Chapter 3: Chapter 3: 7 years earlier (2)
[Cho Min Joon]
Cooking Level: 5
Breadmaking Level: 4
Gourmet Level: 6
Decoration Level: 4
Was the decoration level pertaining to his creative abilities? He never imagined that it would even take this into consideration He felt as if his life suddenly turned into a cooking game. As he stared at the status window with mixed feelings, Cho Min Joon turned to look at Lee Hye Sun. Then, the status window popped up again.
[Lee Hye Sun]
Cooking Level: 3
Breadmaking Level: 0
Gourmet Level: 4
Decoration Level: 2
Her points were pathetic. Then again, Cho Min Joon didn’t remember a single time of enjoying a cooking of hers. With that considered, her cooking level was generous.
In response, the skill window popped up as well. Knife handling skills, heat handling skills, understanding Korean cooking, and etc. Amongst them, what stood out to Cho Min Joon were two skills.
[Understanding Italian cooking] – Skill Level 23%
The understanding of cooking Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza, and soup will go up.
The chance of failure while making Italian dishes will go down.
It is possible to create a dish surpassing your current cooking level.
[Cook’s experimental mindset]
The cook’s special experimental mindset gives him inspiration for new recipes.
In the case of attempting a new dish, it is likely for recipes to come up.
The understanding of Italian cooking was a skill that he had understood. It appeared that every time he made an Italian dish, his experience would go up. Although he didn’t know the exact method, it appeared that it gave him security in terms of cooking.
He also understood why he didn’t have much skill in the cook’s experiemental mindset. That really had to do with one’s determination, but what he didn’t understand was that his experience could go up. The explanation wasn’t really thorough. It was likely for recipes to come up? Did that mean a recipe could pop up on the window? Or did that mean thag it would pop up in his mind? And the mention of a new dish was iffy as well. Did it mean a dish no one had ever imagined or a dish that he had never made before?
‘I guess I’ll find out.’
Cho Min Joon smiled. He was no longer a 30-year-old cook with no experience. He was 23 years old. He wasn’t young by any means, but it wasn’t too late for him to attempt cooking. Of course, 30 wasn’t too late either. He did feel like time was running out though.
Nonetheless, the biggest obstacle in front of him were his parents. There was no way they would allow his son, who was to become a teacher upon graduation, to become a cook. Cho Min Joon thought about it carefully and made a plan. He had to convince his parents that he was skilled at cooking.
At that moment, Cho Min Joon was reminded of a familiar TV program. “Grand Chef Korea.” He liked it so much that he never missed a single episode. If he could appear on that show, his parents would acknowledge his talent. However…
‘Does that exist right now?’
The show originated in England and the US before having its own version of Korea. Cho Min Joon took out his phone and searched “Grand Chef”. There was no word of it in Korea yet. It was probably going to begin at the end of the year.
” I guess that won’t work then.”
Cho Min Joon sighed and continued his search. He looked for all sorts of cooking compmetitions in Korea, but there weren’t really any well-known ones. And even if he were to compete, that didn’t mean he was going to win. The power he had right now was not a lot. In the end, it was all about his ability to cook.
After a long search on the internet, Cho Min Joon made a decision. He would participate in a competition.
He wasn’t confident that he would win, but he thought that he could survive to the later stages. After all, he wouldn’t have wanted to become a cook if he didn’t have some sort of talent.
If his parents had a more positive mindset about cooking, things would have been different. Unfortunately, they still thought of the job as a 3D profession. The cooking rave had yet to exist at this point, so in order to change their mindset, Cho Min Joon had no choice but to show them his potential. He believed that he had to yield good results in a competition in order to do that.
However, there were no appropriate cooking competitions in Korea. The ones that were more known were about Korean cooking, and most of them were team competitions. So he had no choice but to consider the ones abroad.
Of course, there was only one possibility.
Not Grand Chef Korea, but just Grand Chef. He was considering Grand Chef in America. It was more appropriate to call it a TV program rather than a competition. What was important was that it was a competition made for amateurs. And there was no other competition that gave as much attention to amateurs dreaming of becoming chefs.
Both America and Australia were accepting applicants, but Cho Min Joon was drawn to America. He thought that he was better off stepping on US ground than the countryside of Australia. English wasn’t a problem either. Since he was an English teacher, it would have been comical if he wasn’t able to communicate in the language.
“But there’s one problem.”
His parents had saved up money so that he could go on a vacation. But if they knew he wanted to go to America for a cooking competition, they would be against it. Did he have to lie to them that he was just going on a vacation? He was quite confused.
When he quit being an English teacher, his parents got very mad and almost ripped him to shreds. However, they couldn’t change Cho Min Joon’s mind. As a result, everyone was hurt, but Cho Min Joon didn’t want that to happen this time.
“Sigh… I have no other choice.”
He had to hide it. He wanted to maintain the peace within his family. He then proceeded to search for plane tickets to America. And then, he heard the front door gradually open. Hearing that, Cho Min Joon turned off his phone’s screen and went out to the living room. He thought that it was his father, but it was actually his little sister, Cho Ah Ra. She flaunted her dark skin and her thin frame underneath her tight school uniform.
“I’m home, Mom. Oh, you’re here too.”
He was moved after seeing his little sister in her high school uniform. This was when he fully realized that he was back in the past. Lee Hye Sun approached Cho Ah Ra and said, “Ah Ra, come here and eat this. Your brother made it.”
“Huh? He did?”
Lee Hye Sun handed some soufflé to Cho Ah Ra. Once Cho Ah Ra tasted it with caution, her eyes grew wide.
“This is good! No way. How did he make this?”
“Right? I was surprised as well!”
“Min Joon, be honest. This is instant food, right?”
Rather than responding, Cho Min Joon clicked his tongue and turned around to look at Lee Hye Sun.
“Mom, do you want me to cook dinner?”
“Really? You’re going to make dinner?”
Lee Hye Sun stared at Cho Min Joon in shock. Around his time, Cho Min Joon found an interest in cooking and attempted various dishes, but he had never prepared a full meal before. So it was shocking that he was preparing meals that tasted amazing.
Of course, she had no reason to turn his offer down. Lee Hye Sun nodded and said, “Okay. You try it. Let’s get a taste of my son’s dinner cooking.”
“…Are you sure, Mom? Can you trust him?”
“Look at the bread he made. He must have a talent for cooking.”
“I guess, but…”
Cho Ah Ra looked at Cho Min Joon with doubt.
“Min Joon, can you do a good job?”
Cho Min Joon smirked and whispered into Cho Ah Ra’s ear, “It’ll taste better than Mom’s cooking.”