It wasn’t a proper dish.
Jo Minjoon thought like that. Even if a lot of skill was used in it, it was something that should never have been in a plate. A dish that was filled with the chef’s resentment, even if it’s score was high it wasn’t worth anything.
“We won’t eat this. Go back to your places.”
Alan said determined. It wasn’t only directed to Kaya, but to the whole team. Anderson was holding the dish with a clear angry face. Kaya bit her lips and went towards her dish.
And then ate her salmon. At that sight, nobody could tell her something and just looked at her. Kaya, after chewing it, gulped it. Then opened her mouth. She seemed calm, but her voice was trembling.
“But it’s delicious.”
The meaning it held was just that. She took her plate and turned back. The sight of her biting her lips, to Jo Minjoon somehow seemed that she was trying not to shed tears.
However Kaya didn’t have any rights to cry. Jo Minjoon thought. When a chef prioritizes her emotions and pride instead of the customer, you couldn’t describe what was put on the dish with any words.
The basics of course cooking was in the harmony. The appetizer had the role to show up the main dish and to appetize one’s mouth. However, Kaya’s selfishness didn’t simply end at appetizing. Because it was her selfishness that made her cook the salmon tataki. It wasn’t a course cooking dish, but an absolutely individual dish.
But that was not having consideration toward the customer. Even if she knew it or not, it wasn’t something to just let it pass.
The judges started to evaluate the dishes as if nothing had happened. After showing an expressionless face, they went up back to the stage. But the evaluation didn’t start right now. Only after the six teams that couldn’t show off their dishes showed theirs, Alan opened his mouth.
“Chloe. Minjoon. Marco. Come to the front.”
As the three of them came up, only then did Alan open his mouth. It was an expressionless and hard face as always.
“The flavor was okay. It could be seen that you chose the menu considering that it was a course meal. Scallops after tofu, and then biscuits. It was a menu that didn’t seem to suit each other, but unexpectedly, the flavor left on the mouth was good.”
Chloe and Minjoon almost simultaneously opened their mouths. And Marco glanced sideways and opened his mouth late. “Tha, thank you.” Joseph, who was looking at Marco, opened his mouth.
“Perhaps, the one who showed the most potential on this dish was you, Marco. Chefs tend to put something more to their dishes and to make it more splendid. However, your mocha biscuit didn’t have any excessive flavor. It was a flavor that covered the scallop’s and the tofu’s flavor. Also, the biscuit dough was perfect. You put in a deep and refined flavor and aroma in a simple dish. Thank you.”
“Ah, thank you.”
Marco replied while sniffing. Jo Minjoon glanced a little and saw that Marco’s eyes were teary. He was a tender child unlike his hog like appearance. Jo Minjoon lifted his hand and patted Marco’s back.
Emily smiled and opened her mouth.
“I also ate it deliciously. Aside from the dishes, I think it was good to see you being nice to each other. I think you showed how a chef has to act when they form a team.”
“You did well. Go to the 2nd floor! You passed.”
They should have already expected that they had passed with what they were being told, but as soon as Alan finished what he was saying, Chloe let a happy scream and held Marco and Jo Minjoon. Of course, to wrap Marco’s big body, her arms were not enough. In the end, Marco and Jo Minjoon had to receive her putting their arms around their shoulders while jumping.
Jo Minjoon smiled awkwardly. He knew that it was an attitude to have after passing, but to be this cheerful. As he didn’t jump and was only smiling, Chloe’s face reddened and shook off her apron.
However, that cheerful time didn’t last long. Because next, was Kaya’s evaluation. Alan said coldly. It was a voice that his rage could clearly be felt.
“Personally, I put my expectations too high for this team. And the disappointment is also that big. I think that there’s no meaning to fight over the main’s seat. But well, let’s get over that. Because anyone would want to be the protagonist. But what comes next sucks even more. I think that there’s no need for you to ask about it.”
Nobody replied. Joseph let out a sigh and said.
“A dish contains a chef’s heart. Kaya. Your dish didn’t contain a will towards the customer. Do you agree?”
Kaya replied hesitatingly. She seemed just like a child being lectured by a teacher. Emily opened her mouth. Her attitude was sharp and harsh unlike usual.
“We didn’t test your dishes. Because it’s something we can’t eat. So obviously, you are disqualified. Go back to your place.”
