A gulping sound was heard. It was Jo Minjoon. He looked at the chips that were coming out of the boxes with a serious face. Blue team one, red team one. Blue team eleven, red team eleven. It was at the moment when they each had seventeen chips, with a total of thirty four coming out when Alan opened his mouth.
“Now, one of the boxes doesn’t have any more chips.”
The participants just heard that as a declaration. Alan looked at Jacob.
“Jacob. Do you think that your team will win?”
“And what’s the reason for you to be saying that?”
“I believe in my teammates.”
“Do you think that you have performed the role of the head chef well?”
“It’s a difficult question for me to answer. I think that my teammates would be having the answer.”
Alan just looked at Jacob. His eyes seemed intricate and nervous rather than gentle. Jacob didn’t evade his sight. Alan said in a low tone of voice.
“If you have to pick someone from your team that performed the best, who would you pick?”
“…….It’s troublesome. It would be too simple to say that everyone did well. Fine. I will pick Marco. Because it was the only dish we didn’t even have to wash.”
“Then, if you have to pick the person that performed the worst, who would you pick?”
Jacob couldn’t reply immediately. He could only be like that. Because if he named someone, in the end, that person would only get hurt. And there were no particular people that made such a mistake as to bad mouth like that. Jacob replied with an awkward voice.
“I will pick myself. I tried to adjust to the head chef’s seat, but I don’t get the feeling to have completed my role well.”
At those words, Alan didn’t say anything. In the middle of the nervousness, only silence could be heard, and only after a while did Alan smile.
“You seemed to be replying trying to evade my question, but your answer seems to be quite true. I won’t refute that. I will only say a word. Jacob. You have done the best as a head chef. Remember that.”
As the conversation between the two ended, Kaya’s face became ugly. Because it was obvious who Alan was going to target next. Alan turned his head to look at Kaya. Chloe that was next to her, wiped the sweat that was on Kaya’s forehead with a towel nervously. Alan that was looking at them expressionlessly opened his mouth.
“Kaya. I will also make the same question to you. Do you think that you are going to win?”
“I don’t know. Because in the end, you just have to look at the results. So why are you asking me this? If you ask me if I’m going to lose I would reply that I wasn’t confident, but if I say that I’m going to win, then it will be a proofless confidence. Isn’t that right?”
At Kaya’s bold question, almost all of the people that were next to her laughed bitterly. They knew well about Kaya’s temperament, but they never thought that she would be able to speak so challengingly to a judge like Alan. Was it a bluff? Or did she only know to reply like that?
Alan didn’t get angry. Because those words weren’t so harsh for him to get angry. She had just hit the mark. And Kaya’s eyes were also slanting, but there was no need to point out things like this one by one. Because he was a judge and not a teacher. Alan said unconcernedly.
“I won’t mind about what you reply. Just do so. Are you confident?”
“I told you. That you have to see to know. I don’t know.”
Alan’s eyes twitched. Saying the truth, he felt a bit perplexed. Because he never thought that he would listen to this sort of answer. However, now that he looked clearly, it seemed that Kaya that had said those words seemed more perplexed. It seemed like she had never expected to say those things that sharply. Alan took a short breath and opened his mouth.
“Then, I will go with the next question. Who was the most excellent chef?”
“Hugo and Chloe. Oh, right. I understand. It was only one person. Chloe. I will go with Chloe. Actually their dishes were similarly delicious. However, If you take into account the serving, Chloe was better. Because she smiles really brightly. She’s cute and pretty unlike me. The customers like her very much.”
“……Don’t you think that if you fix that temperament of yours, the customers will like you very much for how you look?”
“So, did you fix it chef? Your mean character.”
Alan smiled instead of replying. Saying the truth, it was something he shouldn’t be saying. Because he wasn’t the type to smile brightly at the customers. Alan continued his questions. Even he wasn’t accustomed to asking questions, but because this was a broadcast, he couldn’t just let it pass.
“This is the last question. Who’s the teammate that performed the worst?”
At that moment, many participants unconsciously looked at Peter. It was understandable. Because he was the person who had made a shocking scene like burning his dish.
Kaya didn’t try to look good and seem considerate by not saying his name. Because whatever she did, it was still a miserable situation. Rather than a sloppy consideration, it would be more comfortable to say one honest word.
“He burnt the fine chicken. It would be difficult not saying that it was Peter.”
“And what about you? Don’t you think that you were lacking as head chef letting him do that kind of thing?”
“When did I say that I didn’t have any fault? I was just comparing. The stupid teammate that can’t even properly preheat the oven and burn his own dish, and the head chef that couldn’t properly check that teammate. Even if you see it objectively, the most stupid one should be the teammate.”
It was an excessively honest statement. The casting crew were looking at this situation like a funny scene and laughing, but Jo Minjoon that was looking at her couldn’t help but feel nervous. Because the not pretentious honesty can be seen as rude. And the public used to focus on the bad points rather than the good ones.
She was more concerned and afraid of bad comments rather than the judges, and the only words that came out of her were only those kinds of things. Of course, her very existence would make for a funny character, but the time that character gets accepted by the media won’t be short. Because they already felt rejected when seeing the scene of Jo Minjoon and Kaya.
Kaya opened her mouth.
“Perhaps, did I have to reply that I was the worst one? I didn’t really get a script.”
“…….Enough. Let’s finish the interview here.”
Alan talked like that and put his hand on the red box. And Emily that was next to him also put her hand in the blue box and said.
“One of our hands should be empty. If my hand is empty the red team wins, but if Alan’s hand is empty the blue team will win. Count down, will you do it? Now, count to three!”
At Emily’s words, everyone yelled together. And it was the same for Jo Minjoon. The voices that were heard were filled with expectation.
After the announcement of the result ended, all of the participants went to the interviewing room. And Jo Minjoon was not an exception. When he got out of the interview after facing Martin like usual, he saw Chloe that was standing in the hall hitting the wall with her heel. As Jo Minjoon got close to her, Chloe turned her head.
“Did you finish?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Hm, it would be weird to go to the kitchen. The atmosphere is really down.”
“Ugh. Looking that you are taking care of her, it really seems like you are siblings. Don’t worry. She’s in the interviewing room.”
Jo Minjoon leaned his back in the wall standing next to Chloe. The cold of the concrete could be felt through his thin clothes. Chloe opened her mouth.
“I felt it today. That cooking in the kitchen of a restaurant and cooking in your home is different. I didn’t think that it would be this difficult.”
“Even so, it was entertaining. I had fun. Looking at the customers eating my dish happily. It was a first.”
“………It’s the same for me. Even if I get disqualified in Grand Chef later on, I think that I would be able to protect my dream.”
Jo Minjoon nodded at those words. At first, he came all the way to the United Stated simply to get approved by his parents. Of course, he also wanted to stand in the stage he had admired.
But this competition gave him more than he had thought. Improving your cooking skills, and being surrounded by good chefs. And the most important point was that he could polish his attitude and passion towards cooking. Jo Minjoon smiled faintly and opened his mouth.
“The competition, I think I came well. It was the best decision I have made in my life.”
“It’s the same for me.”
Chloe looked at Jo Minjoon and smiled brightly. And after that, the conversation stopped for a long while. They didn’t have particularly anything to talk about, and the silence was soft rather than being awkward. He thought that he didn’t need to say something to break the ice. But just like if there is a start, there is an end, there was also an end to that silence. Chloe opened her mouth.
“Now that I see, what are you going to do about telling your parents? You said that you were going to tell them. The dream of becoming a chef.”
“……….I have to tell them. Because I can’t just hide it from them forever regardless of the results. And on top of that.”
Jo Minjoon smiled.
“This mission, we won. I have to keep the promise.”
“……..I get the feeling that it’s not a promise.”
Chloe just scratched her cheeks.
The mission was won by the blue team, Kaya’s team. 17 to 26. The blue team was 26. The victory was so overwhelming it made them dumbfounded. Thinking about Peter’s mistake, they could only think of it as something dramatic and a turn around. Jo Minjoon couldn’t forget about the red team’s faces that were half sure about victory.
“The victory, wasn’t it because of your serving? They customers wouldn’t have simply evaluated with just the dishes.”
“Nah, would they do that?”
Chloe laughed and shook her head. However Jo Minjoon didn’t say that as simply a joke. Just like Emily evaluated, it wasn’t weird to say that Chloe’s smile captivated the customers hearts. Because the thing called service didn’t simply end at simply serving your cooking in a plate.
“It’s the truth. If it was me, when I ate something that was similar, I would have picked the team with prettier chefs.”
“Stop it. Stop saying crafty words and contact your parents. Ah, shouldn’t you because of the time difference?”
“No. Right now, it should be morning…….”
Jo Minjoon hesitated for a moment and took out his handphone. It was at that moment when he turned on the turned off screen. Jo Minjoon’s face froze. Chloe that looked at his expression looked at his handphone, and even she frowned. Although she couldn’t know the korean contents, at least she could know the numbers and the missed call marks. 21 missed calls. Chloe looked at Jo Minjoon nervously.
“……….Wait a moment.”
When he checked the contents, 10 calls were from his mother, 5 from his father, and the remaining 6 from her sister Jo Ara. And he also had countless messages. Jo Minjoon looked at the ceiling for a moment, and looked down at his handphone again. Then let out a sigh.
[Mom : Minjoon, people are telling me weird things.]
[Mom : Did you go to a cooking competition?]
[Mom : If you see the messages call me.]
[Dad: Minjoon. Are you busy?]
[Jo Ara: Oppa, you said that you were travelling but what are you doing right now? Mom and dad are really serious right now.]
There were countless more messages, but it was difficult to read them. Jo Minjoon closed his handphone. Chloe extended her hand and firmly grabbed Jo Minjoon’s shoulders. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth with a dark face.
“I think that they…….know.”
< Unexpected fame (5) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter! Sorry for the late chapter. I was at a camp…
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled