God of Cooking – Chapter 43: The role of a head chef (5)

Her intentions to try to liven up the mood were too obvious. They didn’t know if that liveliness was fake, or if it came from an honest heart. Jo Minjoon couldn’t know.

But one thing he knew was that his heart calmed down a little. Because if you say bitter words, people who listen to that would feel bad, but it’s the same for the person that says it. So because he was Jo Minjoon, he couldn’t feel good after saying those bad words.

Chloe also tried to liven up that, and if not for her, only an awkward atmosphere would have remained. Whatever it was, Jo Minjoon felt grateful for Chloe. Because the burden he was feeling got relieved thanks to Chloe.

“At least, I don’t have that kind of illness.”

Jo Minjoon grinned and got up. “Me too.” Hugo got up. And after that, all of the team members got up almost at the same time. It was the same for Peter and Kaya. They couldn’t back off in this kind of situation. Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya and said.

“I think that it would be good to make the dishes we were planning to make tomorrow, what do you think? Chef.”

Kaya, that was listening to Jo Minjoon with a bad face, at the word of chef, she couldn’t help but stiffen her face and looked at him. Hugo that was next to them received those words with an excessively funny face.

“Now that I look at it, even if it’s provisional, a head chef is still a head chef. I will also call you chef from now on, chef.”
“Me too, chef.”
“Chef? That’s good. It makes me feel like i’m in a real kitchen. It’s okay, right chef?”

Joanne and Chloe laughed and looked at Kaya. Kaya was forcefully putting on a calm face, but her ears were reddening. Kaya opened her mouth.

“Just….. Fix the recipe.”
“Yes, chef!”

Hugo replied like how a soldier would salute. And after that, Kaya shut her mouth.

The cooking proceeded in a more comfortable atmosphere. The team members each started to make what they were planning to do so, and Jo Minjoon also did the same. What he started to make was bisque de crabe.

The bisque in Korea was a soup made by grating clam, crab or shrimp’s shell and was recognized greatly. However, only half of it was correct. Precisely speaking, bisque is a dish made by making a soup with crustacea and molluscs shell. But there was no need to grate it.

The first thing Jo Minjoon handled was the vegetables. Celery, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, olive oil and bay leaves. Jo Minjoon sliced those vegetables and put them in boiling water. He was planning to make a vegetable broth.

Actually, when you made bisque by the normal way, what was recommended was to use chicken broth or fish broth. However, if he wanted to do so right now he had to use a product, and Jo Minjoon thought that it was better to use vegetable broth rather than doing that. In the first place, aside from it being a product, vegetable broth brought out the flavor more cleanly.

He put the broth on fire and Jo Minjoon started to handle the crab. The kind of the crab was dungeness crab, and it was normally eaten in the western coasts of America. And the size of it was as big as the ones that lived in the United States. Even roughly felt, it was almost 1kg.

But it was more comfortable the bigger it was, anyways. Jo Minjoon immediately dislocated the joints of the crab, and carefully peeled off the shell. It was a job that was easily done for people that touched crab everyday. To hull the uncooked meat. However, Jo Minjoon wasn’t accustomed to doing it, so he could only be cautious. Because if he put in even a little bit more of strength, the meat would crumble.

‘Perhaps the reason the cooking score is 7 is also because this job is difficult to do.’

Jo Minjoon thought like that and smirked. The crab bisque he was making right now was made by placing the meat of the crab in a plate and pouring hot bisque in it.

“Minjoon, is it going well?”
“It’s half done.”
“Wow, already?”

Chloe asked in a surprised expression. Jo Minjoon slightly looked back at her. Chloe said she was going to make grilled sea bass, but she was still handling the fish. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.

“Want me to help you?”
“No, i’m almost done.”
“If you need, just ask. Because i’m going to finish in a little while.”

Soon, the vegetable gravy was also done. It was time to slowly make the bisque.

Jo Minjoon lowered the fire to middle and he put in butter and canola oil in the pan. And when the butter was moderately melted, he put in the chopped shallots. Shallots, that was a variety of onions, had a thinner texture and the flavor was also lighter. When you needed the flavor of onion but it was somewhat excessive at the same time, it was a good choice to put in onions.

After he slightly sauteed the shallots, he put in the gravy and cream and seasoned it with salt and white pepper. And then, it was the time for the crab. Precisely speaking, it was putting in the shell and the guts of the crab. Then, he boiled it for five minutes and after he poured dry white wine, he boiled it again.

After that, he had to use the sieve for the bisque. Because there couldn’t be rests of gut and shell on the soup. And the sieve was obviously better if it was thick.

He poured the soup on the plate that contained the crab meat, and then, placing some thinly chopped fresh tarragon on top of it was the end. Tarragon was a herb that was sweet and the spicy flavor was so exquisite to the point that it was called as the queen of spices by the french. He believed that the tarragon was going to save the simple flavor of the crab bisque.

Jo Minjoon slowly drank a spoon of the bisque soup. At first, he didn’t feel much inspiration. The sweet and salty flavor stimulated his tongue first, and when the soup was flowing through his throat, he felt the unique and clean flavor and aroma fill his mouth.

When he got a hold of himself, he was smiling really happily. A flavor you couldn’t smile with. This time, Jo Minjoon ate the crab meat. The soft and tender meat crumbled easily just like soft tofu. It was to the point that he could chew it with his tongue and the ceiling of his mouth. And he couldn’t feel a fishy smell at all.

“Is it tasty?”

Hugo, that was cooking the ossobuco slightly glanced towards him. Jo Minjoon just replied back with a smile. And that became enough of a reply. Hugo was stirring the pure and opened his mouth with earnest eyes.

“Give me one bite.”
“I don’t want to. After you eat a bite, you won’t get that much inspiration later when we eat. Because there’s not a stronger moment than the first bite.”
“No, I will evaluate it with what I eat right now, so give me a bite.”
“I can’t. The smell of the pure is still going to be left in your nose and mouth, so I feel really sorry for my bisque for you to eat it.”
“Ah, you are dirtily tenacious.”

Hugo grumbled and looked away. Jo Minjoon smirked and look at the surroundings. Everybody was busy, but all of them were almost finishing. Hugo, Chloe and Peter that were in charge of the main were preparing the sauce without touching the meat. No, precisely speaking, it wasn’t the case for Peter. Because his turkey was already being cooked in the oven.

‘Did he change the recipe?’

Because of the disastrous recipe of applying mustard, that scandal happened. If Peter knew how to think, then he would cook using another method.

Jo Minjoon looked away again. And his eyes fell on Kaya. She was observing them while being seated on a chair with a bored expression. She could only be like that. Because, although they were preparing dinner, they were also preparing for the mission. Also, Kaya was the head chef. There wasn’t a frying pan for her.

“The bread is done.”

Carlos, that was in charge of the baking, said. Unlike his brazilian like name, his face was whiter than white people, and his eyes were so blue it was uncomfortable to look at. However, the bagel that was baked in the oven had a dark brown colour that reminded you of brazilian people.

Kaya stood up from her seat as if the boring time had ended at last.

“Good, everyone gather. Let’s start eating.”

Everybody stopped their hands and sat on their seats. The bagel Carlos served them was quite well cooked, but honestly speaking, it didn’t suit well with Jo Minjoon’s tastes. In the first place, Jo Minjoon didn’t like bagels. And he also didn’t like the kinds of cream cheese. After Jo Minjoon applied banana cream cheese to half of the half of the bagel, he stood up. It was his turn next.

The crab bisque had the role of being an appetizer. Jo Minjoon placed the dishes that contained raw crab meat and poured the bisque soup using a kettle. Honestly speaking, he needed other kind of ideas than when he cooked for the judges. Because he was going to be evaluated with the same competitors. Showing your report card to your teacher and to your friends could only be different stories. But of course, if he followed the system, it was a score he didn’t need to worry about much.

[Crab bisque soup]
Freshness: 81%
Origins: (Too many ingredients to show)
Quality: Medium high (Average ingredients)
Cooking score: 7/10

It was unfortunate that the quality was middle high, but he could do nothing about that. Because the crab, that was the main for this dish, wasn’t fresh but frozen. So he could only be disatisfied while looking at the cooking score.

Jo Minjoon asked with a nervous expression.

“Is it delicious?”
“…….It’s excellent. Although it’s the first time I eat raw crab meat, I didn’t think that it would be this tasty. It doesn’t feel fishy at all.”
“Raw meat and bisque…… It’s a funny combination.”

Everybody said good comments. It wasn’t that they were talking formally. You wouldn’t know about other things, but they weren’t people to talk formally for cooking. Jo Minjoon laughed as if he was a little relieved. Looking at Jo Minjoon acting like this, Hugo smirked. It was a handsome but greasy smile typical of spanish men.

“Even if you have an absolute sense of taste, you do get nervous when others try your food?”
“Of course. Because my tastes doesn’t become the standard for flavor.”
“Well, don’t worry. It’s a flavor that anyone will like if they don’t have an allergy or fear to crabs.”
“It would be fortunate if that was the case.”

Jo Minjoon smiled and then he looked at Kaya and Peter. Only them didn’t evaluate his dish. Peter opened his voice with an awkward face.

“It’s delicious.”
“…….Me too.”

Kaya followed with a low voice after Peter. And then, Peter slightly glanced at Kaya. However, Kaya rolled her eyes and ignored Peter. Jo Minjoon that saw that, sighed inwardly. Although it would be a strange think for them to act friendly right after they fought, but even so, he felt regret for Kaya’s attitude. Whatever the situation was, she was still the head chef.

But he rather felt that he was taking on the role of being head chef. And it was a situation he didn’t like much. If he had picked the head chef’s ball, so if he was head chef right now he would feel more comfortable. Because it was giving him the qualifications to do so.

However, she was still his teammate. Acting like her protector or taking her role was a funny thing. Jo Minjoon shut his mouth and turned his head. Soon, Chloe was coming with a cart that contained a well grilled sea bass, like a gueridon. The white sauce he saw at first glance,  seemed to be a sauce made by mixing white russian and veloute sauce.

After he ate it, he could summarize his feelings with a few words. Delicious. Really delicious. Taking into account that grilling fish was a difficult thing, looking that the exterior was crispy but the interior was moist, the steak feeling it gave you could only be explained with the word pro.

The combination of the veloute sauce was also perfect. At first glance, it seemed to be carbonara sauce, but the non greasy sauce brought up the aroma of the sea bass to a new level. The juice that came out when he chewed the sea bass and the veloute sauce seemed to be only one.

Jo Minjoon opened his mouth while admiring.

“It’s……it’s really delicious, Chloe.”

Chloe smiled brightly. But contrary to what he was expecting, what came out from her mouth was a question.

“Really? What’s the score?”

Jo Minjoon replied while smiling. Until when were they planning to ask him the score?

“8 points.”
“He……So this much is 8 points.”

Chloe looked at her dish absentmindedly. And the team members also ate the sea bass with a little different expression. They also knew that it was delicious before, but when Jo Minjoon said that it was an 8 points dish, the flavor was felt more luxurious and refined.

But the sweet atmosphere crumbled after that. It was Peter. It wasn’t that he did something. Only that his turkey dish was the problem. The roasted turkey that was filled with herbs and vegetables wasn’t that bad, but it was certainly not a dish that you could say it was good.

Precisely speaking, it was a dish to eat at home. He made and applied brown sauce in it, and accompanied it with some green onions…….But there was also a problem inside of that. They could sense a little burnt flavor in the brown sauce. It wasn’t a dish to present to the customers.

The thing that caused him the most headache was the fact that even after presenting that kind of dish, he had asked for the score of his dish. And also with an expectant face. However, he couldn’t tell him a good score just because of that. Because he didn’t lie when it came to cooking.

“5 points.”
“And the top score is 10?”
“……..Leave it. Eat among yourselves. I will go upstairs first.”

Peter left the kitchen with a face filled with annoyance and disappointment, and unhappiness. In the low atmosphere, Jo Minjoon opened his mouth as if he had remembered of something.

“He left without washing the dishes.”

< The role of the head chef (5) > End

Translator’s note: Sorry for the super late chapter! Got some problems with the document and had to redo it…. Anyways, enjoy the chapter. Thanks for reading and for your support!

Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled

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