< One, Two, Three (1) >
The fall in California isn’t that cool. It’s similar to the edge of fall and summer in Korea. This warmth changed into heat in the kitchen. It wasn’t a surprise, as fire was coming out from multiple stoves at the same time.
But Kaya can’t feel the heat now. The AC in the kitchen was cool enough, but that wasn’t the only reason. Her mind was filled with the thought of the event coming up soon that it was hard to feel the heat.
“Kaya. You okay? You look nervous.”
George who was practically the head chef of this restaurant asked. Kaya shook her head.
“I’m not that okay. I’m nervous to death.”
“Sorry. It would have been great if you had more time to cook on your own.”
“I’m not going to complain about how incompetent I am. So shut up. And stop getting on my nerves.”
“……That was very harsh for a person who just said they’re not going to complain.”
Kaya didn’t reply, she just stared at the hall. After a while or more. Kaya opened her mouth nervously as she saw three people heading towards the table.
“I’ll be back.”
“Don’t worry about the kitchen and have a nice meal. I’ll take good care of this place.”
There wasn’t really anything to worry about. Since what Kaya usually did was to just meet people. But today was different. Out of all the menus from the restaurant there were four dishes that Kaya had planned and made all by herself.
Kaya went out and sat down. She smiled at the three people.
“Thank you all for coming. To my special day.”
“It’s on you so there’s no reason to say no.”
“Anderson. Thanks for coming, but don’t be an asshole. I’m starting to regret inviting you.”
Kaya frowned a bit. Jo Minjoon pressed her forehead with his finger and opened his mouth.
“Don’t frown. You’ll get wrinkles.”
“Are you worried?”
“How can I not be worried. You’re my girlfriend.”
With that Kaya smiled and kissed Jo Minjoon on the cheek. Anderson who was looking at them, and Chloe who was next to them sighed deeply at that scene. Both sighed with a different reason but they were both exhausted by Kaya and Jo Minjoon. Chole carefully started a new topic.
“Look I get that you two are love birds, now Kaya. Could you start with the menu introduction?”
“Ah, Yeah. Basically it’s a three-course menu but our customers don’t really care about that and just order what they want.”
“……they don’t care about the course?”
Anderson made a weird face as he heard something freaky. Kaya nodded.
“I guess our restaurant doesn’t really seem as a fine dining restaurant. So the customers don’t really expect a fine dining. We do have a three-course menu, but usually they order individual dishes. Since also the price different isn’t that big.”
“So what did you make?.”
“The Appetizer, Main dish, and Dessert. One each. The name of this course is the ‘Original Kaya Course’.”
As Anderson said that Kaya glared at him, and sighed. Kaya didn’t like that name either. Kaya opened her mouth as she looked at the other two.
“Anyways, for the first time I can proudly say that my dish is on the menu. I’m glad that I can share this day with you guys.”
“The pleasures mine. I can get all the treats from the head chef today.”
Chloe replied with a warm smile. As the squid ink bread was being served, Chole asked Anderson and Jo Minjoon.
“But can you guys be here like this? It’s two days before the grand opening.”
“We’re off today. We’re going to be really busy after two days, so she told us to think of today as our last day off..”
“Huh? You guys don’t have holidays at your restaurant?”
“We do rest on Sundays, but it seems like you need to practice cooking or think about new menus instead of taking a day off.”
“Well who isn’t busy here?.”
Jo Minjoon shrugged and ate some squid ink bread. It wasn’t particularly delicious. It was just a regular bread that you would say ‘Yeah. This is how a bread should be at a restaurant.’. Chole opened her mouth as she seemed to recall something.
“Thinking about it Minjoon, I saw that picture. The one with the Rose Island head chefs and Ella. But only Ella came into my eyes.”
“I know. Even the people on Starbook was all talking about Ella.”
“Maybe she’ll be the mascot of the main branch”
“That stupid bitch…….”
Kaya grumbled and frowned as though she hated it just by the thought of her. Jo Minjoon laughed softly and slightly pinched Kaya’s cheek.
“Don’t hate a child.”
“You guys are saying that because she treats you and Chloe well. She’s such a bitch to me.”
“Isn’t that because Ella likes Minjoon?”
“I don’t like that either. That child should go and like another child. How dare she thinks of my man.”
Kaya pouted and answered at Chloe’s question. It was just then. The first dish was served. It was soup. Jo Minjoon slightly took a sniff and asked Kaya.
“It’s made of pumpkin and…… some fruits. Peach? No. Pear, isn’t it?”
“Wow. Your nose is getting better and better.”
“I always practice.”
He tires not to show, but the expectations of people towards the absolute taster was a burden to Jo Minjoon. What he had wasn’t absolute taste, it was just some good system. So he had to analyze and decompose flavors obsessively. Where ever he goes people will still expect a lot from him, so it was better to train himself to be as close as an absolute taster.
The funny thing was that all the effort was worth it. The more he tried to feel the more he was able to taste, and especially his nose got sensitive. To be exact, the most distinctive sense he felt was smelling. It made sense if you think of how taste and scent are connected, but it was an unexpected development.
With one bite Jo Minjoon nodded with satisfaction. The soup was showing what kind of person the chef, what kind of person Kaya was. Rough on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside. Not showing off and only filled with thoughts of the customers. It was that kind of dish. Jo Minjoon slowly opened his mouth.