Novel Name : God of Cooking

Chapter 146 - Taste of a Master (2)

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Chapter 146: Chapter 146: Taste of a Master (2)&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon and Rachel ignored the guide’s glare and entered the restaurant. The walls were white, and the wooden planks on the wall gave off a refreshing vibe.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Irasshaimase!”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The employees shouted in a cheerful voice. Neither Rachel nor Cho Min Joon knew Japanese, but they were able to understand simple greetings.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The small restaurant was filled with customers. It was too tight for all staff members to fit. Even the employees looked troubled by their numbers and their cameras and began to speak with Martin through the guide’s interpretation. A moment later, Martin explained.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It’ll be hard for all the staff to fit. Let’s let Rachel and Min Joon go in first… And I’ll hold the camera.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Martin then accepted a small hand camera from the staff and smiled. Just like that, the three of them headed to a small table attached to the wall beside the kitchen. As soon as they sat down, a Japanese man in his 50s opened his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You’re foreigners. Are you here as tourists?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He had a strong Japanese accent, but it was easy to understand. Rachel smiled softly and answered, “We’re here to travel as a part of a TV show.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It must feel strange to work and rest at the same time. I’m Yamatomo Kenji. You can just call me Yamatomo.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Oh, I’m Rachel Rose.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I’m Cho Min Joon.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I thought you were Japanese, but you’re Korean.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo looked at Cho Min Joon in surprise. Cho Min Joon looked back at him. No, to be more exact, he looked at his stats. Cooking level 7. Compared to the reviews, it wasn’t all that impressive.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But considering the fact that he made sushi all his life, perhaps that score was impressive after all. It was possible that if he could see his skill window, it would say, ‘Understanding Sushi – Experience 85%.’ Cho Min Joon spoke up, “There’s something I’d like to taste first. Is that all right?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Of course.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I’d like to try the egg sushi.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;In response, Rachel looked like she couldn’t understand. It was famously known that if one wanted to know the standard of a sushi place, they should try the egg sushi, but Cho Min Joon said he entered knowing that the fish was good, so there was no need for him to try the egg sushi first.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But Yamatomo’s response surprised Rachel even more.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You’re in luck. All our regular customers always eat egg sushi here.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Really? Is it special?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Not really. We just stick to the basics.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Hm… I’d like one as well.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Sure.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;They didn’t make the egg sushi on the spot. Yamatomo handed them a plate of egg sushi as well as soy sauce and ginger and explained, “We don’t give a customer more than one egg sushi each. Some want more, but we’re limited in terms of how many we can make in a day. There are times when customers can’t have it if they come too late.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;His words made him feel even more excited. Cho Min Joon scanned the egg sushi.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[Egg sushi]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Freshness: 93%&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Origin: (Too many ingredients for an accurate calculation)&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Quality: High&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cooking Score: 8/10&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The score told by the system was no different from what he saw outside, but seeing it up close put him in awe. The smooth crosssection looked smooth while the side that was cooked with fire was a pretty yellow. The top surface wasn’t rough but smooth. Cho Min Joon opened his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It looks like you sanded it.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“When you cook the egg, if you maintain the temperature of the pan, the surface of the egg cooks smooth. In order to do that, we use a pan that’s been warmed slowly.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon put the sushi in his mouth. And as soon as he did, it didn’t feel like magic, but the egg melted between his teeth, tongue, and the roof of his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;[You’ve acquired Yamatomo’s egg sushi recipe!]&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘This is crazy.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was so savory that he didn’t’ even notice the system notification. His tongue felt so stimulated that he wasn’t sure if he could get this taste even if he poured MSG over it.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;On the other hand, Yamatomo was watching Cho Min Joon and Rachel taste his sushi. Cho Min Joon made the egg side touch his tongue while Rachel tilted the sushi so that both the egg and rice would touch her tongue at the same time. Yamatomo spoke in a calm voice, “Rachel, you look for perfection when you taste food, don’t you?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Do you ask because I tilted it?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yes. Customers like to tilt it when they want to taste everything at once, but those who want to figure out the key flavor eat it the way Min Joon did.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What an interesting analysis. May I analyze this egg sushi in return?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Analyze…?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo looked at Cho Min Joon with interest. Cho Min Joon smiled and responded, “May I guess what went into this egg roll? The truth is, we’re both chefs.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I already knew that. The scars on your hand are only found on chefs. You’ll guess what’s inside…? If that’s what you’d like to do, be my guest, but it won’t be easy.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo smiled confidently. Not a single person found out his egg roll recipe. Some even ate one every day to try to figure out what was in it.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It wasn’t a recipe that could be figured out by a young man. With that thought, Yamatomo looked at the young man with spirit. But a moment later, his eyes wavered.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Oil and broth. I think those two things are what’s different.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He was right, but Yamatomo wasn’t taken aback. He answered in a calm voice, “What else would it be in an egg roll? Isn’t that obvious? That’s nothing special…”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yes, you’re right. Then may I continue?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo hesitated for a moment, but he felt as though his egg roll’s secret that was made over decades would be revealed if he said yes. But there was no way. No matter how sensitive his palate was, he couldn’t figure it out after just one taste. Yamatomo calmly answered, “Be my guest.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Walnuts oil and pine-nut oil.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Jon answered immediately, and Yamatomo’s face stiffened up. Cho Min Joon calmly continued,&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“90% is pine-nut oil while the other 10% is walnuts oil. You mixed the two to cook the egg. As for the egg, you added about half a spoon of broth. May I guess the broth as well?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo was unable to answer. No, he wasn’t in the right mind to do so. He could understand if he guessed which oils he used. But the fact that he guessed the proportions as well as how much broth he added was unimaginable. Yamatomo looked around with a shaking voice, “Is this… a secret camera of some sort?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No. It’s just a regular food tasting program.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Then how… This makes no sense.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“He had the perfect palate.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Rachel spoke in a calm voice. In response, Yamatomo took turns looking at Rachel and Cho Min Joon with wide eyes. Yamatomo opened his mouth with a shaking voice.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Are you saying you can guess whatever you taste?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yes. He’s quite famous in the west. He’s pretty famous in Korea as well.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It didn’t take long before Yamatomo’s face turn from panic to excitement. There was no reason not to believe it. If it was a lie, how would he have guessed his recipe so precisely?&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Rather than feeling angry, he felt worked up… Just like how painters wanted their paintings to be acknowledged, chefs also wanted someone who could guess their dish perfectly. Yamatomo spoke in an emotional voice, “If that’s true… can you tell me how you felt when you ate my egg sushi?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It was delicious. That’s what I can tell you for certain. I’m not sure if I’ll ever taste a better egg sushi. Thanks to the rice underneath, the texture was entertaining… And the egg was moist and soft. It was a great sushi. I’d like to move on and try others…”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Oh, of course. But first, please have a piece of ginger.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“This?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon turned his head. Thin pieces of ginger were placed on top fo a piece of paper. Yamatomo nodded.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“We weakened the acrid taste and intensified the scent. The way you’ll taste the sushi after that will be different.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon and Rachel both chewed on a piece of ginger. Rachel gasped and said,&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It’s not just that. It feels like it’s cleaning off the sweet and sour flavor in my mouth.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“That’s not all. The vinegar isn’t normal vinegar. There’s citrus inside. And not just any citrus… It’s less ripe, making it a little more sour. Am I right?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo’s lips trembled into a grin. He never doubted him before, but hearing that made him even more certain of his perfect palate. He even knew that he used citrus. Of course, he used less ripe citrus for the difference in flavor but seeing Cho Min Joon get that right gave him goosebumps.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘I don’t want to say this about a customer… But a monster has entered my store.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He couldn’t believe he was real, but he didn’t mind if it was a dream. He wanted to hear what this monster had to say about his cooking.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo opened his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Many things are required for good sushi. The right fish, quality, careful circulation, and detailed knifework. You also need delicious rice and good wasabi. Would you like to try this wasabi?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;There were small lumps of wasabi in front of Cho Min Joon and Rachel. As soon as he put the piece of wasabi in his mouth with preparation for spiciness, Cho Min Joon’s eyes opened wide. It was sweet. It was wasabi, but it tasted like cream with sugar. Of course, he tasted spice shortly after, but he was shocked by the sweetness.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“The wasabi… is sweet. How?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It sounds like you haven’t been to many sushi restaurants. Homemade wasabi is completely different, and many places mix wasabi with rice powder. But if you have good quality wasabi, you can get that flavor just by grinding it right. Of course…”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo lifted a steel plate. The steel plate looked like it was made of leather. And when he put horseradish against it and turned it clockwise, the wasabi began to grind softly.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“The direction and strength of how you grind it matters as well. When you break through the structure of wasabi, the flavor is ruined as well.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Does that really change the flavor that much?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Look at the people’s faces. When the eyes are the slightest bit smaller or bigger, their entire impression changes. The same goes for wasabi and sushi. May I make a sushi recommendation?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Oh, sure.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo pulled out a tuna from the side. On one side, it looked like it was cooked over the fire, and the other half looked oily as if only smoke touched it.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“This tuna has been smoked. Tuna has a lot of blood, so it’s hard to get rid of all of its fishy smell. So we get rid of it with smoke.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Yamatomo’s sashimi knife sliced into the tuna’s outer layer. He cut it so finely that the outer layer wasn’t destroyed. He peeld the tuna as if he was cutting into butter.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;After that was pretty normal. He put water on his hands and made the rice. After putting wasabi on the tuna, he placed it on top of rice and that was it.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘… 8 points.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He thought that was only the egg sushi, but that wasn’t true. It was possible that the score was higher because it was smoked. Just as Cho Min Joon reached out to grab the sushi, Yamatomo shook his head.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You can’t eat it yet. You must wait until the temperature of the rice and fish becomes similar. That’s very important. That’s why those who taste the sushi in front of the kitchen and those who taste it in the halls taste different things. That’s why I feel frustrated when I see places sell multiple sushi on a plate. You can’t taste real sushi that way. Oh, you can have it now. I suggest you eat it with the rice facing downward. It’s slower, but that’s how you can taste it the best.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon reached out his hand. He must have considered the fact that he was right-handed because the angle was there. He picked up the sushi and put it into his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The soy sauce on the rice spread throughout his mouth, and the grilled tuna meat was crispy. On top of that, the wasabi was sweet and spicy while the rice was savory… He didn’t know how many flavors could come from one food. The cooking score was 8, but it tasted even better.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘Is this… the power of a master chef?’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He always wondered who could produce better flavors between a Western head chef who monitored a kitchen and an Asian chef who dedicated their entire lives to making the best hand-pulled noodles, rice soup, udon, or ramen.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He once thought the latter would be better. No matter how good a head chef was, he didn’t think the dishes could be saved if someone else held the pan, but he changed his mind when he met Rachel. He realized that as long as there was a head chef, the members of the kitchen were just extensions of that head chef.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But Yamatomo’s sushi made him wonder once again. His cooking level was only 7, but his sushis were much better. They were 8 or even 9. That was only possible because he was detailed in the way he maintained the ingredients and worked with the rice and wasabi. His life was put into his food.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘If I can make everything mine…’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Greed always made him hungry.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;
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