Chapter 551: Unexpected Twist (19)
It sounds strange, but with the good combination of its temperature, texture, and taste, it was a recipe that could defy people’s anxious premonitions nicely. And June was confident that she could surprise everybody with her dish, but she gave it up after she tried Dave’s dishes.
“It’s a strange gazpacho, right?” Nathan asked as if it was new to him.
He frowned for a moment as if he felt his voice was echoing in his head every time he spoke due to the effect of marijuana. Nathan then looked at her again.
She opened her mouth without looking back at him.
“If you eat it when you’re on drugs like that, you might die because it’s delicious.”
“Can you stop showing off?
“Then, do you want to check out if I’m really faking it?”
“Well, I feel like every dish tastes delicious since I’m on drugs like this.”
“Then go out and get some dirt.”
He responded to her until that moment then he made a tired expression as if his body felt a bit heavy. She wondered if he could really cook in that condition, but she didn’t care. She couldn’t take care of him when she was so nervous about the compet.i.tion. Besides, he was done with the compet.i.tion anyway.
It was at that moment when Dave appeared in the kitchen. Determined to show Nathan her fantastic cooking skills, she was about to put ice cream and gazpacho in a bowl when Dave suddenly appeared and stared at her.
“What brought you here?” she asked.
“Does a chef need any reason to come to the kitchen?”
“You’re done with the compet.i.tion.”
“Well, I’ve got an itch for doing something. And I thought you would be here too.”
She made a happy smile at his words before she knew it. She didn’t even know what kind of smile she had on her face. Grabbing the handle of the pot with gazpacho, she opened her mouth.
“Then, go and cook.”
“What are you cooking?”
“Gazpacho? Well, looking at the color and texture of the ingredients, it doesn’t look like grapes.
Oh, it’s red cabbage? What is this ice cream? I think you will feel completely different depending on what it is.”
“What the h.e.l.l are you talking about now?” she said, frowning at him.
Nathan, standing nearby, checked their expressions then sneaked out of the kitchen. Even if he was there, he wouldn’t cook anyway. He felt heavy because of the drugs, so he was sick and tired of everything. After watching Nathan stepping out of the kitchen, Dave opened his mouth.
“If a guy is trying to hit on a woman, he’s got only one reason. You know that?”
“Get out of here!”
“Can I help you?” Dave asked softly.
Her face hardened.
But he said in a calm voice as if helping her was not a big deal, “Maybe I can help….”
She made a feigned laugh as if she was dumbfounded. He stopped talking, and he looked at her for a moment. Even though he didn’t curse her, there was something like anger in her laughter whose sound made him get cold feet.
Dave stopped her then he looked at June. She didn’t even swear, but She said coldly, “Now I remember why we broke up. You’ve always been like that. You are condescending to me as if I can’t do anything right without your help.”
“Oh no, what I mean is…”
“Shut up. If you don’t, I might not want to see you again.”
Dave, who was trying to make an excuse, shut his mouth again. She opened her big eyes wider than usual, revealing her anger without any hesitation.
“I’m struggling to beat you! Then, you want me to beat you with your help? Does that make any sense?”
“That’s not what I intended…”
“Your intentions don’t matter. I just feel bad right now because of you. So if you don’t want to lose any more points, just shut up and get out, please. That’s the best help you can give me.”
Dave opened his mouth to say something again. He then looked at her ferocious eyes and chose to remain silent with a sigh. His sigh angered her again, but she didn’t open her mouth again because if she shouted at him, she would feel more stressed.
“Okay, let me leave now. I’m sorry if I got offended. I mean well, though.”
“I understand your behavior. You’re an idiot who can’t even speak and act properly.”
“Thank you for understanding me.”
She grabbed him who was about to leave the kitchen.
When he turned, she lifted her middle finger and said, “Don’t swagger like that because I’m better than you.”
He made a subtle expression at her words, and he eventually left the kitchen. With her hands on her waist, she angrily looked at the door where he got out then turned her eyes. The pipe that Nathan left behind in a half-conscious state was on the countertop. There were quite a lot of unburned hemp leaves inside.
June lifted it. She stared at it for a moment with a puzzled expression and then thrashed it into the trash can.
Who did she swear at?
In fact, when the compet.i.tion began, Min-joon thought there might be a day when no chefs would come up for evaluation, but there was no such day. Rather, there were lots of chefs who would want to have their dishes evaluated as soon as possible.
As people expected, or contrary to their expectation, June wouldn’t show up before others.
So, people began to speculate about her reasons. Some said she might want to monopolize their attention, while others said she wouldn’t dare to come out because she was overwhelmed by Dave’s dishes.
Min-joon knew the answer. So he had no choice but to worry about her. It was no surprise that she was stuck in the kitchen every day these days.
“You look tired.”
That was what he said first to her when he visited her in the kitchen.
She tried to smile, pretending to be okay, but even her smile felt weary.
‘What should I say? Should I comfort her or encourage her? Or should I give her some other advice?’
To be honest, he wasn’t quite sure which was the best for her now. If he were in her shoes, he would really feel stressed out. David’s cuisine was perfect.
“Chef Dave told me the reason he didn’t come up first was because he was afraid he would make other chefs get cold feet.”
“Do you think I’m scared?”
“It doesn’t look like you’re full of confidence.”
“Confidence…” she giggled at that word. “Actually, there are few who are as confident as me. In fact, your confidence doesn’t go away under any circ.u.mstances. But I only have confidence when I’m already convinced of my success. In other words, when everybody thinks I can win.”
“If you are really confident, you never get cold feet even when others think you can’t make it because they believe you can make it by all means. Even if you don’t know how to succeed, you can still be confident. Dave was like that. But I’m the opposite. When everybody said I could make it, I was just consumed with anxiety and worries because I was afraid I could not. Even now I am in that state of mind.”
He seemed to understand what she said.
She said slowly, “I just feel ashamed. I’ve been behaving as if I’ve achieved all that I want, but I look so stupid at this crucial moment.”
“Well, you’re not stupid, but it’s only natural you look nervous. If you look confident needlessly in this situation, it will make you stupid.”
“Sometimes I want to have even stupid confidence.”
“Well, you’ve already given up,” said he in a low voice.
She tried to deny it, but she couldn’t. She kept moving her lips to respond, but she lowered her head feebly.
“Yeah, you may be right.”
“Don’t be conscious of the compet.i.tion. Chef Dave wouldn’t.”
“I’m not Dave.”
“That’s why you’re worse than Chef Dave.”
He wondered for a moment if it was okay for him to say something like when he came here to comfort her. As a matter of fact, he was not the kind of person who would comfort somebody. He was more comfortable with kicking somebody’s a.s.s rather than patting him or her on the shoulder when they complained.
“Worse than Dave?”
“If you are not, you wouldn’t feel so nervous about the compet.i.tion.”
“Gosh, you are so mean.”
At that moment, she glanced at the cameras behind him. The doc.u.mentary team was filming them. This portion might be on the air, so she was worried a bit about what she just said.
He said, “Chef June, compete with Dave by showing your individuality in your dishes!
That way, it would be impossible to tell which is really better. What I mean is you need to show your individuality.”
“Well, it’s up to you. I can’t choose your clothes, right? You know your style best.”
She didn’t respond to his words for a moment.
He said, “In fact, it’s a really subtle difference.”
“Yes. I’m talking about the difference between your dish and Dave’s. Just like he is a great chef, you’re a great chef, too,” he said, suggesting that their difference was not a big deal.
“So, try to make a little more difference. You will win then,” he said, giving her a tough solution.