Chapter 15 – A Thousand Gold for a Dish
Translated by Prosperousfood.com
Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com
“Because of this reason, you approached me three to four times ?” Ye Chui heard Tian Xiaoduo’s remarks, but he did not understand it.
After all, Tian Xiao-duo was also a famous chef. What kind of guest is that that would force him to become like this?
Ye Chui could not help but ask, “Is that guest very fussy about his food?”
He has now confirmed that Tian Xiaoduo has no connection with Cao Kang and is willing to help.
“He is not only fussy! He is extremely fussy!” Tian Xiaoduo sighed, “He is a famous figure in the culinary world, and is name Han Xi. Everyone calls him Elder Han. He will be coming to our city to discuss a business deal. The manager of our restaurant had pulled all his connections to get Elder Han to come to our restaurant for a meal.”
“This creates a huge problem for me. If he enjoys the food that we have created, then our restaurant will be even more famous. Conversely, if he does not like the food that we have created, one word from him is enough to cause our restaurant to lose more than half of our regular customers. If it were you, you would also be on pins and needles!”
“Elder Han loves to eat chicken?” Ye Chui was interested and asked.
“That’s right. Elder Han is about 90+ years old this year. When he was a teenager, the vegetarian movement had not yet begun. At that time, he loves to eat chicken. Today, 80 years later, the meat has become safe to eat. It is rumoured that in these few years, he had travelled all over the world, and try to find the taste of the chicken that he used to eat as a teenager. Up to now, he had yet to find a single chef that could make him happy.” Tian Xiaoduo explained.
From the start of the vegetarian movement, all animal meat contains poison. The world has changed a lot. This change was felt most acutely by the culinary world. All these while, humans have thought that they will be unable to eat meat, and many of the recipes for meat dishes were lost.
Even the few recipes that remained are incomplete recipes. Elder Han was born in the era before the vegetarian movement begins. At that time, meat was widely available. After 80 plus years, the taste of the chicken that he craved so much for would have changed and enshrined in his memory as ‘a Godlike taste’. How could it be so easy to find a dish that would meet his high expectations?
Of course, this is not a problem for Ye Chui.
“If the situation is indeed like this, I am afraid that a plate of Da Pan Ji is definitely not enough.” Ye Chui pushed his tricycle as he sighed.
“Oh, the name of the chicken dish that you cooked is called Da Pan Ji? This name is easy to understand….” Tian Xiaoduo replied, and then he turned surprised and asked, “This plate of Da Pan Ji that you cooked is already superb. I tried before and tried to recreate it. After many attempts, I could not replicate the same awesome taste. From this, we can see that this dish is not ordinary. Even this dish could not satisfy the taste buds of Elder Han?”
“How could I know if it is enough to satisfy Elder Han or not?” Ye Chui rolled his eyes. “I do not know who this Elder Han is. But in my personal opinion, since you are trying to get in his good graces, just one dish of Da Pan Ji may not satisfy his taste buds. If you really want to impress Elder Han, you should create more than one chicken dish for this man to try.”
“There are still other recipes for cooking chicken?” Hearing what Ye Chui had said, Tian Xiaoduo immediately asked.
To him, Da Pan Ji is already the finest chicken dish he ever had the pleasure to try. But this young man seemed to know even more delicious chicken recipe?
Ye Chui was thinking about something else. When he heard Tian Xiaoduo’s question, he replied without thinking, “Of course there are. For example, Steamed chicken, Wonton Chicken, Pepper chicken, Spicy chicken, Shredded chicken, Lotus Leaf Chicken, Kou Shui chicken, Wenchang chicken, White cut chicken etc. Yi, why did you suddenly stop in the middle of the street?”
Tian Xiaoduo was stunned and stood there dumbfounded. How could he move?
He had never in his life heard of any of these dishes that Ye Chui had listed. He guessed that these chicken dishes are all very tasty and hard to make. But Ye Chui said out the names of these recipes like it was peanuts. This made him looked at Ye Chui with suspicion.
He quickly walked towards Ye Chui and asked, “How did you know so many dish? Don’t tell me you….. you…..”
Ye Chui thought ‘Oh, shit! A careless slip of my tongue!’
‘Could Tian Xiaoduo suspect that I am not from this world?’
Actually, Ye Chui had over complicated things by his thinking too much. Tian Xiaoduo continued, “Don’t tell me you have these long lost recipes?”
After meat became safe for consumption, there is a huge drive in the culinary world to reintroduce meat into people’s diet. Right, now the most valuable thing in this world are the long lost recipes of the previous century!
Hearing what Tian Xiaduo had said, Ye Chui was momentary surprised. But he quickly recovered his wits and nodded his head, “That’s right. I have seen these long lost recipes. But all these recipes are the treasures of my late family, and I could not share these recipes with others.”
“Understood!” Tian Xiaoduo nodded his head in agreement. He was filled with envy, “All these recipes are treasures of proud food heritage. If one day, these recipes could once again, see the light of the world, wouldn’t that be amazing?”
“Hehe. I think that day would not be too far.” Ye Chui replied.
The two of men walked as they chatted, and in a short span of time, they reach the area where Ye Chui resides in.
Tian Xiaoduo hesitately asked, “Little brother, please can sell one recipe to me?”
“Of course I can, but….” Ye Chui had thought about it carefully. He looked at Tian Xiaoduo and suggested, “But I have a better suggestion for you regarding the situation you are facing now. I do not know if you are willing to listen to my suggestion.”
“Please go ahead and say it.” Tian Xiaoduo immediately replied.
“Let me handle that Elder Han.” Ye Chui smiled. “Since he is a foodie, he must be very fussy about his food. Only one chicken dish is definitely not enough to satisfy him. I could prepare a big feast containing several different types of chicken dishes. This would definitely win him over and allow him to reminisce about the food that he ate when he was a teenager.”
Tian Xiaoduo was shocked at the Ye Chui’s suggestion. A young man of 17-18 years of age that sell mutton skewers to replace him as the chef and serves Elder Han in his stead?
If he heard these words before tonight, Tian Xiaoduo would have immediately turned around and walked away. But this time, in his heart, he had a ‘this would definitely work!’ feeling.
He sighed and replied, “I may be the head chef, but I could not make this decision by myself. I need to speak about this matter to our manager. After all, this concerns Wan Lai Fu’s image.”
“Not a problem. Tomorrow I could visit Wan Lai Fu restaurant, and create a chicken feast for your manager to try.” Ye Chui smiled, “If my dishes could not get him to agree, then you could ignore my suggestion.”
Ye Chui words showed how confident he is.
Tian Xiaoduo nodded his head, “That’s great. Tomorrow, I will send someone to pick you up!”
Suddenly, he thought of something, and immediately asked, “But your services are not free?”
“Of course it is not free!”
Ye Chui smiled. He was hoping to make a small bundle of money by helping Wan Lai Fu. Looking at the roaring business in his mutton skewer stall, he could make at most $ 30,000 a month.
He had calculated the cost of owning his own restaurant. It would cost hundreds of thousands dollars. If he saved every single penny, he would still need half a year to achieve his dream. But this time, an opportunity presented itself. If he could make a lum sum of money, he could open his own restaurant immediately.
Maybe he could even rent a better place for himself and his two sisters. Right now the apartment is really small.
“Then what is your rate?” Tian Xiaoduo asked.
“We will discuss this tomorrow. After I had cooked and you had tried the food that I cooked, we can discuss the price.
Ye Chui cunningly replied. If he said he wants several thousands of dollars, he would frighten them off immediately.
When he showed his skills, he would be in a better position to negotiate.
Of course, Ye Chui did not feel that hiring a chef and paying the chef a lump sum of money is wrong. He was a ‘god of cooking’. To say that ‘one dish is worth thousands of gold’ is a good description of his skills. Just thousands of dollars is already a discounted price.
But right now, he had neither fame nor recognition. Therefore, he was willing to offer his services at a cheaper rate.