This person was wiping the window which moon light passed through. There was a man seated on a sofa in the dark resting room. And that was Jo Minjoon. The TV that was turned on in front of him was broadcasting a famous talk show from a famous comedian. But his eyes weren’t looking at the TV. The screen of the handphone he had in his hand was too enchanting to turn his attention to the TV.
Carl Casper : Why don’t you change Grand Chef’s name to Dating Chef? It made me confused as to what program I was watching.
ㄴ Anna Tompson : I agree: Whether they are a couple that suit each other or not, I wish for the program I am watching right now to become a cooking program again.
ㄴ Olivia Wesiz : @Anna Tompson Just because they insert a scene where they are playing cutely doesn’t meant that it stops being a cooking program. For me, it was a good sight.
Dawnbreaker : I want to eat catfish. Why do I keep imagining the flavor of something I have never tried?
ㄴ Meridia : I agree. I think that it would be perfect to eat for breakfast.
Harry Miller : Who do you think will win? For me……
ㄴ Kuroki Yui : Why did you stop talking? For me, it’s Anderson. He does seem skilled, and his cold appearance is also cool, he’s my type.
ㄴ Bootes : Chloe for me. She’s cute and at the same time pretty. I want her to win. I don’t know why but I keep cheering for her.
ㄴ Jessica Wood : @Kuroki Yui Rather than Anderson, Hugo or Carlos are more handsome. And they are more manlike. Oh right, that asian was also fine. The one who was eating with Kaya at the end. What was his name?
ㄴ Kuroki Yui : @Jessica Wood It’s Minjoon. Looking at him I started to think that he is a chef that resembles his cooking. I think that rather than being luxurious, his dishes were more sleek.
ㄴ April : @Kuroki Yui Sleek? Him? The catfish meatballs seemed like shit. The one who is sleek is chef Alan.
Sansa Stark : Am I the only one who thinks that Marco is cute?
ㄴ N N : The world is wide and personal tastes vary.
Arianna Sommer : Minjoon and Kaya really suited each other. I got the feeling I got back to high school.
ㄴ Katy Jones : Tell them to differentiate the places. What the hell are they doing instead of cooking?
ㄴ Yujin Smith :@Katy Jones No, actually we are driving them to that point. Was there something else they did rather than eating? If you want to say something do it to the director.
“And you were telling Kaya to not look at it.”
A voice was heard. Jo Minjoon glanced back. Chloe was putting a big sister like face looking at her spoiled little brother. Jo Minjoon didn’t really reply back and turned off his handphone. His eyes that didn’t know where to look, directed to the show program he wasn’t even interested in. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth.
“What are you doing at this hour?”
“That’s something I should be saying. Why aren’t you sleeping and staying here like this?”
Jo Minjoon said and then fell in his thoughts. And that was about Chloe’s voice. Her voice was quite coarse and low unlike her pretty and cute appearance. It was a little different to having a husky voice. That was more suited to Kaya’s voice. If Kaya’s voice was one that suffered from a sore throat then, Chloe’s voice was more from someone catching a cold.
‘……..What am I thinking about?’
Jo Minjoon shook his head. Chloe asked.
“You just thought of something weird.”
“…….How did you know?”
“Because when people get speechless, they usually think of weird things.”
Chloe talked like that and stood up. She opened her mouth cautiously.
“It’s really amazing how people make up things. Just because they share food it is romance? Actually, it’s nothing like that.”
“…….Well, it’s a broadcast.”
At his words, Chloe smiled slightly. She opened her mouth.
“Now that I see, you said that you were going to tell your parents when you passed the mission, but it got postponed to tomorrow. Are you sad?”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t even thinking about that. Thank you for worrying.”
“Rather than being worried……It just seems like looking at myself.”
“Why? Your mother isn’t opposed to you cooking.”
Jo Minjoon didn’t say the word ‘parents’ tactlessly. Although children from a separated family weren’t sad, they got hurt at a simple word. Chloe seemed to notice Jo Minjoon’s consideration and put on a soft and at the same time, sad smile.
“It’s not about opposition. It’s not that my relation with my parents is bad, but they can’t express themselves properly. And I know how hard and painful it can be.”
“… … …”
Jo Minjoon just touched his fingers without saying a thing. Hard and painful? It was something he had never thought of but listening to her and reflecting on it, it did seem like that was the case. Having your parents as an opponent and keeping it a secret was a heavy and tough thing to do.
“But Chloe, why did you come here? There are only good comments related about you, and it doesn’t seem like you are here because of the comments.”
“What, I’m not a person? I got fluttered by the comments and couldn’t sleep. So I came here after exercising for a bit. There would probably be a lot of people like us. If you visit their rooms right now, nobody would be sleeping.”
“That’s probably right. But what about Kaya?”
“Well, she would be looking at the screen again. I think that Marco glanced at it and fell asleep, and guys like Hugo would probably be fighting in the comments.”
“Anderson would probably not check it because of his pride.”
“I think that those types of guys would check it from start to end.”
After talking like this for a while, his heart that was beating anxiously got relaxed. However, after worrying in one thing, he started to worry about another. Jo Minjoon exhaled air and said.
“Could Peter get calm?”
“He modified the recipe previously. To tandoori chicken breast and not turkey. Well, we will know about the detailed things after it with checking him, but he will get better.”
“………Saying that his dish was 5 points, do you think that it was my mistake?”
“Even for me, it wouldn’t be strange for that dish to get a 5. If it was another person, they would forcefully evaluate it in a good way. But we are chefs. No, saying that we are chefs would be wrong. But even so, we have an objective to become one. So I think that you were right to be honest in his cooking. Maybe, if he can’t beat that honest opinion……….”
Chloe paused for a moment and smiled faintly. Even Jo Minjoon could know the meaning of that smile. The words Chloe couldn’t bear to say, were said by Jo Minjoon.
“Right. He will not be qualified to be a chef.”
“Probably, it will be the first day for many of you to welcome a customer.”
Alan said. The kitchen’s atmosphere was different than usual. Originally the countertops were lined in two lines but right now, they were in the shape of a square and split in two. It was clearly meant for the team mission. And the participants were already separated in each teams places.
“I won’t talk for long. I want to stimulate you with the word ‘first customer’. Make a good cooking and present a good dish. It’s the end. Now, go and prepare!”
8:45 AM. They couldn’t property have breakfast and the mission already started. It couldn’t be helped. Because the customers were going to come at twelve for lunch. To prepare properly, two hours weren’t even that long.
“Are you all ready?”
At Kaya’s rough voice, everyone nodded. Kaya was putting on a face of a female evil warrior that came out from a movie, and said.
“I will organize the recipes one last time and leave. Carlos will make the bagel with banana cream cheese, and after that Jo Minjoon will make crab bisque soup. The main will be Chloe’s roasted bass. And……”
Kaya paused after that. Her eyes were directed at Peter. But Peter didn’t look back at her and was only staring at the floor. Kaya’s eyes twitched for a moment, but she didn’t express it and continued talking.
“Peter will make tandoori chicken breast. And Hugo the ossobuco. …….The ossobuco was delicious. Hugo. Just make it like before.”
Hugo smiled and saluted. Jo Minjoon nodded unconsciously. The ossobuco made by Hugo was certainly delicious. An italian dish you made by boiling down calf marrow in white wine and steaming it.The flavor was certainly deep, just like the home flavor of Italy. The cooking score was 7. But the flavor was way above that.
“Joanne will make caprese salad,Tony the choco mochi and Ivanna the orange sherbet. Joanne, Ivanna. Don’t forget to make it fast and serve it after that. Minjoon, you know that you have to help too in serving, right?”
“Good. We are done. Let’s start!”
As Kaya shouted, everyone started to bring their ingredients. And Jo Minjoon was the same. The ingredients didn’t change to the time he was serving his teammates last night.
When he was peeling and taking of the shell of the crab, Kaya got close and watched what Jo Minjoon was doing. Jo Minjoon asked in a low voice as if he was whispering.
“And Peter? Do you think he’s doing well?”
“I wonder. I think that I would ruin it if I went there.”
“Even so, you have to go. Perhaps he would be waiting for reconciliation.”
Kaya put on a face that didn’t really like the idea and walked towards Peter. It wasn’t a good atmosphere, but even so, it was good for them to converse. Jo Minjoon continued to focus on his dish. This time, there were pros and cons while boiling bisque soup in a huge quantity.
The advantage was that the flavor deepened. Just like every soup, the more you boiled bisque soup, the deeper the flavor would become.
The disadvantage was that the amount was too much to handle. Even if the soup burnt below the pot, with this much amount, it was difficult to even feel the aroma, so it was also difficult to check the state of it. A chef that was smelling the bisque soup for minutes, no, for hours would find it difficult to detect that it was getting burnt. Because his nose became dull.
Of course, Jo Minjoon could check the cooking score of the finished dish through the system. But if he checked after the dish was done, it became too late. He couldn’t permit any mistakes, and for that he couldn’t let his arms rest and stop stirring the soup.
And the quality of the bisque soup that was made carefully didn’t fall behind to yesterday’s soup. Jo Minjoon looked at the soup with a satisfied expression.
Now, he only had to maintain the temperature and serve it to the customers. Of course, making a huge amount at a time wasn’t something good to do, but it was unavoidable for a restaurant. They just couldn’t adjust the timing to keep making any kinds of soup and serving it to the customers.
“The customers have arrived! What are you doing and not serving!”
Alan yelled in a haggard voice. Carlos held the bagel and banana cream cheese he had made and moved. And after that, it was the turn of Jo Minjoon. It was at that moment when he was putting the dish that contained crab meat and a kettle filled with bisque soup and proceeding towards the dining room. Some of the customers that were having their meal looked at Jo Minjoon and nodded as if they knew who he was. And some, even pointed at him.
He felt a bit embarrassed. In his mouth, a smile he didn’t know the reason of, started to show. He wanted to be as expressionless as he could, but he just couldn’t hold it. In the end, Jo Minjoon laughed awkwardly and kept walking. In the first table, there were two people that seemed like a couple. Jo Minjoon placed the dish that contained the crab meat, and poured the bisque soup.
“It’s crab bisque soup. I recommend you to first savor the soup, and then the crab meat.”
“Did you make this?”
“Yes. I made this dish.”
“Oh, this feeling is quite strange? Just yesterday I gulped and drooled while looking at the catfish meatball stew you made. But this seems even more delicious. Right, Clark?”
“Hmm…… It’s my first time eating crab.”
The man that was named Clark, looked at the soup that was placed in front of him with an unfamiliar face. Jo Minjoon laughed softly and opened his mouth.
“It won’t feel fishy at all.”
“…….First, I will try the soup.”
Clark hesitated a moment and extended his spoon. Jo Minjoon looked nervously at his spoon. It went in his mouth. Clark closed his eyes as if he was savouring it, and soon, opened it widely and moved his spoon again. Twice, three times. And on that spoon, the crab meat he said he was unfamiliar with was placed on top. The man that chewed the crab meat widened his eyes and said.
“Wow…….this, my god. The crab meat melts even before I chew it. Just why…… it’s delicious. It really is.”
“I also think like Clark. It is delicious. Thanks for the good food.”
Jo Minjoon didn’t reply and just smiled. It was a smile that didn’t even have a trace of being fake, but filled with happiness. He felt fluttered. The words from the judges were completely different than the customers saying that it was delicious.
It was at that moment. The woman grinned and asked.
“Did you also seduce Kaya like this? With your dish?”
Jo Minjoon laughed helplessly and replied.
“She did say that it was delicious.”
< Unexpected fame (2) > End
Translator’s note: I’m really thinking of adding this novel under the ‘romance’ tag. Not only because of this chapters, but because of the following ones…
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled