Novel Name : God of Cooking

Chapter 191 - Chapter 191: Finding Your Roots (1)

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Chapter 191: Chapter 191: Finding Your Roots (1)&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;#Rose Island Main Branch Wakes Up Again After 10 Years&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;When it comes to memories, you feel like you have it, but it’s hard to grasp with your hands. You were definitely miserable at the time, but just the fact that time passed makes you remember something warm… That goes to prove that memories are outside of the realm of our will.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;So when I heard that Rose Island’s main branch was coming up back to the surface, I was happy but worried at the same time. Were they really the flawless restaurant that I remember? Or did I just remember it to be that way like I do with everything else?&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Luckily, some of that worry washed away. The 53rd LA cooking competition. There was a lot of talk about the competition after it was said that Rose Island would be competing. Even those who had given up or lost interest entered the competition again. It was possible they thought they could defeat Rose Island.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But Rose Island won by a long shot. Every single judge selected Rose Island as winners. And that didn’t mean they were simply great cooks. The charm that flipped the game completely lies on Rose Island’s plate.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;What’s surprising is that rose Island used molecular cooking to do it all. It was as if Rachel Rose sent out a message through the competition. Her cooking wasn’t just old news, but it was something that could be modern. Through her…&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Is that the news?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No, a blog. A fan of Rachel Rose. But then again who isn’t a fan of Rachel Rose?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… I’m jealous. I wish I could learn under someone like that.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Try knocking on her doors once Grand Chef is over.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“If there’s a spot open that is.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Who knows? Maybe one will open up. The restaurant might expand.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya didn’t respond. It was nighttime and the two of them were walking along the beach. They sat on the sand while breathing in the ocean breeze. Kaya slowly opened her mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“How are your parents?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Same old. I call them every day, but they’re so worried. I tell them not to worry, but it won’t work. What about your mom?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“She’s worried. But all parents worry about their kids. She might move over to LA. She said she closed up the market stall.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What about your father?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;In response, Kaya paused. Even if she forgave him, it wasn’t so easy to talk about it. He called from time to time, but every time he did, she had to control her emotions. She had to press down the urge to rage.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya didn’t answer and just hugged her knees. Cho Min Joon put her hand on Kaya’s lap with a sad face. Kaya puffed up her cheeks and looked at Cho Min Joon with a low gaze.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I’m doing the right thing, right?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Of course. You… have to protect your family.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Mom doesn’t like it though. That I met up with my father.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Of course. I understand Grace. She raised you all by herself, but now, your father showed up wanting to be a part of your life again… She must feel like she’s losing you.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I wish my mom wouldn’t feel so hurt.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Her voice sounded sad. Cho Min Joon rubbed Kaya’s lap. The breeze was cold. He was worried that her bare legs were cold, but there was nothing he could do but to open his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Everybody feels that way. Parents look at their sick children while the children watch their parents grow old. In my case, I look at you… and wish that you weren’t hurting so much. But Kaya. No wound heals without hurting. And if the wound has healed, what we have to do isn’t pray to not be hurt again. You have to put ointment on it.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Do I have that ointment?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Those who haven’t hurt before don’t prepare ointment. Kaya, you’ve already hurt so much. So you probably have lots of ointment in your pocket. Now… let’s use it on your mother.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya didn’t speak for a while before leaning into Cho Min Joon’s arms. She closed her eyes and slowly said, “I feel like you’re always the one giving me ointment. As you said, those who haven’t hurt before don’t have ointment. Does that mean… you’ve been hurt a lot, too?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was an unexpected question. Cho Min Joon rolled his eyes. The most he suffered was in the future before coming back to the past. A life he didn’t want. His parents’ worry. The vague future and his horrible kitchen life. It was a broken life. And the only person who rubbed ointment on his wounds was Kaya Reuters. Cho Min Joon opened his mouth. He whispered… with gratitude, “Someone… already put ointment on my wounds. So don’t worry.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Who’s that?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Someone cool. I hope you become like her one day. No, you will be. I believe it.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Kaya looked at Cho Min Joon with suspicious eyes. She then asked in an anxious voice, “Is it a girl?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Yup.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Prettier than me?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“That’s hard to say.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Are you saying there’s someone prettier than your girlfriend right now? Who is it? Who’s the b*tch… I mean, girl?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“If I tell you, are you going to beat her up?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No, of course not. Because she treated your wounds. But if I meet her, I’ll tell her this.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;She spoke in a clear voice, “‘Thanks for looking after my treasure. But he’s mine now, so don’t even think about looking at him.’ What do you think? Do I sound like a cool girlfriend?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I don’t know about cool… But one thing’s for sure. I’ll answer your question from earlier. You’re…”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon smiled.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“A lot prettier than she is.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;***&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Rose Island’s kitchen was bustling even more after the competition. It wasn’t surprising. Up until this point, the building and Rachel Rose were the only ways of checking that they were a part of the legendary restaurant, but through the competition, they were able to confirm what role they played.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;It was true that the breadmakers were less excited, but it was different for those who always assisted the demi chefs. They smiled all day long, and they gave off bright energy. They were proud.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;So Maya couldn’t understand. She asked in a cautious voice, “Min Joon, can I ask you a question?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Sure.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“You won the tasting as well as the competition. So why don’t you look happy?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Don’t I look happy?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon looked at Maya with surprise. She nodded. She couldn’t help but think that way. After the competition ended, Cho Min Joon was obsessed with cooking. He not only competed Rafael’s molecular cooking homework, but he also made dishes of traditional cooking.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He had to. He didn’t want to commit to molecular cooking so much that his skills with traditional cooking would rust. And Rafael didn’t say anything about his efforts because he understood.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;The reason why Maya thought it was weird was because it didn’t look like he felt satisfied. It wasn’t that the results were bad. His dishes were always good and new. But he didn’t look satisfied… So she wondered if that was just how geniuses were.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But Cho Min Joon’s frustration was for a different reason.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘… Level.’&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;To be more exact, it was because of the tasting level. He thought that his tasting level would increase with his cooking level, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t that increasing his level was important, but it was because his skills were good enough for the level to be higher.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;‘You spoke as much as you knew and cooked as much as you knew.’ That was what Cho Min Joon believed. How could someone cook well if he didn’t know flavors? That was why Cho Min Joon thought it was important to improve his tasting skills.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“The first condition has been met, so on to the next…”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What? Condition?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Oh, nothing. Thanks for worrying about me. There’s no problem. I’m just dealing with an obstacle like all chefs do. I’ll overcome it.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What kind of obstacle are you talking about?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He heard an unexpected voice. Cho Min Joon flinched and looked behind him. Rachel was staring at him. Cho Min Joon hesitated before opening his mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“I feel like my tasting abilities are not up to par, but I don’t know what to fix.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What? You have the perfect palate though. What do you mean?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“It’s different from just being sensitive. It’s about the experience and thought.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;She looked confused despite Cho Min Joon’s explanation. Helping her understand wasn’t what was important. Cho Min Joon asked, “Rachel, do you think there’s a problem?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“What do you think the problem is?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… I’m not sure. Is it my taste in cooking? I like clear flavors. Rather than using one flavor, I want to use many flavors but make it all come to life. At the same time, the harmony can’t be lost. But dishes like that aren’t common… And what I actually enjoy are dishes that highlight one or two ingredients. Is that a problem?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Taste is a preference. It can’t be a problem. In the end, it’ll help you give your own colors. Of course, if you don’t know how to enjoy everything else, that’s a problem… But that’s not the case.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;He nodded. Rachel thought for a moment before speaking in a low voice, “You said your mother can’t cook. That’s why you didn’t get to taste a lot of flavors as a kid.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… I feel bad for my mom, but yes. Oh, is that a problem? The fact that I couldn’t eat proper food as a kid?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon’s face turned serious. If that was the case, he couldn’t overcome it. Rachel didn’t agree or disagree. She slowly opened her mouth.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Since it was hard for you to enjoy good food, you were probably very touched. But among the food you ate, none of it was probably that proper. Just decent food for what you could get in the area. That probably touched you. And later, that wasn’t good enough, so you probably made your own food.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Something like that.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“That’s why despite devoting your whole life to cooking, you can’t enjoy food properly or be satisfied. You put down your roots in one place, but that root was too shallow. Do you know what I mean?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;A quiet shock pierced through Cho Min Joon’s head. What he thought was minor was being pointed out by Rachel. Despite living in Korea for 20 to 30 years… he had never experienced proper Korean food.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;What he focused on was Western food. But doing that didn’t mean he could neglect Korean food. Things would’ve been different if he grew up on Western food. But he was Korean. Even if he spoke English, his mother tongue was Korean… And his food of origin was Korean food. He couldn’t just let that root go neglected.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;But…&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“Does that mean I have to go to Korea?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;That was impossible. The restaurant would open soon. He couldn’t leave. But Rachel laughed and shook her head.&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“No. Did you forget what’s 30 minutes away from here?”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;“… Oh!”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Cho Min Joon exclaimed. Rachel spoke in a calm voice, “No need to get on a plane. There’s Korea in LA.”&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;br&#gt;
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