There was a little change after word that Jo Minjoon had an absolute taste spread. And that was that the other participants brought the dishes they made to Jo Minjoon.
At first, it was quite good because he could eat various dishes, but as time passed by, it became more tiresome. The participants didn’t simply want him to taste it. He didn’t know where they had heard from, but they also knew that Jo Minjoon could score a dish. And the result was what was happening right now.
“What is the score…..?”
Chloe looked carefully at Jo Minjoon. The noodle was blended along a peanut, pork, green onions, etc. sauce. Dandan noodles(탄탄면). It was a simple dish from China, just like it was for bibim guksu(비빔국수) in Korea. And because it was simple, and even the cooking method was simple, the score could only be low. 6 points. Jo Minjoon wondered how he had to reply to her and brought the noodles to his mouth.
The peanut oil that was fried along with chili, was covering the noodles like a sauce, and as soon as he ate a bite, his tongue got slightly numb. But the numbness felt good. After the spicy flavor, came the delicious flavor, and the thick noodles that were between udon(우동) and chinese noodles, lessened the oily flavor.
The salty flavor of the pork was also good. But the end result was 6 points. Jo Minjoon put the friendliest voice he could and opened his mouth.
“It’s delicious. I’m not even chinese so it’s rather awkward to say this, but I think that you expressed all of the flavor the dandan noodles could have.”
“But the score is only 6.”
At Jo Minjoon’s words, Chloe became instantly depressed. It seemed like she was trying not to get that depressed, but it was also a score that was hard to get happy with. Jo Minjoon tapped her shoulder and said.
“I told you. That high scored dishes aren’t the only good ones. The score only shows the technique that was used in the dish. Although it could be an important standard on missions, usually, there’s no need to be bothered too badly about it.”
“Hmm….. Then that means that if this dish is presented in a mission, it would be difficult to pass, right?”
“…….Probably, you won’t receive favorable comments.”
Excluding the things he had observed until now, there were cases where 6 points dishes would be approved and passed by the judges. Probably, it would be a dish that contained something other than cooking technique, but not only because it was a 6 points dish meant that you were going to get eliminated. However this dandan noodles was different. The score was a score, but it didn’t seem to have the strength to pass on a mission.
He couldn’t console her through lies. Jo Minjoon remembered that Chloe didn’t survive for long, and he thought that it was because she focused more on flavor than in the cooking process. Perhaps, it would be something possible because of her pure love for cooking, but even so, she had to be more greedy to survive in these missions. Didn’t he almost get disqualified for his sloppily made korean meal? Jo Minjoon said in a serious tone.
“Chloe. I understand the philosophy you have for cooking. You care more about the flavor than the technique, right? I also understand that. However, that shouldn’t be the case for the missions. You saw the results I got in the previous vegetarian mission. Of course, aside from the technique, it wasn’t such a good dish…..”
“To make bibimbap that wasn’t even fried rice along with seaweed soup on the mission, it was indeed terrible.”
Kaya, that was across them, said while laughing. Jo Minjoon glared at her, but she pouted at him as implying what did he want. Marco opened his mouth.
“Even so….. I think that it was a nice try.”
“What? That meal?”
“No. Challenging the mission with a relatively familiar meal. Of course, the results weren’t good….. But chefs often want to make that warm meal.”
“If you want to make something warm you can just fry it on the frying pan.”
Kaya replied like that and grumbled. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh.
“Whatever, what I want to say is this. That it’s good to make a good dish for a mission, but basically, you have to show your skills and experience with your dish. Because in the end, the judges evaluate that. I don’t want to look at you disqualifying because you weren’t greedy enough.
He thought that those weren’t some special words, but at that moment, silence flowed in the table. Jo Minjoon looked dumbfoundedly at everyone. Chloe was putting on a deeply moved face, and Kaya was putting on a disgusted face. Although Marco had a normal expression, in the first place, his fat covered his face, so it was difficult to discern his expressions. Jo Minjoon said with his voice trembling.
“Why with that expression?”
“…….Putting aside that you are saying that to a competitor. Aren’t those some romantic words? This isn’t even a love program, but a cooking program.”
Kaya frowned as if something wasn’t to her liking. Jo Minjoon replied hurriedly.
“Don’t turn it to a weird direction. It’s nothing like that.”
“Enough. I’m leaving first. I’m getting the creeps. Who’s in charge of washing the dishes today?”
“You are. Don’t escape and just sit down.”
At Jo Minjoon’s words, Kaya clicked her tongue and sat again on the chair. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“Last time, when I was conversing with mister A…….”
“Who’s mister A?”
“You know. Anderson. I was in the middle of conversing with Anderson…..”
“You conversed with him? Weren’t you in bad terms?”
“No, but even if we were, we aren’t permitted from conversing. If I have to explain it, I was hungry that night, and wasn’t sleepy, so that night I went to the kitchen.”
“… … …”
Jo Minjoon stopped talking. His knitted brows were expressing his emotions clearly. Kaya leaned her body towards the chair after laughing as if she understood. After feeling that he had overcome something difficult, Jo Minjoon continued talking.
“Anyways, I had the chance to converse with Anderson. And at that time, there was something we talked about. That good food is different to well made food. And that what we have to show to the judges is a well made dish.”
“But even so, you made that korean meal?”
At Kaya’s words, he didn’t have particularly anything to refute her. When Jo Minjoon closed his mouth, Chloe tapped Jo Minjoon’s back and said in a severe tone.
“Kaya. Stop bullying him.”
