Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 48
Chapter 48: Is that possible
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Ye Jiayao focused on carving the carrots in her hands. She hasn’t played with them for a long time and handling them now felt unfamiliar. It wasn’t until she carved the first flower that she found her groove back again.
When other kids were busy with playing the piano, dancing, and learning maths, Ye Jiayao played with carrots. At that time, she was jealous of the stuff that his father carved, so she practiced intensively to mimic them. After carving for a few years, she finally reached the point that the things she carved were better than her father. There wasn’t a challenge anymore and she eventually lost interest in the art.
“How did you know how to do this?” second lady Li asked in surprise.
“I learned from my father before,” Ye Jiayao answered vaguely.
The second level chef helper, Liu Qisheng, elbowed the first-class chef helper Zhong Xiang and quietly said, “Brother Xiang, this guy knows how to play a show.”
Zhong Xiang groaned unhappily. He had to admit that this Li Yao was a strong competitor. However, he knew that he wasn’t any worse than him. What Zhong Xiang lacked was chance. He was an apprentice for four years and he spent six years being a chef helper. He literally climbed from the bottom to get where he was today. He had real skills and he was a consistent hard worker. Master Chef Niu was just too selfish and didn’t want to promote chef helpers because he feared they would surpass him. Now that Chef Niu left, he thought now was finally his chance to excel, but Manager Li was reluctant to promote him. Instead, Manager Li hired second lady Li, who in turn brought Li Yao.
Within just one morning, Li Yao had already become the first-class chef helper – the same level as Zhong Xiang. Now, Li Yao was handed such an important dinner for his first test. It was not fair.
Zhong Xiang secretly hated Li Yao for stealing what was supposed to be his.
Ye Jiayao carved the decorations for the plate and asked the other workers to put tonight’s dishes in a straight line. She determined different shapes for each dish before she got started on creating a pattern.
The chef’s order goes color, fragrance, taste, and shape. However, Ye Jiayao has always thought that color and shape should be put together and placed before everything else. It was the color and shape of the dish that the customers would see first and would largely influence their decision. Also, a dish’s color and shape that was well done would set a huge appetite for the customers.
From the moment she saw the menu, she immediately pictured how they would look individually. She decreed that every dish on the menu would get a different design of plating.
There were eight cold dishes and 18 hot dishes in total tonight.
There would be 26 plates and 26 different styles. Never repeated.
Second lady Li didn’t know which dishes were in which plates, but she admired them all the same. She was amazed by the beauty and uniqueness of the patterns and designs on the plates. This Li Yao is truly talented!
Decorations were frequently used in Huaiyang food, as Huaiyang food paid a lot of attention to refinement. They used refined materials, refined work, and beautiful matches, but Li Erniang hasn’t seen any other master chef making such exquisite accessories.
After the food materials for the cold dishes were prepared, Ye Jiayao went to work on arranging them.
She neatly positioned the duck tongue, using bamboo leaves to make rolls. She arranged the preserved and braised beef into the shape of a crescent moon and decorated the plate with the carrots she carved as flowers. She used honey to flavor the Chinese yam and decorated it with a few matrimony vines. She then used coriander and red cabbage to add more flourish to the plate.
Next, Ye Jiayao made cucumber rolls by cutting the cucumber into thin slices. She sliced the lettuce leaves into slivers and wrapped it around the cucumbers. She mixed onion, garlic, coriander, spice, fish sauce, and lime and poured it over the rolls.
It looked amazing but it was not what the guests had ordered. Li Erniang was dubious so she tasted one.
She was surprised by how the flavors and texture worked together. “What is this dish?”
Ye Jiayao smiled and answered, “Double crispy rolls. How do you like it?”
Li Erniang nodded in delight. “I think we can add one more recommended cold dish in Heavenly Residence’s menu.”
Everyone burst into cheers. For the new chef’s dish to be a recommended dish on the menu was the highest compliment. Creating a new dish that would get put on the menu was hard enough, but creating one that rose to the title of the recommended dish was comparable to a heroic feat. This new Chef Li Yao was really something else.
Ye Jiayao felt a little bit guilty. What she made was simply Thai cold cucumber rolls. She only modified it a bit to make it more suitable for the Southern people’s taste.
“He might become the master chef in Sky Live if this goes on,” Liu Qisheng commented sulkily.
Zhong Xiang sneered. “You think being the master chef would be that easy? He was only opportunistic.”
Zhong Xiang spoke proudly but he was worried inside. The better that Li Yao performed, the more threatening he was to his career.
“Little Lu, tell the waiters to bring out dishes,” second lady Li requested.
The guests trickled in one by one.
“Didn’t they say this is the celebration of the success of the Heir-son Lord of Jing An Marquis? Why is Xia Chunyu still not here?” someone asked.
Zhao Qixuan laughed flippantly. “That was just an excuse to gather everyone around. If I didn’t use brother Chunyu’s name, would any of you have come?”
Xia Chunyu was an outstanding royal among the nobles. He worked as undercover for more than half a year in Black Wind Ridge and got rid of the bandits with Helian Majesty’s outside help. He made a great merit with that achievement. He jumped two levels from level four Yunhui ambassador to level three first-hand guard. He was favored by the Majesty and has become so popular that everyone wanted to befriend him.
