Chapter 549: Unexpected Twist (17)
Watching Dave, Min-joon felt as if something was clogged up in his chest. How could he try this kind of adventure? Wasn’t he really greedy about winning this compet.i.tion? No, he was obviously greedy. He definitely wanted to win this compet.i.tion, so he could have June again. If so, why was he taking the risk like this?
Min-joon made the conclusion quickly, though.
“I thought you were serious about this contest, Chef Dave. Am I wrong?”
“Nope, you aren’t wrong. I’m more serious than anyone right now.”
“Then how could you take a risk like this? Do you know that this isn’t going to be a risk? Are you so sure?”
When Min-joon asked him, other chefs and reporters at the venue looked at Dave.
What Dave served after the fried dish was potato soup. It featured truffle pieces topped with bonito flakes on top of an incredibly light and tender potato soup.
While watching the dish, Min-joon had no choice but to feel differently from others. Envisioning himself in the future, Min-joon knew that someday, Dave’s course like this would receive quite positive reviews, although it was downplayed as something like a joke. When he saw Dave, he wondered if it was Dave who started the trend of non-orthodox courses like this.
“Delicious food is delicious. No matter how grand a course you want to make, you just end up making one based on its theory. Of course, I admit that you must follow the basics of cooking. As for Asian dishes, let me take an example. If you look at Korea, Min-joon’s home country, people eat several dishes on one table at the same time regardless of the order of the main course. Does it degrade the quality of the food or does it make it more delicious?”
“Do you mean that you have captured their feelings in your dishes?”
“People are so confined to their own thinking. I’m not saying the dishes they make are not good, but even if you make the dish by thinking out of the box, it doesn’t mean your dishes are terrible as long as you keep the basics. And I’ve kept the basics. I mean the deliciousness, not tradition, of food.”
Not only Min-joon but also other chefs here could not deny what Dave just said because his dishes were incredibly delicious.
What came out next was a pasta dish with ragu sauce made with minced snails, mushrooms, and mint, borghetti steak, an Italian pork belly, and parfadelle grilled perfectly with al dente. While enjoying the chewy texture of roasted fat that was incomparable to any beef, and the chewy texture of snails and mushrooms in the ragu sauce, they found themselves enjoying the food, not evaluating it.
And the reporters watching the compet.i.tion venue were embarra.s.sed by that impressive scene.
“Hum… they seem to be happier than ever…”
Just like they said, the chefs seemed so busy enjoying Dave’s dishes that they could not afford to feel compet.i.tive with him. Min-joon was no exception. To be honest, Dave’s course was better than Rachel’s when it came to this course alone.
‘Well, I wonder if his course even surpa.s.sed Rachel’s.’
Min-joon didn’t even worry about June. He couldn’t afford to think about her now and come to think of it more carefully, it wasn’t his problem. To be honest, he felt as if he was going to blow his brains out because he had to accept and understand Dave’s course.
When the veal dish came out, Min-joon looked like he was out of himself so much that all those around him could easily notice it.
The main dish of veal was veal tenderloin, veal liver, and veal intestines. The tenderloin was a plain steak, so was the liver, and the ground intestines served on biscuits.
In conclusion, Rachel showed tears. The moment she ate it, she burst into tears that no one could easily see. It wasn’t because the dish reminded her of Daniel. It wasn’t because Dave reached Dave’s level to some extent. It was because his dish was so delicious. Only now could she enjoy the explosive taste she hadn’t been able to taste for more than 10 years since Daniel pa.s.sed away. She could smell his scent in Dave’s dish.
Min-joon thought that Dave would certainly surpa.s.s Daniel’s level before he died. At least he would probably live longer than Daniel. So, he would catch up with Daniel and surpa.s.s him.
[You have realized the final condition of cooking level 9!]
Min-joon finally got the final clue for cooking level 9. He obtained it like a surprise gift when he didn’t expect it at all. So, he read the system window blankly.
[The final condition for cooking level 9 is ‘cooking’.]
