Word Count: 2098
While all the judges were shocked at the 3 Michelin star standard of presentation, Winston was the first person to break that beautiful feeling, cutting the first piece of shrimp jelly.
“From the feeling I get when I cut the shrimp jelly, the springiness is pretty good. I do not smell any fishy smell, so this texture most probably from the collagen boiled from pigskin.”
Winston was like a meticulous analyser, not a single clue could escape his eyes.
When he placed the first piece of shrimp jelly into his mouth, Lin Ke Song’s eyes were fixed on his eyes on the screen, not a shred of nervousness could be seen from her expression, like she already knew the end results.
Winston slowly swallowed the first piece of the shrimp jelly, but he was silent, not saying anything. He quietly finished the rest of the shrimp jelly, then gripped his fork and stared at the sauce at the base of the plate, then he did an unexpected move, which was to lift the spoon, and scoop up all the sauce from the base of the plate, and send it into his mouth.
All the audience, even Annalise were curious as to why Winston would do that.
“I have tasted for a very long time, wanting to find a flaw in this dish. No matter if it were an imbalance in the flavours or a mistake in the process. Like the viscosity of the shrimp jelly, like the chewiness of the shrimp meat, the delicateness of the peas, or a mistake in the other seasoning…… even if it were just a small flaw! Because I know this cannot be Jiang Qian Fan’s work, this was from an amateur cook that had given me such terrible cooking that made me feel like I was in hell only a few months ago! But I realised that i couldn’t find…… am totally unable to find…… the shrimp jelly isn’t sticky, but it’s smooth and bouncy. The shrimp meat wasn’t overcooked, the unique seafood flavour and the texture of the pigskin boiled come together perfectly. The delicateness and freshness of the peas and the sea freshness of the shrimp are blended together. The control and integration of the taste of the different spices, are integrated…… delighting my senses, making me feel like I’m still able to eat many more things!”
Winston exhaled, he looked like he was worrying, but his expression let everyone know that he’d made up his mind.
“I will give this appetiser, 10 points. Because I am unable to find its flaw.”
The atmosphere heated up. Annalise had a surprised expression, even doubting her hearing.
“Judge Winston, what did you just say?”
“I said, that I’d give this appetiser 10 points. But this is only the appetiser. If this contestant does not make the main dish and dessert as perfectly, he will not be able to persuade everyone based on just this appetiser.”
The audience was in discussion, while Viktor looked in LIn Ke Song’s direction in shock.
Her pupils were not shining like stars with happiness but were instead calm as a river.
“God ah, Winston is the harshest among the 12 judges, if he can give Lin Ke Song 10 points, that means this appetiser is really perfect!” Uncle Lin agitatedly grabbed onto Song Yi Ran and Lin Xiao Xue hands, “the chance has arrived! Arrived! Maybe Ke Song can really overtake Viktor!”
Lin Xiao Xue exhaled: “It’s only the appetiser! There’s still the main and the dessert! To expect that cousin gets full marks for the main dish and appetiser, don’t you think…… that it’s impossible?”
“…… right ah…… no matter what, this is a great start! As long as the main dish and the dessert doesn’t have any great mistake, it won’t be a problem to place in the first three spots!”
Just as Winston had evaluated, David, Luke and the judges were all “frightened” by this appetiser.
“My god…… are you sure that this appetiser wasn’t personally made by Jiang Qian Fan? This texture, this flavour…… is totally like time turned back to the first time that i tasted this appetiser at polarlight. It’s like my tastebuds are gently moved, slowly blooming, waiting to accept the surprise that is to follow……”
The Australian baing master let out a long long exhale.
“This is Jiang Qian Fan…… this is definitely Jiang Qian Fan’s signature……. Precise, coordinated, like they know how to whet others’ appetites from birth!”
Lin Ke Song’s appetiser received a score of 9.9 points, this was a score that shook the whole grounds.
Everyone held their breaths in anticipation, they wanted to know whether her main dish and dessert were able to repeat the legendariness of Jiang Qian Fan.
The competition staff took the plates of the appetiser away, clearing the table in front of the judges.
When they say the quail foie gras being delivered, they couldn’t help but reveal a shocked expression.
And the audience was dazed.
Because when the camera panned to the dish, showing the image on the screen, it was like entering a food documentary.
Annalise couldn’t help but clarify: “I swear to everyone, there are no special effects added to the cameras of the competition. What you see on the screen now, is the original look of this dish!”
At this time, Winston glided a knife across the surface of the quail, he spoke: “this shine, is due to the precise control when baking. Many contestants think that colour and rawness of the food after it comes out of the oven will stay like so throughout. But the truth us, the inside of the food will continue to be hot. This contestant had taken note of this, or I should say that their mentor has already long imparted to them this important knowledge. So that when the quail is taken out of the oven, there will be a layer of sauce that coagulates when it touches the cool air, while the insides are still producing heat, which produces this kind of traces of lava melting. It is indeed beautiful.”
All the audience had an expression of understanding dawn on their faces.
“But the most important thing is the quail and the foie gras that is wrapped in it. Because the foie gras is inside the quail, if not enough time was allocated, it will be raw. No one wants to eat raw foie gras…… and once it takes too long, the quail meat will be overcooked and the texture will be lost. So for the quail and the foie gras, the most important thing is the stewing of the quail and the preparation of the foie gras. These 2 processes need only the good control of heat, to be able to bake them to synchronisation.”
Food critic Luke made a comment on the cooking technicalities of this dish, making more people worried about the taste of this dish.
“It is precisely because the level of control needed for this dish is so high, that this dish has become Jiang Qian Fan’s signature dish, that no one has been able to rise above it.” David lifted his glasses, and shook his head, “ I am very sure of the diligence of this contestant, but why did they choose this dish? It is just too difficult to make, and even if it were a Michelin chef with a lot of experience, they are not able to guarantee that every attempt would be successful. No matter, I will still carefully taste.”
Uncle Lin in the audience heart was beating so fast it was about to jump out of his chest: “Why did Ke Song choose such a difficult dish? Even if she chose to make a simple dish, as long as there isn’t any mistake, the judges will give her the same high score, right?”
Song Yi Ran only looked at Lin Ke Song’s calm side profile, and said meaningfully: “because Jiang Qian Fan is too important to her. She wishes to reflect his essence —— of grasping the degree. No matter if it were the seasoning or the heat, it’s all the degree of control.”
Lin Xiao Xue heard Song Yi Ran’s words, and couldn’t help but shake her head: “This is a competition! The most important thing is to win! To choose such a dish that is so difficult to control, is just too unwise……”
“Even though it’s unwise, you are already starting to have admiration for your cousin, right ba?” Song Yi Ran chuckled.
Lin Xiao Xue pursed her lips and said coldly: “see what kind of comments this dish get her first ba!”
Winston who was shown on the screen, slowly cut the quail open, his eyebrows lifted, then shook his head.
Humming started up among the audience.
Did Lin Ke Song indeed make a mistake for this dish?
“I really can’t believe my eyes…… is this just a coincidence? Or is this ability?”
Winston carefully slid the cut quail outwards, to let everyone have a careful look.
The tender quail meat was wrapped around a foie gras that looked like butter.
Even though the teeth and the tip of the tongue hadn’t touched the dish, the dish allowed people to feel intoxicated with the texture.
“I can’t wait to taste this dish!” David swallowed, and cut a large piece into his mouth.
The other judges too had a cherishing and serious attitude towards tasting the dish.
“Mmh…… mmh…… ” Winston lifted his head upwards, like he wanted to keep all the delicious flavours in his body, he didn’t say a word, and instead was like he was sitting in a high-class restaurant and enjoying the food thoroughly.
The other judges were like that so too, apart from letting out meaningless sighs, there were no comments.
The audience all stretched their necks, waiting for the judges in anticipation to say something.
Annalise couldn’t not remind them saying: “Ladies! Gentleman! I can see that this dish is very delicious! But…… say something at least! What about it is so delicious?”
“Oh…… Annalise, must you be such a mood killer…… it is really really really like Jiang Qian Fan made it! Are you sure that the contestant of this dish did not cheat?” Luke squeezed out a sentence with much difficulty.
“I am very sure! The great master chef Jiang Qian Fan that you talk about has been sitting in the audience from the start to the end, without a smile, without expression, without even any movement. All the audience present can be witnesses to it!”
When the audience heard that that great master chef was on set, they couldn’t help but start searching.
Lin Ke Song exhaled, and as she heard Luke’s words, she smiled in Jiang Qian Fan’s direction.
“In the tender and fresh quail meat, there is a kind of soft aroma, the foie gras that was cocooned by the quail kept its lithe texture, like that of butter. The integration of the 2 different kinds of meat, elegant…… different from the rest. The aftertaste of the spices are jumping and dancing in my mouth, and that slightly fresh sourness at the end, brings the whole feeling to another level…… I am still unable to find a flaw…… and I have already finished the whole portion of quail foie gras.”
Winston just couldn’t dare to believe the flavours that he was tasting in his mouth.
“Ah…… I must be drunk…… fallen into the wine of the longest time…… ” David shook his head, “Never willing to wake up. But how is this possible! Why is the quail foie gras given to me so minute?”
“Mr David, I am sure that the quail foie gras that the contestant prepared for each of you is of similar size…… you can make a reservation at polarlight after the competition…… ” Annalise said in comfort.
“Make a reservation? Don’t you know that there is a 3 months waiting time?” David pretty much was glaring at Annalise when he talked.
“…… then you can invite this contestant to make it for you! I am pretty sure that you will not need to wait!”
“Do you think that after this competition, no one will make a reservation with them? Maybe his friends and family, and all the audience on set have already tried!”
“The quail meat is tender as silk, and the foie gras is like mousse, it’s like I have travelled all around the sky and returned to the ground, while my heart is left in the sky…… ”
Lin Ke Song’s main dish received a score if 9.9 points.
The whole atmosphere on set heated up.