Jo Minjoon’s voice was filled with determination. He wouldn’t know if it was a normal food truck, but right now they were in the middle of a mission. If they sold everything to a wealthy fan, then at that time it wouldn’t become a competition between chefs, but between the more popular ones.
So because of the fairness, it was the right decision to have declined Rachel’s golden bell.
But the result of that was that Rachel had to wait for them to finish the business. And because of that, the one who got more nervous was the youngest PD, Robert. A figure that can’t be out of the american business circle, no, the world’s business circle was right besides them. In that situation, if Robert didn’t feel pressured then his liver would be really small.
Rachel didn’t mind Robert and brought the tuna avocado norimaki to her mouth. Because the laver that was for kimbap uses was processed many times, it had just a suitable feeling. It wasn’t tough, nor crunchy. From the tuna that was mixed with mayonnaise was felt a faint aroma of balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; in the texture of the avocado, a hidden fresh aroma, and the abundant oil flavor caught the overall balance.
Each time you chewed, the laver sticked in the ceiling of your mouth, and the rice grains roamed cutely and tickled your tongue. The aroma of the tuna was felt in all the mouth, rather than only the tongue. It was tasty. Maybe it was because it was seasoned with kelp water and vinegar, that the rice was felt fresh and deliciously, and the result of that was that it didn’t make you tired of any flavor even if it was mixed with anything.
It as a flavor that sticked to the basics. Of course, using the balsamic mayonnaise was like a fresh try, but it wasn’t the important point. The important point was they handmade the mayonnaise themselves and tried to put the efforts and dedication in this small norimaki.
‘They have the basic heart of a chef.’
Rachel looked at Jo Minjoon that was standing in front of the counter with warm eyes. Even at a glance, he had a face that was full of exhaustion, but at the same time, the smile in his face to the customers didn’t have a trace of lie. She rather liked that.
“Um……..Do you want to drink mojito?”
“No, i’m okay. Green tea is plenty for me.”
She thought that it was a little oily, but the fresh and pure flavor of the green tea washed her tongue and throat. Because she felt that she had eaten a healthy meal, a smile appeared in Rachel’s face.
In the other side, the inside of the truck was filled with confusion despite that it seemed normal in the outside. It wasn’t that they had a problem while selling. Only, the presence of Rachel Rose made them not able to calm down. Even Anderson, who had a cold and composed attitude, seemed to be filled with excitement.
Jo Minjoon asked with a confused voice.
“Just who is she?”
“You…….really don’t know? No, right. It’s understandable. Because it’s been more than 10 years that she hasn’t appeared on TV. You, do you know Rose island?”
“Oh, I think I have heard of it. It’s a restaurant.”
“It’s not any restaurant. It’s the most acknowledged place in the world, and that person is the owner.”
Anderson said with a frustrating voice. Jo Minjoon didn’t reply back and kept taking the orders. Saying the truth, he wasn’t really interested in it. Even if she was the owner of one of the top restaurants, she was a person he had never seen. As Anderson had said, the biggest reason seemed that she didn’t come out in TV. Previously, Jo Minjoon had seen many videos about cooking from all around the world, but they were mostly recently filmed. If it was about a star chef from long ago, there was no way he could know about them. Because when she worked in TV the most, it was when Jo Minjoon was only in primary school.
It was at that moment. Joanne saw that Jo Minjoon hadn’t reacted at all, and said some words.
“Oh, right. If I say it like this you should understand. She is famous for being Alan’s master.”
“Yes, it will be 4 dollars. Thank you. ……..The Alan I know?”
“Yes. It’s just a rumour, but it seems like Martin originally wanted to call Rachel instead of Alan.”
Listening to that, he started to see her in a new light. Jo Minjoon glanced at Rachel. And soon, got a chill. Rachel was staring at him nonstop. Her face was filled with a smile, but he felt like he was facing the director when he was still in school.
Jo Minjoon mumbled quietly.
“She won’t hate me because I didn’t let her ring the golden bell, right?”
The business proceeded in quite a busy manner. Only for lunch, he had to make rice two more times, and the result of that was that the amount of norimakis amounted to more than 700. It was the best they had sold in one time.
“…….Your absolute taste, it seems like it had quite an effect.”
Joanne said. Jo Minjoon just shrugged his shoulders. It was at that moment. The people who were waiting for them for almost two hours stood up from their places. A gulping sound could be heard. It was Anderson. He was putting a nervous face while sweating cold sweat. He approached Rachel.
“Hello, teacher. I’m Anderson Rousseau.”
“Rousseau? It seems familiar…… oh, are you maybe the son of Fabio and Amelia?”
“Yes. I remember having met you a few times when I was small.”
“Right. I kind of remember. Your parents would be happy. For their only son to grow into this handsome youth.”
Rachel put on a soft smile. Saying that she remembered seemed like she was saying that out of consideration, but Anderson couldn’t stop the corner of his mouth from raising with just that.
It was the first time they had seen Anderson be this excited like a child. So Jo Minjoon could only get more curious. How outstanding could this person, Rachel Rose, be?
Rachel moved her steps. And her feet stopped right in front of Jo Minjoon. He couldn’t even open his mouth and looked at her with an awkward face. She opened her mouth.
“I heard that you have an excellent ability.”
“I’m sorry to have come this suddenly. I felt hurried and I couldn’t stand it.”
“Is there a reason for it?”
She couldn’t just come here so hurriedly because he was a chef with an outstanding ability. Rachel opened her mouth, but closed it again. And after letting out a sigh, she looked at Jo Minjoon, and then at his chest. And after that, she closed her eyes and sighed again. Then, she slowly turned her head to look at the surrounding cameras.
“Of course, I have a something to do. However, it will be difficult to bring it up in this public place. I only want to ask you one thing today. I know that you will feel excused, but can you answer me?”
“……..If it’s not a difficult question.”
“It’s simple. Your absolute sense of taste, are you certain that what you have is that?”
Rachel’s eyes shined seriously. Jo Minjoon couldn’t help but flinch at that moment. It was difficult to explain that what he possessed was the ability of the system, and not an absolute taste. However, it also wasn’t true that he did have an absolute taste. Jo Minjoon slowly opened his mouth. He didn’t want to have her as an enemy, so his voice also became gentler.
“An absolute sense of taste has never appeared until now. So i’m not certain as to what that is. And because of that, I can only be careful when someone asks me if I do have it. I can only feel the composition of the ingredients a little more clearly. That’s the most correct answer I can give you.”
“……….Right. You will. I understand what you are talking about. Then, I will also change the question. I’m sorry. After getting older, I have just gotten stickier.”
Rachel smiled as if she was ashamed. And then, continued speaking.
“When you eat, how do you feel?”
Contrary to what he was expecting, Rachel asked him a not detailed question. Jo Minjoon fell in his thoughts. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to give the sunbae in front of him a more correct answer. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be the answer she would be expecting for, but at least he wanted to be more sincere than ever at this moment.
“First, I analyze. What’s in it, how was it cooked, what’s emphasized in. Enjoying the flavor comes after that.”
“…….So you can know all of the ingredients in the analysing phase, right?”
That wasn’t a lie. Rachel looked at him for a long while with a face he couldn’t guess what she was thinking about. Her face was filled with a lot of emotions. Happiness, sadness, regret, sorrow…… Just as the amount of wrinkles in her face, those emotions were felt deeper and denser. Rachel wanted to say something with a teary face, but decided not to. And then, said in a low voice.
“…….right, if it’s you, it may be possible.”
“No, i’m sorry. Because of my age, I keep talking alone. Thank you for your answer. Keep devoting yourself. Until the day you become a single chef as a whole. You will probably become a good chef.”
Jo Minjoon opened his mouth. Then licked his lips after hesitating and asked with a wavering voice.
“Saying that I will become a good chef, is it because i’m sensitive in tasting?”
That was a really important question for him. He couldn’t just get happy when people praised him for his absolute sense of taste. Because there was a difference in the ability people thought he had, and reality. And because of that ‘You will succeed because you have your absolute taste.’ Those words couldn’t move him at all.
Rachel just looked at Jo Minjoon. Under her blonde hair, there were a lot of wrinkles under her eyes.
“Norimaki, I ate well. I think that it was a dish which your, and your teammates attitudes were buried. You all like cooking, right?”
Everyone nodded unconsciously. Rachel said.
“If you do like it, anyone can become a good chef. Because this world doesn’t betray hard work.”
After the night business while they were on the road to return to chicago, Anderson said.Jo Minjoon didn’t talk back. Because Anderson had grumbled about this for more than ten times. Anderson seemed to be quite envious that Jo Minjoon received Rachel’s attention. Jo Minjoon let out a sigh.
“You also talked quite long.”
Even after Rachel had finished her business, they had talked for a while about this and that. Of course, it felt like it was because she was concerned of Jo Minjoon, but even so she wasn’t the kind of person to ignore the sights of the youths that were passionate about cooking. Jo Minjoon just closed the heavy eye lids.
He was exhausted. The interest of the people, the responsibility as a team leader, all of those were making him feel heavy. Honestly speaking, when he got in charge of being the team leader, he had never thought that it would be this hard.
However, expressing that in front of other people felt too oppressive. No, it was uncertain calling it oppressive. Explaining it a little more precisely, it was closer to constraint. He had to do well so he didn’t prejudice his team, he had to choose the location well, he had to design the menu well, had to suit their tastes, had to popularize it.
If you put it one by one separately, it would be a simple thing. However, when all of those were put together, his thoughts and responsibility could only get bigger.
Actually, it was mostly because he was the kind of person that felt a strong sense of responsibility. Normally, he would only leave it to destiny, do as he can, think like that. However, Jo Minjoon wanted to reach the destination with the boat he boarded with his teammates.
“Am I too greedy?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
At Peter’s question, Jo Minjoon shook his head and replied. He looked at Peter. Now that he looked, it hasn’t even been one week since he was afraid of being edited in the broadcast, but compared to Peter of that time, he was showing quite a composed form. Maybe his sloppy advices had calmed his heart.
‘I only have to grow myself.’
Jo Minjoon smirked and looked outside the car’s window. They were leaving Madison and heading to Chicago. And Chloe’s and Hugo’s team would also be running there right now. The last day, everyone will work in the same place. That was what the director had planned for the last 7th day.
‘Will I be able to see Kaya again?’
He was also curious as to how Chloe and Hugo would be doing. Would they also be exhausted as a team leader like him? It was at that moment when he wanted to get some sleep. His handphone vibrated and he lifted it. It was a message. That came from Kaya.
[ Kaya : When are you arriving? We already arrived. ]
[ Me : In about one hour. ]
[ Kaya : Look forward to it. Because I will end the likes of norikami. ]
This message that wasn’t gentle at all, made her feel so girly. He felt like his pain was alleviated a little. Jo Minjoon replied back with a lighter mood.
[ Me : It’s not norikami, but norimaki. ]
The reply came back immediately.
[ Kaya : It’s an error. ]
[ Kaya : It’s not that I didn’t know. ]
[ Kaya : Ah. It’s really not it. ]
[ Kaya : Do you think that there would be people that know it as norikami instead of norimaki? ]
[ Kaya : Are you ignoring me right now? ]
Jo Minjoon didn’t reply back
< Aftermath (2) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter! Aww these lovebirds.
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak