God of Cooking

Chapter 26

Chapter 26: Chapter 26: 3 plates and one cooking (4)

… Was not proper cooking.

That was what Cho Min Joon thought. No matter how skilled she was, the food on that plate wasn’t proper food. It was simply a cook’s fury in a dish, which meant it was useless.

“We won’t eat this. Please go back.”

Allen spoke in a firm voice. He wasn’t just talking to Kaya, but her entire team. Anderson looked at the plate with anger. Kaya bit down on her lip and went back to her dish.

“It’s good though.”

That was all Kaya said. She then took her plate and turned around. The way she was biting her lip looked like she was holding back her tears.

However, Kaya didn’t have the right to cry. That was what Cho Min Joon thought. When a cook thought about themselves before their customer, what was on that plate couldn’t be packaged as food.

Course meals needed basic harmony. The appetizer was there to make the main dish shine while also getting their appetites going. But Kaya’s greed didn’t end at just getting their appetites going. That was why she decided on salmon tataki. She wanted her own cooking for the main dish of the course.

But that was inconsiderate to the one who would eat the dish. Whether she knew it or not, her behavior was unacceptable.

The judges passed by their team and tasted the next team’s dishes. After showing poker faces throughout, they went back onto the podium. The evaluations didn’t start right away. Allen only spoke after the remaining 6 teams showed off their cooking, “Chloe, Min Joon, and Marco, please come on up.”

As soon as they did, Allen finally spoke. But his face looked stiff and cold as usual.

“The flavors were all right. I could see that you planned the menu knowing it was a course meal. Tofu, Guanzi, and biscuit didn’t look like they would go together, but it surprised us.”

“Thank you.”

Chloe and Cho Min Joon answered at the same time. Marco minded the others before speaking, “T-thank you.”

Joseph noticed that and said, “The one who showed the most potential was you, Marco. It’s normal for any cook to try to make their cooking as fancy as possible. But nothing was excessive about your mocha biscuit. It was just enough to clean out the taste of the Guanzi and tofu. And the batter for the biscuit was perfect. You made a simple dish refined and fragrant. Thank you.”

“Oh, thank you.”

Marco answered with a sniffle. When Cho Min Joon glanced over, he noticed Marco tearing up. He was a soft-hearted friend in contrast to how he looked. Cho Min Joon patted Marco on the back.

Emily smirked and said, “I also enjoyed your dishes. I also liked how well you got along with each other. You were a good example of how cooks should work together.”

“Good job. Please go to the 2nd floor. You’ve passed.”

They predicted their pass earlier, but as soon as Allen finished, Chloe screamed and hugged Marco and Cho Min Joon. Of course, her arms were too short to embrace Marco. In the end, Marco and Cho Min Joon had to hold each other’s shoulders as they accepted Chloe’s jumping.

Cho Min Joon smiled awkwardly. He knew she was social, but he didn’t know she was this enthusiastic. When she saw that he couldn’t jump along with her, Chloe blushed and brushed off her apron.

But the excitement didn’t last for long. It was the next team’s turn. Allen spoke in a cold voice. He sounded angry.

“I personally had high expectations for this team. That’s why I’m especially disappointed. It’s pointless to fight over the main dish, but what can we do? I’ll look over it this time. It’s normal for everyone to want to stand out. But what resulted was even worse. I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about.”

No one answered. Joseph sighed and continued, “Food contains the heart of the chef, Kaya. But your dish didn’t contain your heart for the customer. Do you agree?”

“… Yes.”

Kaya answered quietly. She sounded like a student getting scolded by her teacher. Emily then spoke. She sounded more strict than usual.

“We didn’t try your dishes. Because they were unacceptable. So you’ve failed. Please go back.”

“… I beg to differ.”

It was Anderson who spoke next. Emily looked at Anderson with a grimace. Anderson continued, “All of our dishes are now ruined because of Kaya’s actions. Why do we have to be punished for it?”

“Do you feel like it’s unfair?”

It wasn’t Emily but Allen who responded. Anderson lowered his tone and spoke in a calmer manner, “Yes, I do. I had no idea she’d be so greedy over the main dish. Why do I have to be disqualified over it?”

“You do.”

Allen shortly replied. He glared at Anderson. Allen approached Anderson face-to-face and spoke in a ferocious voice, “Because you’re a team. The fact that you’re saying that means you don’t see this group as a team.”

“… But this is a competition! Even if we’re on the same team, we can’t actually act like a real team!”

“No, you can! If you did this as a cooking exercise rather than a battle, you would have considered your other teammates. Chefs are not machines. It’s not all over once you split up the roles! Don’t think that you’re all on your own just because you’re making different dishes! You were making one course. That makes you one.”

Allen stopped there and caught his breath. Anderson was unable to say anything in response. Allen slowly opened his mouth again but in a smaller voice, “I agree that you were unlucky. Both you and Kaya are very talented. But you also have a strong pride. It was almost as if there were two leads in one film. But that’s all. It was your fault for not overcoming your unlucky circumstances. What makes you think you can get another chance when you presented such a disaster of a course?”

Anderson was unable to answer. Anderson was full of confidence when he first formed a team with Kaya. They fought over the main dish, but he didn’t think Kaya would come off this way.

Was that his fault? Anderson didn’t know. But his heart was telling him that it wasn’t. He wanted to tell Allen that what he was saying was too idealistic. But in actuality, he just kept his mouth closed. It wasn’t because he agreed. He knew that the judges wouldn’t change their minds no matter what he said.

The evaluations continued. 9 teams. Only 6 of those teams passed through to the next round. That meant that 9 contestants were disqualified. Cho Min Joon quietly watched from the 2nd floor. Joseph spoke to those who were going to be sent home, “You’re right in front of the doors to go home. I don’t know how many of you will be disqualified from here. What’s certain is that what landed you here are your horrible course meals. Lack of skill? Lack of cooperation? Whichever one it was, the result will be the same.”

The disqualified stayed silent. Most of them teared up. Some of them even sniffled. However, Joseph didn’t hesitate. Cooks who put horrible food on their plates was unacceptable in the world of cooking.

“Before I reveal the topic of the disqualification round, there’s one thing you have to do. Please pick a partner. I’ll tell you the topic after that.”

In response, the contestants began matching up. Most of them decided on their own partners while some of them paired up with whoever was left. However, there were 9 contestants who were in the disqualification group. That meant one person would be left without a partner.

And that person was Kaya.

No one reached out to her. That was because they had just seen her true personality in the main round. They didn’t want to work with someone who could be problematic. On top of that, Kaya was very skilled. It was possible that she would outshine them and make them go home.

Kaya looked around anxiously. She then looked at Joseph with a brave face.

“I can do it alone.”

“… I’m afraid you can’t do that. Please pick someone from the passing group. But of course, your partner won’t be at risk of going home.”

In response, Kaya looked up at the second floor. But most of them avoided her gaze. They weren’t at risk of going home, but they felt burdened. Kaya scanned the contestants before her eyes stopped. After staring at his face for a while, she said, “… Help me.”

Cho Min Joon’s face stiffened up.

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