God of Cooking - Chapter 543 - Unexpected Twist (11)

Chapter 543: Unexpected Twist (11)

“Are you confident you can win the competition?” Min-joon asked Deborah.

He was standing on the podium, looking down at her. Nonetheless, his eyes were full of respect for her.

She replied with a smile, “Well, let me forget about it. I just wanted to show you my cooking.”

Perhaps her response like that impressed him. He smiled at her.

This time, Rachel said, “I know some rumors circulating among you guys. Rumors like ‘the winner have already been decided, so let me just cook to the point that I can save my face.’ In fact, I’m not surprised by the fact there are some cooks with that frame of mind.”

When she said that, the head chefs began to whisper among themselves. It seemed like they wanted to make some excuses, but Rachel didn’t give them such an opportunity.

“But it doesn’t matter. Look at Deborah today. I think her cooking is the best among the dishes she has made until now. So, she is more adorable than ever. I hope you can show me the best of your cooking, so you can show me that your cooking is better than before.”

Was there any chef who wasn’t motivated by her words? She smiled mischievously, watching them refreshing their determination to show their best dishes.

“Of course, for now, you’ll have to focus on Deborah. Hey, Deborah, when I checked your cooking, I can clearly see that you’ve been preparing for this competition very hard. Do you have anything to say?”

She looked embarrassed at Rachel’s words. Even though she was ready to listen to the judges’ evaluation, she wasn’t ready to present her own opinion. So, she couldn’t even answer anything for some time, at a loss what to do. But nobody pushed her. Just like Rachel said, she was today’s hero. Maybe this was the only moment in her life that she enjoyed such a spotlight. So, she couldn’t ruin this moment with a reckless reply.

“Well, I’m…”

Finally, Deborah opened her mouth. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. As you know, I felt burdened and stressed out just by maintaining Michelin stars. At some point, I started to be conscious of others rather than my own cooking. So while I was preparing for this contest, I wondered a lot whether I should make a good dish to show Chef Rachel or if I should make the dishes that I used to. But I came to realize quite soon that there was no such thing as a good dish to show others, and that making my dish as best as I could was the best dish to show to others. That’s how I developed and improved my dish. I made it really hard.”

“I guess so. I could clearly feel how you spent time cooking it in your own way,” said Min-joon.

Deborah responded, “To be honest, I didn’t mean it when I said I forgot about winning this competition. Of course, I would like to win, but I didn’t want to be distracted by that. I’ve realized over the years that the moment I started to care about something else that cooking could give me, I’m missing out on something more important. Thanks for your advice, Min-joon. I really appreciate it very much. You have helped me always and even now.”

Reporters whispered at her comments, perhaps feeling curious about her relationship with him. Given that she expressed such profuse gratitude to him, they felt it was obvious he gave her lots of help and advice.

But Min-joon was embarrassed by her gratitude.

He smiled shyly and opened his mouth.

“I’m glad I was helpful. If I have a chance to put a spoon on a dish like this, it’s an honor to me.”

“Thank you for telling me so.”

“It was a perfect course. I hated comparing it to other chefs’ dishes because it was so good. But I can tell you clearly right now that I like your dish best among all the dishes of the participants until now.”

“Thank you very much,” she replied with an awkward smile as if she didn’t expect his high praise. As a matter of fact, she was the only one who had her dish tested first among the participants, so it was natural that her dish was the best. So, his comment could be taken as meaning her dish could be the worst.

Watching Min-joon and Deborah interacting in such a friendly manner, the reporters had no choice but to wonder about their relationship once again. Of course, their question had nothing to do with something like a scandal because they knew he was dating Kaya, and that the two were a great couple.

What made them curious about him was that he just gave good comments about her dish. Was it because he didn’t want to stain the reputation of Rose Island? Was it because he felt burdened if he said something bad about the chef belonging to Rose Island like him?

But they could find the answer the next day.

They were greatly mistaken, as it turned out.

***

“Are you really sure you can criticize them?” Kaya asked.

Actually, Min-joon heard such a question numerous times. Lisa, Marco, Anderson, and the reporters asked him if he could make biting comments as a judge when somebody made a dish that he didn’t like. Even Kaya didn’t know she could ask such a question because she knew his gentle personality.

He replied with a sigh, “Well, I’m not trying to act like a bad cop to them, but I’m just trying to evaluate their dishes as they are. So, I’m going to evaluate the dishes honestly, regardless of whether they are good or bad.”

“Wouldn’t it be hard for you? Right now, the target of your evaluation is somebody you know directly or indirectly. And they all belong to the Rose Island restaurants. I guess you will feel uncomfortable after you criticize them.”

“Well, If I have to criticize somebody, it’s their fault, not mine. It means that even if I want to be nice and polite, I can’t because their cooking has made me feel bad, right? How would it be if they were all like Deborah?” he said, grumbling.

Honestly, he didn’t expect that all of them would improve their cooking skills like Deborah because that would be too optimistic. It was true that Deborah was having a hard time when she hit a slump, but that didn’t mean that all the dishes she made back then were bad. Of course, there were none among the Rose Island chefs who could be rated as “mediocre.” And Deborah was by no means in the lowest group among them.

Compared with her in the past, she became much more mature after she was scolded by Min-joon along with good advice several times. When compared with other chefs, she showed the same maturity. It was her maturity that made her grow and improve better than before. What about other chefs? Could they show the best of their cooking skills?

At least he never expected to encounter a bad case right after Deborah. It wasn’t a matter of probability. It was none other than Nathan who applied for his evaluation after her.

To be honest, his first meeting with Nathan didn’t go well in the past. Nathan was very dissatisfied with the fact that this contest was in favor of Dave and June, so he didn’t show any friendly attitude to Min-joon.

When they first met, Nathan did not ignore Min-joon’s advice. He was responsive to Min-joon’s advice, and he even said he would change. So, Min-joon might have thought naturally that Nathan would show as good dishes as Deborah’s this time. But his expectations proved wrong.

Min-joon was not sure how Nathan thought of himself as a chef, but he never thought Nathan was an incompetent chef. Rather, he could be called an excellent chef who could not show his full potential as a chef.

When Min-joon visited Nathan’s restaurant for evaluation in the past, the biggest problem pointed out to Nathan was that he was too scared. So much so that he was reluctant to use any recipe unless it was proven first that it could be loved by everybody.

Honestly, Min-joon could understand his feelings. Even though the proven recipe loved by everybody took away Nathan’s uniqueness in cooking, it gave him a sense of stability. But what people wanted from Rose Island wasn’t a sense of security. Of course, they wanted something familiar in the Rose Island dishes, but they wanted more than that, namely, some more fresh and original cooking.

So, Min-joon wished Nathan could come up with something fresh and original in this competition.

If he didn’t do so, Min-joon was ready to give him the same kind of shocking advice as before. And there was nothing more meaningless than giving him the same advice twice, for it was hard to expect somebody who made him say the same thing twice would be different even if he said the same thing ten times.

“I guess he has changed, right?” Min-joon asked.

Rachel shrugged instead of replying to his question.

As far as she remembered, Nathan was a very timid student. At the same time, he was full of ambition, so he couldn’t stand it if he could not be the best chef. That was why June and Dave in this competition shone more brightly, which made him jealous of them all the more.

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