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Min-joon was certainly the type of chef who put great effort in cooking. So much so that Deborah wondered what kind of life he had been leading in order to achieve that level.
“I'm taking out langoustines.”
“Ah, ah, sure.”
When he said that, she responded with an awkward expression and stepped back.
He took out the langoustine that was slightly boiled, and cut open the sh.e.l.l, and took out the flesh.
‘I once hated even touching langoustines.'
But she didn't feel even it now. She briefly thought that only now she became a chef.
Her idle thought did not last long. This time, he boiled a vermouth sauce made by mixing vermouth wine and sugar on a pan and sprinkled it on the side of the slightly boiled oysters.
Then he put Ossetra caviar and edible flowers on top of that and served it with lemon cut into a flower shape. He smiled coolly, looking at her.
“Why don't we make every customer make a smile this evening?”
“Don't you think it's not a good idea to eat something before watching the movie? What if you want to go to the bathroom?”
“Don't worry. There's a menu that those who bought movie tickets in this building can buy at a cheap price. Pre-Theater menu. It's a simple three-course, so it's perfect to sate our hunger.”
The man responded with a smile at the woman's reply. While sitting at the table, he looked at the sign on Rose Island for a moment.
“To be honest with you, I'm not actually here to watch a movie. I just have come here because I want to try the food served at a Michelin one-star restaurant here.”
“I wish you had made a reservation at the restaurant instead of the movie.”
“Well, booking the restaurant is much harder than the movie ticket. It is much faster to buy the movie ticket and book the meal ticket together. Even this kind of duo tickets are so popular, so they are sold out quickly.”
The woman momentarily suspected him but smiled brightly when she saw the waitress approaching them to take orders.
The worst man to talk to was a man who was in an excited condition. That was the case with the man that she came here for the movie. Watching her boyfriend who was giving irrelevant answers and giggling randomly, the woman swallowed a sigh and looked to the side.
The distance between the tables was long, so it was difficult to overhear conversations at other tables. But was it because her ears were sensitive on that day? Or was it because their voices were quite loud? She could understand what they were talking about.
“Wow, the dish here today is different. Compared to what I had last time, it tastes much better.”
“The menu hasn't changed… Oh, a little change, to put it accurately. This Mousseline was mixed with Jus de viande sauce last time, but it's mixed with saffron this time.”
“Oh, come to think of it, you're right. They seemed to have used cauliflower instead of potatoes when making Mousseline. Saffron sauce on the scallops? Quite a typical combination. Saffron sauce matches well with seafood.”
“Well, can you say it's typical?”
‘Are they gourmets?' The woman thought to herself.
The woman p.r.i.c.ked her ears, attracted to their conversation, which was more professional and difficult than she thought. She wanted to hear their honest conversation without pretense about this restaurant.
A guy with a nice blonde said, “Sometimes, they mix Saffron sauce with Mousseline, but it's not very common. I know this taste. But the most important thing is that Chef Deborah took an adventure that wasn't suitable for her.”
“You know why this restaurant was criticized recently? Deborah didn't try to make novel dishes, and at the same time, she even avoided typical dishes, so the dishes served at this place sucked. In fact, she made the dishes, highly conscious of the gourmets, not customers. She might have gotten what she wanted by checking the sentiment of the gourmets, but since she was too conscious of them, she was squeezing her own windpipe because it's like she was cooking with her hands and feet tied.”
“I admit that. That's why I hated Chef Deborah for that. Her consciousness of gourmets. She gave up her own cooking philosophy and greed. Oh, no, let me put it this way. I would say she was too greedy, but she didn't satisfy her greed, after all. While I was eating her dish, I sometimes felt heartbroken. But this time, it's good that I didn't have to feel that way.”
“You never know. According to rumors, Chef Rachel Rose recently opened a food truck around here, so if she was visiting this restaurant at the moment…”
The blonde-haired man looked into the kitchen. Unfortunately, it wasn't an open kitchen, so they couldn't see who was cooking in the kitchen. The dark-haired man sitting on the other side shrugged and said, “If that's the case, I think it's a bit regrettable. I hope Chef Rachel wasn't in that kitchen. It's more fun to believe that Deborah finally spread her wings.”
“I like the food today. Since she was too concerned about the marketing of her dishes, she often made dishes with no artistic touch. When I taste the dish today, it looks like she got the outcome of killing two birds with one stone.”