“……I have an objection.”
The one who opened his mouth was Anderson. Emily frowned as she looked at him. Anderson continued speaking.
“The one who ruined her cooking was Kaya and it was her lonely action. Why must we be affected because of her?”
“Do you think it’s unfair?”
The one who replied wasn’t Emily, but Alan. Anderson was elevating his tone while speaking, but forcefully repressed that and replied.
“Yes! I do. My mistake is wanting to take the main dish for me, and not knowing that she would act like a bitch like that. Is that reason to be disqualified?”
Alan replied shortly. He stared with his cold eyes. Alan went close to Anderson’s nose, and spoke with a scary voice that would anytime bite his face.
“Because you are a team. You talking like that right now means that you never considered yourselves to be a team.”
“…..But this is a competition! Even if we became teammates, we can’t act as real teams, can we?!”
“No! You can. If you weren’t thinking about competition but instead cooked, you would be considering each other as teammates. A chef isn’t a machine. It doesn’t end just by dividing roles! Don’t think that it ended just by presenting three dishes! The course is only one. It means that those three plates soon become one dish.”
After saying all that, Alan caught his breath. It was as if Anderson was repressed by Alan’s overwhelming momentum, that he couldn’t speak anything in reply. Alan slowly opened his mouth. It was a voice that got smaller as if he was whispering.
“Of course, I admit that you weren’t lucky. You and Kaya were both outstanding. And your prides were also strong. It was as if there were two protagonists in a movie. But it only means that. If you can’t overcome a situation where you are unlucky means that your ability only extends to that much. After presenting that sucking three course, did you think that only you would be able to get out of it?”
Anderson couldn’t reply. Even when he was first talking to Kaya and making the team, his confidence was overflowing. He did fight for the seat of the main dish, but he wondered if just because of that they would be in this kind of situation.
Was that his mistake? Anderson couldn’t know the answer to that. His mind was yelling that it was not a mistake. He wanted to think that Alan’s words were only that much. But the only thing Anderson could do was to keep his mouth shut. It wasn’t because he was convinced. It was because even if he prolonged the talk, the judges wouldn’t change their minds.
The judging continued. 9 teams. Of those, the teams that survived were only 6. That meant that of the 3 teams, 9 people were going to be disqualified. Jo Minjoon just looked from the 2nd floor. From the disqualified people that were gathered, Joseph was opening his mouth.
“You are now in front of the door to disqualify. I don’t know how many of you would survive. But what I’m certain of, is that you are here because you presented a mess of a course. Lack of technique? Lack of teamworking skills? Either of which was it, the results would be the same.”
The disqualified people didn’t reply. Some seemed like they would cry any moment. And some were sniffing. However Joseph didn’t hesitate. A chef put a mess in a plate. That was something that was inconceivable to a chef.
“Before revealing the theme of the mission, you have something to do. You have to select a partner right now. Only then will I reveal the theme.”
At Joseph’s words, the participants moved from here to there and soon, started to partner up with the people next to them. Some teamed up with their original team, and those two had to awkwardly hold hands. But the disqualified people were 9 in total. So naturally, one had to be left out.
It was Kaya.
Nobody reached their hands to her. Because they had already seen her character in the course cooking. They wouldn’t want to team up with someone that might bring trouble. On top of that, Kaya’s skills weren’t ordinary. If they were to team up with her, their dishes would rather lose light.
Kaya looked at her surroundings looking nervous. And forced herself to sound confident and looked at Joseph.
“I don’t care if I’m alone.”
“……I’m sorry but that’s impossible. Kaya, you have to choose from one from the passing candidates. Of course, your partner won’t be affected by the results of this mission.”
At those words, Kaya looked up to the 2nd floor. However, the passing candidates all evaded making eye contact. Even if they weren’t going to get disqualified, they couldn’t bear to be standing in that kind of place. Kaya, that was looking at the participants, stopped her sight at one place. Kaya, who was looking a long while at that face, said with her voice trembling.
Jo Minjoon’s face became rock hard.
< Three dishes and one meal (4) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter! Sorry to dissapoint you guys, but Chloe is making it through. But what about Kaya? Keep reading 😉 Thanks for reading and for your support!
Regulars being on: Tue, thurs, sat and sun
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled