Novel Name : God of Cooking

Chapter 112 - Chapter 112: Reunion in Front of the Doors (3)

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Chapter 112: Chapter 112: Reunion in Front of the Doors (3)&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon didn’t like crawfish. He didn’t mind the taste, but he hated the shape. So he was quick when he was peeling the shell off of the tail of a lobster for the langoustine. Joanne looked at him and smirked.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You have a lot of fear, don’t you?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… It’s pretty gross.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No, it’s not. It’s so cute.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Joanne held up the langoustine with a calm look on her face. She then took off the peel with her experienced hands and took out the meat.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“See? It’s easy.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… I know.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Get used to it before the finals.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon sighed at Joanne’s remark and continued to work with the langoustine. He didn’t want to act like a scaredy-cat. After putting the meat in the fridge, it was time to work with other minor ingredients, and that was why Cho Min Joon was put in charge of the langoustine. Depending on the foam of the puree and the mixture, small differences arose.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The sauce. There wasn’t just one kind. With things like carrot puree, buttermilk puree, and such sauces, Cho Min Joon was able to carry out his role perfectly. He followed Kaya’s recipe for most things, but when it came to this, it really depended on his judgment.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘I can make puree better than anyone.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Of course, he probably wasn’t the best in the whole entire world, but he was the best in the competition. Not even Anderson nor Kaya had the confidence to make a better sauce than Cho Min Joon.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was about time he had confidence. His cooking level was 7. He also understood French cooking and American cooking a lot better. He had a good understanding of what good cuisine was, and he was confident in mixing different flavors together. He could now understand the meaning of all the moments during cooking.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;So Cho Min Joon was certain. He believed Kaya could win. No, he could lead Kaya to her victory. He wanted to prove himself.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The only dish Kaya was in charge of was the gazpacho. Gazpacho was a cold food, so it didn’t matter if she made it beforehand. It was best to get that over with and then check up on all the other dishes.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;That was how it was for head chefs. Unless it was a small restaurant, they rarely held a pan or knife themselves. It wasn’t because they were in a higher power. Managing a kitchen was a much harder job than making their own food to perfection.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was clear just from seeing Allan. He was a level 8 in cooking. Of course, he was at a different level from Kaya who was also level 8, but despite being an 8, he was leading a Michelin star restaurant. That was because beyond his cooking ability, he was great at managing the kitchen.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;And in Cho Min Joon’s eyes, Kaya was a decent head chef. She had good taste. Cho Min Joon was able to know cooking scores with his system, but Kaya was able to understand the status of a food just by tasting it, and she didn’t depend on her tastebuds alone. She knew how well something was cooked just by its color, and if it wasn’t up to par, she sent it back.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘I won’t have to worry.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon’s plating was simple yet elegant. He sprinkled puree on the plate and placed duck fat, roasted carrots, and the sautéed langoustine on top. He also placed a sage leaf beside the langoustine, sprinkled bread crumbs, and placed the buttermilk foam on top. Five plates were made that way. Kaya poked into the puree on top of the plate and nodded.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Good. It’s perfect.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It’s exactly how you wanted it, right?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Almost? It’s a little different. It’s interesting how the same recipe changes depending on the chef.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“When you start a restaurant, hire a good chef like me. Then you won’t get any complaints from the customers.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… You’re full of confidence today.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I’ve always been confident. I was just worried I was being too arrogant.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But he decided not to worry anymore, and the reason was simple. After fighting with Kaya, Cho Min Joon thought about a lot of things. It was hard to put himself down. He needed a change. If Kaya was really depending on him, he could be that for her. That was what he decided.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon carefully looked at the plates. The carrot puree was placed in a beautiful line, and beside was buttermilk puree which was placed like little round macarons. It wasn’t just the shape. Even the flavors were up to Kaya Reuters’ standards.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I’m… not going to back down anymore. My path is clear and so is my objective. And the only thing I have to do now is walk forward.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yeah. I like this much better.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya looked proud. She preferred confident Cho Min Joon much more than troubled Cho Min Joon.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The dishes were placed on the table one by one. The five of them sat around the full table. Marco fumbled with his fork as if he didn’t know what to do.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I know it’s a course meal, but it feels like a buffet. Actually, it’s kind of like a party.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Who cares? Just eat it in the right order.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What’s the order again?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“The gazpacho, langoustine, pasta, turkey, and then the sherbet and tart.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Aside from the gazpacho and pasta, all the dishes were 8 points, and the person who made the pasta was Joanne. It was inevitable. Not even the recipe for the pasta was an 8, and Joanne wasn’t skilled enough to make an 8-point dish to begin with. If Kaya paid more attention, things could be different… but there was no guarantee she wouldn’t make mistakes for 50 customers.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But just because it was 7 points didn’t mean it didn’t taste good. For example, the same went for pork belly. No matter how well it was cooked, it was impossible to surpass 7 points, but no one could say grilled pork belly wasn’t delicious. Joanne’s pasta was like that. It wasn’t impressive, but each of the ingredients came alive, and the roasted pumpkin tasted fresh.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was a savory and delicious dish. It was so good that he was confident things would go smoothly.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The same went for the other dishes. Chloe’s turkey gave off a strong meaty scent, and when eaten with the artichoke carpaccio, it almost tasted like duck wrapped in radish wrap, but the flavors were much more high-quality.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;And Marco’s tart and sherbet, as well as his bread, were just as impressive. The bread owned up to Marco’s reputation.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;When an average person went to a gourmet restaurant, the biggest difference they see was in their bread. It was strange that a side dish got the most attention, but it was inevitable. Most gourmet restaurants paid particular attention to their bread, and they made the bread themselves. As a result, their bread was soft, and most have a strong butter scent.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;And Cho Min Joon sensed the flavors that he tasted at gourmet restaurants in Marco’s bread. Just like how good rice made the rest of the meal delicious, Marco’s bread was able to make anyone happy without the need for butter.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But when Kaya tasted all the dishes, she didn’t look very happy, and Cho Min Joon couldn’t get himself to ask her why. He felt like if he asked her what was wrong, that burden would feel too heavy.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;That night, Cho Min Joon opened his eyes. He wasn’t sure if he woke up from sleeping or if he just had his eyes closed all along. His body was tired, but his mind was awake. After all, the mind was the most awake after 3 or 4 hours of sleep.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;After touching his phone on and off, it was 3 in the morning. It was too early to wake up. He wasn’t even thirsty or had to go to the washroom.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;When he considered going back to sleep, he saw a notification. It was a text from Kaya.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Kaya: Are you asleep?]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;She sent the message 30 minutes earlier. He was worried replying might wake her up, but he tried anyway.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Me: I just woke up.]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;She didn’t respond right away. Right as he was about to close his eyes again, his phone vibrated.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Kaya: Oh, sorry. I just saw this. You’re not sleeping again, are you?]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Me: No. But what is it? It’s so late.]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Kaya: I can’t sleep. If you can’t sleep either, maybe we can sing each other to sleep. Or read a bedtime story.]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon re-read the message with a sour look on his face. Kaya must’ve caught on because she quickly added.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Kaya: I’m just kidding. You look serious right now, don’t you?]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Me: No.]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Kaya: You’re lying again. Forget it. Turn on the light and look in the mirror. Is your face okay?]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He didn’t know what she meant, but he went to the mirror and checked his face anyway. His hair was squished, but everything else looked fine. As soon as he began to type his message, he heard a knock.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Come out. Let’s spend some time as two insomniacs.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Let me put on some clothes. Hold on.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon put on a hoodie and covered his hair. As soon as he opened the door, he laughed. Kaya looked the same. Grey hoodie with dark shorts. She must’ve tried to hide her messy hair because it was poking out of her hood. Kaya glared her eyes and asked, “You’re not going to nag me about not washing my hair, are you?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Do I look that strict?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You are.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… I guess you’re right.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya’s white teeth and pink gums appeared before disappearing again. When her mouth reopened, it was her tongue, not her gums.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Do you want to talk for a minute?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“That’s why I’m here.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Let’s walk. Should we go to the garden?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;They walked to the garden. Kaya dragged her feet. She put her hands in her hoodie pocket and trembled.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Ugh, it’s cold for the summer.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You should’ve worn more. Why did you wear shorts? Should we go back in?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No, that’s okay. I used to go around in my shorts in the winter in New York. This doesn’t faze me. I’m not weak. I’m strong. Kaya Reuters… is strong.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon licked his lips in response to her sad-sounding voice. It was clear she felt anxious. It was understandable. The finals. She could either gain or lose everything depending on how she did. Of course, just because Kaya loses wouldn’t mean her future would be over.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You’re going to win.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… How do you know?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Because you were meant to win.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It feels weird hearing you with all this confidence.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Like I said before, I’m not going to back down anymore. We’re chefs, and no matter what happens, we’re going toward one goal… to make delicious food, and your food is delicious.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The moonlight was bright. He had no idea the moon could be this bright when he was in the city. The lights in the garden were off, but Kaya had no trouble seeing Cho Min Joon’s face thanks to the moon. Or maybe it wasn’t because of the moon. His face might’ve been bright all on its own.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I forgot about this, but this is what I wanted. It’s important for many customers to come to my amazing restaurant… But my dream is to actually make delicious food. And right now, I think I accomplished half of my goal. That means I have the right to be confident.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Sorry about last time. For getting mad.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No, I understand, and I’ll be honest with you now. When you said I was like your lighthouse, I was happy. I just had a hard time accepting it. If I’m your lighthouse, I have to light up everywhere you go. And I wasn’t sure if I could do it. Maybe I didn’t believe in my self enough. Not in myself nor you.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He felt as though he was making a confession. Kaya’s eyes sparkled. She almost looked like she was crying, but there were no tears. But her eyelids were shaking.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Does that mean you trust yourself now?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yeah. I’m confident I can clear your path, and even if I don’t, you’re someone who can reach your dream. I’m late, but I realize that now.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Promise me. Pinky swear.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya stuck out her right hand. Her pinky was trembling in the cold air.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Help me win. At least in this competition, let me lean on my lighthouse. That’s all I want. Can you promise me that?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon stared at Kaya’s pinky. Her long, thin, and pale pinky. Her fingernails were cut short, and the lines between her fingers were fine. And it must’ve been cold… because her fingers were red.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Their pinkies intertwined. Kaya’s hand was soft, cold, and smooth. She then stuck out her thumb which was different from her pinky. It was stronger and rougher.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;They both felt the warmth and cold at the same time in their fingers. They didn’t know if it was their hand or not.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Even after withdrawing their thumbs, their pinkies stayed together. What was exchanged between those two fingers? Was it just the sensation or something more?&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;They let go of each other’s pinkies slowly, and their fingers immediately hid into their fists. Neither one spoke. The silence between them spoke in their stead.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Night. Clear skies.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Moon was brighter than the lamp posts.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;5 days until the finals.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;4 days.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;3 days, 2 days, 1 day.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;…&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;0 days.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;
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