“The thing is how long she can keep serving this kind of menu.”
“Let's trust her. We've become gourmets to enjoy food, not to find fault with it, right?” Said the blonde-haired man, chuckling at the other man.
While she was listening to their conversation, the first dish was placed in front of her table.
The zucchini pumpkin, cut thinly and confited in olive oil like Lasagna, was filled with salsa sauce and salmon roe, and on top of it was a white langoustine flesh that seemed soft and fresh even at a glance.
Swallowing once, the woman put the langoustine and pumpkin on a fork in her mouth. Then she enjoyed the taste quietly. What came to her mind first was that it was delicious. She couldn't afford to argue over what it tasted like. The intense and moist langoustine scent stimulated her mouth, and the scent of olive oil filled with pumpkin and the sweet taste of zucchini itself got tangled randomly so that she could not tell where the sweet flavor of the pumpkin itself was gone.
The salsa sauce on top of it was just like a cloth. The sauce didn't influence the taste, but the taste of the original langoustine and zucchini was brought out the most, so those enjoying it could feel like it was a sauce. It was a taste that she couldn't even imagine.
When she raised her head to check her boyfriend's expression, he was already looking so happy. There were hundreds or even thousands of restaurants they went to together, but it was the first time she saw him so happy while enjoying the food.
‘It's not only delicious but also, it's great fun.'
It was the first time she thought cooking could be fun. Of course, making food with ridiculously high calories, or making a tremendous amount of food, or mixing strange ingredients that didn't go well with each other would be a fun dish. But this fun she felt a moment ago was quite different from such types of fun.
In fact, the dish served now showed clearly how complex a taste they could express and how beautiful and fresh a taste they could create. It also showed there were many other dishes in this world than they had been eating.
“Well, I'm afraid I can't think of any movie scene after eating this food.”
“You bet,” the man answered with a firm voice.
Not long after they emptied the first plates, the next dish was served. It was a dish served with the roasted ribs of a veal grown with only milk, with its fat added with autumn spices, juniper berry, and cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, as well as a sauce made with turmeric and mashed potato steamed with rosemary and roasted mushrooms.
This dish gave her a completely different taste. It wasn't especially fun. It wasn't that fresh, either. But in this case, she was made aware of how a dish could be purely tasty. The texture of the veal was soft enough for her to understand why they tried to take away the young calf from her mother, and the sauce made by mixing spices with the veal oil was complex and simple, as if it was a spice from the beginning
The man said in a cheerful voice, “Well, I deleted one of my bucket lists after eating this. It was like eating the most delicious dishes in the world. As a matter of fact, I was a little worried because lots of people said that when they tried the dishes here, they felt the taste was complex.”
“No, not at all complex today. Well, maybe the taste may be a little complex, but the thing is it tastes delicious.”
The woman let out a sigh. She regretted that she was nearing the end of the three-course meal and filling her stomach almost full.
“That's why Rose Island is so famous.”
Watching an apprentice washing the dishes from behind her, Deborah got carried away with the apprentice as if she was now looking at the most beautiful man in the world.
Just like a woman who loved a man who didn't look at her, Deborah continued to cast a sad and pitiful glance at the apprentice and the dishes washed clean by the apprentice and the pile of empty plates next to him.
When was the last time she received an empty plate like this? To put it accurately, there were many times she received empty plates. However, she could not remember when it was the last time that the food on the plates was emptied without any leftovers. She really could not recall it.
Rachel didn't modify Deborah's cooking in a big way. At most, she changed the ingredients a bit, changed her cooking method here and there, and added the garnish. But the difference she made transformed Deborah's cuisine into something entirely different from before.
“At the end of the day, the problem was me…”
Deborah didn't go far to find the answer. What tormented her the most was that most of the changes that Rachel made to her recipes were actually what she had thought of for herself a long time ago.
But Deborah couldn't put the recipes on the table. The reason was simple—she was scared. Could people really accept change? If she used the demi-glace sauce without any additional ingredients, would people focus more on the general sauce rather than the difference, no matter how the meat was grilled?
She could have tried it even for one day. She could not serve the customers her trial dish, but if she refused to make any change to her recipes for that reason, she would have to keep serving them the same old and no-fun dishes.