what Jo Minjoon grasped right now, was that from the participants who remained, only three had level 7 cooking skills. Kaya Lotus, Anderson Rousseau, and Chloe Jong.
Chloe was half white and half asian. Because of the influence from her chinese mother nationalized american, she could show amazing dishes that other participants couldn’t compare to. However, on Jo Minjoon’s memories, she was a participant that got disqualified quite early on. If that was not the case, his memories about Chloe couldn’t be that foggy.
Aside from them, they were all level 6. Was it coincidence, or their skills got spotted. There were no people who were level 5 that had survived until now.
In the case of bakery it was different. They were mostly level 5 or 6. If not, they were lower than that. Excluding Anderson that was level 7, there was only another one that was at that level. And that was…..
“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
It was Marco. Jo Minjoon looked at this timid afroamerican. It was just a thought he had, but nothing wrong was going to happen just because he was friends with Marco. If he thought about Grand Chef’s team missions, it was better to be close to those participants that had skill.
And aside from that, Jo Minjoon liked people who knew how to cook. Baking and cooking were different specializations, but it was similar in being delicious.
“I would like to try your bread once.”
“……How did you know that I make bread?”
“I’m just saying. You look like you make some good ones.”
Marco started to seriously think if he did look like someone who baked well. Jo Minjoon stood from the place. Marco was looking at Jo Minjoon with a dumbfounded expression. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“Let’s go to the hall. The other people should be there as well.”
Marco put on a dumbfounded expression as if he didn’t understand. Jo Minjoon didn’t get frustrated and calmly explained.
“It’s time for the broadcasting.”
The participants were gathered in front of the TV in the hall. There weren’t only the participants. Some of the staffs were also sitting there. Jo Minjoon, along with Marco, sat in empty seats. The TV showed some advertisements and soon, appeared the initials of Grand Chef. Some cheers could be heard from the participants.
What adorned the broadcast at the start was the presentation of the judges. Some people talked as if they already knew that was going to happen, and the participants faces flashed by really quickly. Among them was also Jo Minjoon’s face. Marco shook Jo Minjoon’s shoulders as if he was amazed.
“Minjoon. Did you see? You just came out!”
“Yeah, I saw.”
Jo Minjoon replied as if he was calm but, saying the truth, he was really excited because it was his first time going out on TV. He couldn’t help but feel his heart thumping.
Jo Minjoon concentrated on the screen. Probably, there weren’t even half of the participants that remained that were shown. They had to have amazing stories or great skills. If they weren’t any of that, they had to be a really odd character. The first one that appeared was Chloe Jong. She, who was wearing a white qipao, was showing her signature menu. It was kkuobarou(鍋包肉) mixed with basil. A sweet rice tangsuyuk.
Just by looking at it you could tell that it’s light browned sauce was sticky, and because the tangsuyuk and the sauce were fried at the same time, the sauce could be seen as it was seeped in the fry. Emily put a tangsuyuk on her mouth, and as if it was hot, she was blowing air through her mouth. But even that seemed as if she was enjoying it.
Because it was fried, the crunchy sound couldn’t be transmitted clearly, but the crunchy sound of chewing sauce padded with basil together with fresh onions was really pleasant. No one, without exception, could take their eyes off the screen.
Of course, what happened after that was that she passed. Looking at Chloe being hugged by her mother, Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but feel jealous unconsciously. It would be great if his parents could be together with him. However it was a useless thing. It was true that his parents wanted him to have stability. For the eldest son to embark on the road of cooking without any visions and dedicate his life to it, was something they could only get preoccupied.
Jo Minjoon, frustrated, let out a sigh. It seemed as if many of the participants were now alert of Chloe, because whispering sounds could be heard among them. Jo Minjoon tched his tongue and looked at that sight. It was something pointless. If someone else did good or not, if they got disqualified or not was something that depended on their own cooking skills. For them to check on her like that……
The TV showed a participant entering that wasn’t even on the broadcasting place. 16 years old. A white girl that didn’t even lose her baby fat cooked a tenderloin steak. The results were of course, disqualified. At that moment, in the TV sounded the voice of the narrator.
-Even in this season are a lot of young challengers. Look at this participant. Jo Minjoon. He’s an asian challenger that crossed the world from the other side believing in his passion of Grand Chef.
Jo Minjoon looked up.
The screen was showing the image of Jo Minjoon. Precisely speaking, it was Jo Minjoon roasting the bream. The scene where he was making the bell pepper sauce was short but after that, showed a zoomed in face of Jo Minjoon and his voice came in.
-There is only one reason I came all the way here from Korea. I want to confirm myself if I’m someone who has the qualifications to cook.
Those were words he once said in an interview. The roasted bream with bell pepper sauce showed on the screen, and Jo Minjoon’s voice rang again.
-For me Grand Chef is a charming competition. It would be good if I’m able to show my cooking skills until the end.
The next was the judging. When he looked at the appearance the judges had when eating his bream, Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but feel a bit awkward. Looking at himself trying to be calm when he was clearly nervous, even if it was his face, he couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed and frustrated. When some of the participants gasped of admiration, his embarrassment grew even bigger.
The judging continued. It was just like Jo Minjoon had heard. In the middle of the judging that by the way wasn’t bad, Jo Minjoon felt more confused. Why would they put someone who wasn’t special at all put on the broadcast? Was a participant that came from the other side of the world that charming?
As he was thinking that, there were stealthy stares looking at him. The participants glanced time by time and conversed between them. Jo Minjoon barely endured letting out a sigh. He didn’t have that much of a skill, but they pointlessly made him attract more attention.
However, just by showing his face on a broadcast was reason enough to attract attention. Because, from all those participants, the casting director chose to put him on the broadcast. Just by not making any remarkable mistakes, the probabilities of Jo Minjoon to survive got higher. But…..
“Minjoon! You didn’t appear for a little while but they properly showed you! I also wanted to appear….”
Marco was looking at Jo Minjoon with really envious eyes. Looking at his eyes, he felt that all of his complications disappeared. Jo Minjoon smiled and said.
“Now that I think about it, I also wanted to appear in TV screen at least once, it seems that one of my wishes came true.”
“Ugh….. I will also appear in it.”
It was at that moment when he was looking at the resolved Marco making a smile. Jo Minjoon’s eyes contacted with Anderson’s that was looking at them. And at that moment, he frowned. The look Anderson was giving him wasn’t kind at all. It wasn’t a particularly hostile look. However, that menacing look got to Jo Minjoon’s nerves.
‘Is it my unconsciousness?’
He didn’t particularly clash with Anderson, so there was no reason for him to hate him that much. But he didn’t really like the look he was giving him. Jo Minjoon’s gaze grew sharp. Anderson turned his attention to the TV. It was really funny to tell him something because of a moment’s look. So the only thing Jo Minjoon could do was looking at the TV like Anderson.
And at that moment, Jo Minjoon started to concentrate without blinking. What showed on the screen was Kaya. A scene where she was helping her mother selling fruits in the marked could be seen for a moment, and then it showed Kaya’s image when cooking. It was her grilled eel.
Looking at the grilling eel covered with oil and soy sauce was spectacular even though he had already seen it before. Jo Minjoon could confidently say that the eel’s body was more beautiful than the Niagara Waterfall. And it was the same for all of the participants.
Everyone looked at her cooking dumbfoundedly. Those were people who knew how to criticize a dish. They could vaguely taste the flavor just by looking at the preparations of the dish. And they could even notice Kaya’s ability. To perfectly grill an eel at the age of 18 was something impossible without having been born with ability.
Similar as before, but a somewhat different atmosphere could be sensed from the participants. It was sure that they were alert of Kaya. It was an ability and skills that made you do so. But at the same time, they were feeling their body weak as never before. To be only 18 and have that kind of skill. On top of that, she didn’t even receive elite training……
Her ability was one that made other people want to have it and feel jealousy to just be watching it. It was an ability they never had before but, they all felt a sense of loss. Jo Minjoon understood those participants. Because even he, the first time he saw Kaya’s video, felt admiration and jealousy.
Jo Minjoon suddenly turned to look at Marco’s expression but he let out a laugh unconsciously. Marco didn’t seem to have an interest in Kaya’s skills. It was as if he wanted to eat the eel on the screen, but he was observing with his mouth wide opened. He was rather timid, but he wasn’t normal either. Jo Minjoon didn’t hate Marco.
“Do you want to eat it?”
“……Huh, what? What did you say?”
“If you want to eat it. That eel.”
“Of course. If I could leave delicious food my body wouldn’t have become like this.”
Marco talked like that and patted his belly. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“Sometimes, we would also be able to do that. That dish. That sense of taste. The day will come when we get those.”
“Maybe we already have them.”
At Marco’s answer, Jo Minjoon looked dumbfoundedly at him. When their gazes met, it was as if Marco got frightened but replied without confidence.
“Ah, no…. I heard that saying on TV. It’s not that the sense of taste appears, but the forgotten sense reappears. And the asleep sense of taste revives instead of your skill getting better…… Gosh, I don’t even know what I’m saying. Leave it at that. Just forget it.”
“…….No. Those were good words.”
Jo Minjoon replied like that and he looked at the screen again. The praises of the judges were pouring from the judges.
-This….. I’m surprised. This is the best dish I have tried in New York. No, the best I have eaten in this season.
-For someone that isn’t even in her twenties to skillfully grill eel like this isn’t a normal person. It seems that you were gifted with many skills by god.
It was a compliment that wasn’t even surprising. The participants looked at the TV. Jo Minjoon turned his head to look at Kaya. She was leaning on a wall of the hall and was watching the TV with a look you couldn’t know what she was thinking about. No, she was almost staring. Kaya looked back at Jo Minjoon. She had always been able to sense the sights directed at her like a ghost. Kaya made words with her lips. He was now quite accustomed to that word. ‘What are you looking at?’
Jo Minjoon too replied that way. Saying the truth, it didn’t have any meaning. So Kaya must have had a headache trying to interpret what his lips had said. He thought it was a childish revenge and was at that moment he turned to look at the TV again. Jo Minjoon was being shown on the screen. Jo Minjoon’s face became slightly contorted. Why in the world did he appear on Kaya’s scene? The question didn’t last long. The Jo Minjoon inside the screen opened his mouth and said.
– She’s the best participant from those who has come today. The best from all the ones I’ve seen. And maybe, she will be the best from this competition.
– Saying that she will be the best from this competition means that you think that she’s going to win?
At the question of the PD Martin, Jo Minjoon replied.
– It will be so if there are no upsets.
< Comprehension towards the broadcast (2) > End
Translators note: Regular chapter released! Thanks for reading and for your support!
Regular chapters on tues, thurs, sat and sun
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled