‘…… It’s not something that we need to think about just yet.’
Dave calmed himself. Although Jo Minjun was showing a completely flawless performance that seemed to be much better than the demi chef level, you could not use that alone to determine his future.
Dave started to speak.
“Minjun. Rafael mentioned that you did not like the molecular gastronomy section at first.”
“It’s not that I didn’t like it …… I was just a bit reluctant.”
“It sounds the same to me.”
“It is not that I do not like molecular gastronomy. It is fun and fresh. That is how I felt about it from the beginning. However, back then …… I wondered if my foundation was not sturdy enough to take on molecular gastronomy.”
“So you are saying that once you tried it, you felt like your foundation was sturdy? Or is it that you determined that the foundation was not that important?”
Jo Minjun did not turn around to look at Dave. he cleaned the cream off the plate with a cloth as he answered in a serious yet calm voice.
“My skill continued to increase even while doing molecular gastronomy. To be more specific, my intuition about cooking. They are all connected in the end.”
“Do you not have any regrets? I’m sure there are some ingredients you enjoy working with. Fish, meat, any feelings of wanting to work more with other ingredients?”
“The thing I like the most are sauces. If there is something even in the sauce category that I like the most … … it is pulling out the natural taste of fruits without losing anything.”
He became even more certain about the latter in recent days. He knew what his own personal style was going to be. It was a little different than going for naturalism, but he wanted to bring to life the full taste of the fruits.
Of course, it was not that he didn’t like things like demi-glace sauce that was made from meat. Soy sauce, gochujang, fish sauce, vegetables, nuts, it was fun to use all sorts of ingredients. However, that rich and sweet taste when you use fruits was really what Jo Minjun found to be the most entertaining and fresh.
Dave seemed to be playing devil’s advocate as he asked a follow-up question.
“It seems that you have already determined your path. There are a lot of people who do not know what style they will have even when they are sous chefs. Do you feel like you may have made up your mind too early?”
“In my opinion, knowing what you want quickly will not be a problem.”
“You haven’t had a chance to try all different aspects of cooking. Wouldn’t it be a more accurate decision after trying more things out?”
“The fact that I have determined my style does not mean that I will not look at anything else. I will look at everything. However, I will put my personal spin on all of it. I believe that you need to have your own specialty, your own weapon of sort, for the future.”
Dave smiled instead of responding. To be honest, Dave did not think that it was bad for Jo Minjun to already have his own cooking philosophy.
He just wanted to know whether Jo Minjun had really thought things through to figure out his cooking philosophy or if he just picked it because he just liked the section and wanted to pursue it.
After hearing Minjun’s answer, Dave did not think he needed to decipher Minjun anymore. Once Dave went into the hall and sat down, Debra, who happened to just finish speaking with Janet, came down and sat next to him. Dave smiled as looked toward Debra and asked.
“What do you think about teacher’s new demi chefs?”
“They’re not bad.”
“Is that it?”
“To be honest, they’re good. I’m sure we’ll know more once we try their food, but what I saw in there was pretty close to perfect. You could probably call them the elites amongst the demi chefs. Even the prep cooks are the same. It was really difficult to find something to critique.”
Debra shrugged her shoulders. But this was normal. Rose Island’s demi chefs were always the best. The most talented chefs gather at Rose Island because of its being the most famous restaurant. Out of all of those talented chefs, only the best of the best can make the selection to stand in this Rose Island kitchen. Since everyone is talented from the bottom up, the food going out to the customers had no choice but to be close to perfect. Since even the branch locations were like this, how could it be any different for the main store?
“It seemed like you spent a lot of time with that female demi-chef.”
“I can’t help it. As a woman, I can’t help but get emotional when I see another woman trying to survive in a kitchen. I’ve been there before; I know just how hard it is to do it.”
“Only women have it hard? Men have it hard too.”
“It doesn’t mean that men have it easy. It is not about who has it better. Men and women are different. And it is not easy to meet someone else who can mentor you to navigate that difference. ……Of course, it really doesn’t matter here because teacher Rachel is here. So maybe I was doing more for no reason.”
“But it is a good thing. You used to suffer with that problem with the past, but now you are at a position where you can even give advice to someone else.”
Dave smiled gently. As Debra shrugged her shoulders again, they heard an odd engine sound from outside the restaurant. When they turned to look out the window, they saw a yellow kindergarten bus stop outside.
Debra asked in a slightly anxious voice.
“Was there a kindergarten next to here?”
“Only one kid got off so she probably just lives around here.”
“……She seems to be walking here?”
A brown-haired girl wearing a water drop patterned one piece, Ella, was walking over to the restaurant. A moment later, her small hands opened the door to the restaurant. After seeing the 36 unfamiliar faces in the hall and kitchen, Ella gasped before she started to hiccup.
“This, this is the right place ……”
She seemed to be scared at the sudden situation and stepped back to look at the building and then back inside with a slightly teary face. The outside of the building, the inside of the building, and even the furniture was all the same, but the people were different. Ella bit down on her lips. She was scared, but she did not want to cry. But Ella could not do anything about the tears forming in her eyes. It was at that moment.
“Ella. What are you doing over there? Hurry up and come in.”
Ella seemed extremely relieved as she went and hugged Minjun. Seeing Minjun pat the sniffling Ella’s back, Dave asked as if he could not understand the situation.
“Just what … … who is that child?”
“Ah, she is our pâtissière’s daughter. The princess of Rose Island. She comes to the restaurant every so often.”
Jo Minjun smiled as he calmed Ella down. Minjun picked up a tissue from the table and put it to Ella’s nose.
Ella blew her nose as hard as she could. She then looked toward Jo Minjun still with teary eyes as she asked.
“There were so many people that I thought I got lost.”
“What did we say we will do if we got lost?”
“Mm …… I need to call my mommy.”
“And if you can’t remember the number?”
“I need to call 911!”
“Our Ella is so smart.”
Ella started to smile at Minjun’s praise as if she was never scared in the first place. Debra was amazed as she silently clapped.
“Wow, I really want to learn that skill. I have absolutely no idea about what to do when my nieces and nephews start to cry.”
“He’s just good with people like he is with handling his assistant.”
“Thank you for your compliments.”
Jo Minjun smiled as he nodded his head. Debra took a peek behind Jo Minjun. The moment Jo Minjun came out of the kitchen, around a third of the head chefs who were in the kitchen followed him out. Were they really so conscious about this junior who Rachel might be trying to groom?
‘Then I should resolve their curiosities.’
Dave started to speak.
“Minjun. I heard that the restaurant will be changing its menu every 15 days like before.”
“Yes. To be more specific, it is the ingredients that are changing, not the menu. We will always have seasonal ingredients. Of course, this is something all of you head chefs know more about than I do.”
“Just changing ingredients requires you to pay attention to different things when you are preparing the dishes. Are you prepared to always be able to adjust properly to the changes? No, I’m sure you can only answer this question by saying that you are confident. So let me change the question. How do you plan on adjusting to the changes? Am I digging too deep?”
“No. you mentioned that all of your pride is this main branch of Rose Island. Since I will be holding a piece of that pride, it is only natural for you to be curious about such a thing.”
That wasn’t really Dave’s point. From the beginning, none of them thought that Rachel would allow the demi chefs to make a mistake. They were not worried about the reputation of Rose Island at all. This was Rachel they were talking about. Out of the 36 head chefs that were gathered here today, none of them would be able to say that they were better than Rachel. She was their mentor, their teacher, and most importantly, their goal as a chef.
What they were curious about was his person named Jo Minjun. He is the first person in the world with absolute taste and also the first person Rachel personally scouted and showed interest in. They wanted to know the limits of his potential, as well as what image Rachel was trying to create through him……they had no choice but to be curious.
‘……Is he pretending to not know on purpose?’
Dave was smiling gently while also inspecting Jo Minjun’s expression. It did not look like he was just faking modesty. That should mean that he really had no idea what people were saying about him, as well as the potential future that is in store for him……
‘Alan did mention that this person does not consider himself to be a genius.’
Was it modesty or did he just not know how to accurately judge his own talents? The Jo Minjun Dave could see had amazing abilities. It was not just his tongue that was developed. The way he ran his section. There ……
‘He mentioned earlier than he liked sauces the best.’
Realistically speaking, anyone who is running a large-scale kitchen has a tendency to end up focusing on sauces. They had no choice. Even if someone is interested in cooking steaks or making pasta and reaches a level of mastery in that area ……once the person became a head chef, they would not be doing the cooking. They could only indirectly interfere as needed.
That was why no matter how talented a person may be, the quality of the dishes they serve customers once they became a head chef could be completely disastrous. In fact, this actually happened quite often.
However, sauces won’t face the same issue. A head chef who specializes in sauces will focus not on the cook of the meat or the al dente texture of a pasta, but on the sauce that will go over it. And sauces were something that really could not go wrong no matter who made it, as long as you followed the recipe correctly.
‘It is a wise decision.’
That was why the advice lately has been to put your efforts into making sauces if you wanted to become the head chef of a fine dining restaurant. But it really was not easy to do that when you were a demi-chef. No matter whether you were in the pasta section, appetizer, or even main, it was difficult to put all of your efforts into sauces.
In that aspect, the fact that Jo Minjun ended up in the molecular gastronomy section was a great opportunity for him. Molecular gastronomy had a lot of dishes that were related to sauces or focused on sauces as the core. The results that come from combining different ingredients, the flavors that are created when the ingredients meet the different molecular gastronomy techniques ……this would be a time when Jo Minjun could properly learn all of it.
‘Did he really end up in the molecular gastronomy section as a coincidence, or did he aim for it ……’
If he was aiming for it, he really was a sly fox. It was the moment Dave was deep in thought. Maybe the staff found Dave to be impressionable as he continued to talk to Jo Minjun, as they approached Dave and asked for an interview. Dave naturally did not reject it. In the corner of the hall was the PD Pabo, standing with an occupational smile as he started to speak.
“It is an honor to meet you, Dave.”
“No need for such praises. I am just one of many common chefs in the world.”
“If a there star head chef is common, our country’s cooking scene would have dominated the world.”
The formalities did not last very long. Pabo soon started with the questions.
“I’m sure you have heard the rumors in the cooking world about how Chef Rachel is thinking about making Chef Minjun her successor. Your name was always on the list of Chef Rachel’s potential successors, so what do you think about this?”
“……I guess how I answer this question can either make or break my image.”
“So please think carefully before you answer.”
Dave smiled bitterly. Although he may have dedicated his life to cooking, even he could not be completely free from this thing called greed. Rachel did not have any children, and this made many Rose Island head chefs hope that she would pass Rose Island to one of them in the future.
Not all of them were like this, but this was the reason many of them were extremely cognizant of Minjun. If Jo Minjun really because Rachel’s successor, they did not know whether he would only get full control of this Venice location … … or full control of the Rose Island brand and all of its locations around the world.
To be honest, Dave really did not care much for money. If he did, he would never have worked at Rose Island. He would have gone to work as a hotel chef. There was just one thing he wanted.
“Rose Island has been my entire life. And I have never regretted that decision even once.”
“Yes, it is an amazing life you have had.”
“I’m sure the other chefs probably feel something similar to what I am feeling. Although talking about something like this when teacher Rachel has not personally said anything seems petty ……but since you asked me the question, I cannot just choose not to answer. Yes. If I am being honest with you, if he became the successor right now, I will not accept it. He is definitely talented and will probably be an amazing chef. However, he is not there yet. He is still a demi chef and needs to continue to grow. Depending on how far he can grow, the attitudes of the other chefs will change as well.”
“When you say their attitude ……do you mean their feelings about whether or not he will hold full control over the Rose Island brand?”
“It is similar. If he grows into a common chef, nobody will approve of him, however, if he is able to show an amazing talent and stunning dishes at teacher Rachel or teacher Daniel’s level……”
Dave shrugged his shoulders.
“Who in their right mind wouldn’t try to court him?”
Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Illidanstormrage
Wow! We hit 200!
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