Chapter 558: Unexpected Twist (26)
“Do you think June and Dave are exactly the same in everything?”
“No. They’re not exactly the same. Both of them have their own strengths and weaknesses.”
Min-joon didn’t bother to mention other names than Dave and June. Now that he has evaluated all the chefs’ dishes, the final results are obvious. Both of their dishes were the best. Other chefs, of course, achieved remarkable growth compared to their cooking skills before, but they were still far behind the two chefs in everything.
“To be honest, when I look at their dishes alone, I think Chef Dave is more combative. I know the way I describe it is rather ambiguous, but it might be more correct to say his dishes were more impressive.”
“If you just look at the course as a whole without looking at its combination, you can’t compare Chef June with Chef Dave. Of course, it’s true that Chef Dave deliberately made the dishes that looked like more original. I think that’s what he aimed at on purpose. As you know, it’s a pretty interesting twist to find an incredible taste in the dishes that looked so typical. But if you ask me if his concept like that was the best, I could not agree.”
That was the key problem, namely, the concept of the course. Dave showed his best cooking skills without any doubt. It was the same with June. However, much of what Min-joon and Rachel evaluated this time was influenced by the concept of their courses, rather than their cooking skills.
Min-joon said, touching his forehead, “This is really absurd. As you have already seen in Nathan’s cooking, their courses didn’t fully capture their cooking skills and methods. But I have to make a decision that will influence Rose Island for the rest of my life…”
Rachel smiled strangely at his words then said, “You’re right. It’s not fair to judge everything based on just one thing. Besides, we have to take into account their potential growth in the future.”
“If that’s the case, why did you hold this contest?”
“Well, a lot of people are mistaken about one thing, which they take for granted.”
She got up. She looked out her window and opened her mouth slowly.
“In how many years are the Olympic Games held?”
“Every four years during winter and summer.”
“The Olympics are worth being held on such a regular basis. If they had been held every year or just once, the Olympics would not have become such a world festival.”
“Chef Rachel, what do you mean?”
At that moment, he hardened his expression because he felt like she was about to say something absurd.
She murmured, “They don’t really understand what we’re doing right now when they actually heard our explanation. They are already talking about the main restaurant of Rose Island, but I’m holding this compet.i.tion to choose who will lead Rose Island as the next leader, not the main restaurant of Rose Island alone. In other words, the chief of Rose Island after me, or the President of Rose Island like the President of the United States.”
“Well, I have a strange feeling right now.”
“And American voters elect their president every four years.”
He loosened his tight grip on his fists at that moment. Actually, Rachel was deceiving all of them. Aside from her motivations, he could not help but be stunned by her decision.
“You know what? Stagnant water is supposed to rot. No change means death. Rose Island never dies,” she said, with her eyes open wide. “Rose Island will live on.”
‘Rose Island will live on?’
It was a romantic and wonderful word. But it was complicated at the same time.
So, Min-joon closed his eyes for a moment. When he closed his eyes, he felt like he could see more than when he opened his eyes. A lot of people came to his mind. And the one that came to his mind the most was, of course, June.
“n.o.body could be the king from the beginning.”
There was no position for the King. There was only one for the President. Somebody might ask what was the big difference between them. But there was a big difference between the two just like there was one between the republic and a kingdom.
Rachel easily guessed why Min-joon didn’t feel good now.
She said with a bitter smile, “There is no king in America, in the past, now or future. I don’t think if you compare a restaurant with a country, I don’t think of it as a mere metaphor. In fact, each person in a restaurant acts like a member of a country. As we have verified the system of a country until now, the most ideal state form is a republic where people elect their leaders through votes.”
“I know that a capable dictator is sometimes more efficient than the leader of a republic.”
“But a dictator is just a dictator. It’s too risky to leave everything to one dictator, no matter who he is. I’ve told you already about it. Rose Island has to change. It shouldn’t be stagnant water.”
“One person can win over and over again.”
“Well, in that case, we can call him a verified dictator. The process of selecting such a dictator could be said to be more justified than a general dictator, but in any case, the ideal dictator you are talking about can only come from this system.”
Just because it was a republic, it didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be a dictator in such a country. As a matter of fact, there were lots of dictators in the world.
“I just wonder how she can feel when she realizes that the one she has been longing for can’t exist in reality.”
“Min-joon?” She called his name in a low voice. He raised his head.
She said with a sad smile, “June is one of my best students. But just because she’s the best student, it doesn’t mean she’s the most precious to me. All of my students are equally precious to me. Of course, unless I’m a robot, I can’t say that I’m perfectly equal to all of them. But even if that’s the case, I must try to be equal until the very end because if the mother bird just watches the compet.i.tion between her young birds, the weakest one will starve to death.”
“I don’t mean to say that you are bad, but the situation is…” He clenched his fist. “I just feel bitter.”
He was not sure if he could say her decision to June confidently. He was afraid to face her stiff expression when she heard this.
How about Rachel? How did she feel when she made a decision like this? While deciding this, didn’t she feel anything special? Come to think of it, she might have thought that this kind of decision would be safer than one that would determine everything in one moment forever.
Her motivation seemed reasonable in some respects.
The reason he didn’t like this situation was simply because of his compa.s.sion for June. As a judge, it was not good for him to show favoritism toward her, but he was a human being as well as a judge. He was also her sous chef and her friend.
At that moment, he suddenly realized one thing. He was a judge. Rachel recognized that he was qualified enough to be a judge of this compet.i.tion. Probably she wouldn’t change her perception of him with the pa.s.sage of time. At the next compet.i.tion, he would still serve as a judge. Maybe he would continue to keep his role as a judge until she took her hands off Rose Island.
If so, he would effectively end up being a ‘dictator’ in a different sense. The power to decide the President of Rose Island would forever rest on him. Rachel must know it, of course.
“How can you trust me so much like this?’
When he cut to the chase, she could easily guess what he was thinking now, and why he asked such a question.
She answered calmly, “Because I’ve watched you until now.”
He did not try to interpret it in a complicated way. He knew he had no perfect palate. The popular perception of him as a chef with a perfect palate was wrong. Actually, Min-joon stopped thinking of himself in that respect for a long time. Of course, it was not easy for him to stay detached all the time.
“Why didn’t you tell me this until now?”
“Well, when they think it’s their last chance, they will become more desperate.”
He nodded at her words. If she told them she was going to hold this compet.i.tion every four years, they would not make their best efforts seriously. They might have made less effort, thinking they could show better skills much better at the next compet.i.tion.
And in fact, this was their first and last chance because in this compet.i.tion they showed their best skills, thinking this would be the one and last compet.i.tion to choose the permanent leader of Rose Island.
Putting her hand on his shoulder, she said, “The beginning is important, Min-joon.”
“I guess so.”
“It’s much more important than you think. If I had not started this compet.i.tion like this from the beginning, some chefs might have kept putting off their partic.i.p.ation with the next compet.i.tion in mind for their lives.”
“Aren’t you being too pessimistic?”
“No, that’s the reality. If you don’t do it, it becomes more of a habit. Look, this is like a marathon. If you watch other runners running far ahead of you, do you feel like catching up even now? Maybe you might think it’s just meaningless to just run.”
When she said that, he understood her point exactly. He let out a sigh. She was right. In terms of reviewing this compet.i.tion practically, he couldn’t blame her.