[Cooking may be considered the most basic, but in reality, it is the standard that best reflects the skills of a chef.]
[When you have a perfect understanding of all ingredients, their match, and cooking methods, you will become a chef who knows how to ‘cook’.]
It was a very provocative statement as a system message because this meant that Min-joon was a chef who couldn’t even know how to cook properly yet.
Min-joon pouted bitterly.
‘So, I’m still lacking.’
He felt somewhat strange to read that system message. He felt a childish resentment about the message, but at the same time, he felt thrilled to realize that he still had room to improve.
And he couldn’t help but realize once again that Dave’s dish was amazing again. Dave probably wasn’t the only one to show off his or her perfect cooking skills. As the condition of cooking level 9 was ‘cooking’, all the level 9 chefs he met so far showed him perfect dishes.
But Dave could express the power of cooking in the most beautiful way. That was why Min-joon took such a fact to himself so deeply.
The desserts Dave made were two types. One was ice cream sprinkled with black truffle, crispy hazelnuts, pistachios, and gold powder. The ice cream, buried in various garnishes, tasted only the most basic ice cream. The taste of hazelnuts, pistachios, and truffles melted on top of that pure white taste, which Min-joon had never tasted before. He felt as if he was was.h.i.+ng his tongue, with a watery mouth touching and squeezing it again and again.
The next dessert that came out after that was the chocolate trio. Chocolate macchiato, chocolate ice cream and chocolate tart. There was nothing particular about it, so Min-joon didn’t have any expectations, but when he actually tasted it, he had no choice but to completely think twice.
‘Wow, he can express it like this…’
As someone who made it popular to express multiple flavors of the same ingredient through Cho Reggiano, Min-joon could not easily imagine that Dave would try the same with chocolate. Perhaps it was because Min-joon didn’t pay much attention to desserts and chocolate-related stuff.
Dave didn’t bring out the sweet taste of chocolate. Considering that people think chocolate must taste sweet when they see it, Dave’s method definitely betrayed their expectations. It was a fascinating betrayal.
Of course, the whole dessert was not without any sweetness. The chocolate ice cream had to be moderately sweet by nature. The tart was also sweet. However, in the tart, the bread part was sweeter, while the part with chocolate just emphasized the unique flavor and taste of chocolate.
In the case of chocolate macchiato, the unique flavor created by mixing the taste of dark chocolate and milk was more attractive than the taste of its sweetness.
Min-joon thought he was full, but as women often said, it seemed he had even a separate stomach for dessert. He found himself devouring the dessert before he knew it. Maybe the charm of Dave’s dish was too strong for him to stop eating more than he could.
Finally, Daves’s cooking was over.
And it was time for the judges’ evaluation.
But it was also a time of silence because n.o.body dared to comment first.
The reporters began to whisper.
“What the heck? Why are they so silent?”
“Well, perhaps they have a lot to think about.”
“I don’t think so. They are just checking each other’s expression without even exchanging their opinion. Look! Rachel or Min-joon has shut up.”
No wonder the reporters were puzzled. What was more strange was their silence. It was the first time that even the reporters refrained from expressing their opinions. To be honest, they could not figure out how to describe the current situation.
One of them said, “I don’t think the dishes Dave served didn’t look that great…”
To be honest, his dishes were just ordinary in terms of plating from a non-professional’s point of view like them. So much so that they wondered if Dave’s dishes could be called high-end cuisine.
But the main reason they didn’t give a negative opinion was because of his good reputation. They just thought since he was so famous in the field, he must have some plausible reason for serving such dishes in today’s compet.i.tion. They believed so.
And what they believed was right, after all.
Min-joon said in a calm voice, “Dave, I thought I knew you.”
The reporters who were curious about his opinion wondered what made Min-joon say that to Dave in such a calm voice.
Min-joon continued, “But I didn’t know anything about you and your cooking.”
“Are you praising me now?” Dave asked.
“Yep! My utmost compliments!” Min-joon replied with a feigned smile.