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871 You Secretly Applied Oil On I

 Cao Zhishu was a baldy, slightly fat, and had a tall height. His large-build made him look more like the people from the northeast instead of people from Sichuan.

He was wearing a simple yet elegant set of Tang outfit. However, because the outfit was too tight, he did not emit a scholarly feeling. Rather, he looked like a martial artist pretending to be a scholar.

One could say that Cao Zhishu looked more like a butcher than a chef.

Although his restaurant was one of the top restaurants in Sichuan, Cao Zhishu rarely attended cooking competitions as a guest, and rarely showed himself in front of the masses. Therefore, even when he was walking on Taoxi Road, a road filled with foodies, nobody recognized him.

After all, he was a chef that spent most of his time only in his kitchen.

Although his restaurant, Shu Restaurant, was also located in Chengdu, but his restaurant was located in a different area than Yuan Zhou's restaurant. They were quite far from each other.

As the head chef of Shu Restaurant, Cao Zhishu normally spent his time chronicling the history of Sichuan Cuisine. Today, he had specifically came here, most likely for official business. But before he had even shown himself to Yuan Zhou, he turned and return to Shu Restaurant. That was because of the signboard Yuan Zhou had placed before his restaurant.

"Teacher, why are you back so early? I thought you were going to try the most expensive Sichuan Cuisine in Sichuan?" Little Zhao, one of Cao Zhishu's students, asked.

In truth, although Yuan Zhou's restaurant was expensive, there were other restaurants in Sichuan that were more expensive, such as the Shu Restaurant that wasn't inferior to Yuan Zhou's restaurant in terms of price. For these restaurants, apart from the food, what they offered were the environment and the service.

In terms of environment, Yuan Zhou's restaurant was merely acceptable, and the same went for the service there. Therefore, in the Sichuan Cuisine field, Yuan Zhou's restaurant was known as the most expensive Sichuan Cuisine.

"I saw Chef Yuan offering free knife sharpening service, so I thought of trying to see if he can sharpen my knife as well," Cao Zhishu said while rubbing his bald head with a smile.

"Sharpening?" Little Zhao continued, "Teacher, your knife is forged by Old Master Qian. How will Yuan Zhou be able to sharpen a knife like that?"

Little Zhao summarized, "In my opinion, Yuan Zhou is not focusing on what he should do."

When Cao Zhishu heard that, his expression turned gloomy.

"When a chef sharpens his knives, he will have better control over his knives. How is that not focusing on what he should do?" Cao Zhishu reprimanded. "Moreover, Chef Yuan's restaurant is the same as our Shu Restaurant, having received a nomination to be this year's exemplary restaurant. In other words, Chef Yuan is now of the same status as me. As a mere apprentice, how can you call him by his name?"

"Sorry, teacher. Sorry," Little Zhao apologized repeatedly.

"As a chef, apart from knowing your craft, you have to know your manners as well. Chef Yuan is not someone an apprentice like you can judge as you wish. Do not repeat this," Cao Zhishu spoke strictly. "Don't let others think that the people of Shu Restaurant lack manners."

Little Zhao no longer dared to say anything. He lowered his head, admitting to his mistake.

As Cao Zhishu was occupied, he did not continue lecturing. After taking his case, he headed towards Yuan Zhou's restaurant again.

Little Zhao gazed at Cao Zhishu's departing back, and when Cao Zhishu was gone, an expression of dissatisfaction appeared on his face again.

If Yuan Zhou saw Little Zhao, he would probably call him sous-chef in astonishment. That's right. Little Zhao used to be the sous-chef at the hotel Yuan Zhou used to work at.

Although Cao Zhishu called him Little Zhao, in truth, he was already in his thirties. From a sous-chef to an apprentice, it might seem like this was a demotion. But then again, one had to take into consideration where he was currently.

The Shu Restaurant was a long-established restaurant, also known as the number one Sichuan Cuisine. Those finishing their apprenticeship here would have an entirely different status, even if they had not managed to learn anything substantial. In truth, if it wasn't for someone Little Zhao knew, he might not even be accepted in here.

When Little Zhao used to be a sous-chef, Yuan Zhou was still an odd-job worker. Although he did not look down upon Yuan Zhou, he still felt himself superior. With great difficulty, he had managed to become an apprentice at Shu Restaurant. He was of the opinion that he would reach the peak of his life soon.

But he discovered that Yuan Zhou had already reached the peak, becoming an individual with the same status as Cao Zhishu.

How could Little Zhao accept this?

"I will know when the time comes," Little Zhao muttered.

He knew the reason for Cao Zhishu to be visiting Yuan Zhou's restaurant.

He was inviting Yuan Zhou to have an exchange, in the shape of each visiting the other's restaurant to try the food there.

When it was Yuan Zhou's turn to come, he would be able to get a clear look at Yuan Zhou.

One had to admit that Zhou Shijie's nomination had indeed pushed Yuan Zhou's restaurant into the center of attention. The selection for the yearly Sichuan Cuisine Exemplary Restaurant would be held internally and as the chairman of the China Chefs' Alliance, Zhou Shijie had the right to nominate a restaurant.

The chairman of the Sichuan Cuisine Association was also allotted one nomination right, the chief editor of the largest culinary magazine in Sichuan, Food Discovery Dog, was also given one nomination right, the producers of this activity was given one nomination right as well, and so on. In total, 10 restaurants would be able to enter the selection round.

Most of the nominated restaurants were veterans. With Yuan Zhou's sudden intrusion as a fresh face, it was natural that he would be invited to an exchange.

Cao Zhishu cared very much about etiquette. Therefore, he had personally gone over to extend Yuan Zhou an invitation.

Once again, Cao Zhishu arrived at Yuan Zhou's restaurant. Due to his robust and healthy body, he was able to squeeze himself to the front of the crowd.

Yuan Zhou was on the verge of finishing his tenth knife.

"Chef Yuan, take a look at this knife. Does it require any sharpening?" Cao Zhishu said.

Yuan Zhou stretched lightly. One needed to maintain the same posture while sharpening knives, and after a while, one's body would start aching. After stretching, Yuan Zhou lifted his head.

Cao Zhishu's case had instantly caught Yuan Zhou's attention.

From the quality of the case, the case itself was already quite valuable. The knife inside would definitely be a good knife worthy of this case.

"Ok. Open the case and let me take a look," Yuan Zhou said without lifting his head, his gaze fixed on the case.

Cao Zhishu did not mind. After all, not many chefs could shift their gaze away after seeing his knife case.

Swoosh! Cao Zhishu opened the case. Inside, rows of knives were neatly arranged. Each of them had a unique symbol carved on its back, a dragon-shaped carving.

"Good knife," Yuan Zhou said.

"Of course. It is indeed a good knife," Cao Zhishu nodded with a smile. His bald head looked even shinier now.

"It does not require sharpening. It is in perfect shape, with perfect sharpness," Yuan Zhou said and finally lifted his head to look at Cao Zhishu.

Yuan Zhou was no idiot. Someone coming requesting sharpening for a knife this good was definitely here for some official business. Otherwise, a person with a knife like that would not come randomly asking to have his knife sharpened.

"Haha, Chef Yuan has good eyes indeed. I am Cao Zhishu from Shu Restaurant," Cao Zhishu laughed and introduced himself.

"Nice to meet you. Can I help you with anything?" Yuan Zhou asked with a flat tone.

At the same time, from the corner of his eyes, he saw Master Cheng returning the knives to the crowd and accepting new knives.

"Yes. I am here to invite Chef Yuan to a friendly match. After all, both of us have been nominated as an exemplary restaurant. It will be good for us to know each other earlier," Cao Zhishu said as he handed over a document.

"Sure," Yuan Zhou immediately agreed. He had recalled the system's mission when he heard the restaurant's name.

"Chef Yuan is indeed a straightforward person. Good, we will talk about the details when the time comes. I will excuse myself for now," Cao Zhishu said with a smile before picking up his case and leaving.

After Cao Zhishu, Yuan Zhou did not say anything. He continued sharpening knives for others.