Of course, considering that Chloe’s cooking level was 7, it wasn’t weird for a 6 points dish to appear. Because if her condition was bad, that kind of dish could be made. But taking that into account, there seemed to be no dissatisfaction on Chloe’s face. Because if she knew that she had failed, there would be no way she didn’t put on a disappointed face.
And Chloe wasn’t such a bad chef as to not differentiate whether she had failed her dish or not. That’s why it was more confusing for Jo Minjoon. How could she have such a light face after making a 6 points dish?
Jo Minjoon looked at the soup with doubting eyes. It was at that moment. Someone touched Jo Minjoon’s back from behind.
“What are you doing and not seating?”
It was Kaya. She served the grilled scallops directly on a plate. So on the table were placed the soup, pasta and the main dish, the scallops. It could be said that it was closer to a Korean formal dinner than a course cooking.
They were eating by themselves so there was no need to keep the order of the serving. Jo Minjoon sat on the place. Marco put the dough in the oven and opened his mouth while walking towards the table.
“It looks like a buffet.”
Kaya smiled without saying a word. And Jo Minjoon looked at her dish. Maybe it was made with her usual skills, but her grilled scallops was 7 points. The exterior of it was seared like a custard pudding applied with butter.
However, what Jo Minjoon ate first was the potato soup. In the first place, this dish had the main role, so it was an obvious thing to eat it first.
The soup wasn’t as thick as cream soup, but rather it was like korean gamja ongsimi or samgyetang’s(삼계탕) soup. When he drank a spoonful of the brownish soup, the clear flavor and the scallions aroma roamed around the mouth.
It was tasty. But just that. A flavor where you seemed to have tried it elsewhere. It wasn’t subtle nor strong, but the flavor was just at the middle of those.
“Wow Chloe. This is delicious.”
At the voice of Kaya, Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but get surprised. Kaya was the type to not talk much, but she was also worse at doing compliments. That’s why when Jo Minjoon saw that the soup was 6 points, he thought that Kaya would surely talk bad about the dish.
However, the results were the opposite. Jo Minjoon drank the soup with a dumbfounded face. This time, he also ate the mashed potato along with buttercups. It was just that much. It was good to eat it as a meal, but the strong impression of Chloe couldn’t be felt as usual.
And at that moment, Jo Minjoon thought.
‘Why must I feel impressed by a dish?’
Maybe he was thinking about useless things. Thinking about it, Korean meat restaurants didn’t receive those high points. Remembering the times when he was in Korea, he remembered that they were mostly 5 or 6 points.
But it didn’t mean that the meat wasn’t delicious. There was no one that was dissatisfied with the meat. It was good food. Although it was just roasted meat to say that it was cooking, but there would be nobody that would say that it wasn’t food.
At that point, Jo Minjoon started to question the scoring system. At first, he thought that it was a system that scored the points of a food, like the name implied. But would that score represent everything of that dish? Because he thought like that, the word ‘cooking’ started to bother him.
“Minjoon? Why that expression? Is it not tasty?”
Jo Minjoon, that was immersed in his thoughts for a while, woke up by Chloe’s voice. She was checking him with a worried face. Jo Minjoon laughed awkwardly. In that instant, many things passed through his head. It was about wanting to express honestly or not.
But if it was about this, he thought that it would be better to just let it pass. Because it wasn’t just another thing, it was about cooking. Besides, he wondered that the reason Chloe got disqualified early on despite having good skills would be because of this. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“It is tasty. But honestly speaking it’s just that. Of course, judging your dish this seriously between us is not so good, but I get a bit of regret. At the same time i’m a bit confused. It is certainly not a professional dish. But despite that, I don’t get the feeling that it lacks something. This…..”
“Is it not good like this?”
The one who replied to him wasn’t Chloe, it was Kaya. She was licking her spoon like a candy, and continued speaking.
“It’s simple and good. To add this and that to this dish would just make it excessive.”
“I also think like that. But it’s disappointing. Chloe. Cooking right here is for us to eat, but also to practice. Doesn’t that mean that you are planning to cook this kind of dish in the next mission?
“That’s right but…..Is it no good?”
Chloe tilted her head and asked. He didn’t want to say something bad to someone with such an honest face, but he had to do so because he was her friend. It was necessary for the survival of Chloe. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“It’s hard to say, but first I’ll evaluate it. If you ask me about how I think about your dish, then I’m satisfied. And I’ll probably be able to eat it once a day and pretty deliciously at that. But if you ask me if this is the utmost of your skills, then my answer is no. Even if a chef with good skills puts frozen food in the microwave, then the result will be average. I think that it would be the same for this potato soup recipe, no, the potato soup itself.”
“Mm.. What you are trying to tell me… So it’s this? That potato soup is not a good dish to show my abilities with?”
“…..At least this potato soup is like that. It’s not that it’s tasty for the mouth, it is just eaten well. I think that it is closer to a familiar meal than course cooking.”
At those words, Chloe fell deep in her thoughts while touching her lips. Rather than saying that his words hurt her, it was more than a homework from her. But it was also a homework for Jo Minjoon. Actually, while Jo Minjoon was sharing his opinions with her, his voice wasn’t filled with confidence. It was because of the cooking score that appeared before.
That’s why it got all the more harder to reply for Chloe.
“Then, is potato soup a dish that shouldn’t be served in any restaurant? Because it doesn’t let you show your full skills or give a professional flavor?”
At that moment, Jo Minjoon couldn’t think of anything to reply. Was that really the case? Would a dish with no hope of improvement be served in a restaurant? If there was, then who decided on that rule?
