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582 An Exchange Among Chefs Between China And Japan

 "Dongpo Su Meatballs, Phoenix-Tail Prawns and a plate of Translucent Beef Slices. That's all." Zhou Shijie ordered three meat dishes directly.

"Okay. But can you finish them all?" Zhou Jia liked this old man who always smiled and appeared quite kind-hearted.

"Don't' worry. For the sake of this meal, I only drank some clear soup for lunch." Zhou Shijie stroked his beard and said proudly.

"Okay. One moment, please." Zhou Jia refrained herself from smiling and then said mildly.

"No problem." Zhou Shijie nodded the head and sat on the chair, watching Yuan Zhou cooking just like that.

Zhou Shijie still remembered his purpose of coming here. Now that he had nothing to eat for the time being, it was fun to watch Yuan Zhou's craftsmanship.

Of course, the main point was that his dishes still hadn't been served.

With Zhou Shijie's sharp eyes, he could naturally tell that Yuan Zhou's movements were a little different from that of last time. However, it was just a slight difference.

"This guy is really awesome. His craftsmanship has improved a lot again ever since I ate here not long ago." Zhou Shijie exclaimed while watching.

"That is right, chairman." Master Cheng stood behind Zhou Shijie and got in a word suddenly.

"There you are. Are you here to learn from Little Yuan secretly?" Zhou Shijie naturally knew about the matter where Master Cheng apprenticed himself to Yuan Zhou.

In Chairman Zhou's opinion, Master Cheng was still a young man even if he was almost 40. After all, Chairman Zhou's age and seniority were all obviously higher than that of Master Cheng.

Master Cheng was an excellent one among the middle-aged generation. Judging from the viewpoint of a chef, Master Cheng was in the prime of his life.

"You are joking with me, again. I'm just present as an observer. Master Yuan has agreed to my request." Master Cheng said proudly.

"I know. You must have annoyed and pestered Little Yuan a lot before he agreed. Am I right?" Zhou Shijie said with a manner of "I know your tricks very well".

"No, no, no. I was so modest and sincere that I almost kowtowed to him. However, I didn't reach Boss Yuan's requirements of taking apprentices." Master Cheng shook his head and said earnestly.

"This guy is a genius himself. He probably also wants to take a genius as his apprentice." Zhou Shijie said that with a comforting tone.

"Boss Yuan is indeed a genius." Master Cheng, who had stayed with Yuan Zhou for the longest time, said that with heartfelt admiration.

"I agree." Zhou Shijie also accepted that statement. Otherwise, he wouldn't be here today.

"Did you come here for that matter?" Master Cheng had been in the cooking industry for quite a few years, thus he naturally knew the big events in that circle.

"Yeah. The candidates this year have all been confirmed." Zhou Shijie nodded the head.

"Boss Yuan is one of them, right?" Master Cheng seemed to know about this matter very well.

"Of course. Young people ought to explore more and experience more." Zhou Shijie stroked his beard and said smilingly.

"You are still treasuring the talented people." Master Cheng said with a respectful look on his face.

Master Cheng's respect toward Zhou Shijie was no different from his respect to Yuan Zhou's culinary skills. He also respected Zhou Shijie's caring attitude.

Zhou Shijie was the chairman of the alliance. Though he knew his eldest and youngest apprentices were always the candidates for such kind of exchange meetings, he gave them the opportunities because of their abilities.

For the remaining quotas, Zhou Shijie never begrudged giving them to other chefs. He only judged them by their culinary skills rather than other aspects. Even Master Cheng had been to this activity twice.

In recent years, he didn't go there anymore, just because Zhou Shijie said the opportunities must be given to young people.

Of course, if Master Cheng's craftsmanship was the best among the people of the middle-aged generation, he inevitably had to go every year, for example, a competition in Guangdong Province.

"This old man has only this hobby now." Zhou Shijie burst into laughter and then said.

"Chairman, were you also like Master Yuan when you were young? And did your culinary skills improved day by day?" Master Cheng suddenly asked curiously.

"Me? Not really. As far as I know, only Chu Xiao is like him. For others, even Liu Tong, is far from his level." Zhou Shijie shook his head and then said.

"That's good." Master Cheng became relieved and the said with a low voice after he heard that.

"Sir, here are your dishes." Zhou Jia carried the first dish to him, Dongpo Su Meatballs.

"Thank you." Zhou Shijie nodded the head and thanked him.

"You are welcome. Take your time and enjoy." Zhou Jie nodded the head and then left.

"Yeah, take your time. I'm not going to bother you anymore." Master Cheng said proactively before Zhou Shijie began to drive him away.

"Go, go. This old man is here to relax." Zhou Shijie waved his hand. Then, he diverted his attention to the dishes in front of him and directly started to eat.

Zhou Shijie ordered three dishes in total. They were served one after another and Zhou Shijie ate them up one after another. The speed and timing were just perfect.

After he finished the meal, business time had almost ended.

"Ta Ta Ta". As the footsteps of the customers gradually faded away, Zhou Jia also left after them.

Nonetheless, Master Cheng first greeted Yuan Zhou and then Zhou Shijie politely before he left.

Then, there were only Zhou Shijie and Yuan Zhou left in the restaurant. Instantly, the restaurant fell silent.

"Little Brat Yuan, your craftsmanship has improved again. The Dongpo Su Meatballs are crisp and tender, the prawn meat is fresh and sweet without any fishy smell and the beef is spicy and chewy, but will melt upon touching the mouth. Such textures are really rare." Zhou Shijie sighed with emotion, saying that.

"Thank you for your compliments." Yuan Zhou opened the tap and thanked him while washing his hands.

"Alright. I know you don't like small talk. I come to you for something this time." Seeing Yuan Zhou look like he did not intend to say anything more, Zhou Shijie directly continued.

"Um. Go ahead." Yuan Zhou said cautiously.

"There will be an exchange meeting among chefs from China and Japan. This time, we'll go to Japan first to watch them present their culinary skills and one month later, they'll come to our country to watch ours. I want you to go to attend the meeting there this time." Zhou Shijie said every single word or phrase clearly.

However, Yuan Zhou said nothing and just looked at Zhou Shijie, waiting for more information. However, his first reaction was to refuse. It was a troublesome matter to go on a long journey.

"An able man is always busy. If you go to watch their presentation, you'll have to let them witness your culinary skills in return one month later." Zhou Shijie stroked his beard and said earnestly.

"I don't want to go." Yuan Zhou waited for a while and refused straightforwardly when he saw Zhou Shijie say nothing more.

"Don't make the decision so hurriedly. Attending the exchange meeting isn't for nothing. You know, countries compete not only on aspects of hard power, but also soft power. And cooking culture belongs to the soft power." Zhou Shijie had already foreseen Yuan Zhou's reaction, thus he continued saying unhurriedly.

"According to the statistics of Global Times, there are no Chinese dishes among the three major styles of cooking in the world, only French dishes, Japanese dishes and Italian dishes. Though our ancestors said we need to hide our inadequacy by keeping quiet, we cannot lose when we should show our strength. So, the best people naturally must go." Zhou Shijie said every word sincerely and earnestly.

"I'm not so stupid as to get hot-headed and go to obtain honor for the country once you say that. I'm not young anymore and I know to love my country rationally. I'd rather give this opportunity to those young people." Yuan Zhou said seriously with his face tight taut.

Zhou Shijie felt that the phrase "not young anymore" a bit odd. He sat at his place and thought about this matter. After an instant, however, he reacted and thus asked loudly.

"Who are you referring to by saying old?" Zhou Shijie said, unwilling to accept this humiliation.

"What time?" Suddenly, Yuan Zhou asked a question that was irrelevant to what they were talking now.

...