Six days have passed since the food truck mission and the meal in the three star. And in that time, no missions were give. Perhaps it was consideration for them because they had suffered for one week in the truck, but maybe it was also because the schedule with the judges didn’t match like before.
Although there was no mission, there was one episode broadcasted. It was yesterday, The 7th episode. The story about the team mission was told. The broadcast where Kaya and Jacob separated in teams, and Peter made an accident. And…..
Jo Minjoon turned his eyes. Peter was seated in the countertop and was looking at his handphone for a while. He could only do so. Because after the broadcast ended, the main subjects of discussion were Peter and Kaya. Martin was a pro. Just because Peter was sad, he wasn’t the kind of person to edit that scene to make him look good.
All the words Peter had said were propagated exactly the same. Even if you took into account that he was less mature mentally, the level of it was a bit high to just let it pass. Because he had cursed her integrity. Jo Minjoon understood him, because he knew that he wasn’t mature enough mentally, couldn’t have a smooth social life, and couldn’t control himself.
However, the viewers didn’t know that. No, even if they did, they wouldn’t mind too much. Because in the end, what they heard would only be some words. Peter became a villain. There were more people than he had thought venting their anger on him.
Some were questioning him. Although his words were harsh, they wondered if Kaya was the one who had started first. However, Kaya’s mistake couldn’t cover for his mistake. Moreover, after he had cursed like that he had also burnt the tandoori chicken….. As people were more immersed in the program, they could only show a denser anger. Jo Minjoon said along with a sigh.
“……..I told you not to look at the comments.”
The voice was so low it couldn’t be heard by Peter. And even if he did tell him, there would be no way he was going to hear him because it was the same for Kaya. And even if he tried to not look at it, if you saw it once, it wouldn’t be just twice that you were connected in the internet.
But still, Jo Minjoon’s situation was good. Precisely speaking, they thought that he was appearing on the screen for the love line. But after his absolute taste appeared their opinions changed. They started to look at the program as if everything had its own reason. The different feeling Asians gave would end up being the wings for Jo Minjoon. And people also called him a genius that had understanding way beyond what they could understand.
Honestly speaking, he didn’t hate that. Although he felt a bit burdened by it, he also felt flustered and laughed because of it. That people liked him. That people he didn’t even know the faces of were placing expectation in front of his name. That was a really marvelous feeling.
“We will soon start broadcasting! Everybody put back your handphones!”
The staff’s voice was heard with strength. As Peter hurriedly put his handphone on the pocket of his apron and soon after, the judges came in. Like always, some words that raised the mood was said, and Joseph said said with a calm voice.
“There will be a box in each of your countertops. At the count of three, everybody open the lid. One, two, three!”
After he said that, everybody opened the boxes almost immediately. Some let out sighs of relief and some frowned. Jo Minjoon was the latter one. The thing that was in front of him was a broad and flat piece of meat. Precisely speaking, it was a piece of meat with a piece of bone. And it wasn’t quite a welcoming customer for him.
T-bone. It was the part that had strip steak and tenderloin in it. Joseph said with a serious face with no trace of laughter.
“T-bone isn’t the most delicious part of the meat, but that’s a personal problem. However, I can certainly say this much. T-bone steak is the most difficult part to cook along the steaks. If you cook with the same fire strength, the strip steak will inevitably cook faster than the tenderloin part. And of course, we wish that both of the parts are cooked similarly.”
Several sighs were heard from around. This was a mission that simply followed skill. So if you made a mistake for even a moment, it would be the end right then. However, Joseph’s words that was heard after that relieved them a bit.
“However, there’s no need to be that nervous. Because this mission will just be warm up. The first place will be given a benefit. An exemption from the following disqualifying mission.”
At his words, some of the eyes shined. Jo Minjoon too let out a sigh of relief. He couldn’t get first place. Because it wasn’t easy to get T-bone in Korea. Many butchers sold you the strip steak and tenderloin separately, there was almost nowhere that sold you the T-bone by itself. Even if you went to a huge market, it was difficult to get T-bone. That was reality.
So of course, his experience could only be low. As he looked at the meat, it’s thickness was only around 2cm. Of course, he couldn’t say that it was thin, but he also couldn’t say that it was thick. And basically, steak was much easier to cook if it was thick.
It couldn’t be helped. Because if it was thin, the thinner it was, the shorter the time it was in contact with fire would be. There were many cases where you wanted to sear the exterior a little and ended up overcooking the interior.
“We won’t be using a sauce. Just season it with salt and pepper. Bear in mind. The most important thing is that both of the parts have to be equally cooked. And of course, flavor is the basic. Start! We will give you exactly 10 minutes.”
Jo Minjoon quickly turned his head. Rather than having a method to cook T-bone, you could only rely on your senses and experience. And actually, when you hired a chef in a steak restaurant, they say that they evaluate using T-bone, so he couldn’t guess what would be the level.
Of course, simply giving it flavor was not a difficult thing, because you could just eat it regardless of how it was cooked. If the strip steak was medium, then the tenderloin was about medium rare. And honestly, there were customers who enjoyed the small difference in flavor.
However, there were also people that wanted both of the parts equally cooked. If he couldn’t satisfy the need of every customer, then that person couldn’t be called as a completed chef.
What he had to think now was the cooking method. As he slightly glanced, Kaya was taking a grill. It seemed like she was planning to cook the steak in the grill. (TL:really?) (PR: No, Minjoon. She took the grill ‘coz for giggles. XD) Because her sense in fire was outstanding, maybe it was the best decision for her.
However, it wasn’t an option he could choose. Why did he get amazed by looking at her roasted eel? Wasn’t it because she knew the difficulty of cooking with fire? If he sloppily copied her, then he would end up by burning the exterior.
Jo Minjoon cut off the fat and put round pepper on it for the aroma. He didn’t put salt. Cooking it to become medium took 4 minutes. Calculating the resting time, then it would be 5 minutes. If he put salt and let it rest, because of the osmotic pressure, it would rise sloppily to the exterior. Because of that juice the heat in the pan got wasted, the juice too got wasted, and the searing could only get weak. If he wasn’t planning to let it rest for 40 minutes, then it was better to put salt at the moment.
Jo Minjoon looked at his surrounding. And at that moment, his brows twitched. He was looking at an incomprehensible scene. Peter was heating the oven. Maybe Alan was thinking the same as him, so he got in front of him and asked.
“…….How are you planning to cook?”
“After putting it in the oven and cooking it, I will use the frying pan to sear the exterior and let it rest.”
“Do you think that you will be able to control how both of the sides cook?”
“If I put only the tenderloin part in the end part of the pan, I think that it will cook less.”
“………I wonder. Let’s see what happens.”
At that moment, Peter’s face became dim. He thought that his cooking method had some chances, but as Alan came like that, his confidence immediately disappeared. However, he couldn’t fix the direction because of one word.
Most of the participants were resting the meat. And 5 minutes passed like that. The participants that were only looking at the clock’s needle, moved as 5 minutes passed.
Jo Minjoon took out the round pepper and put some salt. He then oiled the pan using the fat he had cut off. In the middle it made a sizzling sound, Alan opened his mouth.
“Do you have any experience with T-bone?”
“No. Almost none.”
“Take into account the range the fire reaches in the frying pan. With just that, it will be quite the help.”
He was planning to do so even if he hadn’t told him, but Jo Minjoon smiled without saying anything. Because he wasn’t so spoiled as to act sharply at the worried advice.
As Alan said, controlling the part the fire touches the frying pan was the priority. Jo Minjoon placed the frying pan, and placed the tenderloin part where the fire was strong. But because of that, there couldn’t be too much of a difference. If he did that, then the tenderloin would get more overcooked than the steak strip.
The cooking method of the steak was different from each chef. Some said that you didn’t have to flip it more than twice, and some said that you had to flip it once every minute, or every 30 seconds. Jo Minjoon was the type to flip it every minute. If he did that, the juice that was gathered in the center of the meat, would spread and inflate the meat while it was resting.
Rather than what was right and what was wrong, it was better to look at it as an individual taste. Jo Minjoon checked the clock and flipped the steak. He didn’t particularly use the arroser method. Because not only it dispersed his concentration, but the extra oil could change the cooking point. Jo Minjoon wasn’t on the level he could read the role of the oil on the meat, yet.
The estimated cooking score was 6. It couldn’t be helped. Because he was just roasting it and not using any sauce, so it was difficult to get a score beyond that.
What Jo Minjoon wanted was right a medium. After exactly flipping it three times, he placed the meat on kitchen towel. If he only waited for 1 minute for the juices to return…….Although he didn’t know if both sides would be medium, at least, he was certain that the flavor would be okay.
The buzzer rang. All of the participants took their hands off their dish. Jo Minjoon looked at his own. The score of the T-bone steak that appeared after it rested was 6. It was the same score as the recipe.
