The one who replied wasn’t Chloe, but Kaya. They didn’t know when the interview had ended, but Kaya approached them and asked bluntly. Chloe glanced at Jo Minjoon. He pointed at his handphone and said.
“My parents called. It seems like they know that I came to this competition.”
“Huh? Did I mishear? Is that really serious?”
“It’s not something serious, but things got messier. Because I still didn’t tell them that I wanted to become a chef.”
At those words Kaya she rested her chin in her hands. She frowned for quite a while looking at the floor and opened her mouth as if she didn’t understand.
“I don’t get it at all. Not telling them is not telling them, and if they know, they know. Why, are they opposed to it?”
“Not until now. But if I tell them so, they will. And that’s not the problem. Because regardless of what they say, I’m still planning to walk this path. What I’m worrying about are my parents. Because they will worry be distressed because their son dreams something beyond what he can reach.”
“They aren’t even children, but aren’t they being to harsh? It seems like they are overprotective.”
“It’s good to avoid all the trouble you can. And it’s also tiresome.”
“Evading like that must be more tiresome. At least in my eyes, it seems stupid. Because only you end up having it difficult.”
At Kaya’s words he couldn’t reply back. Saying the truth, calling it stupid was also right. Maybe it was better to collide with his parents head on and beat them. However Jo Minjoon already had done so. That he liked cooking, that he could do it. He yelled like that and left his job. But what were the results? In the end, nobody could make their parents to feel assured. Everytime he saw his parents, he saw their worry and anxiety behind their smiles.
He didn’t want to repeat that. So he wanted to show them good results and at the same time convince them. That their son had this much talent, skills and potential. But it was too late for him to say something. Because getting to know through the internet, and listening to their son himself was two different things. Chloe patted his back and said.
“First, go and make them a call. You also make me worry right now.”
“Yeah. You go on ahead. I will go later.”
With Kaya’s transparent cheer, the two walked towards the kitchen. Jo Minjoon sat on a sofa that was on the side of the hall, and placed his handphone on his ear. Riiiiiing, riiiiiiiing. The tone stopped. But there were no voices. Jo Minjoon opened his mouth first under that silence.
[…….I have been watching your broadcast until now. Why didn’t you tell me? ]
“I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you after I achieved good results.”
[ These few months you have been cooking so suddenly…..Honestly, I can only say that it was unexpected. ]
“How did you know?”
[ News about you appeared. They weren’t big, but in small letters. ‘Jo Minjoon that is representing Korea in Grand Chef.’ was the title. Ara got surprised and told me, but honestly, I thought that it wasn’t you. I don’t know the reason why you had to hide it from us and go and participate in that competition……Did we do something wrong? ]
“What wrong could you have done? Just…..I wanted to tell you after I got some results. Mom.”
Jo Minjoon gulped. His nervousness was felt even through his handphone. Jo Minjoon said in a determined voice and broke the ice.
“I am going to become a chef.”
It wasn’t that he wanted to become one, or was planning to. He was confirming it right now. That voice was filled with passion and affection towards cooking, so Lee Hyeseon couldn’t say anything.
Jo Minjoon didn’t prolong the talk. Because those words were the only things he had wanted to say. And Lee Hyeseon understood that. Her voice rang through his phone. She seemed to be as calm as possible.
[ It’s difficult for me to say something right now. Minjoon, you too should have thought about it a lot. I will also think along with you. The only thing I want to say is that…….. Mom and Dad are always cheering for you. Of course, we are worrying for you as much as we are cheering. ]
[ The broadcast. I enjoyed it. Now that I think about it, I get the feeling that you practiced a lot without us noticing. Did you? ]
He could only reply like that. Because it would be weird for him to have those skills without having practiced. Lee Hyeseon continued.
[ What I can say right now…… Do well and come back. I’m sorry. ]
“Why are you sorry? Don’t say those things.”
[ Do well. And don’t get while cooking. And if you have already gone, just win it. Understand? ]
His voice was held back. And Lee Hyeson also noticed that. She hurried and wrapped up the conversation.
[ Ah, thinking about it, I forgot that I had an appointment. I will hang up. Minjoon. You know that I love you right? Love you! ]
“Yes, me too……”
Even before he could reply back, the call ended. Jo Minjoon bit his lips and looked at his handphone. Her reaction was a bit different to what he had thought. But of course, it was obvious that she was worried. However, Lee Hyeseon didn’t think of his dream to be thoughtless. Maybe she would be thinking like that for herself, but at least she wasn’t stopping him in his path.
Why could that be? But he didn’t need to think long. Right. The results already showed. The results where he relieved his parents. But they got to sloppily know about it through a news. Saying that he was getting fame overseas and that he was focused on his dreams were just too heavy.
Jo Minjoon looked at the ceiling for a moment. It was different than before. His skills were such that he could relieve his parents. And thinking about that burnt his chest. Jo Minjoon lifted his head. Because if he didn’t do so, he would be crying right now.
After calming down himself in the hallway, Jo Minjoon entered the kitchen. As he got to the 2nd floor, Chloe approached him as if she was waiting.
“Did you do well?”
“Yeah. Better than expected.”
“……..What a relief.”
Chloe was putting a more nervous face than Jo Minjoon. She calmed down and let out a sigh of relief. Looking at her acting like that made him feel grateful and moved him. He scratched the narrow part of the nose and turned his head. The members of the red team were finishing the interview and getting in the kitchen.
Jo Minjoon made eye contact with Marco. Maybe if he wasn’t black, his face would be frightened pale. It could clearly be seen that he was putting that kind of face.
It was understandable. Because the disqualifying missions were mixed with themes you couldn’t just win with cooking skill. Kaya’s and Jo Minjoon’s tag mission demanded teamplay, and guessing the contents of the fried pocked also required an outstanding sense of taste.
What kind of mission would be? Jo Minjoon tried to remember. But he couldn’t. He could only do so. Because what Jo Minjoon remembered were mostly missions related to Kaya. And in this mission, she wasn’t included.
“Anderson seems rather calm.”
Chloe mumbled as if he was amazing. Just like she had said, Anderson didn’t seem to be nervous at all. His confidence on being able to beat any kind of mission was shown on his face. Kaya grumbled and said.
“He’s got a disdainful face.”
“……..Did you still not reconcile?”
“Aside from reconciling, I just don’t like him.”
“I understand what you are trying to say……”
Jo Minjoon laughed bitterly. She seemed to still hold a grudge because of the previous three course mission. Because she was the one who was in more danger for having prepared the appetizer.
“Shh, it’s started.”
Chloe lifted her finger. Just like she said, Joseph came and was raising his voice.
“We will start the disqualifying mission.”
The theme of this mission was omelette. And the standard of the evaluation was simple. To make a pretty omelette. It was simple but even the pro chefs found it difficult to do so. Because if you don’t usually make omelette, even if you were a pro, it was difficult to give it proper shape.
And they had to cook it in the same way. Using cooking oil and butter, and cooking beaten eggs without using milk or cream.
However, the difficult point in cooking omelette was right here. You needed quite a bit of experience to know when to stop cooking the egg when it starts to scramble, and to roll the scrambled egg little by little was also difficult to do. And the most difficult part was on the use of fire. If you put the fire a little stronger than necessary, the exterior won’t cook properly and get roasted. And omelette didn’t need the exterior to be seared.
And the things omelette demanded didn’t end there. When you sliced omelette, the inside had to be soft. On top of that, you had to use the sides of the frying pan to give it a round shape. To take into account all of these things and make it in 5 minutes, made people pale when they were not used to make it.
There were no miracles. The people who were confident made omelette based on that attitude, and those who weren’t made a mess. Anderson was the former. He kept a confident attitude from the start, and made a perfect omelette with no mistakes. His omelette that was yellow a little chick didn’t have any mistakes to point out, and the exterior was made just like pudding. It was an omelette nobody could point the mistakes.
However Marco was the contrary. He had a nervous face since the start and in the end, made an omelette that was ripped in various places. At least the exterior was yellow, but in the end it couldn’t be called a success.
Jo Minjoon looked seriously at him. It wouldn’t be weird for him to get disqualified. Although the other participants weren’t much better than him, they also didn’t make it better than Marco.
And 5 minutes passed like that. Alan raised his voice.
“Everybody stop and bring your dishes.”
In front of the judges, there were 9 dishes placed in the countertop. Alan approached with a casual face, and pushed the dishes. But it wasn’t the he pushed all of the dishes. It was only for the omelettes that were perfectly cooked and weren’t ripped. And those omelettes numbered only 3.
Alan grabbed the knife and sliced the omelette. Two were softly made and the remaining one was lumped together like gyeran jjim. Alan let out a sigh.
“There are only 2 omelettes from 9 that are worthy to be called as omelettes. Who are the owners of these dishes?”
At Alan’s question, Jacob and Anderson raised their hands. Joseph that was next to them opened his mouth.
“I get the feeling that you make omelette usually. I didn’t have anything to point out. You two can go upstairs. You passed.”
The two of them replied in a low voice and moved. They couldn’t jump out of joy for consideration of their previous teammates.
Emily looked at the remaining 7 omelettes. And then let out a sigh.
“To pick the worst three from these. It’s hard. Can you do it? Honestly, it doesn’t make me want to eat them. The only good point is that the exterior got cooked well. Excluding that the seasoning feels a bit heavy, it is basically an omelette. However, if inside of the omelette is a raw egg or a sloppy jjim, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I think that it’s profaning the egg.”
For the person to be saying all of these things to be Emily, those were really harsh words. Because she was the type to normally say good things. Jo Minjoon bit his lips and looked at Marco. The one who was the kindest and gentle was Marco. He didn’t want to see getting disqualified like this.
And his feelings weren’t different to Chloe or Kaya. They received much consideration from Marco, and they knew well about his skills. For him to have made the best dish, but get disqualified for his team, was a really unfortunate thing. It was at that moment.
“Marco! If you pass I will present you a girl!”
Jo Minjoon let out a laugh and turned his head. It was Kaya. She opened her eyes sharply as if saying what was he looking at and said.
“But of course, it’s not Chloe. Don’t worry Chloe.”
“…….Is there something to worry about meeting me?”
“Of course. Think about your big body.”
Marco’s face sulked. Emily, that was looking at them, let out a sigh. Did she have to get angry at this or laugh? Alan who was blunt, also didn’t know how to react at this.
Emily opened her mouth.
“Marco. Looking that you have the interest of the females, I’ll announce first your dish. Your omelette is ripped all over the place. It’s obviously not a good thing to look at. Do you agree?”
“It’s a relief that you do. Right. The appearance is certainly not good. Then, how well is it cooked?”
Emily sliced Marco’s omelette with her fork. As soon as it split, the soft eggs inside of it flowed out. Emily smiled brightly. It didn’t seem very different than Anderson’s or Jacob’s omelette.
“It’s just like you see. It’s perfectly cooked. It’s not excessive, nor lacking. Even if you can’t present it in a restaurant, it’s good to eat it in your house. What would this mean?”
At those words, Marco said cautiously. He was rubbing his fingers.
“Wrong. The answer is ‘lose fat’.”
Emily replied bluntly. Marco’s face became weird. He didn’t understand at all what Emily was trying to say. Looking at Marco being like that, Emily smiled.
“If you want to meet a woman you have to first lose fat.”
< Unexpected fame (6) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Maled