Chapter 641: Newlywed Chefs (5)
So they had no choice but to realize once again how strong their wish to get a job was. Some of the applicants here might have submitted their applications out of simple interest or impulse, but most of them probably know the value of this opportunity. In other words, the compet.i.tion among them would be very fierce.
“Alright. We’re going to select the junior cook first. You guys will receive the ingredients. All you have to do is just chop the ingredient before you. Of course, you have to wash it, too.”
Some of them were puzzled how this simple job of cutting and was.h.i.+ng the ingredient could be the criteria for selecting the junior chef. They thought this was a piece of cake since they had been doing it for some time.
Surprisingly enough, however, there were many apprentice cooks who had not yet mastered such basics in cooking. Especially, that was the case with those who applied for the apprentice cook job because most of them were not paid. Their cooking skills were a little better than ordinary people’s or even worse than theirs.
In fact, there were some apprentice cooks who suddenly got interested in cooking while they were involved in a field not related to cooking. Justin, who was the junior chef at Rose Island, was an exception in that he knew how to cook, but he could land a job at Rose Island because those who applied like him back then were highly competent.
Right now, Min-joon had no choice but to feel the gap in their cooking skills then and now. When he worked at Rose Island’s main restaurant, most of the applicants for the demi-sous chef job were as competent as the head chefs of good restaurants, and the cooks were also as good as the demi-chefs. But it was a different story for the applicants this time. The so-called apprentice cooks were just good enough to be qualified for this job. Some of them were not even below the average.
“Look, Tonya. You don’t know how to wash the pine mushrooms properly, let alone cut them. You have to gently scrub them instead of peeling them off like that. If you do it forcibly like that, they are messy when peeled off.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
To be honest, Min-joon was quite uncomfortable at the moment. He felt completely different from what he felt during the Grand Chef compet.i.tion when he served as a judge. At that time, the programs of the Grand Chef mattered more than him. But this time, it was different. The applicants came here with great respect for Min-joon and Kaya, not to mention their high hopes to work for them. So it was by no means easy for the chef couple to hurl harsh words at them who almost wors.h.i.+ped them as idols.
Of course, Kaya was different. She was straightforward in expressing her opinion.
“You haven’t done much cooking, have you?”
“Well, I am trying to get down to cooking from now on.”
“That’s a lie. You can say that only after you have a job at a restaurant. When I watch you grab the garlic with your hand and cut them, I can see you have not done much cooking as a rule. Aside from treating others with your dish, it seems you haven’t cooked for yourself much, right?”
“Well, I did from time to time…”
“I’m curious what you cook sometimes. Anyway, you can’t get a job at my restaurant, as things stand now. Even if I take it for granted that apprentice cooks have little cooking career, you should be able to know how to cut, to say the least. You don’t need to fly in the sky, but you should be able to walk before I teach you how to run. Don’t you think so?”
Kaya’s comment was very harsh. The female applicant lowered her head after she was given such a good scolding, with her face pale. But Kaya didn’t bother to comfort her. There were people who said they had a dream but didn’t make any effort to realize their dreams. Of course, they made various excuses, such as they were too busy to cook, or they were not yet accustomed to cooking because they started cooking only recently.
But Kaya didn’t buy such excuses. In her opinion, even though they were busy, they should have tried to cook in person to prove they had a pa.s.sion for cooking. If they just toyed with the idea like ‘I want to be a chef. Can I give it a try?,’ they were not much different from those who said, ‘I would like to be an actor’ after watching a good movie.
That was how Kaya determined whether they were serious about cooking or not.
Confirming her strict criteria, the applicants had no choice but to harden their faces. In fact, those applicants questioned hard by Kaya were problematic in their own eyes.
When they were pointed out by Kaya, they were trying to gloss over their mistakes and avoid her questions. So they fully understood why she was upset by their sloppy att.i.tude.
She must have been more furious if she had met them at the Grand Chef compet.i.tion. But they were the job applicants who wanted to work for Kaya and Min-joon. In other words, they applied because they thought they were qualified for the job positions at Lotus Bridge. If they had come here, unprepared for the cooking audition at all, they must have made light of Lotus Bridge.
It was not difficult to select the most qualified one among the apprentice cook applicants. Min-joon and Kaya kept providing different ingredients for the applicants and checked their cutting skills. The chef couple watched them slicing the onions, mincing the meat, and chopping paprika and green onions one by one. Everytime they were done checking it, the applicants were eliminated one by one.
Soon the successful cook apprentice stood in front of them.
“Are you Korean?”
“Yes. I’m Korean.”
“Nice to meet you,” said Min-joon, looking at him with a serious expression.
Minwoo lowered his head with a very nervous look.
“Hope I’m in your good hands!”
A very Korean apprentice cook just got hired.
Min-joon asked, wearing a complicated expression, “By the way…”
“Can I ask how old you are?”
“Oh, I was born in 1987. How about you, Chef Min-joon?”
“Well, I was born in 1988.”
“Then, I’m like your elder brother!”
“That’s right… Haha.”
For a moment the two felt awkward. Recalling what he just said to Min-joon, Minwoo regretted it a lot because he said Min-joon was like his younger brother because he was one year younger than him. What if he was Min-joon’s senior in age? After all, he would be working at Lotus Bridge owned by Min-joon, and he was only an apprentice cook there.
“Then go inside and wait there. After I’m done interviewing them, I’m going to have the successful applicants introduce themselves to each other briefly.”
Min-joon and Minwoo regretted deep down. Min-joon regretted asking about his age, while Minwoo regretted reminding him about his seniority.
In fact, before coming here, Minwoo felt very good about the fact that he was Korean like Min-joon. He felt proud that as a Korean, he succeeded in life after coming to America like himself, so he had some high expectations that both could get close more quickly. Perhaps Min-joon might feel much more comfortable when he was with Koreans.
‘Man, I’m not comfortable at all!’
To be honest, Minwoo felt like crying. He didn’t think about the implications of seniority. He would have felt less embarra.s.sed if he had been the same age as Min-joon. He regretted that he was older than Min-joon, but he could not do anything about it. Even though he was no more than an apprentice cook, he was younger than the owner of Lotus Bridge who established himself as the top chef in America.
Watching Minwoo disappear to the break room, concerned that he might have left a bad impression on the owner of this restaurant, Kaya glanced at Min-joon.
“Did you guys talk about your age?”
“Did you understand it?”
“I’m studying Korean these days.”
“Yeah, your Korean has improved a lot.”
“I can’t say my Korean has improved
Obviously, she seemed to be proud of her progress in Korean. He inadvertently tried to stroke her hair but didn’t. She did a heavy make-up to look tough to the applicants. He didn’t want to make her look like an ordinary girl when she was really determined to be a tough judge for them.
Then he turned his head and looked at the break room where Minwoo headed. He was not necessarily satisfied with selecting a Korean cook. Even though he felt sorry for Min-joon, Min-joon didn’t want to hire a Korean cook in the kitchen for some reason.
Min-joon was now in America. In American society, he ran a kitchen full of Americans.
In other words, he couldn’t afford to pay attention to the type of Korean culture or connections among Koreans in his kitchen. Above all, he didn’t want to be bound by the etiquette, decorum, awkwardness, and unease among Koreans that were unique to Korean society.