The judges called the people one by one. They cut the tenderloin part, and the strip steak part. And after that, if the cooking point was different, then they didn’t even put it in their mouths. For example, Peter was one case.
“I asked you. If you would be able to do it. Look.”
Alan showed the sliced part to him. One part was medium, and the other medium rare. The blood in it could clearly be seen. Emily let out a sigh.
“Even if it’s not an eliminating mission, this is too much. Don’t you know that you can’t take risks in cooking?”
Peter barely replied with his face having turned pale. Even so, it seemed like he was filled with burdens because of the comments. And even the judges seemed to have it hard to say something else looking at his face. They sent back Peter and called the next participant. It was Anderson. Joseph sliced both of the parts and put a nice smile.
“Both of them are medium-well done. And they aren’t burnt at all. It’s exactly cooked. You are really experienced, Anderson. It seemed like you couldn’t properly show your skills for a while, but it seems like you came back to your place.”
Anderson didn’t even laugh and replied back. Because he couldn’t be happy yet. He wasn’t 1st yet. After they ate it, bigger praises came after that. All of the judges judges as his steak was damper and had a more overwhelming flavor than the medium roasted steak.
Jo Minjoon understood their evaluation. Cooking it simply with salt and pepper and getting that score, meant that if he added a proper sauce, he would have gotten an 8.
The next one was Jo Minjoon. He walked to the front with a calm face with his dish. After Emily grabbed her knife and sliced the meat, she nodded.
“Medium. They are both cooked the same. Although there’s a faint difference……Well, even picky customers wouldn’t complain about it. You said that you didn’t have much experience with T-bone, right?”
“Taking that into account, it’s excellent. And the texture……. Mmm. This much is fine, and it seems like you caught the juice well. You have done well.”
If what they had told Anderson was a praise, then what they told to him was merely a compliment. He felt rather disappointed because he was kind of expecting something, but he could do nothing about it. The difference in experience was an absolute thing.
The last participant to get evaluated was Kaya. She got out with her dish in her hands. Joseph looked at the dish with an interesting face.
“You were the only one to have cooked with a grill in direct fire. Kaya. Are you confident on your choice?”
“My strongest point is the use of fire. If I hadn’t cooked, I would have become an arsonist.”
“I will trust in you.”
Joseph sliced the meat with soft hand movements. It was just as she had said. Medium. The insides were cooked in a pink colour and was showing itself. It was the same for the tenderloin and steak strip. Joseph slowly put that meat in his mouth.
When he chewed the meat for the first time, his face was really bright. But the second and third time he ate it, his face became strange. And it was the same for the other judges. Kaya looked at the judges with a nervous face.
“This is well roasted. But Kaya, it seems like you forgot one thing. Did you perhaps cook all the sides of it, and after that the interior?”
At those words, Kaya put on an ‘oh’ face. She didn’t do it. She was so focused in the balance of the sides that she forgot to roast the exterior to contain the juices. Jo Minjoon looked at her. Unfortunately, her steak was 5 points. It couldn’t be helped. Because she had missed the juices, she had also lost the basics.
‘Even Kaya has times when she slips like this.’
Excluding the time when she reveled against her team because of her temperament, then this was the first time. Joseph said in a gentle manner.
“It seems like you know what your mistake is. Good. Kaya, a chef who knows their mistakes tend to grow. Go back to your place.”
Kaya returned with a disheartened face. Now that the situation turned out like this, it was clear who was going to get first place. There were many people who had cooked both of the sides similarly, but only one person got that flavor perfectly and even heard praises. Anderson. Jo Minjoon looked at him. He was the kind to usually show his skills, but the more you looked at him, the more it made you think that he couldn’t think of his skills lightly. She lost to Kaya and became 2nd place, but that meant that if it wasn’t for her, he would have won.
“We have decided who would get the first place after we discussed it. The conclusion came quite easily. Anderson. Congratulations! You are exempted from the disqualifying mission. Go to the 2nd floor!”
Anderson said with a calm voice and moved his feet. Along with the envious gazes of the participants following his back, Alan opened his mouth.
“Then, I will announce the next mission. Probably, it could be a mission which some of you won’t like it at all.”
Alan talked like that and glanced at Jo Minjoon. He twitched his brows. He felt an ominous feeling. Alan continued to say in a calm voice.
“The theme for this mission is………Dessert.”
< Footprints in front of his feet (1) > End
Translator’s note: Regular chapter!
Thanks for reading and for your support!
Translator : Subak Proofreader : Saihikawa