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110 The Meaning of Being a Chef

 While they were leisurely joking over there, Meng Meng also started to speak in a low voice to her audiences, "Oh no, oh no. Meng Meng is so hungry. Are you all hungry?"

[I was hungry ages ago. The second gathering for dinner is happening now. Come on. Get on the car,] from Boundary of Firmament.

[Hi, rich man. Where are you gathering for the dinner? Can I join in?] from Amisa.

[You are also a rich man. Come and join us,] from Boundary of Firmament.

[You honorable rich men, tell me the address, please,] from Accompanying You.

[Let me get the topic back to what it was. Meng Meng, we are all hungry. Would you join me for the dinner?] from Shime.

[This is a cunning guy. Meng Meng, come join us. Help yourself to any of Boss Yuan's dishes,] from Boundary of Firmament. Electronic currency, a gift in the form of a plane, was then transferred across the screen to Meng Meng.

[That's right. You should join us. Come on, come on,] from Amisa. This wealthy man also transferred her with another plane.

Then the topic totally changed to waiting to treat Meng Meng to eat in Yuan Zhou's restaurant.

The customers and the judges, nevertheless, started to savor the dishes.

There were only 8 shrimps in Yuan Zhou's Phoenix-Tail Prawns dish. Wang Shuyuan directly picked up one shrimp and several phoenix tree flowers, cruelly ruining the decorative phoenix bird resting in the phoenix tree on the plate. Even so, Wang Shuyuan still cared about his reputation so he didn't take all the decorative items away.

"Why did you take away the decorations? Look, the style is immediately damaged." Those who liked the appearance of the dish were taking photos with their phones when they realized Wang Shuyuan actions.

Little Wu allocated a few shrimps to each plate for everyone accordingly. The amount of the prawns in Chef Yu's Phoenix-Tail Prawns dish was larger, basically sufficient to allocate everybody with two. However, there were totally 8 shrimps in the dish cooked by Yuan Zhou, hence it was troublesome for Little Wu to evenly allocate them to the customers.

Seeing this awkward situation, some customers said to him considerately, "No need to give me that one. I just want some prawns cooked by Chef Yu."

Only that way could the shrimps cooked by Yuan Zhou be allocated evenly to each of the remaining customers.

Wang Shuyuan first savored the prawns cooked by Chef Yu, which were basically alike to those cooked in the previous contest. The outer surface was brown and crisp while the meat was fine and tender. The abundant freshness and the non-oily ingredients just brought about the special flavor of the Phoenix-Tail Prawns.

As for the shrimp from Yuan Zhou's Phoenix-Tail Prawns dish, Wang Shuyuan savored it meticulously. As the kind of prawns used was changed this time, the taste was also different from that he had experienced in Yuan Zhou's restaurant.

The prawns in Yuan Zhou's restaurant almost push the word "freshness" to its limit. Moreover, it tasted extremely elegant and was free from any other disturbing scents. The existence of vegetables seemed to be only an ornament and even the elasticity of the prawn meat seemed to serve as a foil to the delicacy of the prawns.

Now, although without the utmost freshness, this dish nevertheless had a more crisp and tender taste and felt like it combined several different flavors into one. It's not easy to say which one is better. But on the aspect of taste, it was definitely the prawns cooked in Yuan Zhou's restaurant that outclassed the current one. As for the taste, both had their own merits.

The outcome of this contest is quite apparent to Yuan Zhou and Wang Shuyuan. As for other people, the empty plates that didn't even have the decorations left, proved everything.

"Seriously, where does this young master come from? Even the decorative radish could be made so delicious. Yet, we didn't notice how he flavored it just now even though we were all watching personally," a customer who had just taken the last bite of the dish asked eagerly.

"How should I know? Anyhow, the marvelous taste immediately conquered me in that moment." While speaking, he touched the arm of the one beside him and continued saying in a low voice, "In comparison, the prawns cooked by Chef Yu were a little greasier, not as fresh and cool. Right?"

"I think so, too. Formerly, I felt that Chef Yu cooking Phoenix-Tail Prawns was absolutely beyond comparison but now..." another man approached them and likewise agreed.

"Enough. Don't say that anymore. Luckily, we don't need to make the final decision; otherwise, Chef Yu wouldn't have a nice expression." At any rate, Chef Yu had been their favorite chef.

The face of the general manager wasn't so happy, either, as the results were much too obvious. There were still some prawns left in Chef Yu's dish while the plate containing Yuan Zhou's dish was just a few steps away from being cleaned by the customers. They were merely waiting for Wang Shuyuan to announce this known-to-all result now.

"This old guy knows it's only an exchange of pointers today, thus the result doesn't actually matter. If talking seriously, both the chefs had their own merits. It's merely that Master Yuan does it slightly better." Noticing the time was more or less appropriate, Wang Shuyuan straightway stood up and announced that in a rather polite tone.

The customers who were on the site for the taste test actually felt what Wang Shuyuan said made sense. However, the expression of the two masters still appeared alright. Yuan Zhou was still as solemn as before and didn't have any difference from when he first came, giving people a feeling that he did everything earnestly.

Chef Yu also behaved with grace and ease, although with a slightly unhappy expression.

"Master Yuan is truly amazing as expected. Though I didn't manage to savor the taste personally this time, I got to know it from the reaction of the customers. If I have the chance, I will definitely go to your restaurant and savor your dishes," Chef Yu said politely while revealing a smiling face.

"Ok." Yuan Zhou nodded and accepted it solemnly.

"Regarding the knife, I give it to Master Yuan. I hope you like it. It's not a magic weapon but is quite comfortable to use," Chef Yu took out the wooden box and said unwillingly.

If Yuan Zhou accepted this reward, Chef Yu would be considered as generous while Yuan Zhou would give people a forceful impression."

Almost everyone knew that this was a knife, more specifically, a treasured knife that Chef Yu had bought for the first time after he worked as a chef. Regardless of its price, it had a special significance to a chef.

While reaching out to press and hold the box, Yuan Zhou raised his head, looking at Chef Yu, and said earnestly, "No need. Exchanging pointers does not require a reward."

"No, no. Boss Yuan, This is where you are wrong. I promised to offer the knife as the reward to the winner. Besides, you have just won the championship from me. Now even the champion's place is yours, not to mention this small knife." Chef Yu got a little angry with Yuan Zhou's refusal and eventually said in a discontented tone.

"Champion?" Yuan Zhou answered indifferently as if he hadn't paid much attention to the word.

"Yes, champion, the new municipal level champion. With the title, you can attend the provincial level cooking contest and if you win, you can further take part in the national contest." Chef Yu spent his lifetime improving his culinary skills. Nevertheless, the newly obtained champion title, namely the opportunity for advancing, was about to be given to others, causing his title of head chef to become more in name than in reality. Thinking of that, Chef Yu instantly became downcast.

"There's no champion in the field of cooking," Yuan Zhou said with an earnest expression on his face. "If you say there indeed is, it's merely the compliments from the customers when they were satisfied."


Chef Yu became speechless and instantly got defeated by Yuan Zhou's meaningful tone.

Regardless of his levels, the ultimate purpose of a chef was merely to let the customers be satisfied with his dishes. These words would probably be known by every cook but also probably known by none.

Sometimes, fame mattered more than skills but after removing all the superficial stuff, it was only about taste.

"Master Yuan absolutely makes sense. We are nothing more than a cook. I was wrong." Instantly, Chef Yu felt that he had straightened out his thinking a lot. Though defeated, the customers were still satisfied with his dishes. This was also another kind of success.

After Yuan Zhou noticed Chef Yu's excited manner, he just turned around and left without saying anything.

It was Meng Meng, who had been broadcasting the contest that followed in quick steps. "Boss Yuan, wait for me."

The conversation between Chef Yu and Yuan Zhou was heard by several persons. Immediately, Yuan Zhou's image was no longer a master who cooked well but a genuine cook instead.

"Boss Yuan, can I ask a question?" Meng Meng was still puzzled about Yuan Zhou coming for the contest only after doing the business at noon.

"Sure." Yuan Zhou walked quickly ahead of her.

"Why didn't you come earlier at noon? It seems like you don't respect your rival," Meng Meng asked frankly.

"Respecting other cook is indeed a courtesy but respecting customers is the fundamental quality of a chef which means more than courtesy. When the courtesy collides with the fundamental quality, I would prefer to give up the usual courtesy."

"So, it's not that I don't respect my rival. It's just I want to come after opening hours are over. Although I don't like it but I don't mind being an uncivilized cook with no courtesy for once."

What a chef should respect most were his customers.

Meng Meng became stupefied.

The audiences watching the live broadcast were likewise astounded...