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900 Conquering You With Spiciness

 \"Can't be too numb and spicy? Interesting,\" Yuan Zhou muttered to himself.

When the door closed, a question and answer formed in Yuan Zhou's mind.

\"No wonder he got Zhao Xin to deliver the message,\" Yuan Zhou's heart felt warm.

In truth, this message from Cao Zhishu was his way of showing Yuan Zhou his good side. The preferred taste of the dish in the test was something not even Zhou Shijie was aware of.

After all, although Zhou Shijie was the chairman, he was not a chef in the competition. Small details like this would only be known to the chefs actually in the competition.

And telling Yuan Zhou this was most likely Cao Zhishu's way of apologizing.

\"These people sure are working hard to promote Sichuan Cuisine,\" Yuan Zhou lamented.

That's right. The reason they did not want the dishes in the competition to be too numb and spicy was naturally to make them easier to promote to the masses. After all, the intense spiciness of Sichuan Cuisine was a result that came from the preferences of the locals.

Outsiders might not like their food as spicy. And thus, to promote Sichuan Cuisine to the masses, they had to tone down the spiciness.

\"But a Sichuan Cuisine that is not spicy won't be a Sichuan Cuisine anymore,\" Yuan Zhou muttered.

\"Making a spicy dish that will suit the taste buds of outsiders. This will be quite a good theme to work with,\" Yuan Zhou reached a conclusion.

The only reason he had participated in this competition was so he could make authentic Sichuan Cuisine. Of course, he still needed to win since he wanted the system reward.

One could not say that Yuan Zhou was being too conservative. The present him had the confidence he could accomplish this.

\"The current mission is quite burdensome. I will sleep one hour less then,\" Yuan Zhou decided to first go upstairs to do some reading and research on the Three Fragrance to the Ocean. There were 73 hours left to the appointed time and 73 hours weren't much at all.

After going upstairs, Yuan Zhou washed his hands while thinking over his new daily schedule. He put on a surgical mask as well since he did not know if his breath would have any effect on the ancient text. It was better to be safe.

Song Za Zu wasn't too thick a book. Even if he read each word and line carefully, he still spent only 15 minutes to reach the part introducing the Three Fragrance to the Ocean.

Some of the words were already blurred due to the passage of time. But from the words that he could see, it was obvious this was a dish that had been made before. It was sweet, sour, and salty at the same time. The combined flavor was unique yet harmonious.

It was similar to the 'Goodness, three beans rich in fragrance, akin to the ocean' Chairman Zhou said previously, descriptions of no substantive help. From the ancient text, Yuan Zhou's previous guess had been proven right. The three flavors in this dish were sweet, salty, and sour.

\"The book also mentions that this is a specialty dish of the Yang Clan. But it is impossible to find more details about this Yang Clan anymore. But the fact that it was a specialty dish said one thing. Not only could they make it, they were even good at it.\" Yuan Zhou sank into contemplation with a frown.

After reading the book, Yuan Zhou carefully closed the case again before taking his mask off.

\"According to Chairman Zhou, many renowned chefs apart from him have also researched this dish. Since people had once made this dish in the past, I will definitely be able to do it as well,\" Yuan Zhou muttered to himself.

\"The exemplary restaurant selection in a week, and the Three Fragrance to the Ocean in two days. I'm pressed for time,\" Yuan Zhou decided to visit his bathroom to get some inspiration when he thought of how pressed for time he was.

\"I heard it will be easier to get a spark of inspiration from the bathroom,\" Yuan Zhou said as he entered the bathroom with his laundry.

After a bath, Yuan Zhou already formed an initial plan for the Three Fragrance to the Ocean.

\"I feel much more relaxed after a bath,\" Yuan Zhou muttered. \"I might as well submit the menu while I'm at it.\"

In his nightclothes, Yuan Zhou turned on the computer. The menu he was submitting was the menu for the exemplary restaurant selection.

According to the rules of the competition, the contestants needed to submit their menus in advance. It was understandable that for a competition this strict, the contestants would not be allowed to do whatever they wished. As such, a set of rules needed to be put in place.

When Yuan Zhou first heard of this rule, he planned to submit his menu on the last day. After all, he knew too many dishes and it would be hard for him to decide on what to use during the competition.

But after receiving Cao Zhishu's reminder today, he made up his mind.

\"I will make a simple set of one meat, one vegetable, and one cold dish. I don't have to bother thinking of tactics,\" Yuan Zhou decided.

That's right. For this competition, only three dishes were required. Thus, the combination of dishes would be something the chefs could plan on.

For example, they could prepare a set of one meat, one vegetable, and one soup. Or they could prepare one meat, one vegetable, and one cold dish, or replace the third with some refreshments or desserts. In any case, they would present their optimal combination.

Yuan Zhou entered the website and replied with Saliva Chicken, Mapo Tofu, and Boiled Meat Slices.

All three of these dishes were known for being spicy, with Saliva Chicken and Boiled Meat Slices being the representative dishes of Chongqing School's Sichuan Cuisine.

In Chongqing School's Sichuan Cuisine, they aimed to reach the peak of flavor, and their dishes were all extremely spicy. They even had a saying that a dish should be wearing chilies like clothes.

Moreover, the Saliva Chicken derived its name from the fact that this dish was so spicy it would cause one to start salivating without control. One could imagine how spicy this dish was.

Yuan Zhou insisted on using the spiciest dish to conquer the judges. He also wanted to teach them that if one discarded the unique characteristics of something for the sake of appeasing the masses, it would not be long before they reach mediocrity.

After filling up the dishes, Yuan Zhou submitted it. Then, he spent 10 minutes reading before going to bed.

Yuan Zhou had a good night's sleep. Although he slept one hour later than usual, he still woke up at the usual time. As usual, he started exercising and preparing for his daily business.

And with the arrival of a new day, Zhao Xin went to Shu Restaurant to work as usual.

When Cao Zhishu arrived, Zhao Xin went to Cao Zhishu's office to report on what happened last night.

Thud. Thud. Zhao Xin knocked on the door.

\"Come in.\" Cao Zhishu was sitting in his chair while browsing the list of some ingredients.

\"Head chef,\" Zhao Xin was still scared of calling him master. After all, he had received a terrible scolding recently.

\"How is it?\" Cao Zhishu asked as he lifted his head.

Zhao Xin had his head lowered. He did not dare to look straight at Cao Zhishu. After all, he could see a deep disappointment on his master's face as of late. Therefore, he did not dare to gaze upon his master.

\"Talk with your head raised,\" Cao Zhishu's strict voice sounded.

\"Yes, master,\" Zhao Xin raised his head by reflex.

\"Say it,\" Cao Zhishu asked after nodding in satisfaction when he saw that Zhao Xin no longer appear as distressed.

\"Master, I apologized to Head Chef Yuan and passed him your message last night,\" Zhao Xin reported.

\"Um. What did he say?\" Cao Zhishu asked.

\"Head Chef Yuan did not have a change in expression. He did not say anything as well,\" Zhao Xin gave it a thought and answered.

\"So he sent you away directly?\" Cao Zhishu asked.

\"Yes,\" Zhao Xin nodded.

\"Interesting. Looks like he understands the meaning of my gesture and he does not even need this message in the first place,\" Cao Zhishu said as he rubbed his bald head.

\"Master?\" Zhao Xin was confused.

\"This Head Chef Yuan will probably still make spicy dishes,\" Cao Zhishu said confidently.

\"Why?\" Zhao Xin was completely confused.

Even he understood what the judges wanted. It was impossible for Yuan Zhou to not understand. Since he knew, why did he insist on doing that? Was he truly that confident in himself? Zhao Xin questioned himself.

\"Let me check if he has already submitted his menu,\" Cao Zhishu did not answer. Rather, he visited the competition website.

\"So it's Saliva Chicken, Boiled Meat Slices, and Mapo Tofu,\" Cao Zhishu was finally sure that Yuan Zhou was going to make something spicy.

That wasn't a hard guess. But in the past, when people tried cooking something spicy, they all ended up in defeat.

It wasn't because their dishes weren't good. But it was because their dishes weren't suitable.

In short, it was similar to: You are very good, but I don't love you. These dishes were able to touch the judges, but were still rejected eventually.