God of Cooking - Chapter 493
Chapter 493: Gentle Wolf and Wild Sheep (2)
“By the way, you’ve said you are going to visit Chef Nathan’s branch tomorrow, right?” Janet asked.
“Yep, his branch in Dallas.”
The Dallas branch of Rose Island was quite familiar to Min-joon for some reason. It wasn’t because he visited there riding a food truck when the original restaurant of Rose Island was burnt down with fire. It’s because Brian, whom he recently met in Grand Chef Season 4, said he received a job offer from the Dallas branch.
‘I don’t think he could receive a job offer as a sous chef, not a demi chef…’
What kind of person was Nathan?
The next day Nathan and Min-joon were on their way to Dallas.
Nathan in the driver’s seat said, “So these days people are saying that if they didn’t go to the Rose Island main restaurant, they would go to its branch in Dallas.”
At that moment, Min-joon felt this guy was such a turn-off.
While looking at Nathan, who was busy riding a hobbyhorse all the way driving to Dallas, Min-joon was disappointed with him. He expected some sort of decency or dignity in Chef Nathan, who received three Michelin stars, no matter how subjective or biased Michelin’s standards were.
‘Yeah, everyone is the same at the end of the day.’
Unlike his expectations, Nathan was a pretty typical person, who was seeking success and running for his ambition. In that respect, he was no different from June. Even when he talked about cooking, Min-joon thought he even looked cute for his age because of his twinkling eyes.
But why did he think Nathan was not that cool for a man who achieved so much as a three-star Michelin chef? Was it because his reputation was relatively not high as that of Dave or June?
Min-joon often admired Anderson because he was cool despite the fact that he was only a sous chef.
As soon as Nathan took Min-joon to his restaurant, he served all the full courses. And while Min-joon was eating, he came back several times and explained to him about his dishes. Even though he was a judge of the upcoming competition for Rachel’s successor, Min-joon got the impression that Nathan was subservient to him, who was his junior by many years.
Min-joon even felt that Nathan made dishes, constantly conscious of somebody. In other words, he made the kind of dish that could be loved by everybody, and one favored by gourmets, in particular, so they could have no choice but to give a good review. In other words, he was striving to keep his achievement rather than trying something new. That was why Min-joon felt sorry for him while eating his food, although it tasted delicious.
And Min-joon did not try to exaggerate or make up his evaluation of food, as usual.
“It was so delicious that I realized why you received three stars. Anybody who came to your restaurant would say it’s delicious. And it’s a very strategic dish. You have minimized the use of ingredients that could taste good or bad. Instead, you made everybody’s favorite dish with their favorite recipe. Yeah, it’s a perfect dish! I really enjoyed your food!”
“Do you think so?” asked Nathan, smiling from ear to ear.
Min-joon thought this guy was really a sucker for compliments, so he felt a bit sorry he had to say something critical next. But he had no intention of speaking out as far as his evaluation was concerned, for what Nathan wanted from the beginning was not his fake praise.
“But your food has no fun.”
“If everyone likes your dish, it means that it lacks distinction. Of course, your food itself shows your character, but I see there is nothing original and special in it. What I see there is just splendor, luxury, and deliciousness. It may be the most reliable and surest way to get you a 3 star. That’s my feedback,” he said cautiously. “Yeah, your dish has no fun…”
“No fun in my dish?”
Nathan looked at Min-joon with an embarrassed expression. If Min-joon had said he failed to keep up with the latest cooking trend, or his dish was too authentic or it tasted rustic, he would have refuted or admitted it. But he had never heard anybody calling his dishes ‘no fun’ until now. No gourmet or chef has ever described his food like that.
So Nathan couldn’t even know if he should be angry or not because Min-joon never disparaged his dishes. Min-joon clearly understood and respected the fact that Nathan’s dishes were of high quality and delicious.
Honestly, Nathan couldn’t be angry because Min-joon was looking at him with regrets. The way he looked at Nathan was far from looking down on him. It was full of concern and expectation at the same time. In some respects, his glance toward Nathan looked more regretful and painful. So much so that Nathan felt even a little bit sorry for Min-joon, even though he didn’t have to.
Pulling himself together with difficulty, Nathan said, “Why are you saying that to me? You have said that my concept of cooking is good, and my dishes also taste good.”
“Nason. You’re a great chef. When I came here last time I felt the world was really wide. I thought there were more great chefs in Rose Island than I thought. Maybe that’s why I am more disappointed today.”
“How many times did you change the menu here?”
When he asked, Nathan’s face stiffened for a moment. He was also aware of it, but he tried not to as much as possible. When did Min-joon come here? Was it around the end of last year?
Compared with the menu at that time, how many menus have changed since then, or how many menus are still the same?
Min-joon did not wait for Nathan to ponder over such questions.
“Even though you might have changed the ingredients due to the change of season, you have changed almost no recipes. Back then I could not feel it because I tasted your dishes first, but I don’t think it doesn’t fit your cooking skills at all if you haven’t changed the recipes at all.”
“Well, I have nothing to comment on that…”
Nathan nodded with a groan. Obviously, Min-joon was right. Of course, it’s not true that Nathan didn’t try to change his recipes, but he didn’t have the courage to push for extreme change.
He wasn’t like that from the beginning. When Michelin gave him three stars, when more customers came to his restaurant and when food critics tried to belittle his attempts at new recipes, Nathan tried to overcome it, but he gave up his attempt, surrendering to their criticism even without knowing whether it was legitimate.
He didn’t want to take the risk. He was not confident of putting up with such criticism. When he thought about the possibility that all his achievements might crumble because of their criticism, it was a terrible nightmare to him.
“Don’t you think you can find value in the type of dish with no change in recipes?”
“Yeah, if you run a small restaurant in your neighborhood. But you know the branch of Rose Island can’t end up being a small neighborhood restaurant, right?”
“I wish you had been more confident in trying new recipes. Couldn’t you be a more fearless chef?” Min-joon asked sadly as if he was unable to hide his regret.
He was just sorry for Nathan’s dishes. Obviously, each of his dishes reflected the best of a master chef’s skills, but the chef himself was afraid to try something new and original. While the Korean cuisine master Mangil Hong was overflowing with a desire to show off his skills, Nathan was just complacent about his current status.
Nathan had a desire not to be overambitious.
He was just content with the current situation where he was loved by everybody instead of trying to receive more and more love than now.
“I think people will accept you as you are now. They may think it reflects the stubbornness of a master chef when they see you never change. But time will pass by anyway. Even if you try to hold on to it or miss it or you pretend that you have nothing to do with it, time will pass anyway. And you’ll find out before you even reach the end of the road that you have never free from it for a moment.”
What Min-joon just said was actually what Nathan had been thinking about all the time.
So, even if Min-joon said that he wasn’t at all uncomfortable. And Min-joon noticed it.
“Why don’t you tell me the truth now? When you decided to take me here, didn’t you expect my praise? Or did you expect to hear what I just said?”
When he said that, Nathan looked at his fists for a moment. Min-joon ate all of his dishes. It meant that Min-joon did his best for him. If that’s the case, it was not time for Nathan to feel on the defensive.
He looked at Min-joon with a calmer expression than before.Read latest Chapters at wuxiamobile.com Only
“Honestly, I thought you’re a genius. Since you had great cooking talent, I thought it was natural for Rachel to treat you so preciously. But at some point, I noticed that while she was helping you grow, she relied on you not as a man but as a chef.”
Min-joon did not deny what he said because he didn’t have to deny that she actually relied on him.
“But I thought what she thought was wrong because there was clearly a limit to your abilities, given your young age and experience.”
“Then, what do you think of me now?”