Chapter 6 –
Translated by Prosperousfood dot com
Re-Host at kitchennovel dot com
“It seemed to be more uniform in size and shape” after cutting the 20th bamboo shoots, Michael picked up two pieces of bamboo shoots and compared them carefully. Then he nodded his head in satisfaction.
Looking at the pile of discarded bamboo shoots, he could not help but lament, “It is actually so hard to be a chef. Although I knew the best way to cut the bamboo shoots, it took me a lot of practice before I can achieve what I had visualized. If I were to start from scratch, I think I would need several years of practice before I can achieve this standard.”
For the first time in his life, he felt a bit uncomfortable when he thought about the criticisms that he had written in his previous life. Now that he was forced to cook a dish accordingly to the standards that he had set, he felt that karma is a bitch.
“[System], accordingly to my progress speed, just practicing the knife skills will require me to practice for several weeks. It is impossible for me to complete this task within 3 days.” Michael stopped working, and tried to communicate with the [System].
“The ratio of ‘time within the training grounds’ to the ‘time in the real world’ is 365:1. In other words, if [Master] trained in this place for 1 year, only 1 day had passed in the real world.”
“As well, while [Master] is within the training grounds, he need not eat or sleep. Neither will he experience fatigue. There are also unlimited ingredients available for [Master] to use.”
“We hope that [Master] will have the determination of the God of Cooking, and quickly complete the task, and exit the training grounds.” The system voice replied.
“There is such a feature?” Michael was surprised. The [System] is really powerful. It can even provide a place where time is wrapped. But this training ground is really like a prison. It is impossible to escape from this place. In addition, you will never be tired, and the only thing you can do is to continuously cook. If you do not have an iron will, it is likely that you may become crazy.
“No, I cannot be stuck in this place! I must get out of this place before Amy wakes up tomorrow, and make her a perfect plate of [Yang Zhou] fried rice for her breakfast. I had already promised her that I would do so.”
Thinking about Amy give Michael the mental strength he needed to overcome his growing unease and discomfort about being stranded in this prison. He began to pick up the knife and continued to practice his knife skills.
If he wants to get out in time to make breakfast for Amy, he needs to complete the task within a time period of 4 months in the training grounds. This translates to approximately 8 hours in the real world.
4 months in the training grounds is approximately 2880 hours. assuming that a chef works 8 hours a day, with 2880 hours, he would have approximately 1 year of working experience as a chef to master the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice].
He also had the assistance of an experience bag that imparted the knowledge of cooking [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] to him. This amount of time should be more than enough.
Michael focused on the bamboo shoots and forgot about the pa.s.sage of time. The more he practiced, the better his skills with the knife. Under the repeated practice, the bamboos shoots became uniformed slices, then became uniformed stripes, and finally became finely chopped grains that are approximately the same size as rice.
Michael worked his way up in order of increasing difficulty. The bamboo shoots are selected as the first ingredients to prepare as these were deemed the easiest. The next items in order would be the mushroom, ham, and then prawns.
As he handled ingredients of increasing difficulty, his experience and skills with the blade increased. These, combined with the guidance from the knowledge in his brain, means that his skills improved very rapidly. Even the live prawns were easily stripped of their shell, and then diced into grain size bits.
As the clock on the training grounds showed 100 days, Michael used a turner to scoop up the fried rice on the wok, and placed it on a plate. He turned off the fire on the stove, and with a confident smile, he asked, “[System], this time it should be all right?”
The [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] that was fresh out of the wok is a truly a work of art. Each grain of rice seemed to be coated with a golden color robe made from the egg yolk. The green color green peas, white color prawns, grey color mushroom, red color ham, etc all combined to create a dish that was full of color and flavor. Despite the myriad of colors, it did not seem to be chaotic, but rather give off a bright and harmonious vibe.
Scallion was added on top of the rice as a garnish. The combination of all these ingredients created a mouth-watering smell that forced Michael to swallow his saliva.
The [System] was silent for a moment, then its voice rang out,”Evaluating this dish according to the standards set by yourself:
- Each grain of the rice should be enveloped by the flavor of the egg.[Meet Expectations!]
- Looks – The appearance should comprise of bright colors that are in harmony and whet the appetite of guests.[Meet Expectations!]
- Taste – The food should taste delicate, delicious, a harmony of soft and hard, fragrant, moist and refreshing.[Meet Expectations!]
- Smell – the smell should attract people, and have a unique scent.[Meet Expectations!]
The four criteria that were used to evaluate the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] had been met.
Congratulations for mastering the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice]![Task completed.]
Rewards: Constitution increased by +0.5.Unlocked – All ingredients need to create the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] are now available for sale through the [System]. Unlocked – All needed kitchen tools and utensils that were used in the creation of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] has been placed in the restaurant kitchen.
Michael raised his fists in triumph. Looking at the plate of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] in front of him, he almost felt like crying.
When was the last time he needs to put in so much effort to accomplish a goal? This feeling of achievement and triumph is really comfortable and uplifting.
Of course, the thing that excites him the most is that he now had the ability to cook a plate of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] for his dearest daughter, Amy. Just by thinking of the delight on the little girl’s face is enough to fill his heart with anticipation.
“[System], may I taste this completed [Yang Zhou Fried Rice]?” Looking at the plate before him, Michael suddenly felt hungry. This is a strange feeling, because he had been locked in the training rooms for over 100 days and he had never experienced hunger even once.
“In 5 minutes, [Master] will be kicked out of this training grounds.” The [System] replied.
“5 minutes is more than enough!” Michael immediately grabbed a spoon, scoop up a spoonful and placed it in his mouth. Just a few chews and his eyes lit up.
The fragrant scent of the scallion mixed with the scent of fried egg filled the nostrils with a tantalizing smell. The rice-size shrimp and ham that were sliced in grain size were in harmony with the rice and yet retain their unique flavor. After chewing the egg covered rice, it left a sweet, refreshing aftertaste.
The variety of ingredients, constantly bombard the taste buds with their unique flavors. After swallowing the mouthful of fried rice, the taste still lingers in his mouth.
This taste is simply astounding!
For the first time in his life, he discovered that [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] can actually taste this good!
One mouthful of the fried rice and Michael was hooked. He immediately helped himself to the food and gobbled up the remaining portion of the fried rice as fast as he could. When he had polished off the last grain of rice, he licked his lips in satisfaction. He suddenly had a desire to eat one more plate of rice – the fried rice is really this good!
“Amy will definitely love this type of Yang Zhou Fried rice! As for the citizens of this world, I am sure that none of them will be able to resist the taste of this food.” Michael put down the spoon and reminisced about his experience in cooking the fried rice. He involuntarily shivered. One hundred days of non-stop cooking, without any rest in between! Now that he will be leaving this hell hole, he could not help but feel cheerful.
5 minutes quickly passed by. All Michael felt was a flash of white light – like the time when he first entered the training grounds. He closed his eyes to shut out the light. When he finally reopened his eyes, he found himself lying on the big bed. He immediately sat up, and when he saw that Amy was still soundly asleep on the smaller bed next to him, he finally calmed down.
Then he looked at his hands and clutched his fists, and smiled. The feeling he had is the same as when he was on the training grounds. The body of his that used to be so weak and frail has been vastly improved. He can now put some strength into his fists, and he should be able to do simple tasks and cook.
“The [System] is quite reliable after all.” Michael climbed out of the bed and tried sketching his arms and legs. He glanced at the clock placed on top of the bed and discovered that it is now 5 o’clock in the morning.
He looked down and saw that he was still wearing the dirty clothes from yesterday. He walked towards the dressing cabinet and opened it, and found that there were only two sets of clothes in the cabinet. One of them is a chef uniform, and the other one of them is a black color dress.
The chef uniform is clean and simple and comprised of 6 pieces of clothes.A chef suit that is white in color and had two rows of delicate black b.u.t.tons,a pair of black color pants,a black and white ap.r.o.n with vertical stripes,a piece of white underwear,a pair of black flat shoes, and a pair of white socks.
Michael took the uniform into the bathroom. He took a shower and then used a pair of scissors to trim his long hair. He had also cut off his beard with a pair of scissors and a shaver, but left his mustache in place.
“Finally I look a bit human.” Michael felt his face and looked into the mirror, as grinned. Just a bit of self-grooming had transformed him from a scary homeless vagabond to a young and approachable uncle.
Right now, he reckoned that he is 80% similar to his former self. The only thing that is holding him back is this body’s constitution. This body is very skinny and he looks as if he does not have any muscle or fat – just skin and bones only.
After the [System] had improved his constitution, he no longer looked as if he might collapse at any moment. Right now, he should eat, and move around more frequently to improve his health.
Having finished his self-evaluation, Michael put on the set of chef uniform. Looking in the mirror, he could have sworn that he looks like the master chefs that were often featured on T.V.
“hello, Boss Mike!” Michael greeted his reflection in the mirror. Then he thought for a moment and laughed, “Maybe it should be Boss McGonagall?”