Jo Minjoon couldn’t think of an answer. There was a time where he worked on a restaurant, but it was as the youngest chef. Only the word was chef, but actually there was no difference to being in charge of chores. There weren’t many things he knew to pierce through a restaurant’s physiology.
Saying the truth, Jo Minjoon wanted to agree at what Chloe had said. If there was a limit to cooking, and the limit to cooking would be decided because of that…. He thought that it was a really sad thing. It was the same like saying that every person, when born, would have different value with others.
“I don’t know.”
In the end, what Jo Minjoon could say was just that. But Chloe didn’t blame him for answering like that. Rather, she smiled brightly. It was a hospitable smile. It was a Chloe like face.
“Then let’s think together. We have plenty of time.”
“First, let’s eat the pasta. At this rate, it won’t get cool, but will get soggy.”
Chloe smiled and raised her fork. Jo Minjoon smiled faintly and brought the aglio e olio he had made to his mouth.
The flavor was a success. The spaghetti that was mixed with oil, gave a subtle garlic aroma along with the hot peperoncino flavor. And the main point was the saltiness. Personally, Jo Minjoon thought that the main point on giving flavor to the aglio e olio was salt. The feeling where you could vaguely feel the saltiness. It was a flavor which koreans were bored with.
But Jo Minjoon thought that if they were participants to come to Grand Chef, then they would be able to feel this profound flavor amply. Indeed, on Chloe’s face, a faint smile could be seen.
“It’s a flavor that pushes and pulls.”
“I just made it to be like that. A fluttering flavor? That kind of sensation. Marco. What about you?”
“……Honestly speaking, it needs more seasoning for me. I use to eat salty food.”
“Then put in some cheese that’s over there. Then it will suit you.”
“I was about to.”
Marco wiped the sweat on his forehead and put some cheese in it. At that moment, the aroma of the cheese tickled his nose. Even if he was putting it in his dish, it was that much. Could it be the power of cheese? Jo Minjoon ignored the temptation coming from a corner of his heart and rolled the noodles in his fork. Aglio e olio becomes an entirely different dish in front of cheese. He wanted to keep believing that.
Kaya suddenly said. But Jo Minjoon didn’t get surprised. Because it was pretty normal for her to be grumbling in front of food. Rather, he was happy about her reaction. Her incredible tasting was a better ability than Jo Minjoon’s system. Only she could grasp the entirety of the flavors structure after eating it.
Jo Minjoon asked.
“What is lacking?”
“Entire balance. I think that there’s a lot of parsley powder in it, and the noodles and the oil aren’t perfectly in sync. You should have poured more water. You made it too hurriedly.”
“Mm. I’ll keep it in mind.”
He didn’t feel bad. There would be cases where you started to hate the person that pointed out your mistakes. But Kaya was well aware of that, and pointed out things for Jo Minjoon. Thinking about that, he couldn’t feel bad. At least, he wasn’t someone with a small mind.
But at the same time he couldn’t help but question it a little. They were both 6 points dishes. Chloe’s potato soup, and Jo Minjoon’s aglio e olio. But why didn’t she point out anything about the potato soup, but pointed out the regretful parts of his aglio e olio?
However his question didn’t last long. It couldn’t. Kaya asked them with an anxious voice.
“Then start slowly eating my dish too. The flavor will get dispersed.”
Kaya looked at her scallops anxiously as if she was looking at a bedridden old man. Jo Minjoon laughed and put a scallop in his mouth.
The flavor was obviously delicious. Because Kaya’s skills didn’t run off to somewhere. In the case of scallops, if it got a little cold, then the flavor could be felt more clearly. The butter that was slightly about to get hard melting in one’s mouth, and the soft scallop like that woman’s lips were all satisfactory. Kaya asked with shining eyes.
“How is it?”
“It’s like always. There’s nothing to point out.”
Jo Minjoon shrugged his shoulders and said. Kaya looked at Marco and Chloe. Chloe didn’t say anything and just smiled. It meant that it was delicious. At that moment Marco opened his mouth. Kaya got nervous and looked at him. However, what Marco said wasn’t related to her dish.
“I will now bring the souffle. It should be done.”
When Marco said that and came back, there was a chocolate souffle with white sugar powder that was like snow on his hands. Chloe said admiration words.
“Wow, Marco. Your breads are perfect even from the smell. Why did you come to Grand Chef? You should have gone to a Grand Party City or something of the sort.”
“…..But it doesn’t exist.”
Marco said hopelessly. And then, sliced the souffle with a cake knife and served it on each plate.
Jo Minjoon got surprised while looking at the souffle. It was a quality he hadn’t seen in a while. 8 points. Souffle was a really simple dish, but just like aglio e olio, the difference of the flavor was like heaven and earth depending on the chef, no in this case it was the pastry chef. It also meant that this dish was perfect to properly show Marco’s skills.
How would it taste like? Jo Minjoon sliced a piece of the souffle with his fork. It was so soft to the point it couldn’t even be compared to sponge cake, and while it was being ripped, it released hot steam. The steam was filled with chocolate aroma. Jo Minjoon brought that to his mouth slowly.
The sweet and soft flavor that roams through his mouth. It was a little bit sour and sticky, and that flavor that was felt through his tongue conquered his mouth. What he could do right now was laughing happily.
Suddenly, the worry about the scoring method was now far away.
< A well done dish and good food (2) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter! Thanks for reading and your support! I know that it’s a bit boring right now, and it will keep being like this for a few chapters. But I assure that after that it will get a lot more fun. So enjoy the reading!
Regulars being on: Tue, thurs, sat and sun
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled