The atmosphere got cold. Maybe they were surprised at Kaya’s curses, or they agreed with her at getting angry…….Nobody from the team could open their mouths. And the red team looked at Kaya and whispered by themselves.
And it was the same for Alan. As the judge in charge of the kitchen, he understood how Kaya was feeling and her rage. However the problem was after that. How will she lead her teammate after exploding in rage? Alan looked at what they were doing with a more serious look.
Kaya took in deep breaths coarsely. Peter didn’t reply anything back and just looked down at the chopping board. He was angry. To Kaya and to himself. Grand Chef was also an opportunity for him. An opportunity that presents only a couple of times. And right now, that opportunity was trying to leave from his sight. He couldn’t not be angry.
But he couldn’t shout back. Because the responsibility of this disaster was on himself. Peter wasn’t a stupid person as to not be able to think of that.
Peter said disheartenedly. Kaya, that was prepared to go another round at it if he was planning to refute her, in the end shut her mouth and glared at him. Only after a long while did she turned her head back. She also looked for a while at Hugo and opened her mouth.
“Hugo. The ossobuco, you can’t present it first right?”
“Are you kidding? Even if I don’t do well from now on, I will at least need twenty minutes more for it to have a proper flavor. It’s absolutely a no right now.”
“……In the end I will have to decide here. If I’m going to remove the middle main dish, or if I’m going to take care of it.”
Kaya looked at Peter. Peter wasn’t saying a thing and just looking down. Kaya let out a sigh and said.
“What are you going to do? Decide quick. There’s almost no time. The maximum we can get late is at most 15 minutes. Think about a dish you can make in that time.”
“Whew, Minjoon. You too, think. If you have no ideas, we can’t help it but to skip this part.”
Jo Minjoon closed his eyes and fell in his thoughts. Because when he closed his eyes, the system’s window was seen more clearly in that dark world. It soon became a habit when he started to design something.
He didn’t even know how he got that kind of habit. And actually, even if Peter’s tandoori chicken breast was well roasted, it also became a problem. Because the masala sauce that was full of strong spices, was enough to kill all the flavor that came afterwards.It meant that it would sink the flavor of the soon upcoming ossobuco.
Peter said that he wanted to make salad to catch that heavy flavor, but Jo Minjoon was opposed to that. Because the score the system was showing him was only 6. It wasn’t that good of a score. And Jo Minjoon was sure that the cause of that low score was the tandoori chicken breast.
He did say that he was opposed to it, but Peter’s attitude was just too stubborn. If it was right now, he thought that he would be able to change the menu completely.
However it was a short thinking. Because that was only if he had enough time to think of a recipe. Even if he thought of many recipes in his head, there were no recipes that surpassed 6 points. It could only be that way. 15 minutes. They had to make a dish that didn’t last longer than that. And thinking of a recipe that wouldn’t disturb the flavor of the dish that would come after that and was delicious at the same time wasn’t an easy thing to do.
“What about mixing mozzarella and fresh avocado and making a simple chicken steak?”
“It would be too greasy. Preferably……”
Jo Minjoon stopped for a moment. The recipe he thought of in his head was only 6 points. However, in case he included cooking, he could raise the score to 7. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth nervously.
“Saying the truth, this dish is nothing special. However, it won’t disturb the entire flow. First, roast chicken breast with olive oil. Then fry some shallots with that oil. And after that let’s make a creamy cheese sauce using tarragon, lemon juice, herbs and goat cheese. The herbs and the lemon juice would catch the greasiness, and it won’t be bad at all.”
“Good. And the garnish?”
“That. What was it? God damnit, I don’t remember. Right. The salad Peter prepared. Let’s just put it there. Do you think it’s going to be okay?”
“Good. Peter. You understood right?”
At Kaya’s sharp voice, Peter just nodded with his face stiffened. Actually it was even harder to complaint.
Kaya slightly glanced at her surroundings. Carlos had made the bread a while ago, but was continuing to serve the customers in the hall. Chloe was also in the hall, and excluding Jo Minjoon and Peter, everyone were doing their own dishes. Realistically, the only ones who could make the chicken dish were those three. Kaya’s face hardened.
“Let’s go with chicken tenderloin instead of chicken breast. We are roasting the tenderloin whole and applying the sauce Minjoon said. What are you doing? Quickly put the pan on fire! Minjoon, help.”
“I will prepare the sauce. You and Peter do the chicken tenderloin. Will you be fine?”
After Peter replied, Jo Minjoon immediately brought the ingredients. The first thing he did was to chop the shallots. Originally, he had planned to sauté the shallots in the oil he had used to roast the chicken breast, no, now the chicken tenderloin, but he didn’t have the time to do so.
He cooked the shallots until it turned soft, and placed the herbs, goat cheese, lemon juice and tarragon on the pan. Although you would feel the smell of the cheese melting, to be delicious, but depending on the person, the longer you smelled it, the more it repugned you. And Jo Minjoon was the type to be repugned by it.
Still, it was good that lemon juice and the tarragon’s aroma caught the aroma of the cheese. Of course, it didn’t matter for the customers. Because this was before they put the food in their mouths.
“Kaya. Is the tenderloin done?”
“Soon. And the sauce?”
“It’s done. What should we do with the sauce? Should we spread it in the plate, or place it on top of the tenderloin?”
“Of course you have to place it on top. Wait a moment. It will soon be done.”
Kaya was talking like that and was handling the frying pans that were all around. She seemed to be quite busy. But it was understandable. Because she was handling four frying pans by herself. And next to her was Peter that was sweating and turning the side of the chicken tenderloin.
Jo Minjoon moved his feet. It wasn’t to Kaya but to Peter. Kaya seemed to do fine even if he left her alone, but he was insecure about Peter. He couldn’t help but think that his mind got unstable and made a decisive mistake.
But fortunately, no such things happened. Peter’s chicken tenderloin was almost perfectly roasted. He couldn’t also check the seasoning, but the exterior that got seared was good to see. It wasn’t excessive, and wasn’t lacking. Jo Minjoon opened his eyes.
“Do you want me to give you a plate?”
“Wait a moment.”
Jo Minjoon brought the plates and placed them on top of the countertop. And wondered for a moment. To place the salad below, or next to the tenderloin. But of course, he didn’t take long. An oriental sauce was already applied in the salad. If he placed it below and the cheese sauce of the chicken got mixed, it was a result he didn’t even want to imagine.
Chloe came in when he had almost done the setting of the salads. She, who was pulling the cart, asked with a perplexed face.
“Huh? Shouldn’t the next dish have been tandoori?”
“It got burnt. So we changed it hurriedly.”
“…….It should have been hard. Are you okay, Peter?”
At that moment Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but get surprised. Normally, you couldn’t help but get angry, but in that short moment when she worried about Peter instead of getting angry, she seemed really pretty.
‘The man who marries Chloe should be happy for eternity.’
He wouldn’t even feel the trial life gives you as a trial. Because right now, Peter was also sloppily smiling back at Chloe. It was at that moment. Kaya opened her mouth.
“Chloe. The dishes that are in your cart. They aren’t the sea bass one’s right?”
“Why shouldn’t they be? They thankfully ate them all. They even wiped out the sauce.”
“…….I’ll get crazy. Doesn’t that mean that the table is empty right now?”
Kaya’s hands that was placing the chicken tenderloin in the dishes got busier. Chloe was calmly helping Kaya. Jo Minjoon poured the cheese sauce that was in the pan, on top of the chicken tenderloin. Kaya let out a sigh as if she was taking a breath. And then opened her mouth.
“Peter. Come with me. It’s your dish. So you should explain.”
The two of them got out with the carts to serve. Jo Minjoon checked their actions while standing in the entrance of the hall. And the reactions of the customers weren’t as bad as he had thought. Only, Emily’s reaction was quite cold. She ate only a few bites and placed down the fork. A smile could be seen on her face, but she didn’t seem satisfied.
It couldn’t be helped but for her to be like that. Even with Kaya’s skills, she couldn’t bring out the flavor of a hurriedly made recipe more than it could. And they had also made a difficult to handle dish like chicken tenderloin in a short time.
However, the ossobuco that came out after that, raised the sunken atmosphere. And at that moment, Jo Minjoon also got surprised.
The cooking score of the ossobuco was 8.
Hugo’s cooking level was 6. And the ideology Jo Minjoon had until now was that the utmost you could do if your cooking level was 6, was cooking a 7 points dish. He just thought like that. Because, when he started to make 7 points dish, it was when he had reached cooking level 6.
But that wasn’t the case. Hugo was certainly level 6, and the ossobuco was 8 points. He didn’t have the time to organize that situation. Because when lunch ended, they had to immediately prepare for dinner, and after cooking and serving, the time of judging soon approached.
