Chapter 12: Chapter 12: Grand Chef Preliminaries (2)
It was a very basic question. However, it was also the simplest way to determine if someone had adequate experience as a chef or not.
“Onions have many layers to it. If you slice it vertically, those layers are maintained. But, if you slice it horizontally, it would fall apart. Also, when the layers are separated, the onion becomes softer and less spicy.”
Cho Min Joon gave a simple answer. Emily then nodded.
“That’s right. Next question. When you slice bell peppers, do you start from the inside or the outside?”
This was a common mistake people made when slicing bell peppers. Most people tried to slice it from the outside, but this made all the nutrients leak out. It was easier and nutritionally better to slice it from the inside.
“Very good. Then, let me ask you a similar question. What’s the difference between slicing a bell pepper vertically and slicing it horizontally?”
“When you slice it vertically, many of the nutrients are lost. The taste remains the same, but a lot of the scents is lost. If you slice it horizontally, it becomes harder, but the scent is more evident in exchange.”
After that, other similar questions were thrown at him. The difference between high-temperature and low-temperature cooking. The difference between different flours. He was also asked about the harmony of different spices when used together.
In the end, the last person to speak was Allen, who hadn’t spoken until now. He showed a serious look on his face and said, “You’ve passed, Min Joon. Please prepare your signature dish. We’ll give you 30 minutes.”
There was no congratulations. There was no cheering either. This was just the first step. He was simply given permission to grab a pan and knife.
Cho Min Joon nodded and left the interview room. He then headed to the cooking station. The cameramen must have heard the news because they approached him.
“Congratulations on making it through. What do you plan on making?”
“Snapper with bell pepper sauce.”
“Are you confident you can meet the judges’ expectations?”
“I’ll make one that’s worth 7 points.”
The cameramen were taken aback by his mention of 7 points. Why did he say 7 instead of 10? Was that his way of saying he was not confident? However, Cho Min Joon’s face said otherwise.
There was a reason why Cho Min Joon said that. In most audition programs, there were always a few contestants that became hated amongst the viewers. In other words, he wanted to get more screen time.
Aside from basic ingredients such as onions and garlic, he had to bring the rest in an icebox. Cho Min Joon headed over to where the Dean family was waiting. Lucas handed him the icebox and said, “There are two types of people in this world. Those who make flavors, and those who can’t. You’re a master. You can do this.”
Cho Min Joon accepted the icebox with a smile. The cameramen captured the Dean family with Cho Min Joon in the meantime. They didn’t seem like family, so what was their relationship? They were curious. Whether Cho Min Joon made it on air or not depended on his dish. To be more exact, it all depended on how entertaining he was. They had to find out about Cho Min Joon’s circumstances after he became a hot topic.
Cho Min Joon headed back to the cooking station. A camera was installed at the end of the table, and there was a cameraman at each station. It was a little more burdensome than regular cooking, but Cho Min Joon didn’t mind it. He wasn’t the type to get stage fright.
Cho Min Joon took out the materials from the icebox. Snapper and saffron, this is what Cho Min Joon prepared on his own. The rest was provided by Grand Chef.
This is where the system came in handy. He didn’t have to touch the ingredients to know their quality, so every time Cho Min Joon reached out, he grabbed a top-quality item.
Also, what he brought was simple. Bell peppers, garlic, green onions, thyme, basil, olive oil, grape seed oil, butter, salt, white wine, and pepper.
What Cho Min Joon was going to make was already made a hundred times in Korea. A well-roasted snapper and a spicy yet sweet bell pepper sauce. It was also the dish Cho Min Joon was the most confident in.
The first ingredient Cho Min Joon touched was the bell peppers. Cho Min Joon turned on the gas stove and put the bell peppers on top. He then heated up another frying pan and poured olive oil into it.
After that, he sliced up the green onions. The way he thinly sliced them proved that he was skilled. Even Cho Min Joon himself was surprised. Did he get more skilled after leveling up?
Then again, there was no time to think about that. Cho Min Joon added the sliced green onions to the oil. Along with a sizzling sound, an aromatic scent gradually wafted through the air. Cho Min Joon looked away from it and flipped the bell peppers. One side of the bell peppers was burned from the fire, but Cho Min Joon looked calm. It was his intention to burn them. When green onions or bell peppers were burned, its scent became even stronger.
Not even a few seconds later, the green onions were already fried. Cho Min Joon took them out of the pan and put a kitchen towel on top. There was no point in taking out the oil. The green onions were going to be used as garnish near the end. There was enough time.
The bell peppers burned on all sides. Cho Min Joon cleaned the bell peppers under the water and peeled the burned layer off. As a result, the bell pepper gave off a richer scent.
However, that wasn’t the end. Cho Min Joon used the kitchen towel to wipe off the excess water on the bell peppers, then added garlic, thyme, basil, grape seed oil, salt, and pepper into a bowl. He then blended it using a blender. This was going to become the sauce, a green sauce. If he filtered it though, it would become a purée, but he was worried that it would outshine the snapper.
Now that the sauce was complete, all that was left was the snapper. Cho Min Joon added olive oil in the frypan, heated it up, and then began touching the snapper. He rubbed white wine on the outside and salted it. Of course, he didn’t add too much. The key to the flavor was in the sauce.
Cho Min Joon added the peel of the snapper into the olive oil. When the peel became crispy, Cho Min Joon flipped it over. He then added butter to the pan.
The butter began mixing with the olive oil and the oil from the fish. Cho Min Joon tilted the frypan and poured the oil onto the snapper. The arroser method. It was also called basting when cooking meat or fish.
Using this method, the outside became crispy while the inside became soft.
While the snapper was cooking, there were around 5 minutes left. Cho Min Joon leisurely added the bell pepper sauce to a plate. He then put the cooked snapper on top, and all that was left was putting the green onions on top.
[You’ve completed the Snapper with Bell Pepper Sauce!]
[Additional points for attempting a difficult dish!]
[Snapper with Bell Pepper Sauce]
Origin: (Too many ingredients for an accurate calculation)
Quality: High (Average)
Cooking Score: 7/10