Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 128
Chapter 128: First Time In The Chamber Of Commerce
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
Little Jing wasn’t able to wait for the ice cream because the Elder Princess wanted to know the conclusion of his discussion with Xia Chunyu and got someone to call him back.
The next day at work, the entire Heavenly Residence was buzzing when Ye Jiayao showed the token she received yesterday.
The staff was amazed that Li Yao has already achieved so much and he has even yet to join the culinary competition. Being a chef of the imperial kitchen, especially for someone so young and new, was not an easy feat. The only way to even qualify there was ranking high in the culinary competition. Even the low-level helpers would still need to pass the imperial kitchen’s strict and rigorous test and would have to wait about 10 years to match with an imperial chef.
Everyone knew that Brother Yao was very skillful but the speed of his rise was a little scary. He practically did it overnight!
“Wow! Heavenly Residence has an imperial chef now! If word gets out, the restaurant will be packed with customers…” Deng Haichuan said proudly.
“If anyone asks for the imperial chef to cook for them, they’d have to pay more,” Cui Dongpeng added laughingly.
“Brother Yao, does this mean that you can enter the palace whenever you like?” someone asked.
Ye Jiayao explained, “No, it’s not like that. It’s just the permission to enter the imperial kitchen to make royal meals if the palace summons me.”
“That is impressive!” Deng Haichuan exclaimed happily.
“Li Yao, Shopkeeper Li wants to see you,” Manager Qian called.
Zhong Xiang watched Li Yao disappear upstairs, his emotions a mess. He wasn’t feeling jealous as he has been long convinced of Li Yao’s superb culinary skills. However, the ever-growing distance between him and Li Yao was making him uncomfortable. He felt as though Li Yao has risen so quickly and so highly that he left nothing but smoke behind.
Shopkeeper Li couldn’t help but bemoan his luck. If he knew that these consecutive fortunate events would happen, he never would have sold the restaurant. He couldn’t stop blaming himself for being so short-sighted and cowardly.
“Shopkeeper Li,” Ye Jiayao greeted with a smile.
“Li Yao, take a sit.”
Ye Jiayao sat obediently.
“Today, there will be a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce. Go with me,” Shopkeeper Li started, looking at this energetic youth before him. Shopkeeper Li still could not believe how someone of his age became an imperial chef.
“Are there some rough ideas for the culinary competition?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Shopkeeper Li nodded. “Today’s meeting will touch on the specific plan and if everyone agrees, we will set it down. Go with me to hear it out so you can also mentally prepare.”
Ye Jiayao acquiesced cheerfully. She’d finally be able to meet all the big shots in Jin Ling’s food and beverage industry.
“There is also something else that I want to discuss with you. Now that your status is different, I think the private rooms on the third story should increase in price. How much do you think it should be?” Shopkeeper Li asked.
“Also, you’ll have a pay raise. I will pay you according to the rank of a head chef, 50 taels a month. There will also be a bonus from time to time.”
Ye Jiayao smiled. “I am fine with anything, Shopkeeper, you can decide.”
Her earnings every day counted in thousands now so the salary and bonus really don’t matter to her.
“Then, all the private rooms on the third story will increase by 2% and this 2% will go to you,” Shopkeeper Li declared. This restaurant does not belong to him now so he was fine being generous.
“Sure, whatever you decide.”
Ye Jiayao was already running the numbers in her head. There were eight private rooms on the third story and the average spending for each private room is 50 taels. With an additional 2%, she would get 40 taels in total, and in a month, that would be 1200 tales. In a year, it will be more than 10, 000 taels. That wasn’t even counting her commission from the mooncakes and iceboxes. If this continues on, in a year, she would have enough capital to open her own restaurant.
Skill comes with gold and silver, indeed.
While Ye Jiayao was building castles in the air, Shopkeeper Li handed her a stack of banknotes, all of them worth 2000 taels each. “It was decided that you would be paid once every three days but you were not around yesterday. This is the commission for the mooncakes for the past four days. A total of 2300 mooncakes was sold in four days so that would be 3450 taels. We sold 136 iceboxes so that would be 1360 taels, and 4810 tales in total. Do check.”
It was only the third day of the eighth month and there were still twelve days to mid-autumn. If everything goes well, she would be able to earn 20, 000 taels! Ye Jiayao couldn’t even comprehend that.
“There is no need for that! I told you that I trust you.” Ye Jiayao held the thick stack of banknotes, grinning so widely it felt like her face would split.
Shopkeeper Li smiled, amused by Li Yao’s enthusiasm. “I suggest you deposit your money into Da Tong Exchange. There would be a 0.05% interest every month. Besides, it is not safe to have so many banknotes with you.”
“Okay. I’ll do that,” Ye Jiayao agreed.
At the Wei hour, Shopkeeper Li called Ye Jiayao to go with him to the Chamber of Commerce. They dropped by Da Tong Exchange on the way so that Ye Jiayao could deposit her money.
