Word count: 3126
At this time, Lin Ke Song walked with Jiang Qian Fan slowly towards Winston’s direction.
Jiang Qian Fan wore the white shirt of a head chef, the lines of his shoulders and back were perfectly outlined, accompanied with his stride, a pleasing beauty was brought out. His right hand held a cane, tapping on the floor rhythmically. He wasn’t like many blind people who moved their heads, like they were searching for a light source. His gaze was steady, to the point that it made people feel like he was looking at Winston.
His hair was tucked elegantly behind his ears, revealing a high forehead and an elegant nose.
This man, even though he was silent, could become the focus of other’s view.
And Lin Ke Song too wore a chef’s white shirt, but compared to Jiang Qian Fan, she looked a lot more casual.
LIn Ke SOng was indeed very nervous, so the hand she used to hold onto Jiang Qian Fan’s arm was using a lot of strength.
The look that Iris gave towards her looked like it could crush people.
“Ke Song, you look very lively today ah!” Winston winked at Lin Ke Song, “Mr Jiang really dares to take risks on choosing a person as your partner ah, at a place where so many people have gathered.”
“This isn’t a risk.” Jiang Qian Fan said conversationally.
Winston was stunned, then laughed: “of course ah, how could I have forgotten, on the master’s show, Ke SOng had perfectly presented your signature dish. Her capabilities isn’t any less than any professional chef.”
The tourists surrounding and the media present were all wanting the competition to start officially.
“Today, the 60 guests we have seated are the judging panel, and I will be the waiter. In front of every judge, there is a copy of today’s menu, every menu has 3 kinds of appetisers, 3 kinds of main dishes, and 3 kinds of desserts for you to choose from. But this menu has only the name of the dish, as for what ingredients are in the dishes, you will have to look at the performances of the chefs today! So, judges, seriously think carefully about what you want to choose, and when you want to eat them, you must eat seriously, and taste meticulously, then with the choice from your heart, give your vote to the dish that you love the most. Now, let’s invite the judges to read the menu of today, choose your dishes, then pass it to me. As for our 4 participants, you may start your preparations.”
YueJiangHotel had a very unique kitchen, it was U-shaped. The most important thing was, that it didn’t have a wall to separate, but a total floor to ceiling glass pane, to let the dining guests be able to see clearly into all the happenings in the kitchen.
Jessica and Iris used the left of the back kitchen, and Lin Ke Song guided Jiang Qian Fan to the right.
This kitchen’s layout was pretty much the same as the kitchen in Jiang Qian Fan’s villa.
Lin Ke Song had a look along the counter, and saw that there was indeed a thin line of straight lines, as long as all the seasonings were placed according to the sequence that Jiang Qian Fan was used to at these lines, Jiang Qian Fan would be able to accurately take charge of the condition in the kitchen.
LIn Ke Song started to line up all sorts of sauces and spices. Her movements were very nimble like she didn’t need much time to think.
When she took Jiang Qian Fan’s hand to make sure of all the styles of the cookware, the sizes and their edges in the kitchen, Iris from the opposite looked over.
“What’s wrong?” Jessica realised that her daughter wasn’t really focusing, and knocked on the counter as a reminder.
“In such a short time, she can’t possibly have partnered with Jiang Qian Fan…… the average person will not be able to match up to his speed.”
“Since that’s so, for Jiang Qian FAn to choose a nameless and inexperienced girl to partner with is digging his own grave.”
With that, Jessica started on her preparations.
And it was only when the time for the judges to pick their dishes had ended, and Winston had collected all their menus, did Lin Ke Song bring Jiang Qian Fan around the kitchen to understand all the things in it.
She stood behind Jiang Qian Fan, and took his hand to touch the depth of the frying pan.
But Jiang Qian Fan held her hand and lifted it to his lips, even though it was only a short touch, that warmth and strength that steadied her heart travelled from her fingertips.
“Like cooking with me?” Jiang Qian Fan asked.
“Like it very much.”
Like it more than anything in this world.
Lin Ke Song’s heart started to overflow, all the nervousness and fear became insignificant.
“I like it very much too. Ke Song, this is like closing my eyes and riding a roller coaster.”
“Yes, at the start, there isn’t any anticipation. Because I can’t see, so I thought I wouldn’t be afraid. Until my heart is thrown from high up, the blood in my whole body rushing to the top of my head, but when the rider rides down, it like everything has left the body. Until the end, when I hear your voice, I feel that all the ups and downs were for this moment.”
LIn Ke Song’s heart felt like it was squeezed tightly by him.
“I thought you weren’t afraid at all.”
At this time, Winston had already noted down all the orders, his fingers were pointing in the air, “both parties, please listen well! The dish you will need to make today is —— 22 portions of Chinese spring roll, 17 portions of fragrant scallops, and 21 portions of Italian style bacon veal roll! You must know, that these 3 dishes seem simple, but it is extremely complicated to make. Like the Chinese style spring roll, looks like a common dish in Chinese restaurants, but it is not easy to make this dish. Of course, the most commonly known and most delicious spring roll in new york comes from YueJiangHotel’s chef HanBin!”
At this time, the media and audience all turned their gaze to HanBin.
“Chef HanBin, what do you think makes a delicious spring roll?” Winston asked with a smile.
HanBIn replied generously: “First, the crispy layer outside must not be oily. Secondly, the filling inside must be proportionate to the thickness of the outer layer, it doesn’t mean that the more filling you have, the tastier it’ll be. Thirdly, the flavour of the filling must pack a punch to the taste buds, if it’s too bland, it loses its use of being the appetiser. But if an overuse of seasonings like chilli or a vegetable like the strong tasting leek is used, not every guest will be able to accept the taste.”
“Which means, you need to actually pay attention to many things to make a good spring roll ah!” Winston nodded, “Let’s talk about the fragrant scallops, this too is a common appetizer in restaurants. I wish to ask the witch of the fine dining world, chef Lilith, what do you think about this dish?”
Lilith’s lips curled at the ends: “fragrant scallops ah…… there’s actually only 2 points. First, the scallops cannot be overcooked, if it’s overcooked it will lose it’s bouncy texture and juice, if it’s too raw, it will taste too fishy. Secondly, you must be careful of the concoction of the sauce, it must not snatch away the freshness of the scallops, but needs to lift the flavours of the scallops too. All those who know how to cook will know these 2 points, but these 2 points are very very difficult to master.”
Winston nodded, then looked at Montgomery, “Haha, Chef Montgomery is the master that everyone knows in this industry who makes the unforgettable Italian bacon veal roll. As for this dish, is there any explanation you’d like to give?”
Montgomery wrinkled his brow in thought: “…… actually a really good chef, will take note of their own feelings while they are cooking. I have always gone along with my mood. But going along with your feelings is the most delicate and best this. But now, I am only concerned about 1 thing.”
“What is it?” Winston asked curiously.
“Why did you invite me to be a judge? You actually didn’t give me the chance to taste, and let me stand by the side to watch, this is too cruel!”
YueJiangTower was suddenly filled with laughter, this elt the originally nervous atmosphere relax.
“He, Winston, talk about the main course ba!” Montgomery lifted his hand.
“Oh, the main dishes for today are very sumptuous, i guarantee that everyone will be undecided! The first dish is pan-fried bass. This is a commonly seen dish in many big restaurants, all because the bass meat has flexibility and is able to transform and accept many flavours. The second main dish, is charcoal lamb chops! We all know, that it is more difficult to control the fire and heat for lamb chops compared to steak, all in addition to its smell. How we make this gamey stink into a mouthwatering and delicious taste, is also a skill necessary for culinary masters. The last dish is, turkey.”
“Turkey? ” Montgomery had a shocked expression.
“Yes, turkey. Is there a problem? Chef Montgomery?” Winston suddenly laughed asking.
“There is a problem, of course there is a problem. Today isn’t even Christmas, why the need to eat turkey?” Montgomery threw his hands up, an expression of dissatisfaction.
“Only because today isn’t Christmas?” Winston asked.
“It’s because he doesn’t like turkey.” Monica who was beside Montgomery laughed, “the meat of turkey is rough, very hard for the flavours to soak in. there is a difficulty in cooking it, this kind of meat lacks moisture, the texture will be dry.”
“Oh, if it were chef Montgomery, how would you make this dish?” Winston asked.
Montgomery rubbed his chin in thought: “Secret, won’t tell you.”
Everyone laughed again.
But at this time, Lin Ke Song started to get nervous.
“Qian Fan, there is turkey in the main dish……”
Lin Ke Song had tried countless times in the kitchen before to roast turkey, but no matter what, the perfect texture and flavour could not be achieved.
Jiang Qian Fan followed her voice, and tugged her ear saying: “Winston had only said that turkey was the last dish, and didn’t ask for it to be pan-fried or charcoal roasted. Which is to say, we have more freedom in our cooking method.”
Lin Ke Song suddenly exhaled, her brain immediately going into imagination overdrive.
Will chopping the turkey into cubes allow the flavours to soak in more conveniently, and make a Chinese style dish? Or tap the turkey meat, and make it into a turkey roll? Or chop the chicken till it becomes mud like?
Winston started speaking again: “I wonder if there are any chefs here who have any tips for the 3 main dishes we have today?”
Montgomery said: “No opinions. The most important things have already been said by you, what else do we have to say? Hurry and introduce the desserts ba!”
Brody, Lilith and the other chefs all pursed their lips in laughter.
“Alright ba, alright ba, don’t be impatient. Lets first have a look at the choices of the judges. Ooh, there are 16 who chose pan-fried bass, 22 people who chose charcoal lambs chops. And then those who chose turkey, are also 22. En…… I am also regretting a little at being the host instead of being a judge already.”
Winston pouted, and continues introducing the deserts for today: “Today’s desserts, the first is Jessica Quentin’s signature dessert, matcha opera cake. Perfect combinations for the tastes buds, fluffy texture, definitely a delicious flavour that makes people uncontrollably want to swallow everything in a mouthful. And the second dish, is a common dessert blueberry pie! I know that many housewives are experts at this kind of pie, but a great master’s standard of blueberry pie, definitely has its uniqueness. And the last dessert, is the recently popular dessert at phts, vanilla ice cream hawthorn!”
When his voice sounded, all the media and chefs started applauding.
Winston went to Brody, and ask smiling: “what do you think about the desserts?”
“I personally think that this competition is organised fairly. The matcha opera can and vanilla ice cream hawthorn are the signature dishes of the participating parties, but there are also fresh items that are the most common yet difficult to make. This way, there is an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of both parties, and also add uncertainty, it’s great ah.”
“Then in your opinion, chef Brody, will Jiang Qian Fan win or is Jessica Quentin more popular for the desserts?”
Brody smiled and said: “If you let me be the judge, I will tell you.”
“Haha, Brody, you have been led astray by Montgomery ah.” Winston received the cards that the staff passed to him, “Ah, for dessert, there are a total of 25 orders for the match opera cake, and also 25 orders for the vanilla ice cream hawthorn. Additionally, there are 10 judges who are interested in the blueberry pie. It looks like, the majority are still leaning towards the signature desserts of the chefs ah!”
Winston lifted his wrist to confirm the time: “the time now, is nine thirty in the morning, both parties of participants each have 2 and a half hours. When it is 12pm, both parties please serve the appetizers for all guests. Before 1220, the main dish must be prepared, otherwise you will lose your scores. And at 1pm sharp, I hope to see every a dessert in front of every judge.”
Winston lifted his finger high, and lifted his voice: “the competition—— starts now!”
Both parties started their discussion about how to make the few dishes.
Just as Jiang Qian FAn and Lin Ke Song were discussing about the fillings of the blueberry pie, Jessica and Iris had already begun choosing ingredients.
“Don’t get frantic, thinking carefully about what you want to do, is far more important than going after the speed of things.” Jiang Qian Fan’s knuckles glided across Lin Ke Song’s face gently.
“I know! Make sure of your goal, and you only need to move towards it bravely!”
“Do you know what you need to take note of in a blueberry pie?”
“I know! When you cut it open, it must have a crispy fluffy feeling! The fillings must be together, definitely cannot separate! It can’t be too sweet and it can’t be too sour either, so we must pay more attention to the ratio of fruits in the filling, and we also need to think about the change in tartness of the fruits after it has been baked!”
“Good. I will be in charge of all the crust, you must take care of the baking and take note of all the heat controls of the meats.”
Lin Ke Song immediately got to work. She and Jiang Qian Fan had long listed out all the ingredients needed for every dish when Winston and the other chefs were discussing about the menu. When she held Jiang Qian Fan’s arm to enter the food warehouse, she met Iris’ gaze that glanced past her and focused on Jiang Qian Fan.
“You will regret provoking my mother and me today. ”Iris’ eyes were full of absolute confidence in herself.
“I will not regret, on the contrary, I am very grateful that you both are battling together.”
“What do you mean?” Iris asked.
“Thank you for giving Ke Song such a wonderful opportunity to train.”
After those words, Jiang Qian Fan patted the back of Li Ke Song’s hand, and brought her to the meat section.
Jessica warned in a low voice: “Iris, don’t let Jiang Qian Fan affect your mood.”
Lin Ke Song cooperated with Jiang Qian Fan’s selection of the size and thickness of the most suitable lamb chop and bass meat, and selecting the turkey breasts in the end.
Then it was the ingredients for the appetizers and desserts.
When Lin Ke Song walked past a coffee machine shelves, she yelled in surprise: “I want that! That little pressure cooker!”
When her voice sounded, Jessica’s light laughter floated by.
Lin Ke Song didn’t bother about Jessica, but took the pressure cooker down, and put it in the pushcart.
“Since you took the pressure cooker, get a little more vanilla, sage and thyme.” Jiang Qian Fan said softly at Lin Ke Song’s ear.
The warm breath passed by her earlobe, thoughts floating by like they were in a warm ocean, Lin Ke Song smiled.
Even when she didn’t say anything, Jiang Qian Fan could guess what she wanted to do.
Jiang Qian Fan pushed the pushcart, while Lin Ke Song gave directions at the front.
When they returned to the counter station, Jessica had already started preparations for the skin of the spring roll, while Lin Ke Song was still nimbly and methodically placing all the ingredients at places that Jiang Qian Fan was familiar with.
LIn Ke Song opened the bag of flour, beat the eggs, all her movements were very professional. Then she let the position to Jiang Qian Fan.
Jiang Qian Fan’s kneading action was full of strength, along with the extension of his arm, and the coordination of his wrists and fingers, the flour and eggs quickly melded together.
His unique technique actually made him complete the crust earlier than Jessica and Iris.
Pretty much, without Jiang Qian Fan saying anything, Lin KE Song only went forward to make sure of the texture of the dough, then used plastic wrap to wrap the dough up, then pushed the cut up cheese blocks to the front of Jiang Qian Fan. then Jiang Qian Fan started preparing for the sauce for the Italian style veal bacon roll.
While Lin Ke Song started preparing the fruits at the side.
Compared to the cheerful and talkative atmosphere between Jessica and Iris, you could pretty much count the number of times words were exchanged between Lin Ke Song and Jiang Qian FAn.
But when Jiang Qian Fan used a spoon to dip into the sauce that he created, and Lin Ke SOng automatically moved her face to taste, that chemistry feeling let the judges who were watching through the glass smile.
“En!” Lin Ke Song closed her eyes to distinguish the layers of flavours in the sauce, thinking about the amount to smear to make the bacon rolls, and suddenly felt that it was absolutely delicious.