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869 Forget Oneself

 All the knives Yuan Zhou had taken out were supplied by the system when the restaurant was first opened. They should have been sharpened long ago if these were ordinary knives. But it had been delayed as these system-provided knives were very durable.

And thus, this was the first time Yuan Zhou sharpening all the knives in his kitchen.

"All these knives are provided by the system. They are indeed of excellent quality, and all of them have consistent quality. It is almost like they were manufactured from the same batch in the same factory," Yuan Zhou concluded after he studied all the knives.

Regardless of whether it was sharpness level or the width of the edge, all were at a suitable level for cutting ingredients. Moreover, all of them looked exactly the same.

"These knives are indeed excellent, but not good for practicing knife sharpening," Yuan Zhou frowned. He decided to warm up with some ordinary knives first. He could not start straight with knives that were difficult to sharpen.

Just as Yuan Zhou was thinking, the crowd around him started talking among themselves.

"Is Boss Yuan not sculpting ice today?"

"Yeah, what's that?"

"He's sharpening knives. It's obvious. That is obviously a whetstone."

"Now that you said it, it has been quite a while since I hear people hawking their sharpening services."

"True. I feel like we are hearing less and less of it nowadays. Moreover, the sellers don't include sharpening service as well. Are we supposed to throw all our old knives away nowadays?"

The crowd kept talking among themselves, but fortunately, they weren't too loud that Yuan Zhou was disturbed. But when he heard their discussion, he had a spark of inspiration.

Yuan Zhou raised his head and looked at the crowd. He did not find Master Cheng, and thus, he turned and entered the restaurant.

Ta. Ta. Ta. The moment he entered, he rushed to the second floor.

He headed straight to his room and started writing on a piece of paper with a marker pen on his desk.

Swish! Swish! Swish! He wrote quickly, the scribbling sound resounding in the room.

Before long, he finished writing. He wrote three lines in total, and all the words were rather large. People only needed to walk nearer to read what was on the paper.

These words were written: Free knife sharpening, five knives at once, get it back in one hour.]

"Um, this should work," Yuan Zhou looked at the paper in satisfaction.

That's right. Yuan Zhou had decided to provide free sharpening services to the people here. With that, he could practice his sharpening skills and could also practice sharpening various types of knives. One could say that this was an offer that benefited both parties involved.

After all, he had heard earlier that it had been a while since people were offering sharpening services were here.

When Yuan Zhou arrived downstairs, Master Cheng was already waiting outside with a wooden case.

"Master Yuan, what should I do now?" Master Cheng carefully placed his case down and asked after taking the paper and wooden frame from Yuan Zhou.

"Paste this paper on the frame and set it aside for now," Yuan Zhou said.

"Ok," Master Cheng nodded and started getting to work.

One good thing about Master Cheng was that he never asked too many questions. He would do any task Yuan Zhou gave him.

While Master Cheng was working, Yuan Zhou put his apron on and sat down on the bench. After he arranged his Han outfit, he turned around and saw that Master Cheng had already finished sticking the paper.

"Come here if you're done," Yuan Zhou said.

"Ok," Master Cheng nodded and picked up his wooden case before walking towards Yuan Zhou.

"You have your knives with you?" Yuan Zhou asked.

"Yes, those I use frequently are all here," Master Cheng said as he raised his case.

"Let me take a look," Yuan Zhou said.

Right after Yuan Zhou said that, Master Cheng opened his case.

Master Cheng's case was brown in color, giving off a reliable and steady feeling. It was as big as a small suitcase, with a thickness of 12 centimeters. On its front were two silver buttons, and at one glance, the case looked like some valuable antique was contained within.

That's right. For a chef, his knives were treasures. Not only were the knives their tool of making their living, but the knives were also their companions that would accompany them as they reached for the peak.

And thus, since time immemorial, chefs had always been taking good care of their knives. For example, Yuan Zhou loved his Miracle Kitchen Knife greatly.

As for the previous popular chef, Dean, that he met, the reason Yuan Zhou felt that he was inferior to Chu Xiao wasn't because of his skills, but rather his attitude.

Indeed, Dean was a famous chef from France, but even Chairman Zhou Shijie would personally handle his knives. That was unlike Dean who would let his assistant handle his knives instead.

This was not something that could be explained with a simple "different culture".

After all, Chu Xiao was also a famous chef that had grown up overseas. Yet during the Sino-Japan exchange, he had personally carried his knives case all along. His assistant was only in charge of carrying the aprons and other miscellaneous items.

Yuan Zhou was extremely stubborn when it came to kitchen equipment. This was partly due to his temperament and also partly due to his past experiences.

When he used to be a kitchen helper, the head chef had never used the knives of the hotel. Instead, he had been using his personal knives and would never allow anyone to touch those knives. He would wipe and clean those knives personally. One time, Yuan Zhou accidentally touched one of his knives and was lectured for half a day.

That was when Yuan Zhou developed his current approach towards knives. Often times, a deep-rooted habit would originate from a stranger that one might not even remember anymore.

There was a saying that a kitchen knife was the weapon in which a chef cooked and slaughtered. If the knife was not sharp, the cutting would be incomplete, the freshness of the ingredients would not be properly exhibited, the flavor of the dish would not be properly blended, and the cooking process would be lacking.

Simply put, a good knife needed to be sharp as well. That would help to cut the ingredients properly, to better unleash the flavor and taste of the ingredients.

Yuan Zhou pursued perfection in cooking. He pursued perfection so much that he had even created the bean stick knife so as to balance the bamboo's aroma. Unfortunately, he had neglected the basics of knives - the sharpness. He was spoiled by the Miracle Kitchen Knife.

After opening his restaurant for so long, he had never sharpened his knives. This was a grave oversight. Even if the system-provided knives were extremely durable, a chef should still have the habit of frequently sharpening his own knives.

"Have the shows such as Roll, Dear Beef and the cooked wheaten food promotional video caused me to be overly content with my current achievement?" Yuan Zhou started reflecting.

Yuan Zhou ultimately concluded that he had not forgotten himself, but he had indeed lost sight of his path. He discovered that a man could easily sink into the trap of thinking that he was already doing very well and could no longer improve. In truth, there was still a lot of space for growth.

"I can still improve," Yuan Zhou muttered and decided that he would repeat these words every morning when he woke up as a daily reminder.