Chapter 482: Thorn (4)
One thing that has made Min-joon feel relaxed in the kitchen these days is that Downey has become docile. More precisely, he has been obedient to him. Of course, it’s hard to say that both have become closer than before because they have hardly talk about their private matters.
However, given that he followed Min-joon’s direction when cooking personally, Downey obviously had repented to some extent. Min-joon cut the tomato Downey gave him and put it in a sandwich. What he was making right now was a BLT sandwich.
A BLT sandwich was the most basic sandwich in America, made with the ingredients of bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It was called BLT for short.
Min-joon added Gouda cheese and avocado to it. The avocado added a fat taste that one could not feel in the hard-baked bacon, and the taste of Gouda cheese mixed with the egg yolk was so perfect that no sauce was needed. If it was covered with the whole grain bread that was properly grilled, it would be a perfect BLT sandwich.
Country of origin: (Hidden because of several ingredients)
Cooking score: 6/10
Min-joon scored 6 points for a sandwich which was nothing special. Considering that its ingredients were baked bacon or eggs at most, he definitely got a great result because even the black noodle ‘jajangmyeon’ served at a delicious local Chinese restaurant earned about 6 points.
In fact, he could raise the score if he wanted to. If he added some sauce appropriate for it, or a meat patty, he would be able to get a much higher score.
However, could such a dish be more delicious than the sandwich he had just made? Do customers really want that kind of sandwich or his simple sandwich? Of course, it would depend on the situation and the customers’ taste, so it was impossible for him to answer with absolute confidence which sandwich they would want.
Min-joon picked up the sandwich. He could enjoy its plain but refreshing taste. When the soft and heavy taste of cheese and eggs was superimposed on the sweet and sour taste of tomato, and the sharp and salty taste of bacon was mixed with the coolness of lettuce, the sandwich tasted so delicious, although it was nothing special.
“Did you make it just because you were hungry?”
Downey, who was watching him, asked with a disappointed expression, but Min-joon just smiled. It was natural Downey thought so.
Giving him a piece of sandwich, Min-joon said, “Try it.”
“Yeah, try it.”
Downey hesitated for a moment, then took a bite of it.
“What do you think?”
“Do you think I can serve this sandwich for customers?”
“No, you can’t.”
“Then, what if I make it better?”
“Even if you make it better, it’s still a BLT sandwich with a different name.”
“Yeah, I guess so. This sandwich is the best as it is now. It’s the best and delicious, but I can’t include it in our menu.”
Downey awkwardly looked at him, unsure of what to say.
Min-joon muttered in a low voice, “Healthy taste, cozy taste, and cool taste. This sandwich has all that taste, but it’s nothing special just because we’re very much familiar with it. BLT sandwiches have their own taste, but at some point, customers began to think BLT sandwiches were not luxurious. If so, how can I make a luxurious BLT sandwich?”
“Wouldn’t it be impossible?”
“Everything seems impossible at first. But while you are doing it, you find you can make it, so you want to make it all the more. Let me make such a sandwich by all means.”
“Yeah, I think you can make it,” Downey said. “I know you always achieve what you want to do.”
“Hey, don’t flatter me. I feel embarrassed to hear that.”
“I’m not flattering you,” said Downey, looking at Min-joon as if he was sincere.
Min-joon turned his head, frowning at him as if he felt embarrassed.
“Don’t try to flatter me.”
Downey remained silent at his cold response.
Min-joon was about to pick a piece of sandwich, but he put it down on the table again and pushed it toward him.
“You eat them all.”
Downey wasn’t hungry, but he took the sandwich anyway. Compared to the way he dealt with other chefs, Min-joon was rather harsh and high-handed to Downey.
Honestly, Downey couldn’t blame Min-joon. As a matter of fact, he was grateful that Min-joon didn’t treat him worse than that.
Downey fully realized how stupid he was in dealing with Min-joon, and he wanted to change.
He took a bite of the sandwich.
It was still delicious.
“I didn’t know we would come to get together in New York like this,” said Lucas with a bright smile.
Min-joon replied with a calm smile, “Who knows what our future holds? As a matter of fact, I wished we could have a get-together like this someday. I’m glad we got together finally.”
Then Min-joon looked back at Jesse. Jesse, who grew so big that Min-joon could not recognize him, was looking at Kaya with an envious expression. Come to think of it, she messaged Min-joon sometimes about Kaya. Maybe he was her fan.
As if she wanted to confirm it, Jesse asked hesitantly, “Kaya, can you take a picture with me a little later?”
“Picture? With me?”
“Yes, because I am your fan,” she said smiling shyly in a sharp contrast with her attitude toward Min-joon.
As if he was jealous, Min-joon said, “You’ve never asked me for an autograph, right? Don’t you think you are too favorable to Kaya?”
“Well, I don’t feel like you are a celebrity. You look like an uncle that I know.”
“Hey, if I go to the local supermarket right now, you will find my face on the Cho Reggiano dessert. If I’m not a celebrity, who do you think is a celebrity?”
“Those kids who aren’t interested in cooking don’t even know your name. Most of them call you just a ‘Cheese Guy.'”
Min-joon made an embarrassed expression at what she said, which was something he never expected. Jesse was also a bit embarrassed to find him surprised.
At that moment, Kaya messed up Min-joon’s hair and said, “Don’t worry. Cheese Guy is a pretty good nickname.”
Min-joon put Mac and Cheese in his mouth with a depressed expression, which was the same one made by Jane the other day. It seems like Jane’s cooking skills and recipe didn’t change, but strangely enough, it tasted different from what he had tasted before. Was it because Min-joon’s gastronomic level already rose to 9?
“This was the first dish I ate in America,” said Min-joon, looking back at Kaya.
Kaya raised her eyebrows as if she understood, then put Mac and Cheese in her mouth. Since she was used to the type of dishes made by chefs, and those at high-end restaurants, she was a bit picky when it came to food. But she felt it was delicious enough.
“I think you started off with a good dish.”
“Yeah, I think so.”
Jane smiled when she heard them talking about her sandwich. Was it because she was touched by their praise? Jane told them about the time when Lucas and Min-joon met for the first time, namely how dangerous the situation they were in and how Min-joon helped him as an outsider.
It was a ridiculously unrealistic story, but Kaya didn’t question it.
“Do you intend to stay in New York for long?”
“No. I don’t think I’ll be here for long. I didn’t come to New York to settle down, but I just want to have some time to improve myself.”
“Then you’ll have to go back to Los Angeles.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know when.”
Lucas nodded at his reply with a regretful expression.
At that moment, Jesse dared to ask a question he was determined to ask, “When are you going to get married?”
Min-joon coughed violently at the sudden question, checking Kaya’s expression.
He told her he wanted to get married to her when he opened a restaurant, but frankly, it would mean that he would put off his proposal to her indefinitely.
Watching him, Jane said to Jesse with a stern expression, “Jesse, how rude of you to ask such a question?”
“Oh, that’s fine. It’s not a particularly sensitive question. When are we getting married?”
Grinning at Min-joon, Kaya raised her hand over his shoulder and rested her chin.
It had been a long time since he smelled the strong perfume from her cheeks and nose.
“Well, when I open a restaurant…”
“When is it?” she demanded.
“Well, I guess I can make it within about five years…”
“You got it now?”
Kaya turned to them and shrugged.
Jane could not hide her sympathy at Min-joon’s vague marriage schedule, but that was the way he responded to such a question.
Often, when a person looked at the faces of the people around them, that person might be surprised a lot to find wrinkles on their young faces in their memory, with their skin growing old and saggy. When did their youthfulness disappear?
Looking at Jack, Rachel thought about that for a moment. This precious friend of hers came back with more wrinkles on his face when he came back several years later after he parted with her. He looked so old this time. Compared to the last time she met him, he looked almost ten years older.
“How many days are left until her surgery?”
“Just two weeks,” Jack replied with a blunt voice.
Rachel replied, “I see.” She then remained silent. They were friends, but they were not close enough to hold each other’s hands in this serious situation where Lisa was soon to undergo surgery.
That was why Rachel had to regret her past ten years in hiding more bitterly than before. If she had sought and kept him, if she had not left him alone, she could have reached out to Lisa and helped her.
“Man, I think I have a spoilt girl. She gave birth to Ella as she pleased, then she’s going to die as she likes, and that before me, her father. Well, there’s no guarantee that I’ll live longer than her,” said Jack.
“Please don’t say that. It’s not because of you but because of me. If even you leave me…”