God of Cooking - Chapter 232 - In The Face of The Real Battle (4)
Chapter 232: In The Face of The Real Battle (4)>
Jasper felt his heart skip a beat right then. It wasn’t made by her? Was she joking? No, she looked far too serious to be joking about something like this. A part of him wanted to ask if she was lying, but he was in front of a camera. Doing so would just be digging his own grave. Instead, he decided to repeat what she said back at her.
“It isn’t. That dish was created by Javier and Minjoon.”
“Amazing. You have wonderful students. This doesn’t even feel like a dish that could be made by someone so young.”
Insulting the two right now would just harm him more than anything. It would be smarter to just praise the chefs instead. Jasper continued slowly.
“With something as good as this, it’s inevitable that I’d get the wrong impression. I’ll have to try your dish now to see.”
It seemed far too obvious that he was trying to change the topic. But with how nervous he looked, no one in the room even bothered to tell him that.
Jasper quickly took a bite of Rachel’s scallop. The jelly on it seemed to be some sort of a Japanese soy sauce. As it melted, he could feel the sauce seep into the nooks and crannies of the scallop to make the meat even more savory and flavorsome. His brain even stopped working for a second from just how tasty the dish was.
‘God damn it, did I make a mistake?’
It was too late. The dice was already thrown, and he was already deep in enemy territory. Right now, depending on what he did, he could either go straight to heaven or fall straight down to hell. It was completely up to him for him to become a third-rate, or a critic of the century. Jasper decided to smile.
“Ah, I can tell now what was different. This has a perfect balance between molecular gastronomy and traditional cooking. As expected of you, Rachel. I should’ve tried both before saying anything. How silly of me.”
“So, do you think you can get the next one right, then?”
“I said just now, didn’t I? What I wanted to criticize wasn’t being able to distinguish between your food and their food. It was all about who made the dish.”
“In that case, what was that thing just now about ‘this is your dish’ that you said only seconds ago?”
“…I was just excited. From the… Ah, the flavor explosion in my mouth. The excitement just rendered me completely unable to think properly.”
Rachel sighed inwardly. And here she thought that the man would at least have something up his sleeve…
‘What an idiot.’
Even she felt like an idiot for playing along with his game. She wouldn’t even have done all of this if she didn’t see Minjoon’s hurt face.
It only felt like a day ago when she started cooking herself. But to think she already had disciples… None of it really felt real sometimes. Rachel turned to look at her demi chefs.
“I’m sorry. You ended up making a dish for ten days only to serve… this guy.”
“There are no bad guests, as the saying goes. It’s fine.”
“Some people don’t come as guests. In those cases, you’ll have to make something different from food you serve guests. You’ll see when you start handling real critics.”
Minjoon couldn’t really relate. After all, he’s never met a critic who hasn’t tried to get on his good side so far.
By this time, the main dish was served. The first was a sea bream served with a sauce made of green curry and goat cheese, and the second looked like a pair of human lungs.
“This… Is this a baby bird?”
“Yes, a baby pigeon. We cooked it on the pan. The savoy cabbage is seasoned with black garlic and truffle salt. And the ingredient next to it… Would you like to guess? You seemed to be a fan of guessing games.”
Rachel asked casually. Jasper looked at the dish carefully. There was a reddish-brown sauce below the entire dish. He grabbed his spoon nervously.
‘There’s mushroom… and the meat… A stew. Right. What was this called again…?’
He was feeling so nervous that it was almost surprising that he could taste anything at all. Right now, guessing wasn’t important to him. He could always just make up an excuse for guessing wrong.
‘Damn it, I shouldn’t have tried to act smart a moment ago.
He thought he could just take the woman by her blind side since the dish was so Rachel-esque. But as it turned out, he was walking straight into a trap. He definitely should’ve tasted both before giving his answer. Ah well. It was too late to regret his decisions now.
“Ah, ah! I was just thinking for a moment. There’s a dish that resembles this in France. Salon?”
“Stews from most countries resemble each other. But you still got it. Though you got the name wrong. It’s salmi. It’s a type of a bird stew.”
“I know. It happens to be one of my favorite dishes.”
“Was it, now? I thought you didn’t like it since you got the name wrong.”
Jasper’s face reddened in embarrassment once again. He barely managed to crack a smile as he responded.
“Sorry. I have memory problems.”
“Tragic, especially at such a young age. Here, continue.”
Jasper started cutting away at the meat with trembling hands. He dipped the meat with the sauce, and took a bite. He had to admit, it was good. Good enough to make him forget what kind of situation he was in.
“How’s the taste?”
“Amazing! The bird and the sauce works in perfect harmony with each other. It’s very honest, and yet very complex. I can feel the depth and the experience that…”
Jasper realized in the middle that he was just parroting what he said with his first dish. He quickly corrected himself.
“It’s amazing. That’s all I can say.”
“So, can you tell who made it?”
“…I’ll try both dishes this time.”
Rachel smirked. It was obvious how nervous the man was. It was pitiable, really. Jasper wiped the sweat off his brows as he moved to the next dish.
‘…This looks traditional as well.’
The sauce looked sort of science-y and weird, but the dish itself was made with traditional technique. A beautiful fish steak. It looked almost like an art piece to him. Of course, the flavor was just as beautiful. The flesh softly separated in his mouth, and the crunchy coating gave away with an oily flavor.
The green curry was almost infuriatingly good as well. Combined with the goat cheese, Jasper felt happiness and anger at the same time.
‘Who the hell made this thing?!’
He wouldn’t feel this bad if these dishes were just ‘alright’. But these dishes were almost unspeakably good.
“Can you tell who made the dish?”
His time was already up. Jasper still didn’t have an answer. To him, the pigeon dish from earlier seemed to be Rachel’s, but he really had no idea if he was right or wrong.
But he still needed to make a decision. He looked over the two dishes, then eventually pointed at a dish. He was pointing at the fish. Rachel smiled.
“Do you think you got it?”
“…Who knows. I don’t think getting it right is the important part, though.”
“Of course it is. That’s what you tried to lecture us on in the first place.”
“What I said last time was…”
“Ah, listen to the results first. The fish dish wasn’t made by me, it was made by the chefs.”
Jasper wasn’t even disappointed. The situation was already irreversible. He didn’t even expect to get it right to begin with.
“You’re serious? It was made by the demi chefs by themselves?”
“Do you think I’d joke about such a thing?”
“No, it’s just… you must’ve taught them. That’s why the dishes must’ve resembled many of your other work. If that’s the case, then weren’t you practically the one who made the dish?”
Maya burst out laughing right then. No one stopped her, though. After all, practically everyone in the kitchen was trying to hold in their own. Rachel looked almost disgusted at him.
“So why did you criticize the dishes that I practically made, then that case? By your logic, the dishes that you criticized were mine, wasn’t it?”
Jasper looked almost confused. He clearly didn’t even know what he was saying at this point. The sweat on his brow turned into a stream, and his face had paled more than ever before.
He started clapping. Then, he put his hands over his mouth and started to laugh. By the time the laugh sounded more like a sob, he took off his hands to reveal a reddened nose.
“Please…” He began with a voice of a scared child.
“Please let me go, just this once.”