Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 2 – Country of Fine Cuisine
Translated by Prosperousfood.com
Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com
“What should I use to keep the sea water?”
Luo Xiu looked around him for a container to hold the sea water in. Luckily this is the seaside, and there is often rubbish scattered about here. After scouring the area, he finally found a broken ceramic utensil.
This ceramic utensil resembles an urn.
It is about the size of Luo Xiu’s head.
Luo Xiu washed the urn in the sea water, half-filled it, then carried the ‘small urn’ and make his way back to his home.
Nine Gates restaurant is located in Snow Moon City’s downtown. This street is ideal for any type of business due to the large volume of traffic, and Nine Gates restaurant has a prime location on this street.
The second floor of the restaurant offers a stunning view of the pristine beach.
In Luo Xiu’s past life, such a big restaurant with a beautiful sea view would be… Nah… why am I reminiscing about the past again? Let’s focus on the problems facing the restaurant now. Right now, the restaurant is a commoners’ restaurant. The Country of Fine Cuisine has very strict laws about operating a restaurant. Every 5 years if the chef in the restaurant could not pass a qualifying examination, the restaurant will be degraded or face the prospectus of closing down.
As the commoners’ restaurant is the lowest possible grade in this qualifying examination. Therefore, if Luo Xiu fails this qualifying examination, he would have to close shop or sell the shop to another chef. There is no other way out for Luo Xiu.
In their opinion, a restaurant without a qualified chef is not qualified to set up shop in the Country of Fine Cuisine.
“There appears to nothing wrong with this regulation….”
Luo Xiu smiled. In his personal opinion, this type of enactment is good for raising Chefs’ skills and inspired the enthusiasm of the chefs.
In Snow Moon City, restaurants are ranked by the grade of their chefs. Currently, the best restaurant is named “Inkfusion”. Then the, e are a few more restaurants ranked slightly below Inkfusion. Finally, there are the lowest ranked commoners’ restaurants.
Commoners’ restaurant has a very simple requirement. All it is needs is a trainee chef to man the kitchen.
The next grade is a Fine restaurant. It requires at least one qualified chef; As for Great restaurant, it requires at least one great Chef. This grading and chef requirements are more or less similar to highly ranked restaurants that appear in Michelin star guide, but the quality and taste of food offered by the Chefs in each grade of restaurant are as different as Heaven and Earth.
On planet Earth, regardless of the food or the price of each dish, there is no way to tell the difference in taste without first trying the food.
But here, there is a hierarchy of points being awarded for each dish. The dishes here are ranked by points it has achieved, and given a title.
“Common Dish, Fine Food, Delicious Food, Spiritual Food etc. There are so many titles for dishes that have reached a certain number of points.”
Luo Xiu shook his head at the confusing system adopted by this world. As he walked on, finally his home and restaurant come into view.
Nine Gates Restaurant can be considered a landmark in Snow Moon City. It may not be as tall as imposing as other buildings, but in this Country of Fine Cuisine where chefs are revered, having a restaurant has great significance.
“Has my little sister signed any agreements or documents to hand over the restaurants to others yet?”
Luo Xiu has a little sister. This girl is his adoptive father’s daughter, and is named Ye Weilian.
It is also his only surviving relative in this world.
5 years ago, before Luo Xiu’s adoptive father passed away, he entrusted the 10 years old Ye Weilian to Luo Xiu.
Worried that his sister may have been coerced to sell off the restaurant, Luo Xiu’s picked up his pace. He quickly made his way to the entrance of Nine Gates Restaurant.
“Oh…. This restaurant is really grand and imposing!”
Two large wooden signboards are erected in front of the gate. On these boards, a Chinese couplet is engraved.
The first line of the couplet reads: “The tastiness of the food attracts guests from all over.”
The second line of the couplet reads: “The fragrance of the food lured immortals to dine here.”
At the top of the door is a huge signboard that proudly states the shop name, “Nine Gates Restaurant”. The style of the words, quality of the signboard, together with the couplets made the restaurant look very impressive.
The entrance is the face of the restaurant. This couplet plus the signboard creates a very awe-inspiring feel of a traditional Chinese restaurant. Even in the modern times, there are very few restaurants that can match this restaurant in terms of entrance décor and style.
The old wooden columns and objects that make up the restaurant’s décor created an authenticate feel of a top quality traditional Chinese restaurant. In Luo Xiu’s opinion, even restaurants in the modern world that deliberately tried to create an antique atmosphere to dine in are far inferior to the vibe that this place gives off.
“I cannot sign this! I must wait until my brother come back before I can sign it!”
A slightly lacklustre sound seemed to ring out from the restaurant.
Luo Xiu suddenly recalled what he was supposed to. He did not continue to appreciate the scenery before him, and immediately stepped into the restaurant, roaring, “What are you guys doing!”
This sudden loud and confident voice gave everyone a fright.
The only teenage woman in the room was glad to see Luo Xiu and immediately cried out.
But upon seeing the blood on Luo Xiu’s clothes as well as the urn on his shoulders, she immediately panics, “Brother, what happened to you?”
“Nothing, was harassed by a few crooks!”
Luo Xiu stared at the 3 men who were in the room while he exclaimed this.
From their facial expression, they seemed shocked and surprised.
“Did I disappoint you? Go back and report this to your master.”
“All grudges should be settled. Doesn’t he want this restaurant? Then let him come, together with Templars. Just say, it is time for us to settle our grudge once and for all. “
The Templars are the mechanism in which Snow Moon City evaluate chefs and restaurants.
Whether a restaurant is promoted or demoted is based on the decisions of these Templars. As well, the acknowledgement of the rank of Chef is also based on their evaluation.
In some ways, they are similar to that of government agencies in regulating food and restaurants.
The three men looked at one another, and have no idea what they should do next. The sudden appearance of Luo Xiu had derailed their plans to take over the restaurant.
The leader of these three men used his eyes to communicate to one another, and the three men beat a hasty retreat.
“Brother, you….. how did you get injured?”
After the 3 men had left, Ye Weilian then heaved a sigh of relief, but her face was full of concern for Luo Xiu.
Luo Xiu waved his eyes, and sighed, “This is done by Li Yuan. I almost died.”
“Arh?” Ye Weilian was so shocked that she cupped her hands over her mouth.
Li Yuan is a qualified Chef.
2 years ago, after he was promoted to a qualified Chef status, he had the rights to open a restaurant of his own.
After evaluating various places in Snow Moon City, he finally set his sights on taking over the Nine Gates Restaurants.
The reasons are very simple. This is a restaurant and needs very little investment. The location is also superb. The most important reason is…. this two-story shop is only ranked as a commoner’s restaurant. There are no chefs in this restaurant and its business is falling.
It is a prime piece of meat, ripe for the taking!
Because of the situation, it is extremely likely that the current owners, Luo Xiu and his sister, is likely to be to forced to sell their restaurant or close it down.
As the commoners’ restaurant is the lowest possible grade to operate a restaurant. If they fail the evaluation, they are required by law to sell the restaurant to other Chef.
Luo Xiu did not become a chef for his personal reasons. As for Ye Weilian, she did not inherit her dad’s skills in cooking. The dishes she cooked are inedible and are so bad that words failed to describe the dishes.
It is not that they have not tried to hire a Chef. The problem is that no self-respecting Chefs are willing to work for them.
In this world, chefs are the most highly respected vocation.
“Then…. Then what should we do?”
Ye Weilian frowned, on her face colour face paired with rosy cheeks displayed a look of helplessness.
Usually, Ye Weilian is a bright young woman who can come up with solutions to any problem. But this time, she did not have any flashes of inspirations to solve the problem that is before them.
Even her brother almost lost his life. It seemed that it is no longer possible to protect and kept the restaurant that her father left for her.
“Why are you so worried? Just relax, you still have me.”
Luo Xiu smiled. Just then he heard the sounds of a stomach growling. As he turned around, he saw the cute face of his sister turning red with embarrassment.
Her brother was missing for a night, and Ye Weilian did not eat anything for half a day.
“Let’s go! Take me to the kitchen. I will cook some dishes for you to try!”
Hearing Luo Xiu’s words, Ye Weilian eyes suddenly widen as she exclaimed: “Ha? You …. Cook?”
“Brother, please, I am begging you. I still wish to live for a few more years. Really!”
Ye Weilian shook her head furiously as she held on to her brother’s hand with all her might and refused to let him into the kitchen. It was like she was begging him not to cook.
“Is the food I cooked that scary?” Luo Xiu was stunned and do not know if he should laugh or cry.
But the most surprising thing is Ye Weilian’s reply. She immediately nodded her head, saying, “The food you cook cannot be merely described as scary. The food I cook may taste horrible, but at least it can be eaten. As for the dishes you made…. Just say that after the last time you fed Little Black, now Little Black will run away as fast as it can when it sees you.”
Little Black is the huge black mastiff belonging to their neighbour. It got a big appetite and would eat anything, er.. make that almost anything.
“This time, it will definitely be different, I promise!”
Ye Weilian was almost in tears, “Brother, please spare me! You cannot taste any food, neither can you smell any food, how can you cook?” Ye Weilian has absolutely zero confidence in her brother.
“Who said that… if you cannot smell or taste food, you cannot cook?”
At this moment in time, Luo Xiu suddenly has the air of a world-class chef.
What a joke! If even the world’s best Chinese chef cannot cook, then who else can cook?