Chapter 28: Chapter 28: Cooperation before disqualification (2)
7 points. That was the highest score Cho Min Joon could receive. There was no need to vocalize what was inside Cho Min Joon’s head. Cho Min Joon looked at Kaya and said, “Let’s slice it as if it’s a tenderloin and grill it. We’ll add oil via Arroser, but there’s no need to add olive oil. There’s enough oil in Fois Gras as it is.”
Cho Min Joon spoke quickly. Kaya nodded as she asked, “What about the sauce?”
Cho Min Joon took a minute to organize his thoughts. The most important part of a sauce on Fois Gras was the supplement that would hide the fatty flavors of the liver. And in order to do that, the sauce needed to be sweet and sour.
Cho Min Joon replied, “We’ll make a grape sauce. Let’s cook sliced grapes, add demiglace sauce… and there are two choices for this. Should we make the demiglace ourselves?”
This was a sensitive topic. Demiglace was a sauce made with boiled down meat juice. It took 30 minutes to make it, but it tasted better the longer they boiled it. Most high-end restaurants invested 2 hours to make their demiglace sauce, which went to show how important it was.
The question was whether they would spend less than 50 minutes to make their own demiglace sauce or if they would just use the commercially sold one. It was possible that if they attempted to make it, they would not finish the dish.
Kaya bit down on her lip. But Cho Min Joon already knew what she was going to say.
“Let’s make it.”
Cho Min Joon smiled. She sounded like a true chef. She wanted to do whatever was possible. A real chef cooked with the hope that their hands could become the condiments.
“We can slowly defrost the Fois Gras. It seemed to be pretty melted already, so let’s keep it in the freezer. We’ll only touch the Fois Gras once the sauce is done and we start plating.”
“Great. Sounds good. How should we do the garnish? How about we slice the rest of the grapes and put it on the plate?”
Cho Min Joon was fascinated that he could communicate with Kaya. They surprisingly had similar opinions about how to deal with food. The more a chef became experienced and gained a reputation, the more their cooking differed from those of other chefs.
But that wasn’t the case with Cho Min Joon and Kaya. It was also the fact that they were both amateurs, but they had similar tendencies. Cho Min Joon wondered how it would be if they cooked together in the same kitchen one day…
‘This is no time to think about this.’
He could think about random scenarios in his head after the mission. Cho Min Joon said, “What’s difficult is that we have to keep trading off. Who should go first? The second person to go will probably have to cook the Fois Gras. That person will have to plate it, too. We have to switch off every 5 minutes for 60 minutes?”
It was best to grill the Fois Gras and plate it as late as possible. After all, the longer they cooked the Demiglace sauce the better. Kaya answered. She looked as if she was certain.
“I’ll do it. This is my mission.”
“… You’ve never worked with Fois Gras before. Are you sure?”
“Same goes for you. I’ll have to go for it. I have to. Like I said, this is my mission. I made a mistake, and I have to make up for it.”
“No, this is a team mission.”
Cho Min Joon answered with a stern voice. Kaya looked startled. He looked like a teacher scolding a student, and that was how Cho Min Joon felt as well. He wanted Kaya to know why she was here in the first place. He wanted to teach her what team missions were all about.
Chloe was supposed to be in this position. She was able to calm down Kaya with her sweet smile alone. She would have taught her about the purpose of a team without saying anything. But Cho Min Joon wasn’t Chloe.
Without Chloe’s comfort, all that could get through Kaya were Cho Min Joon’s words. And luckily, it seemed like Kaya realized his message. Kaya hesitated and then nodded.
“Okay. I’ll remember that.”
Cho Min Joon looked at his watch with a smile. It had already been 13 minutes since the judges gave them 20 minutes to deliberate. 7 minutes left. It was too iffy to do anything. The two remained silent. And the first one to speak was Kaya. She asked what she had been wondering for a long time, “Why are you so nice to me?”
“No, you are. You wanted to share our mission food last time, and you said I’d win the whole thing in an interview. Well, I guess you weren’t exactly nice to me. But you’ve always been on my side. Why? Do you…”
Kaya looked over at the cameras. She then covered her mic and covered Cho Min Joon’s as well. Cho Min Joon didn’t know what to do. Kaya spoke in a serious voice, “Do you like me?”
He didn’t hesitate to answer because it was true. He just didn’t think he would get that question from Kaya. He already denied it during the interview. Cho Min Joon answered with a stiffened face, “Not at all.”
Kaya glared. She stared at Cho Min Joon and then smirked.
“Well, keep it that way.”
“I know this sounds funny to ask, but I want to ask anyway. Why can’t I like you?”
“Because I’m a bitch. You don’t know what it means to have grown up in the slums of America, and there’s no good in knowing it either.”
“… Sorry, but I already like you.”
In response, Kaya knitted her brows. Cho Min Joon realized her surprise and clarified.
“Not as a woman, but as a chef.”
“Why? It’s not like I did anything special.”
“You showed potential and skill. I got jealous, and that made me wanted to keep up. You know how it is when you watch TV. You end up wanting to cheer on your favorite contestant. It’s possible that I ended up cheering you on as a viewer.”
“… But you’re a contestant, not a viewer.”
In response, Cho Min Joon shrugged.
“Messi probably cheers on Ronaldo once in a while.”
Kaya didn’t answer. Her pupils shook as she looked at Cho Min Joon. She really couldn’t understand Cho Min Joon. ‘Why?’ Why was this man believing in Kaya Reuters than Kaya Reuters herself?
She had no idea that Cho Min Joon knew that she would win. Her imagination wasn’t so vast that she could think that far. Cho Min Joon remarked.
“Now let’s go. The cameras are rolling. Do you want to be on TV for this?”
Cho Min Joon sighed and pointed at the cameras. The cameraman had been shooting with a smile on his face as if he was hoping to catch a juicy moment. Kaya took her hands off of Cho Min Joon’s mic. She then lifted both hands as if she was surrendering.
“Sorry. But we don’t want this conversation getting out.”
“Yeah, but still…”
Cho Min Joon glanced at the cameraman. He then knitted his brows. The camera had a mic attached to it. Cho Min Joon asked the cameraman, “Is this recording?”
Rather than responding, the cameraman smiled. Cho Min Joon grumbled in frustration. “Damn it.” Kaya looked at the camera with a stiffened face. She thought no one would hear as long as she covered their own mics, but that was not the case. Kaya asked Cho Min Joon, “… That will probably be aired, huh?”
“If they don’t, that means the producers are slacking.”
And Martin was definitely not slacking. Kaya spoke with a frustrated voice, “This is…”
“Time’s up! Please go and get your ingredients!”
“Okay. I’ll go.”
Cho Min Joon left Kaya and walked over to the ingredients. She wanted to say anything, but he didn’t care. Hearing what he had to say would only complicate things. It was best to cook with a clear mind. Cho Min Joon mumbled inside his head.
‘She still doesn’t understand what a team is.’