Chapter 67 – Is This Knife Really that Famous?

 

Tsuru: I think it’s unlikely the sisters will hate him, but who knows, there are still loads of chapters to go. Also I think the chapters are all there now. ^_^

 

Ever since the introduction of the test to evaluate chef’s basic skills, there have been very few who ever managed to gain 10 points from any of the judges. The criteria was utter perfection, and aside from following the recipe to the T, a candidate has to introduce a personal twist to the original recipe. This was clearly not something that a new chef could achieve.

However, Ye Chui had managed it, with one plate of Gan Chao Niu He he managed to gain two full marks out of three judges.

Wang Haichun finally managed to wake up from his shock. He felt that he had really lose face giving that zero point against the two other judges’ 10 points. Weren’t these two just ganging up on him? He coldly said to Ge Yongming and Fan Wenbin, “How could 10 points be so cheaply given out? As judges you should know that collaborating with candidates is a heavy crime!”

“Hmph, talking about colluding, ever since the founding of this exam just how many candidates managed to get a zero? I’m perfectly comfortable giving this candidate 10 points. Want to accuse me of colluding? Once this exam ended I shall properly investigate to see whether there’s some outsiders trying to discredit this candidate!” Ge Yongming was not at all polite as he stared down Wang Haichun.

This old man was clearly standing on Ye Chui’s side, after his little speech he gave Ye Chui a light glance. The meaning was obvious, he would support Ye Chui all the way.

Ye Chui smiled and nodded his thanks. In his heart he was also starting to suspect something was up, who knew when he had offended this Wang Haichun character, he really can’t remember having encountered this person, ba?

“Teacher Wang,” As the youngest judge, Fan Wenbin stood up and gently placed the plate of Gan Chao Niu He in front of Wand Haichun. “Would Teacher Wang at least try this dish, ba. I do believe you would understand why Teacher Ge and I would award the 10 points.”

Wang Haichun was hesitant. He normally did not get along with Ge Yongming on, hearing those veiled threats made his heart throbbed even more. This was supposed to only help that Zhao Hongyu out a little, how could he have guessed that 16 year old kid to have such ability? He never would have imagined that Ye Chui’s dish would have won over Ge Yongming and Fan Wenbin just like that. In order to protect the brat, they would actually trouble him so much.

If this matter grew too big it would not be good for him. But, more importantly, was that Gan Chao Niu He made by Ye Chui really that delicious?

When he thought of this, Wang Haichun hesitantly reached for a pair of bamboo chopsticks, plucked a bit of noodle and beef, and sent the lot to his mouth.

Because the beef had been cooked until 60% done before being reintroduced to the wok

 

with the noodles, the flavour was understated, the fragrance elegant. That unique flavour burst out from under his teeth, mingling with the tender and slippery rice noodles, bringing out the best in flavour and texture from this less than a hundred year old recipe. Though the popular rice noodle stir fried with meat substitute has its own unique deliciousness, that fragrance could not beat the power of beef. Anyone who ate this dish could feel in their soul that this Gan Chao Niu He, the Niu within that name, must represent beef, glorious cow meat!

“Too… too delicious!” Wang Haichun could not restrain the word from escaping his mouth.

Those who had been keeping an ear out on the judges’ table were shocked. The Wang Haichun who had been against Ye Chui from the beginning have just changed his mind with just one bite of his dish. To do such a 180 degree change, the only reason would be that the Gan Chao Niu He cooked by Ye Chui was beyond perfection. Some of the candidates actually lost all interest in the examination, they were all wondering what that Gan Chao Niu He tasted like.

Candidate Sun Yi also calmed down, looks like this Ye Chui was someone who really has ability to back his words. The instructions given to him earlier should not be wrong, moreover thanks to rolling cut technique, he may actually be able to increase his own points!

However, while he was busy contemplating his own bright future, something unexpected happened — Zhao Hongyu, this child could no longer wait at the side, rushed over to the judges table.

“Wait a moment!” Zhao Hongyu shouted eagerly, “I want to report him, he had been cheating!”

“What?” The entire hall was shocked.

When Ye Chui saw Zhao Hongyu, he was flabbergasted, the strange events earlier finally have some explanation. To think that he would meet An Jing’s pursuer here. However, he still could not understand why he had been accused of cheating.

Wang Haichun was still in the middle of being annoyed with himself for his unexpected outburst when he heard Zhao Hongyu’s accusation. Surprised, he asked, “Hongyu, just what is going on?”

“I saw it clearly with my own eyes. That Ye Chui sliced a bowl of stem lettuce and gave it to the person next to him!” Zhao Hongyu pointed at Sun Yi who was standing at quite a distance.

Immediately, all eyes shuttled over onto Sun Yi’s person.

Ye Chui frowned as he tried to remember the things on his work station, it’s possible that while his attention had been focussed on the wok, that Sun Yi had taken the stem lettuce he had used to demonstrate the rolling cut technique…

Sun Yu had a panicked look on his face, he desperately denied, “No…no I didn’t…”

“Cheating is a very serious offence! Both cheaters and collaborators will not be forgiven!” Wang Haichun took the opportunity to change the subject. He was already striding over to Sun Yi, leaving Fan Wenbin and Ge Yongming behind as they hurried after him, none of them would ever have expected this kind of development..

Ye Fei kneaded his head, a helpless expression on his face as he watched the three judges leave, his eyes naturally falling onto Zhao Hongyu: Ye Fei had always felt that he was an easy going, conflict avoiding person, and only super unreasonable people would pick fights with him.

To think that this Zhao Hongyu would actually stoop to this level just because of those little things that happened two days ago. To carry such a grudge to the point of trying to get one of the judges to fail him and prevent his diner from opening?

When he thought of this, Ye Fei suddenly smiled at Zhao Hongyu, it was a very standard and professional smile, but for some reason Zhao Hongyu suddenly felt a cold shiver running up and down his spine…

“Teacher, I… I….” Sun Yi was in a panic, almost covering his bowl of lettuce in fear when Wang Haichun slapped his hands away. “You tell me the truth, did someone cut these lettuce for you? That’s grounds for cheating…”

Wang Haichun suddenly cut himself of from his line of questioning.

Beside him, Ge Yongming and Fan Wenbin finally caught up, and gave out a “Yi?” sound together.

Right now all three of them were looking at the bowl of finely sliced stem lettuce that sparkled like green gems. The rolling cut knife work on these stem lettuce had rendered them speechless. All three were experts of their field, Ge Yongming could not resist picking up a slice for a closer look, “This stems were cut to almost identical shape using the rolling cut technique, more importantly, just look the circular patterns on each slice… such clean and smooth finish, the knife technique is beyond superb!”

Though the rolling cut technique is something that is difficult to master, it was not at all difficult to learn. However, in order to achieve this level of knife technique was not something anyone could do. The rolling cut technique was perfect for items like tomatoes, carrots, stem lettuces or any other circular vegetables. The technique requires the chef to rotate the ingredient on the chopping board even as his knife slices downward, once a chef has mastered this technique, the ingredients cut would create a groove on each slice, that follows the curve of the ingredient.

A master of this technique would not only be able to make each cut identical, but would make these grooves perfectly round, like an annual tree ring, perfectly aligned and glossy, a reflection of nature’s organic perfection.

These were information that all three teachers were perfectly clear on, thus they could not refrain from their shock. This thing, this very thing in front of them were definitely the most perfect example of the rolling cut technique they have ever seen!

“To think that someone would actually be able to use the rolling cut this way…” Wang Haichun had his foundations shaken once more, to the point that he had forgotten about their quarrel earlier, “Teacher Ge, have you ever seen rolling cut technique used this way?”

“I have seen people who could produce these results, however, all of them are long time famous chefs of their own right. However, the chefs here are all exam candidates…” Ge Yongming glanced at Sun Yi and shook his head. He also did not think that Sun Yi could produce this kind of result with the rolling cut technique, that meant Zhao Hongyu was right, these were cut by Ye Chui. His eyes were complicated as they fell upon Ye Chui, as he sighed secretly within his heart, to think someone so young could produce such result that requires years of practice, just too amazing.

After a while, he seemed to have thought of something, “That’s right, knife!”

The quality of a kitchen knife would also influence the cut. This Ye Chui was just too young, though he was stunned by the radical Gan Chao Niu He, he nevertheless did not think that Ye Chui could so simply produce such perfect result with the rolling cut technique. Thus, Ge Yongming wished to take a look at Ye Chui’s knife. Even as his mouth spoke, he hurried towards Ye Chui’s work station.

There, upon a clean and dry chopping boards was the chef’s knife, lying quietly by itself until Ge Yongming picked it up for a closer look. Then, once more, a look of pure astonishment descended upon his face.

“This knife, it’s the ‘Zhan Xiang’!”

Hearing Ge Yongming’s cry, the one who felt shocked this time was Ye Chui. Was the knife gifted to him by Elder Yan that amazing?

 

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