The actual reason they came was not here, and though everyone was somewhat disappointed, Zhao Qixuan knew how to create a good atmosphere. It wasn’t long before he got everyone in a cheerful mood and people started openly chatting as they drink tea.
Helian Jing was dragged by Zhao Qixuan on the lake and they spent the whole afternoon there. He was not in the mood for any more socializing in the dinner. There were people who tried to engage him in a conversation but he only gave them clipped answers. He just wanted to go home.
The waiters brought out eight cold dishes to the roundtable.
Zhao Qixuan’s eyes turned brighter. “Waiter, are these cold dishes made by your new chef?”
“Yes, Heir-son Lord, they are made by the new chef,” the waiter answered politely.
Zhao Qixuan picked up one of the double crispy rolls and said,”Not bad, not bad! What is this called? I don’t think I ordered that.”
“It is called the double crispy roll. It is a new dish in our restaurant. The new chef made it especially for you, Heir-son Lord.”
Everyone picked up their respective chopsticks and rose to taste the new dish. Helian Jing was not interested. He knew that no matter how good it was, it could not compare to what big Raorao could do.
“Truly double crispy.”
“The taste is very special. Sour and sweet.”
Everyone was impressed with the food.
Zhao Qixuan said, “I have eaten the same food over and over again, and finally, there is something new.” He put one silver bullion on the waiter’s tray and ordered, “Give this to the new chef. If I’m satisfied with the hot dishes, I will give him more reward.”
Manager Li was shocked. Truthfully, he was worried that Heavenly Residence’s business would quickly go bankrupt after Master Chef Niu left. In the five days without him, the restaurant only managed to make even less than what they usually make in a day! The opportunity of the Heir-son Lord dining in the restaurant could make or break them.
It was very risky to hand the feast over to Li Yao. When the waiters brought the cold dishes out, Manager Li was impressed with how novel they looked. He was even surprised to see two dishes that he didn’t recognize. However, he was still not certain about their taste and he held his breath as the guests sampled the dishes.
Now, seeing the delighted faces of the guests, Manager Li finally relaxed. The gamble with Li Yao paid off and he had a feeling that this was just the start of the good things that the new chef would bring to the restaurant.
The waiter rushed back to the kitchen and presented the silver bullion in front of Ye Jiayao, smiling. “Congratulations, brother Yao! The Heir-son Lord gave you this reward for a job well done.”
The look of envy on everyone’s faces was obvious. This Heir-son Lord was famous for his generosity. Every time he came to the restaurant, he would give an extra reward. Sometimes, the bell boy got it and sometimes it would be the waiter who served him. What he never did was reward any chef, even Master Chef Niu. Li Yao has only arrived today, and not only did he managed to create a new recommended dish, he also managed to get a reward and acknowledgment from the Heir-son Lord.
The chef helpers felt cheated and started to think whether they should suck up more to Li Yao.
Ye Jiayao was entirely focused on making the double taste duck roll and didn’t even look up as she said, “It was everyone’s work. Go and exchange it to coins and split it with everyone.”
The waiter did a double take. The silver bullion was worth five silver coins! Did he really say ‘split it’? He hesitated and looked at second Lady Li.
Second lady Li nodded subtly and the waiter sprung into action. “Aye, Chef Li Yao!”
Ye Jiayao said loudly, “Everyone, let’s work hard! The better we perform, the more rewards we can share.”
The helpers went back to their jobs with more energy and vigor.
Li Erniang smiled with relief. It seemed that she didn’t need to worry after all. Li Yao knew how to cook as well as how to properly interact with his workers. He had the credit, and instead of being too proud, he shared the honor with everyone.
The hot dishes were brought out one by one. They looked like exquisite handicrafts that made the people ravenous for them. They didn’t think that the taste could compare with the appearance, but they were wrong. It tasted even more delicious than it looked.
Everyone was extremely pleased the dishes. Helian Jing picked his chopsticks up reluctantly and tried one of the fried eel slivers. They were smooth and fresh to the taste, and before he knew it, he had already picked up three more.
This is actually so good.
“Double taste duck rolls,” the waiter announced as he put the dish down on the table.
Helian Jing looked at the plate that the waiter just brought in and froze.
Tomatoes slivers were made to look like a blossomed hibiscus flower. Cucumber slivers were arranged to look like green leaves. Why do they look so familiar?
They were talking about a new chef earlier. Helian Jing suddenly sat up straight. “Waiter, how old is your new chef?”
“He is quite young but he is very skillful. What do you think, Young Royal Highness? Are you satisfied with his cooking?”
Zhao Qixuan said, “After all the dishes are brought out here, bring him over to us. I want him to make a toast.”
Helian Jing wanted to ask more questions, but the waiter had already left.
Is it really possible?
His heart started pounding in his chest and his hands began to shake. He wanted to run into the kitchen to find out the truth, but that would be too impolite. The new chef would come out in just a few moments. He just has to wait for a little while.