“……But I didn’t.”
Kaya pouted out her lips and mumbled. Marco that was eating the crepe he made, only opened his mouth then.
“Minjoon. It’s my turn.”
Marco served the crepe in Jo Minjoon’s plate. And said with expectant eyes.
“Tell me the score of my dish!”
The days on Grand Chef’s house passed by quite quickly. When you spend everyday with people that enjoy cooking, those days were felt as camping.
And soon, the third episode had also ended. They were all related to the qualifying phase. From the next broadcast, the main phase should start broadcast. The participants waited everyday for the episode to be broadcasted. Those were leisure and comfortable times.
But Jo Minjoon couldn’t spend his time leisurely. And the reason he was making the call right now was because of that.
“Yes. I think I will go after a while. Travelling fees? I have plenty. Yes. Don’t worry. Yes. I will call you next time.”
The day where the mission was going to be announced, at the kitchen. When the judges were waiting in the broadcasting place, a call from Lee Hyeseon came suddenly. It seems that she was worried for her son that was far away from her. The call ended, and Jo Minjoon let out a long sigh. It was about time he told her about Grand Chef, but his mouth didn’t easily open. Marco that was next to him, looked with amazed eyes.
“You talk korean really well.”
“……In the first place, I am korean.”
“Oh, right. I tend to forget because your english is really natural.”
Jo Minjoon replied while laughing. Chloe, that was next to him, asked as if she was worried.
“You still didn’t tell your parents?”
“It’s about time I should. But I think that they will be troubled if I did that. I think that they will be less troubled if I tell them after getting a good result……It’s complicated.”
“Fine. What about this? You are going to tell them if you pass this mission.”
“What if I don’t’?”
“Then, I will tell them! That Jo Minjoon loves cooking the most in this world, and he is the sexiest when he does so. That this road is Jo Minjoon’s road. That if you allow him to, he will surely become a good chef. How about it?”
“…….I only heard the part of me being sexy.”
Chloe replied like that, and turned her head. It was at that moment when Jo Minjoon was laughing at her. The door opened and the judges came in. The participants and Jo Minjoon started to applaud. It wasn’t because they wanted to, but because it was an indication from the director.
After the judges passed by them, they looked at them with an expression you couldn’t know as usual. And among the judges, Joseph was holding a big box. Even at first glance, it seemed like a box used to draw lots. Was it related to the announcement of the mission? Everyone were tilting their heads when Emily opened her mouth.
“It’s been a while. Before announcing the mission, I want to congratulate you all. You have done well. You are the most outstanding 18 people from those thousand participants from all around the world.”
At the end of those words, cheers were heard. Of course, half of those were because of the indications they had received, but Jo Minjoon, while cheering, could feel his chest getting hotter. The most outstanding 18. It would be a lie if those words didn’t make him happy.
Alan took a step and opened his mouth.
“Saying that you are able to make these kinds of dishes means that you are that much of an outstanding chef. However, a chef isn’t completed just because he handles the knife and the pan well. The life of a chef is teamwork. There is a limit to what a chef can make. I believe that you felt that in the last team mission.”
At that moment, every participant knew by intuition. No, it couldn’t be called as intuition. Right now, Alan was blatantly giving away the answer. That the mission that was soon going to start would be a ‘team mission’. And their guesses weren’t wrong.
“This mission will be a team mission. You have to separate in two teams consisting of nine people. And just like a normal restaurant, you will need a head chef.”
At that moment, everyone gulped. You could guess just by looking at their faces. ‘Please, don’t let it be me’. The head chef seat had more disadvantages than advantages. Because you had to be responsible of everything. It could only be a bothersome seat for amateurs like them.
Joseph smiled brightly and walked forward with the box in his hands.
“There are a total of eighteen balls in this box. There is red and blue balls, and the rest are all white. The people that picks a coloured ball will be the head chef.”
‘ I just have to pick a white ball.’
Jo Minjoon thought like that and nodded. Alan elevated his tone.
“Come and pick your ball. You will feel more comfortable the earlier you pick your ball.”
Maybe he was stimulated by those words, but a red haired youth ran towards the box. It was Jacob. He put his hands in the box with a nervous face. And pulled it out. Alan laughed.
“A head chef appears from the start.”
Jacob looked dumbfoundedly at his hand. And on his hand was a red ball the size of his head. The other participants couldn’t help it but feel more relieved. Because, the probability of them becoming the head chef lessened by half. Jo Minjoon asked Kaya, that was next to him.
“What about you?”
“Head chef. Do you want to become one?”
“……..You know my temperament.”
“That you are fierce?”
Jo Minjoon asked jokingly. Kaya frowned and shut her mouth. Looking that she wasn’t replying meant that she also knew what her character was. Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon and asked.
“I wonder. Half and half? Honestly, when would you become head chef if not in this situation?”
“That’s……right. But I still don’t want to do it. I will certainly be bad mouthed.”
He felt sorry looking at her being uneasy about being bad mouthed. It seems that the shock she got recently from the broadcast was big.
The line kept shortening. Were there at least 5 people that still didn’t pick? But even so, the blue ball didn’t appear. Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon anxiously.
“You go first.”
“But I can go and pick a white ball.”
“But……ah, I don’t know. I will go.”
In the end, Kaya went up first. And after a while, there was a blue ball in Kaya’s hands. Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon resentfully.
“I told you to go first.”
< The role of the head chef (1) > End
Translator’s note: The other sponsored chapter! Thanks for reading and for your support! Will work harder for you guys! 😉
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled