ICRAB – Chapter 93
Zhang Xiaomo didn't have six million to compensate, and she didn't want to ask her family for money just because of this matter. "Okay! Since it's a comparison, then it has to be the real deal! Soup, staple food, and dessert."
"You learned Western food?" Liu Weiwei couldn't help raising her eyebrows.
"Why, are you scared? Then you can apologize to me and confess your evil deeds to the public." Zhang Xiaomo smiled, "It's still not too late to surrender."
Western food was different from typical Chinese food. Learning Western food, especially after three months of intensive study, people should be able to basically master some common and simple Western dishes. Because in Western food, commonly the recipes were write clearly. Like for seasonings, how many grams of salt, sugar, butter, etc. Also the other factors like heat, the recipes would also indicate the cooking temperature and cooking time. Electronic scales and induction cookers had been used commonly since long time ago, also multi-purpose cooking equipment such as oven. This was completely different from the various versions of Chinese recipes.
It could be said that there was a huge difference in the quantity and even the quality of the dishes that could be completed between Western and Chinese trainee chefs who had both studied for three months. For example, An Hao might have just learned how to shred potato consistently. If the ground was changed and he needed to cook and season the food, he might still fail even if he had the recipe.
There is nothing, either people, race, or food that is superior to another. Food common to each areas were invented by the local people because the ingredients were available in that area based on climates, weather, and geographical factors. Cooking methods were used based on needs mostly, like preserving/pickling recipes were more widely used in 4 seasons country compared to tropical country like mine, where we can plant and harvest cucumbers/cabbages all year round outside.
All the things in the novel should be made by the author to get the plot moving, and author’s view does not represent this translator’s view. The reasoning was made probably to justify anything MC’s disciple will do later, so, just treat this as fiction that it is.
Zhang Xiaomo was taking out her cooking table from her personal space. Induction cooker, oven, noodle machine, egg extractor, vegetable washing machine, water dispenser, food thermometer, high temperature thermometer, weight scale, beaker…
The onlookers in the shop felt like they were watching a good show and they cheered for Happy Restaurant, however, everyone was a little shocked when all the equipment was put out.
"What is that?"
"Thermometer? Is she doing an experiment?"
"Wow, why do I feel a little bit weird. Boss, can your apprentice do it?!"
"This girl came prepared!"
Many discordant voices broke out at the scene.
Zhang Xiaomo was very smart and talented. She arranged everything neatly, and then began to select the ingredients from her space. After a while, she was ready and put everything on the table.
Liu Weiwei glanced. She understood Zhang Xiaomo’s aptitude.
"How about the judges? Don't say you will let your shop customer be one?" Zhang Xiaomo sneered, "It's better to get my friend to collect ten passerby judges online."
Liu Weiwei glanced at An Hao.
"I have no problem, Master!"
"Okay, let's start!"
The two of them do their own cooking, with no restrictions on ingredients.
Zhang Xiaomo was different from An Hao who generously shown what he was doing. She turned her back and took out two robots to block her left and right sides, as if she was afraid that someone would peek at her skills. "My skill is a culinary art from my teacher, it is not something that can be passed on to people outside the association."
The diners in the restaurant also knew the rules of the Chef Association, but Zhang Xiaomo sneaking actions compared with An Hao, who was open and upright next to her, became an instant judgment.
Captain Gu, who was planning to leave, pulled a chair and sit. He actually wanted to stay to watch the show.
Liu Weiwei asked the robots to serve again the ordered foods for the guests who had just eaten halfway. Everyone was eating and watching the show, and from time to time they applauded and cheered for An Hao.
Liu Weiwei took a look at the time, and was so disintegrated that she could only take pictures of her first apprentice, "Xiao An, I will leave it to you, I'm going offline. When you start the judging, I will come again."
"Yes! Master, don't worry!"
Liu Weiwei was only allowed ten minutes on the Internet each login for a total of one hour a day, so she couldn't see the competition entirely with her own eyes.
Liu Weiwei’s logging off fell in Zhang Xiaomo's eyes. She completely despised Liu Weiwei and averted her eyes immediately. As one of the players in this competition, Liu Weiwei was not watching from the side. This was the same as underestimating the opponent on the game, which was her. So utterly contemptuous!
Zhang Xiaomo gritted her teeth and vowed secretly that she had to win. She turned her head bitterly and saw that An Hao was in a hurry and almost dropped the lid of the pot on the ground, she couldn't help but sneer.
The diners outside watched the PK while eating.
Although they couldn't see Zhang Xiaomo's movements, they could clearly see An Hao's performance through the glass.
"Huh? What kind of food does he cook here? I have never seen it before."
"This… is there any food in the shop that I haven't ordered?"
"Robot, give me the menu again."
"The little guy has learned a new dish?"
The diners were very familiar with Happy Restaurant, and even more familiar with An Hao, a young man who was in charge of the shop for three meals a day. They could see him behind the glass every day, all kinds of slicing and shredding, and then he began to make various snacks. In the past month he had occasionally tried to make a few small dishes in the shop.
Of course they could see that An Hao was a novice, and he could only cook three or four dishes. So when they saw his unfamiliar operation steps today, everyone was a little surprised.
However, An Hao was not affected by outside influences. He had indeed been studying cooking for more than three months, but he suddenly had to make one soup, one staple food and one dessert for the competition. This task for him was very severe, time was tight, and his lack of experience initially led to panic. But Liu Weiwei's calmness before leaving also gave him a lot of encouragement, because she fully believed in his abilities.
An Hao seemed to have found his backbone. His movements were messy at first. He didn't know which one he should do first and which one should be done later. But soon, when he held the knife in his hand, the cold blade was rubbing his fingers and palm, he couldn't help but calm down gradually. Until now, he still cut more than 20 catties of potatoes every day, and he had never given up practice even for a day. As long as he picked up a knife, he could naturally enter his practice state. His tense breathing became smooth, and his chaotic brain became calm.
Although his Master did not give him any hint before leaving, nor did she mention which recipe he should use for the competition, but smelling the rich butter and milk fragrance slowly drifting from Zhang Xiaomo’s station, An Hao immediately thought of the recipes the Master had demonstrated. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, his actions immediately accelerated.
Soon, the back kitchen began to exude two strong, charming but different fragrances.
The diners outside were eating from the bowl but looking at the two trainee chefs cooking, slowly becoming a little bit unable to sit still.
After Chen Like made the announcement, ten strangers were randomly selected to serve as judges. Because there was no more room in the shop, many regular diners who have finished their meal consciously stand up and give the judges the empty seats.
There were more and more people in the shop. Even if the robots hang up signs that they would not accept customers temporarily, some people still came after hearing about the competition. There were many idle gossip eaters, but most of them were the loyal customers of Happy Restaurant. They all quit their work and rushed over to support the boss.
If there were not enough seats, they could just stand in the shop. Some people even occupied the cafe next door or asked friends on site they knew to take a video and broadcast it to them…
"Isn't this the little girl who made trouble with the old man last time?"
"She's doing something again? Ah, she made a report?"
"F*ck her! Beat her quickly!"
The accusations of regular customers became more and more intense, and soon the noises reached the back kitchen.
Zhang Xiaomo's anger quickly accumulated, and before she exploded, she finally finished her dishes. She looked back triumphantly at An Hao who was still busy, and contemptuously put her dishes in front. "I have finished cooking. I invite the judges to try them while it's hot."
"First is corn soup, second is the medium rare filet mignon, and last, milk pudding as dessert."
Zhang Xiaomo raised her chin. These three were her very skilled and most confident dishes. These three were also classic dishes in Western food.
"In order to convince everyone that this black hearted shop deserves to lose, other non-judging people can also eat. These are what you should be calling real foods, don't be deceived by this black hearted shop!"
Regular diners wanted to scold back, but they were quickly attracted by the dishes delivered by the robot. Most of them on Skynet had never been to a real offline restaurant. Happy Restaurant was their first experience of gourmet cuisine, or it could be said to be their only experience. The dishes in front of them were not much, but they were dished that they had never seen before.
Western food had different charms and peculiarities compared to Chinese food. For example, this thick and golden corn soup, had a smooth appearance and a mellow aroma. It exuded the unique frank scent of butter and sweet corn.
The diners ate this kind of taste for the first time, so they unknowingly drank all the soup in their bowls. The soup’s cotton silk flavor was mixed with salty aroma and some sweetness. It was not an exaggeration to say that it was an exquisite appetizer.
Then the steak, it looked like a large piece of meat was piled on the plate. It was decorated with sauce and emerald green asparagus, and the dish looked very elegant. The taste of this beef was completely different from the beef cut into pieces in Chinese food. A touch of black pepper wraps the tender but lean beef, and almost all the beef juice was tightly locked in the square-inch sized meat without losing the tenacity of the beef. The roasting technique fully aroused the fragrance of the beef itself.
And in the end, the dessert milk pudding melted in the mouth, making people felt like they were wandering in a sweet and greasy ocean. It was as if they were lying on the beach by the sea in a leisurely and sunny afternoon. The breeze blowing, and the milky fragrance in the mouth brought a sweet dream.
"The milk flavor in the dessert echoes the flavor of the starting soup."
"The steak as the main course is completely the highlight of the whole work. Even after eating dessert, the aroma of black pepper beef cannot be removed."
"Tsk, is the boss's apprentice in danger?"
"At this time, a big killer must be presented. Husband and wife’s lung film or the crayfish should be able to win, right?"
"I think the squirrel mandarin fish can also win, but this little brother doesn't use fish at all, don’t say he was not able to cook this dish?"
After the diners tasted Zhang Xiaomo’s dishes, they that were initially had full confidence began to worry about the boss’s trainee chef.
Zhu Ya, who was notified, had just finished a meeting. As soon as he was done, he hurriedly hurried to the shop. Although he only heard about the situation, as soon as he arrived, Zhang Xiaomo, who was confident, saw him, and asked her robot to send him a product with a cold snort.
"Uncle, it's free, you can eat. Poor people with no money like you won’t even know what food really tastes like!"
Zhu Ya was very angry, but when the robot delivered the food to him, he did not refuse. After tasting every dish, he put down his fork with complex expression.
Zhu Ya pulled the corners of his mouth in embarrassment while Zhang Xiaomo lifted her lips triumphantly.
"… would be a wonder."
The two words of irony soon followed, and they were heard by Zhang Xiaomo, who was half way laughing.