Jo Minjoon looked at the judges. The one who opened their mouth first was Emily. She looked at the participant’s faces without a trace of smiling.
“You have done your best. And I think that it was the best you could have done. I can still see some lacking points, but even so, some dishes were really good. Chloe. Hugo. Anderson and Marco. You were the ones to have made me the happiest today.”
Jo Minjoon didn’t get frustrated because he wasn’t named. He felt it regrettable, but he understood. Because the names Emily called, had all displayed level 8 dishes. Chloe the sea bass, Hugo the ossobuco. Anderson displayed steamed lobster. And Marco made tart with chiboust cream.
“There were exactly two in the red team, and two in the blue. So I wondered even more. But, I have decided. I’m……..”
Emily looked at the chip that was in her hands. In front of her was placed one red box and one blue one with the votes of the 40 customers. And her hands were directed at the blue box.
“It’s the blue team. Actually, the satisfaction of the entire course was similar. But the dish that suited me the most of those four dishes was the ossobuco….. And the server who had made me feel most comfortable was Chloe. Chloe, I think that your smile as a person, and not only as a chef is a really valuable treasure. Maybe, if you open your own restaurant, and that exact same smile still remains…… I think that I would become a regular customer of your restaurant.”
“Tha, thank you.”
Chloe couldn’t hide her embarrassment and happiness and smiled brightly. Emily smiled teasingly and pointed at her.
“But that smile is a bit weak. Be more confident, Chloe. You are an excellent chef. Regarding of the results of this competition, I’m already your fan. Remember that. The restaurant that receives love by an epicurean usually has good results.”
Chloe clenched her two fists and yelled. Emily smiled brightly and stepped back. Joseph walked to the front. He didn’t hesitate for a moment and put the chip in the red box. It happened so instantly, so the participants and even the casting crew were all dumbfounded. Joseph said in a calm voice.
“I won’t be showing favoritism with the vote. Even so, the votes of we, judges, are irrelevant comparing to the 43. And the reason I picked the red team is simple. I ate the red team’s cooking more deliciously than the blue team. Especially Marco, your tart was perfect. I am convinced that you are the participant that makes bread better than anyone else here. The words Emily said to Chloe, I would like to tell you the same things. Be confident. It’s also good to be prideful. Because the decisive factor I picked the red team was your tart.”
Marco didn’t reply. He couldn’t. His big eyes were filled with tears and he was sniffing right now. Anderson, that was next to him, put on a hesitating face and patted his back. Joseph stepped back. It was Alan’s turn. Alan said with a cold and harsh voice.
“I don’t know about what was placed in the dishes, but you were a spectacle today. You were dumber and noisier than a monkey, and some team even changed the recipe in the middle. What I am evaluating today is not the dish, but your knives, chopping board and frying pan.”
Nobody replied. Peter especially had his head dropped with a pale face. He could only do that. Alan lifted his chip.
“The red team should also know well. That the blue team did a really stupid thing. Kaya. Reply as a head chef. What is the meaning of changing the recipe?”
“…….It means that the food is changing.”
“It’s similar but different. It means that the order got changed. But of course, today it wasn’t an order, but a predefined menu. However if it was on another situation, you wouldn’t be receiving money, and even if you got cursed you wouldn’t be able to talk back at all. Chloe’s smile? Service? What’s the meaning of that? Of you made a mistake in the most basic thing that’s cooking.”
Kaya didn’t reply back and dropped her head. She wasn’t thinking of handing down all of the responsibility to Peter. Because in the time Peter was making the mistake, she didn’t check so it was also partially her fault. Alan slowly put his hand that was holding the chip in the red box. Alan continued with his cold face.
“The reason I am voting for the red team today is not because they did well. Only because the opposing blue team acted really stupidly. Remember that. The food is made in the kitchen. And if that process is carelles, then the results will also be it. Become perfect. You are the doctors and the ingredients are the patients. You have to be more perfect than anyone else. Because the customers aren’t expecting for a mistake.”
Peter bit his lips. It seemed like those words were all directed at him like arrows. Alan checked at Peter for a moment, then shut his mouth and fell back. Joseph let out a sigh. When that sigh was slowly heard by everyone, his voice rang again.
“We will start counting the votes.”
< Unexpected fame (4) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled