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975 The Mysterious Cousin

 That's right. Yuan Zhou rejected the challenge without hesitation.

"Hoho, as a Sichuan Cuisine Exemplary Restaurant, you don't even have this courage?" Chef Li sneered.

Yuan Zhou glanced at Chef Li, not saying anything, but from his gaze, it was as if he was looking at an idiot.

"Not even having the courage to accept a challenge. What makes you worthy of using your restaurant as the standard to judge other restaurants?" said Chef Li, feeling more and more confident.

"If you have the time for this, isn't it better if you spend it improving the food in your restaurant?" Yuan Zhou suggested seriously.

"I already checked the reviews. The Shrimp and Crab Gathering is rated 0.17 Yuan. This is the average rating given by the customers. I personally believe they are already being very kind toward you. If I am the one rating, I would have given 0.07. After all, my standards are higher," said Yuan Zhou seriously.

There was a reason for Yuan Zhou to suddenly be so serious. With his keen nose, he couldn't smell any knife, fire, or water from this head chef's body. It was clear that it had been a long time since this head chef cooked personally.

What kind of head chef can be called a head chef if he did not practice his own cooking? That was Yuan Zhou's conclusion.

In terms of cooking skills, Yuan Zhou would never hold back and would never show anyone mercy. It was evident from his actions during the Sino-Japanese cooking exchange.

Chef Li was completely infuriated, his eyes opened wide and his breath grew heavy.

"I have been cooking since I was 11 years old. When I became a chef, you were not born yet. What makes a kid like you worthy of judging me?" Chef Li rebuked angrily.

"Because it has been a long time since you cooked, because you don't even know how the food in your own restaurant tastes like," said Yuan Zhou solemnly.

"Moreover, I have merely provided a platform for other customers to review what they had eaten," Yuan Zhou stole this saying from a certain pirated website that had stolen the web novels of many authors.

Back then, this was a huge incident. When Yuan Zhou saw the news, he found it inconceivable that someone could be shameless to that extent.

Thus, earlier when he checked his phone, he was trying to find the exact phrase. However, after finding it, he found it too shameless for him. Therefore, he ended up saying the modified version. After all, Yuan Zhou had never been good at debating. He had no choice but to learn from others.

Chef Li clenched his fists tightly while his face was flushed red with anger. He took one step forward, but the moment he moved, he heard many voices behind him, voices that seemed to belong to agitated owners that were about to charge at him. He kept his anger in check and stopped. After taking a deep breath, he spoke again.

"Very good, Yuan Zhou. I will make you accept the challenge!"

Chef Li had a clear understanding of where he was. This was Yuan Zhou's turf, and there were so many people around. He was all alone and could not be a match for so many people. Thus, he decided to make a temporary retreat.

While thinking of numerous ways to force Yuan Zhou into accepting the challenge, he quickly left.

After Chef Li left, the customers all started comforting Yuan Zhou.

"Don't care about such people, don't mind him Boss Yuan", "Dishonest people that refuse to walk the proper path are everywhere", "I will remember how he looks. I will teach him a lesson the next time he's here", "Challenge? Who is he? Who is Boss Yuan?" ...

Yuan Zhou could sense that this Chef Li was a capable person. After all, the calluses on his palms would not lie. It was as he had said, he had been cooking since he was 11.

But why would a capable person turn into someone like this? Was it due to the commercializing of his restaurant? If that was the case, Yuan Zhou would rather not commercialize his restaurant ever.

The more one cared about something, the easier it was for one to be stuck in a rut about it. Thus, Yuan Zhou was feeling somewhat unhappy and conflicted, but the comforting words of the customers made him feel better.

"I still need to meet Zhou Jia's boyfriend later. This is a big issue. I can't embarrass myself," said Yuan Zhou as he started seriously cleaning the restaurant.

When the customers saw Yuan Zhou calm down, they dispersed.

Many of them were still holding a grudge against Shrimp and Crab Gathering.

"Today, my role is Zhou Jia's elder. Therefore, I can't embarrass her in terms of my attire," muttered Yuan Zhou.

After all, this was the first time Yuan Zhou met someone's boyfriend with the identity of an elder. This was a very novel feeling, yet at the same time, he was feeling nervous.

Thus, Yuan Zhou rushed to the second floor and changed into a crew-neck robe with qilin markings on it. The collar was opened and not fastened, revealing the spotlessly white and perfectly neat inner-garment he was wearing within.

That's right. He was wearing a traditional robe without fastening it up. On his waist, a piece of jade hung, and he was also wearing a pair of traditional Chinese boots. His hair was the same clean and neat half-inch cut.

The reason he had selected a crew-neck robe was because in his opinion, this was the most formal Han attire he had. He was treating the meeting very seriously, to the point he did not even practice sculpting today. Instead, he started reading Dream of the Red Chamber.

He believed that by doing this, he would have a thick scholarly aura around him.

Of course, Yuan Zhou was not reading that book purely to look scholarly. There were also beautiful descriptions of food in the book, and nowadays, a new type of cuisine called Red Chamber Cuisine had even emerged, such as Zhang Bun and Volcanic Cabbage Soup.

After one hour of reading, although there were many dishes in the book, Yuan Zhou still failed to find any that could fulfill the mission requirements. He had already gone through half the book in great detail. So far, he had submitted several dishes, but the system replied that all those dishes had been recreated.

"The ingenuity of a chef relies entirely on the prowess of the foodies," lamented Yuan Zhou.

At three-thirty in the afternoon, Zhou Jia arrived at Taoxi Road with her boyfriend. Although they had agreed to meet at four, it was always good to arrive early.

"Jia Jia, the one we are seeing, is he really the famous young chef, Yuan Zhou?" asked a man.

This man was Hu Ti, a classmate of Zhou Jia. They got together during some college activities.

They had only been officially in a relationship for half a year, but to be precise, they had been spending time together for about a year.

Zhou Jia teased, "Why? Are you afraid? This is the fourth time you asked the same question."

"Not afraid," Hu Ti hesitated. When he saw Zhou Jia's curious face, he spoke, "My cousin is a regular customer at Yuan Zhou's restaurant. He told me the customers of Yuan Zhou's restaurant are all notable individuals, and all of them are extremely ferocious."

Notable individuals, extremely ferocious. This got Zhou Jia curious. The choice of words to describe the customers were very curious.

Thus, Zhou Jia asked, "Hu Ti, what is your cousin's name?"

Hu Ti shook his head repeatedly, "I can't betray my cousin."

"I am really curious. Who is your cousin? Why did he say such a lie? The people in the restaurant are all very kind," said Zhou Jia seriously.

"That is especially true for Boss Yuan. He might look cold and uncaring, but he is very caring and gentle," said Zhou Jia.

As a waitress, Zhou Jia had a lot of contact with Yuan Zhou. Thus, she knew very well that Yuan Zhou was a person with rich emotions. He merely had a cold facade.

Both Zhou Jia and Shen Min could clearly feel that.

...