The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue (舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 21

Polar Lights

Even the temperature of warmth of the palm was like an illusion, it seemed to be rising, becoming slightly hot.

“Mayer, the next time breakfast is finished, ask her to wipe her face clean.”

Jiang Qian Fan spoke, with a cool voice, smoothly speedy.

Lin Ke Song touched her face, eh…… a spring roll crumb is still on her face.

The corners of Mayer’s lips lifted as he delivered a serviette over.

The action of Jiang Qian Fan wiping his hands was very showy to Lin Ke Song.

It was like she was looking at a male god with heart eyes, and having the male god say that there was gum in her eyes.

Lin Ke Song glanced over Jiang Qian Fan’s hands, recalling Mayer’s words, she saw many fine wounds along his slender fingers. Their colours were light, probably because they were forged by a very sharp blade. Even his the web between his thumbs and index finger and the back of his hands had the same scars. He wore an exquisite men’s watch on his left wrist, but at the edges of the watch, she could see faint and circular burn scars.

Mayer said before, Jiang Qian Fan locked himself in the kitchen to practice for a whole 8 years.

This was the price he paid.

Other starred chefs were also cut by knives while honing their skills, were burnt by splashes of oils. But the suffering they go through in their pursuit of cooking, may not be as intense as what Jiang Qian Fan goes through in a day.

Lin Ke Song let out a breath in her heart.

She indeed does not feel any sympathy towards Jiang Qian Fan. Because sympathy is for those who are weaker than yourself.

And no matter skill or inner strength, Jiang Qian Fan was obviously much stronger than the average person.

The car started up again, and moved towards their destination.

There are many high classed restaurants in Manhattan. All this time, Lin Ke Song’s impression of high class restaurants was that of Lang Hua restaurant back at home, pompous and decorated atmosphere. But after coming here, she realised, the atmosphere and ambience was more important, and the one to one VIP service.

Polar Lights had no arrogant façade, and was very much like an ordinary western restaurant.

But after going in, she felt amazement. The nostalgic textures of the floors, the casual elegance of the velvet curtains, beautiful mood photographs hung from the walls, and empty cans of sauces, milk bottles of all sorts of shapes gave Lin Ke Song a refreshing feeling.

She stepped into the kitchen with Jiang Qian Fan and walked through the narrow passage.

Many people lowered their heads respectfully towards Jiang Qian Fan.

“Good morning, chief!”

This kind of greeting sounded one after another.

From their expressions and tone, Lin Ke Song could feel a sense of respect border lining on idolisation.

Jiang Qian Fan never spoke, only looked at the direction of the sounds, and nodded slightly.

There were still many hours till opening, but everyone was nervously busy.

Mayer turned back towards Lin Ke Song and said: “for a good restaurant, the start of all the sumptuous dishes is from the preparation. The preparation of the ingredients, the preparation of the cooking utensils, and even the mental state that the person has to put himself in, every aspect is very important.”

Lin Ke Song nodded.

When Jiang Qian Fan walked past them, every lowered their heads back to what they were focusing on. Some were kneading, some were adjusting the sauce, and some were wiping countertops.

Like what they were doing were doing was more that the preparation of simple food.

When another door opened, Lin Ke Song was stunned.

This was a kitchen that was exactly the same as the one in Jiang Qian Fan’s villa!

A middle age man wearing a chef’s white uniform was at the counter quietly awaiting Jiang Qian Fan.

“I’ve been looking forward to this, chef!”

He reached out his hand and Jiang Qian Fan shook his hands without hesitation.

“I’ll trouble you today, chef Brody.”

“It’s my honour to be able to work with you.” Brody’s gaze went past Jiang Qian Fan’s shoulder and fell on Lin Ke Song, “This is…… the new person who will be joining our team?”

Lin Ke Song was about to shake her hands to signal that he had misunderstood, when Jiang Qian Fan said: “She isn’t qualified yet.”

Okay…… another stab.

Mayer quietly explained to Lin Ke Song: “This is Polar Lights’ executive chef, chef Brody. Among his works, fried brandy striped bass was recommended in the Michelin red guide 2 years ago as a two stars signature dish, and his fried truffle foie gras and quail eggs was also named Polar Lights’ signature dish when Polar Lights was rated three stars last year. He is the chef that Jiang Qian Fan trusts and admires the most.”

This kind of outstanding person is also working for Jiang Qian Fan, just how good must Jiang Qian Fan’s standard be for this Brody to be of service?

Jiang Qian Fan took of his coat, and put on a white chef uniform like Brody. He adjusted his hair and put on a white chef hat.

His dignified forehead and eyebrow that made people look were clearer, his dark eyes seemed to brighten with the light of the stars, like it was going to light up the whole room.

Lin Ke Song and Mayer could only look on from the sides, unable to say anything, unable to so anything that may disturb the process of their work.

“Have all the ingredients for Mr Thomas’s been menu prepared?” Jiang Qian Fan got to the faucet, and carefully washed his hands.

“All prepared. You can do the final selection of the ingredients.”

Brody took out a tray, which carried a few quails, and placed it on the countertop.

Jiang Qian Fan reached out, brushed past each quail, making sure of their sizes, using his finger to feel the quality of the meat and fat, and finally picked two.

Followed by the foie gras, asparagus, all sorts of garnishes and the other ingredients.

Jiang Qian Fan chose each ingredient carefully, his criterion extremely strict, while handling the ingredients, any slight flaw would be keenly detected.

The entire process was very orderly, the understanding between Jiang Qian Fan and Brody needed little words for communication.

When the quail was sent into a broth that had been simmering over a small fire prepared long before, Jiang Qian Fan also began the preparation before cooking.

Lin Ke Song only saw Jiang Qian Fan skilfully preparing the Manchurian wild rice. Brody was cooking the pigskin before the boiling pot.

She cocked her head, totally not understanding what they were trying to make.

Then the peas, carrots, carrots, celery and eggs were cut and put at the side.

Lin Ke Song took note of Jiang Qian Fan’s movements. Every single time before he used the knife, he would use his fingertips to feel the ingredients, to make sure of their length, size, texture and etc., the way he treated each ingredient, the slight difference in angles in which the knife hit the ingredients.

A unique musical rhythm was produced as the blade cut through each ingredient and hot the table top.

Even of Lin Ke Song did not know everything that was going on, she could still deeply sense that every moment here was a combination of the practice and studying done day and night for the past eight years.

At this time, Jiang Qian Fan took a bowl of peas, used the back of the knife to crush them, then used the surface of the knife to scoop the peas into a dish, and used a teaspoon to scoop a little, brought it to his lips, “Brody.”

Brody turned around, and without a word, took over the mashed peas and handed a spoon of boiled pig skin soup.

Jiang Qian Fan held the spoon in his mouth, the soup stopping between his lips and teeth for a second before he nodded, “very good.”

Brody smiled, and poured the mashed peas onto the boiling pig skin soup.

Everything was relaxed, no order could be seen.

And yet, everything seemed like it was running on an established track, every step that Jiang Qian Fan made was done straight towards that track.

Lin Ke Song felt that it was magical, she had stood in the kitchen for four hours, and she actually did not feel the slightest fatigue.

Only until after Mayer got a call to report the arrival of Mr Thomas and his friends, did Jiang Qian Fan start cooking the foie gras. Whether it was the action of cutting open butter, or the smoothness of sending the foie gras into the frying pan, all the actions made people doubt that he had problems with his vision.

The first dish sent was the mint cabbage soup.

All The cabbage leaves were fished out from the soup, leaving only a few tender pieces of mint leaves to float on the surface of the soup. The soup wasn’t immediately scooped out, Jiang Qian Fan used a disposable spoon to scoop a little soup to taste, and only after nodding his head, Brody plated it in a special bowl.

It was like a tranquil lake reflecting images of the trees, obviously simple, but when people see it, it gives off a sense of elegance.

Lin Ke Song subconsciously swallowed. The cabbage is a very ordinary vegetable, and to her it isn’t any more elegant when compared to the asparagus, yet it is placed in dining ware of fine dining restaurants, and is being served to entertain guests. She really wanted to know just how it’d taste like.

At this time, Jiang Qian Fan did not stop being busy.

Brody took something that looked like jelly from the refrigerator, and set it in front of Jiang Qian Fan.

He used a small knife to cut off a small block, and sent it into mouth.

When he latched on to the piece of transparent jelly, bent his head a little, his eyelids drawn closed, Lin Ke Song could not help but looked at his face, wanting to see his expression clearly.

Then he leaned down and stretched out his arms, retrieving a mould, and at that moment, his extended back and neck was in a line of tension and sexiness, which made people’s heartrate uncontrollably increase.

Brody put a portion of diced ingredients on his left.

Jiang Qian Fan fried them into a fragrant sauce, and drizzled it over the frozen film.

While Brody turned around, to do the final plating.

The whole dish exuded a much textured lustre.

Mayer leaned slightly towards the stunned Lin Ke Song, and softly explained: “this is the appetiser, peas and frozen shrimp jelly. The appetiser plays a very important role in western cuisine, it is similar yet different to the appetizers in Chinese cuisine. The appetiser helps lift the appetite of the guest, and is linked to the main course, to produce an experience of consistent taste.”

Lin Ke Song nodded not really understanding.

And Jiang Qian Fan did not stop at all. Brody also took the quail out from the saucepan.

The foie gras that was being fried started producing sizzling sounds from out of nowhere.

There wasn’t anything special about the aniseed, the seasoning that Jiang Qian Fan added were commonly seen too. After the skin turned a pleasing yellow, Jiang Qian Fan stuffed it into the abdomen of the quail, then gave it a slight roll in the frying pan, and Brody put it into the oven.

The air was filled with the fragrance that made people feel like they were starving and Lin Ke Song was having a hard time standing.

15 thoughts on “The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue (舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 21

  1. Thank you for this chapter!! I wonder if Ke Song will have a chance at cooking with MasterChef Jiang Qian Fan ; )

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  2. go to admire sincere restaurant staffs, spending so many hours doing all the prep work before the restaurant opens

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  3. Loved the chapter–although I would be most happy eating previous chapter’s breakfast. it appears the fragrance of this meal is bringing Lin Ke Song to her knees. Wish I were there to smell it.
    Also, saying aniseed is nothing special–maybe so to some but it is not an herb we cook with in my house. I used it once for cookies not knowing how it tastes and it is like licorice. Must be part of the fragrant smell, slightly sweet perhaps. Hmm. Trying to imagine this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just reading through this story from the first chapter and really loveee this.

    thanks for translation! I gotta grab something to eat before continue reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this novel so far… but… “Then he leaned down and stretched out his arms, retrieving a mould, and at that moment, his extended back and neck was in a line of tension and sexiness, which made people’s heartrate uncontrollably increase.”

    Paragraphs describing Qian Fan’s ridiculously out-of-this-world beauty and sexiness is honestly annoying after a while…. Plus, it makes our MC come across as sexually-deprived…. Or maybe that was the author’s intention? LOL.

    Like

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