Chapter 642: Newlywed Chefs (6)
Minwoo’s case was a good example. He and Min-joon came to talk about their age, but when he discovered Min-joon was one year younger than him, he inadvertently said he was like Min-joon’s elder brother. After confirming each other’s age, they felt awkward. Min-joon knew that Minwoo would not want to mention he was his senior in terms of age. He might have mentioned it unwittingly.
Min-joon could not give Minwoo a disadvantage for that. He thought it would be really shameful if he did not hire Minwoo just for fear of being uncomfortable with him.
Minwoo was definitely competent. While he went through dozens of tests, he showed he had a complete understanding of the ingredients. He was more than qualified as an apprentice cook.
‘Man, this guy is the best among the apprentice cook applicants.’
In fact, there were lots of Korean-Americans or just Koreans who applied to Lotus Bridge this time. One of the reasons for their ma.s.sive application was because Koreatown was right next to downtown Los Angeles, but perhaps the main reason was because Min-joon was a Korean.
So it was no wonder that there were more Koreans who pa.s.sed the interview than other applicants. When Min-joon and Kaya selected four cooks, there was another Korean among them. More precisely, she was a second-generation Korean-American. Fortunately or unfortunately, there was no Korean among the successful demi-chef candidates.
Now it was time to select the sous chef.
“Anyone with experience as a sous chef, please raise your hand.”
“Is it okay if I have the experience as a head chef?”
As if he wanted to show off his head chef experience, somebody shouted in a confident voice.
She looked at him and said, “Yes, raise your hand.”
She didn’t bother to point out his exaggerated courage. It didn’t really matter what kind of courage he had. Of course, if he showed reckless valor, his att.i.tude would be regarded as arrogant. And the upcoming compet.i.tion would determine if he was genuinely courageous or acted with reckless bravado.
This time Min-joon opened his mouth.
“What kind of sous chef do you think we want? Oh, you don’t have to answer yet. It’s multiple-choice, not subjective. Let me give you three types of sous chefs. First, a chef who perfectly follows our instructions. Second, a chef who doesn’t give up on creating his or her own individuality despite our instructions. Third, a chef who can deny and doubt our instructions. orders. Please raise your hand!”
The majority of the applicants chose the third type of chef. When they considered the three types of sous chefs Min-joon mentioned, they thought the third type was the most reasonable choice. No matter how good the head chef was, he could not always be perfect. So they felt that there was no better sous chef than the one who could check and point out the head chef’s mistakes rather than simply following the head chef’s order like a machine.
Compared to the third type of sous chef, the first and second types had some problems. As for the first type, the problem was that such a sous chef simply followed the head chef’s instructions. If the sous chef simply followed the head chef’s words, he would find it hard to check and correct the head chef’s mistakes.
As for the second type of sous chef, it was rather awkward for the sous chef to stick to his or her own individual taste in cooking. Of course, it might sound great, depending on how to interpret it, for if the sous chef loses his or her own individuality, they might look like a machine, not a chef.
However, it was rather awkward that the sous chef had the luxury of showing his or her own individuality in dishes. In fact, there were lots of restaurants who didn’t allow their sous chefs to reveal their own preferences in cooking. Of course, as Min-joon did at the Rose Island main store, some restaurants added their demi-chefs’ or sous chefs’ recipes to their menus if they were good enough. But it didn’t mean that they gave their sous chefs the authority to define their menus in their favor.
The restaurant must belong entirely to its head chef. Figuratively speaking, it is the responsibility of the head chef to draw the restaurant. What the sous chef can do at best is to advise the head chef on which frame to hang the picture on.
“Many of you have chosen the third type. In other words, the type of chef who can deny and take our instructions with a grain of salt. Can anybody explain why you have chosen the third type?”
After asking them, he looked around. When some timid applicants began to look at each other, several of them opined in a determined voice as if they were convinced.
One of them said, “Because that’s the role of the sous chef.”
“Are you suspicious of the head chef?”
“Yes. Although it’s important for the sous chef to follow the head chef’s instructions, it’s also the sous chef’s duty to check if his instructions are good or bad. Do you think you need a sous chef if the head chef is perfect? In that case, you can just turn on a good loudspeaker and relay the head chef’s instructions to the kitchen staff, right?”
It was Jill who made the argument like that. Min-joon remembered her resume. Actually, he had no choice but to remember it because she had the most colorful cooking career among the applicants here. All the schools and restaurants that she had been affiliated with until now were widely known to the chefs.
Compared with Anderson, she had an excellent cooking career, so it was only natural that Min-joon became interested in her. So he took her words for granted. As a matter of fact, anybody who fully understood the structure of the kitchen and its working could not help but give such a reply to his question.
But Min-joon shook his head.
“Are you sure you don’t want such a sous chef? So, what kind of sous chef do you want? Second type? A chef who wants to show off his or her own individuality?” she asked in a slightly puzzled voice.
The first type of sous chef was honestly too unrealistic. If the answer was not the third type of sous chef, then the most likely answer would be the second type. Almost everybody knew that Min-joon and Kaya helped chefs to freely show their best cooking skills. If they wanted to give those working at their restaurant a chance to realize their dreams, the second type wasn’t unusual. But she thought that was too altruistic.
But Min-joon shook his head again. At that moment Jill hardened her expressions. Not only she but also other candidates who applied for the sous chef position showed the same reaction.
Min-joon said, “Well, my answer is the first type.”
“Oh no… that doesn’t make any sense,” she replied as if she could not believe it.
“I know why you’re reacting like that. To all of you right now, we might look too stubborn. I don’t want to say that’s actually what we are. But I can tell you one thing clearly. I’ll make our kitchen staff perfect.”
The sous chef applicants seemed restless at his words. He began to walk slowly in front of them. Pacing up and down in front of them, he continued, “Lotus Bridge is ours. Each picture Lotus Bridge will draw will be ours. It doesn’t mean that there’s no room for you to intervene. If you can give us the right recipe, we are willing to add it to our menu. But that receipt should be in line with the direction of this restaurant.”
Min-joon made it clear that he would let them take the main role. Even if he wanted to, it would be very hard, for it was impossible for ordinary sous chefs to defeat the duet of Min-joon and Kaya.
At that moment, Jill, who was already disappointed a lot, opened her mouth.
“You said a moment ago that you’re going to have your kitchen perfect. If that’s the case, I think you’re reducing the sous-chef’s authority too much. The sous-chef is like the last safety device to check the head chef’s mistakes. If you only give the sous chef the right to obey the head chef’s instructions, such a sous chef might not be much different from the demi-chef.”
“Oh, I think I said something that you might have misunderstood. Actually this is what I want to tell you. You won’t have time to point out the head chef’s mistake. The reason is simple. Why? Because the head chef won’t make any mistakes.”
“I beg your pardon?”
As soon as she heard his reply, she just could not manage her expressions because she was shocked. She didn’t even understand what he was talking about. He said the head chef would not make any mistakes. The head chef can make mistakes inadvertently. When she thought that Min-joon and Kaya were acting as if they would never make any mistakes in the kitchen, she even wondered if it was good that she applied for a job at their restaurant.