Kaya froze her face as if she got bewildered. To marry. It was a word she had never imagined. Jo Minjoon slightly looked towards Kaya. Kaya got surprised and opened her mouth by instinct.
“What, what? Why?”
“……Why do you get that surprised? I just looked at you.”
“Your look was greasy.”
“I don’t think that my eyes could get greasy.”
Jo Minjoon frowned and pulled both of his eyes. He didn’t have double eyelids and his upper eyelids wasn’t even deep. He looked like white people couldn’t expect a profound look from him. Kaya coughed.
“Shut up. Just eat. You have to understand the flavor.”
“But you were the one that wasn’t eating until just now and was doing something else.”
“For who was I……. Leave it.”
Kaya got angry and looked at him sharply, but soon grinded her teeth and chewed the food with strength. It was to the point that it made you wonder if she would be able to properly feel the flavor.
Jo Minjoon slowly looked over the dishes. They were mostly 7 or 8 points. Compared to the reputation, it could be quite a low score, but it could also be seen as being decent. The skills of the head chef would be much better than the others, but the role of the head chef was to manage the dishes rather than to cook them.
Of course, if you only practiced the same menu, then the quality of the food would improve. But honestly it lacked something. It wasn’t in vain that the head chef himself cooked a meal for a VVIP customer. And of course, pointing out that it was customer discrimination was also a problem.
That’s why it was an impressive thing that they went to Rose Island last time. It wasn’t only the management of the head chef or his recipe, but also the talent of the chefs that each had their own section, was quite significant. They would have to take into account many things, but it was still impressive even taking things into account.
Compared to Rose Island, he could see many lacking points, but just because of that it didn’t mean that the On The Lake restaurant was a low quality one. It was flocking with customers, so constantly making a 9-point dish wasn’t an easy thing. Didn’t the two-star restaurant he went to when he was in New York only have two 9-point dishes?
“Does it suit your tastes?”
“Yes, it’s fine. What’s the price for here?”
“I’m not sure about those that are served a la carte, but if you choose the most expensive thing on the menu, $60 is sufficient.”
“I think that it’s worth $60, although it doesn’t mean that there are no lacking points.”
Alan didn’t particularly ask the score. Looking at Jo Minjoon’s reaction, he didn’t seem to be really impressed. If he didn’t talk well about it, it was better to not ask the score in the first place because you wouldn’t be able to make anyone happy, much more when Jo Minjoon was soon going to work in this restaurant’s kitchen.
The meal ended and Kaya and Minjoon were reading the recipe while standing in the kitchen. Jo Minjoon asked in a calm voice.
“Did you memorize everything?”
“……I’m weak at memorizing.”
“Don’t just think of it as some words, but remember the cooking method. Or should we do it like this? You take care of the roasting, and I will take care of everything aside of that. Even if we do it like that, we should be able to work quite effectively.”
“But do restaurants really work like that?”
“I wonder. They should each have their own styles.”
Jo Minjoon said in a casual voice. At his attitude, Kaya looked at him with sharp eyes and then she started to read the recipe as if competitiveness surged within her.
What she was in charge of were the fishes would that serve as the main dish. There was nothing aside from fish, since On The Lake was next to Lake Michigan and took on the shape of a restaurant specializing in seafood. But despite that, they don’t only use fish caught in the lake.
‘It’s a sort of concept.’
Seafood that’s sold in a restaurant next to a lake. If you were a customer, it was a combination that would make you feel some kind of romance. Jo Minjoon slightly looked at Kaya and asked.
“How was the meal?”
“How was what? The food?”
“That’s also it but…….. You told me last time that you have never gone to a restaurant in your life. This place seems quite fine. Do you feel like it became a good experience?”
“…….Ah, right. It was the first.”
Kaya frowned. Thinking about it, it was her first restaurant experience, but thinking about this being a mission, she couldn’t properly enjoy it. She felt depressed. Kaya said in a mortifying voice.
“Why? You didn’t like it?”
“There’s no way I would. This place is full of cameras, so I can’t eat without even being able to bend my back.”
“Isn’t it normal to eat without bending your back?”
“I don’t like eating while putting on a dignified air. Putting your head in the dish is the normal thing. Just moving the fork is uncomfortable, so how will you eat?”
“Then why didn’t you bend it?”
“If I ate like that, those bastards will badmouth me again. That she shows that she couldn’t learn and eat. Although it’s true, I still don’t like it.”
Kaya pouted her lower lip and got depressed. Jo Minjoon looked at her lips that seemed like a beak with eyes that seemed to be thinking about something else and then, he said with a soft voice.
“If I got a chance to be in charge a restaurant, I will make you eat however you want.”
“…….And when are you going to do it?”
“I wonder. Even if I get in really late, I will be able to do it in 20 years.”
The normal age when chefs got in charge of their own restaurant was on their early thirties, if they were fast. Of course, there would be some cases that geniuses became owners of a restaurant that already got a Michelin star in their twenties, but you needed many cases for that to happen. Skills was an obvious thing, but you also needed popularity and funds. It was a case that was so rare it could be counted with your hand.
“Thinking about it, I should be able to get in charge of one immediately. The winner of season 1, they said that he/she recently became a head chef of a restaurant. But although they have a separate owner…….For someone that came from the market to become that much, you said it all. If I win, I will be able to do that for you quite quickly.”
“…….Victory is mine, though? Don’t talk about other things and keep talking about the restaurant thing. If you get to open a restaurant, where are you going to do it? ……It isn’t Korea, right?”
“I don’t know. Taking into account the familiarity of the ingredients and the eating habits, it will be the best to do it in Korea……..”
“You have more fans in the US. How about just opening one here?”
Kaya said with quite a gentle voice. Honestly speaking, marriage immigration was nonsense, so she wondered if he worked in the US as a chef, it would be possible to immigrate for the job. She didn’t like it that Jo Minjoon went to live to a place that you wouldn’t know when war will happen.
However Jo Minjoon looked like he didn’t understand Kaya. He looked at her with weird eyes.
“But why are you so suddenly speaking about this?”
“No, just so.”
Kaya evaded her sight. It was somewhat suspicious, but he couldn’t keep bothering her about that. The other participants in the kitchen were already rushing in to cook.
“Let’s practice for now.”
Kaya, too, knew that it wasn’t the time to worry about that. Since she wanted to clean and descale the fish, a teen wearing a cooking uniform came and lent her a basket. On the basket were the ingredients, such as fish. A smile appeared on the teen’s white face.
“I peeled off the scales, and I already poured the olive oil and the sauce. If you aren’t planning on putting in purée separately, you can just roast it.”
“Ah, thank you. Are you the chef here?”
“It’s embarrassing to be called a chef. I’m still a trainee.I’ve always watched the two of you during the broadcast. Ah, the name is Eddy Reedus.”
“Ah, it’s Jo Minjoon. This is……….”
Jo Minjoon turned to look at Kaya, but she only stared at him without saying anything. Jo Minjoon poked Kaya’s side. Kaya frowned and opened her mouth.
“………This time for self introductions is really corny. Kaya Lotus. Even so, you already know my name.”
“Ahaha, your temperament is the same as I saw in the TV. I like that sincerity of yours!”
“Now that you say that you like it, I will say one more sincere word. You are bothering me so get away. I don’t have the leisure to gossip.”
At Kaya’s mean words, Eddy raised both of his hands and quietly fell back. Jo Minjoon looked at Kaya and frowned.
“I told you to fix that attitude of yours.”
“If I fix my character, that’s still a character? It’s a concept.”
“……..I also understand that, but why are you acting so mean towards a person that came with a goodwill?”
“He’s bothering me. He’s not even my customer or my superior, is there a need to match to his level?”
“There’s not even a need to match his level when an understanding relationship comes into existence.”
“Understanding relationship or whatever, stop those difficult words. Let’s cook the fish for now. You have to also feel how the fire is here.”
As Kaya talked like that, she put the frying pan over the fire. Jo Minjoon brought the basket and opened his mouth.
“How do we divide our roles? I think that the effectiveness will fall if we each take care of one dish. Would it be better to split into the one in charge of roasting and the one in charge of handling the fish and the plating?”
“Handling the fish was already done by that guy. Was it Edd?”
“Eddy. Even so, when we are making things like mousse, we have to separate the fish meat by ourselves.”
“…….Fine. let’s do it like this. I will get in charge of the things related to fire. The rest of the things, do it yourself. Hands, do you think it will not be enough?”
“No. I can do it.”
Jo Minjoon put on a confident smile. Originally, his hands weren’t that slow, but as recently, cooking became part of his life. Compared to before, his hands had certainly become faster. The rest was a problem of stamina. However, after he experienced the food truck and the buffet missions, he was confident that he had got the hang of it.
“Minjoon. If you are free, check if the light came on the frier over there.”
“It did. Anything else?”
“No. For now, I will start roasting the fish. Cut some vegetables.”
It was a strange feeling. It was the first time they had cooperated after Kaya’s elimination mission. Precisely speaking, it had been so long since they had worked together in a mission. He remembered that time, and having survived until now made him flustered.
On the other side, Kaya, who was concentrating on cooking, was also thinking about how to tell Jo Minjoon about the theme that was bothering her. No, precisely speaking, rather than telling him, she was wondering about how to convince him.
‘……..Let’s think about that later, Kaya. Concentrate on cooking for now.’
As she poured white wine on the salmon steak, which was getting cooked in a shy pink colour, fire rose and it made the air hot. She acted like she was used to it, but every time the fire rose and she felt the heat near her hand it made her frightened. Before, there was also a time that she had turned over the frying pan. Nowadays, she had gotten more used to it…….
“Cool this down for me. I’m going to make the garnish to complement it.”
“……..I have nothing to do.”
“After you do that, I’m going to make the fried sea bass, why don’t you apply potato starch on it?”
“Fine. Understood. Here, the vegetables.”
After Kaya seasoned the vegetables with only olive oil and salt and roasted it. And after that the time to try the dish came. Jo Minjoon put the salmon steak in his mouth and nodded. 7 points. Although it was made without any special sauce and only seasoned by salt and the aroma of the white wine, the flavor was still good. Rather because of the simple flavor of just being seasoned with salt, he thought that it would be able to get the best of the reactions from the customers.
Kaya looked at Jo Minjoon’s lips with anxiousness. In the end, she couldn’t hold it anymore and opened her mouth first.
“Is it delicious?”
“Eat it. You also know the flavor well.”
“If I eat something I made I feel like my tongue gets dull.”
“There’s also that. But it’s delicious. Customers will like it, if it’s this much.”
The problem was on that they had to maintain this quality. Kaya let out a sigh and went to the sink holding the frying pan. She was planning to lightly wash it, but Kaya frowned at that moment.
“Why doesn’t this come out?”
Keeg. Keeg. Even after turning the tap many times, the water didn’t come out well. After a few moments, since it was clogged, the water came gushing out like a waterfall. After hitting the frying pan, the water rose to the skies. While Kaya was still frozen in astonishment, Minjoon’s eyes were directed to the course of the water. Jo Minjoon, who had looked at the hot oil boiling, shouted.
His body was faster than his words. Jo Minjoon quickly ran toward Kaya and threw his body. Bang! An explosion similar to that of a gun rang without stop. Although the explosion didn’t last for long, it was a sufficient time for the oil to bounce. Kaya was putting absentminded eyes as if she had got a shock and then, got surprised and lifted Jo Minjoon’s body.
“Are…….. Are you fine?”
She was so surprised that her voice came out trembling. Jo Minjoon didn’t reply and instead put on a contorted face. Kaya’s eyes was directed to Jo Minjoon’s right side of the neck. The oil reached him and a large part of the skin turned red. Kaya extended her hand with a face that wanted to cry at any moment and wiped off the remaining oil. Everytime she touched the oil, she felt that her hand was getting burnt, but she didn’t mind it. Kaya yelled with a frightened voice.
“Minjoon, Minjoon! Doctor! What the heck are you!”
< The weight of a restaurant (3) > End
Translator’s note: Thanks for reading and for your support!
PR Note: It’s a flag!♥
Translator : Subak
Proofreader : Saihikawa