Chapter 554: Unexpected Twist (22)
A box full of moss was placed one by one on every chef’s table. When they gazed at the box in bewilderment and antic.i.p.ation, two plates were placed in front of each of them. One was a wooden chopping board and the other was a plate that looked like a speaker. Toast filled with truffle powder was placed on the wooden chopping board, while the meat in the shape of an ice cream scooped out by a spoon on cream was placed on a speaker-shaped plate, with a jelly stuck on the meat.
“What is it?” asked Rachel.
Looking at Rachel, June replied, “Well, I made toast with oakmoss resin and truffle. And I made the parfait on the side with chicken liver, quail jelly, and crawfish cream. Don’t try it yet. You need to try something else first.”
As soon as she said that, her kitchen staff went to the chefs one by one and started giving them something like a thin film. It was edible plastic. Even the chefs were surprised at the unfamiliar ingredients, but she calmly asked them to put the plastic on their tongues.
“You will feel the taste of the forest.”
She was right. They couldn’t quite figure out how she brought out the taste. At that moment, her staff stood in front of each table and started pouring water over the moss.
Only then did they find out what was hidden under the moss. Dry ice smoke was flowing out of the box like a waterfall. The chefs exclaimed, feeling the smoke gently touching their hands. It was definitely a dish that was so like her unique cooking style, who knew how to use modern science more stylishly in cooking than anyone else.
The taste of the forest that spread in their mouths and the looks of the table looking like the fog of the forest spreading in their mouths made them feel as if they truly entered a fairy tale. That was what June wanted to aim at first because the food they ate when they were in a good mood and the one they ate when they were in a bad mood were different from the start. When Rachel poured all her energy into cutting skills, June specialized her abilities in this field.
And everyone here recognized the fruit of her ability, effort, and sweat. They could notice it even without tasting her dish. The cameramen filming them opened their mouths wide as if they were stunned at her fantastic cooking technique.
‘Perhaps the viewers will think June is the most overwhelming chef.’
It was June who made a dish that could cost millions of won even with simple plating. The fact that she was so determined to make such a dish meant that she showed her own determination to make other people’s plating pale compared with hers.
Starting with that dish, her cooking began to reveal its true worth. The course she presented didn’t resemble Dave’s cuisine at all. Dave’s dishes looked simple but had an overwhelming taste above all. To compare it to a baseball game, his cooking was like a fastball while her cooking was a breaking ball. Her dishes might not taste less delicious than Dave’s, but those who tasted her food got confused about the level of the taste between the two.
‘I’m not sure if this will impress Chef Rachel…’ Min-joon thought to himself.
Still, Rachel had to respond, for this kind of cooking showed June was not an all-rounder, but a plodding chef who invested so much effort and time in cooking. So, Rachel had to appreciate, understand and accept the beauty of her cooking.
After that, bread, snail porpoise, and baked foie gras accompanied with crab biscuits were served one by one. When the chefs looked at the dishes, they could not help but be amazed. Some of them even wondered why she was so conscious of Dave. They thought that Dave might be better, considering the element of taste only, but how they felt about the taste was a matter of their preferences, after all. Of course, if they surpa.s.sed a certain level, there was definitely a gap that could not be narrowed. But they found it ambiguous to reply when asked if June’s dishes were not as good as Dave’s.
Moreover, as for the foie gras, they felt that her dish was as good as Dave’s in terms of the level of its taste. She made foie gras seasoned with barberry sauce and barberry fruit. The flavor of the seafood spreading from the crab biscuit stuck in it slowly lost its fishy smell to the taste of the fruit, and the explosive meat flavor of foie gras was so strong that they even wondered if it was really foie gras.
“Dave’s dishes are really great, but June’s dishes are gourmet food,” said Daisy, giggling.
Her comment was rather ambiguous, but all the chefs there understood it. They even thought this was almost a matter of choice to Rachel. In other words, they wondered if Rachel preferred Dave’s cooking or June’s gourmet food. They also wondered if she was trying to differentiate between the two dishes.
After they tried foie gras, another strange dish was placed on their table. Golden watches s.h.i.+ning yellow were placed inside the case where high-quality jewelry was likely to be placed. While they were wondering what it was, June’s servers put the gold watches into teapots full of boiling water. Then they melted, creating a broth full of beef flavor. It was a broth that tasted like Bovril.
And the broth was soon poured over the creme caramel mixture. While the chefs were mesmerized by the strange scene of small mushrooms floating on it, the next dish came out immediately. Something high that was wrapped in a veil began to be placed on their table as if it was a cake top. By now, they seemed to have given up trying to understand what it was. June was clearly different from other chefs. They began to feel her dishes were so radical, but it was only the beginning of the whole thing. And, the veil was removed.
They made a moan unwittingly.
What was revealed when the veil was lifted was not cake. Two plates were layered on a pillar, and sandwiches were placed at regular intervals on the edge of the plates.
Janet mumbled as if the whole thing she made was nonsense.
“Oh my G.o.d! It creates an atmosphere instantly where we are having a picnic.”
Interestingly, the picnic was not an ordinary picnic. Dozens of cameras flashed from all directions, and what was before their eyes was not a field of gra.s.s, but people. A field filled with those dressed in sous chef suits.
That made the chefs feel bizarre. Even though they knew this was not for real, they felt as if all the chefs here made the dishes for themselves. Every time the camera shutters flashed, they felt as if the meal they were eating now was not ordinary food, but something that everyone in the world expected and admired.
In fact, they didn’t feel this way until they ate a regular course. However, this picnic-style sandwich that she prepared was really unfamiliar to them, which led them to interpret it in a completely different way.
Besides, the sandwich itself tasted strange. There was no trace of char on the white bread, but when they chewed it, it tasted so rich and savory like toasted bread. Of course, as chefs, they could easily guess why.
“It looks like she overcooked the bread, then cut only the outer part.”
“If she bakes it like this, it can only spoil the texture of the bread and make its taste vaguer.”
“She has a good baker. So, she is really blessed with such people, as always.”
What was inside the sandwich was varied—Iberico ham and lettuce, homemade mayonnaise, and white truffle, semi-dried Italian tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and gold leaf.
They wondered how she could bring out this fresh and clean taste that spread in their mouths when they chewed it and sipped a mug full of beef broth.
And this dish showed most clearly Min-joon’s influence among other dishes of her course. Whenever she asked him what the key of Korean dishes was, he used to tell her about the Korean soup. When he told her that Korean soup tasted best when served rice or noodles, she was really inspired.
Of course, the fact that she did not use soup with rice but revived it in the form of tea and sandwiches showed to some extent that her roots were still in Western food, but that was why her dish was more valuable. They would have felt totally different if the mug had been an earthen pot that contained broth, not tea.
‘Maybe this is the path I have to walk in the days ahead,’ Min-joon thought.
Of course, he would need to develop the same sense as one they felt from that teacup in order to bring out the Korean and Asian taste properly. He only told her about rice with soup, but June served beef-tea like this. It was a moment that showed how important it was to think out of the box in cooking.
‘Man, I’m really curious how it tastes.’
Min-joon didn’t taste most of the dishes that June made this time. To be precise, he tasted some a few times while cooking, but by the time she completed the dishes, she didn’t want to have him taste them. Especially after all the chefs including Min-joon were stunned to confirm Dave’s fantastic cooking, she wouldn’t have Min-joon sample her dish.
It was because she was worried that if he tasted her dishes in advance, he would not feel impressed when he tasted them once again. And her concern was reasonable because when people tasted some food that they had never tried before, they could enjoy its taste the most.