Da Tong Exchange was Huai Song’s largest bank, with a total of 56 branches. It was the bank of choice among the wealthy in Jin Ling.
The Commerce Street was a street where all the Chambers of Commerce were, be it for medical, silk and cloths, tea leaves, pottery, or antiques. Any industry that you can name would have its Chamber of Commerce here, showing how advanced Huai Song’s economy is.
The front of the Food and Beverage Chamber of Commerce was pretty imposing. One after another, horse carriages stopped in front of the door.
Shopkeeper Li has already given Ye Jiayao a holistic introduction on the way here.
There would be an election once every three years in the Chamber of Commerce. The current president of the Commerce was Zheng Fugui and the vice president was Qi Lin Pavilion’s Duan Qilin. The previous president was Zhang Youcheng, the most senior member and also the only one who does not own a restaurant. The reason why he became president was that he has many disciples and all of them have impressive skills, like Lu Yiming and Zheng Fugui.
Ye Jiayao was very impressed with the old man. Lu Yiming was a master at vegetarian food but he’s also great at other culinary styles. Zheng Fugui does not do vegetarian food, but he’s still well-skilled in the other aspects. If there’s a chance, she has to ask that old man for guidance.
The meeting room in the Chamber of Commerce was quite large, almost like that of Black Wind Ridge’s. There were three seats of honors and on both sides, there were two rows of six seats and a table in between each. Judging by the looks of it, this meeting room could only seat 27 people, representing the most powerful bunch of people in Jin Ling’s food and beverage industry.
Ye Jiayao felt a little agitated.
Shopkeeper Li pointed to a middle-aged man with a huge belly, introducing him as Zheng Fugui and on his right was Duan Qilin. On his left, the old man with a beard reaching his chest was Zhang Youcheng.
“Do you see that guy with droopy eyes? His name is Lian Xingwang, the shopkeeper of Xiang Yi Restaurant and the one with small eyes beside him is Niu Baoshun. The one drinking tea there is called Mei Xiuguang, the shopkeeper of Ju Xiang Yuan…” Shopkeeper Li said softly.
Ye Jiayao could not help but take a second look at Mei Xiugang. That’s Consort Mei’s relative!
When people noticed Shopkeeper Li’s arrival, they started to come over to greet him. Everyone ignored Ye Jiayao, thinking that she was just Shopkeeper Li’s attendant.
Shopkeeper Li signaled her to find a seat in the second row while he took a seat on the third chair on the left. Ye Jiayao knew her place as a newbie and a young chef so she sat on the last seat of the second row on the left.
Just when her butt touched the seat, someone walked over and said meanly, “Who are you? Don’t you know the rules? Do you think you can just sit in this seat?”
Ye Jiayao raised her head and saw a young man of about 20 years old looking down cockily at her.
Ye Jiayao gave him a pleasant smile. “Is this your seat?”
“What do you think?” he retorted haughtily.
Ye Jiayao wanted to call him out for his holier-than-thou attitude, but seeing as this was her first visit here, she didn’t want to cause trouble. Wordlessly, she stood up and gave him the seat.
When she searched around, she realized that all other chairs were already taken. What, am I supposed to just stand?
Left with no choice, Ye Jiayao headed to the back and stood in a row with all the attendants that the restaurant owner’s brought.
The young man who told her to give up her seat turned back and glanced at her, the corner of his lips rising in a smirk. He told the person beside him, “Whose attendant is that? So unruly.”
The person replied kindly, “Maybe it is his first time here and he doesn’t know the rules.”
“Ay, Xiaotian, my father said that you are a hot favorite for the champion in this culinary competition. I guess like father like son,” the cocky guy praised.
Xiaotian? Lu Xiaotian? Could he be Lu Yiming’s son?
Ye Jiayao has taken a liking to Lu Yiming, and it seemed that this Lu Xiaotian was also as nice as him.
“Uncle Zheng is too kind. There are so many seniors and masters here, how would I be able to compete? I only go for the experience, but you, Brother Sanduo, is the skilled one that can really win the competition,” Lu Xiaotian replied.
Ye Jiayao frowned. This arrogant guy is Zheng Sanduo? The young master of Fu Ji?
Zheng Sanduo only said, “I am not that skillful. I am just going to join in the fun.”
Ye Jiayao rolled her eyes at him. Disgusting hypocrite.
Someone joined in the conversation and said, “I heard that the new head chef in Heavenly Residence is formidable. What do you guys think about him? Do you think he can win?”
Zheng Sanduo scoffed, “Formidable? He’s just full of tricks. All those chilled drinks and ice cream mooncake nonsense… pfft.”
“You cannot put it like that. He was the one in charge of the Helian Mansion’s birthday banquet and was very highly praised. He wouldn’t be hired if he wasn’t capable,” Lu Xiaotian reasoned.
“The only reason he was hired is that he is friends with the Young Royal Highness Jing of the Helian Mansion. Besides, the Helian Mansion originally wanted my father to do the banquet but he declined because of his health,” Zheng Sanduo said in disdain.