Chapter 21 – Butter Up the Wrong Horse

 

  

Translated by Prosperousfood.com

 

Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cao Xiong saw that his son was rendered speechless by Ye Chui and looked dumbfounded. Even Lin Wei also spoke up for Ye Chui.

 

Cao Xiong shook his head. His son was really useless.

 

It is not because he did not manage to embarrass Ye Chui. Rather, it is because all this while, his son has been courting Lin Wei. But in her eyes, a mutton skewers stall owner is more important than his son. What has his son been doing all this while?

 

Lin Zhengdao was watching the exchange of words with a bemused expression on his face. He had a pretty good impression of Ye Chui.

 

This reason is not because of his daughter, Lin Wei. Rather, it is because Ye Chui managed to effortlessly sit at the same table as them. Also, after being looked down upon by Cao Kang and his father, he managed to remain calm, and easily turned the situation to his advantage. Not many young men are as cool and clever as Ye Chui.

 

At this moment, the door to this VIP room was opened. Yang Yong, the manager of Wan Lai Fu Restaurant entered the room. Behind him were several good-looking waitresses and waiters carrying plates of food. As soon as the food is ready, he wanted to personally serve these dishes to his VIP guests.

 

For most of the guests, Yan Yong would not serve personally. But both Lin Zhengdao and Cao Xiong are VIPs, and he wanted to build relations with them. The smile on his face had never been wider. Then he saw Ye Chui, who was sitting at the same table as them.

 

Yang Yong is slow to react. Just now, he did not notice that Ye Chui had left the kitchen, and also did not know that Ye Chui had entered this VIP room. He pointed at Ye Chui and muttered, “You…. Why are you….”

 

“Manager Yang, do you recognise this young man?” Cao Xiong was quick to seize the opportunity, and immediately grinned. You could not tell that he had hostile intents towards Ye Chui.

 

Lin Zhengdao was amused and he smiled. Looks like the battle of words has begun anew. How is Ye Chui going to fight this battle?

 

“I recognised him,…” Yang Yong immediately thinks about it as fast as he can. After all, he is quick-wit and knows how to adapt to circumstances, barring any surprises.

 

In the kitchen, Ye Chui had demonstrated his superior cooking skills, and was confident that he could make sure Elder Han enjoyed his meal. Right now, he was seated with these two distinguished guests. This means that Ye Chui is not an ordinary person.

 

Therefore, Yang Yong immediately concluded that maybe Ye Chui has great connections with important people.

 

Of course, Cao Xiong’s behaviour is a bit puzzling. But Ye Chui is dining here with these two distinguished guests is a fact, and Yang Yong was confident that he had guessed correctly.

 

He immediately understood which way the winds were blowing and smiled, “Just now, Mr Ye had demonstrated his superior cooking skills. If I have offended Mr Ye just now, please do not hold a grudge against me.”

 

“It is all right. I am not a vindictive person.” Ye Chui was laughing in his heart. Cao Xiong was hoping to use Yang Yong to taunt him. But Yang Yong seemed to have misunderstood Cao Xiong.

 

Yang Yong is a sly one, and immediately smiled, and allowed the waiters and waitresses to serve the dishes.

 

All these dishes are Wan Lai Fu Restaurant’s signature dishes. More than half of these dishes are vegetarian dishes. As for meat dishes, there were a few of them. Even the large restaurants like Wan Lai Fu could not have so many recipes for meat dishes, especially since meat was reintroduced as food not long ago.

 

The majority of the meat is pork, such as ‘red braised pork belly’, ‘stewed pork’ etc. Although these dishes are tasty, they are still inferior to the La Zi Ji in terms of unique taste.

 

Lin Wei did not even look at these dishes. Instead, she was happily helping herself to more La Zi Ji.

 

After serving all the dishes, Yang Yong was intending to leave. But at this time, Cao Xiong asked him to stay back and sneered as he asked, “I heard from brother Ye Chui that you intend to offer him a job at Wan Lai Fu Restaurant, but he declined?”

 

Cao Xiong and Cao Kang thought that Ye Chui was bluffing when he said that earlier. They were hoping that Manager Yang will refute this, and Ye Chui will lose some face.

 

But Yang Yong misunderstood them. Looking at the sneered and the cold tone of voice from Cao Xiong, he thought that Cao Xiong was scolding him. Yang Yong interpreted the hidden meaning of his words as ‘Ye Chui is a great chef, and you want to hire this guy? Can you afford it?’

 

Yang Yong immediately smiled as he replied, “Aiya! Just now I was astounded by Mr Ye’s skills. Mr Ye’s cooking skills are really good. Our Wan Lai Fu Restaurant is not qualified to hire a chef of his calibre. After seeing his skills, I wanted to hire Mr Ye to work here. But he declined the job offer. For a man of his talents, this is normal.”

 

All these words only validated what Ye Chui had said earlier. Even Ye Chui could not help feeling sorry for Cao Xiong and Cao Kang. The words of Yang Yong must have slapped them in the face, and slapped them hard.

 

The veins on Cao Xiong’s head stood up. He is a regular customer in Wan Lai Fu Restaurant. Normally, Manager Yang is quite smart and got his subdued hints perfectly. Why is he so stupid today? He not only misunderstood his intent, but also tried to butter him up. Unfortunately, he flattered the wrong horse [1].

 

Cao Kang was furious at his loss to Ye Chui in the earlier battle of words. He immediately acted surprise and he asked Yang Yong, “Brother Ye Chui had said that you have purchased the recipe from him at $100,000. Surely this could not be true?”

 

Yang Yong immediately replied, “That’s right, I spend $100,000 to purchase this La Zi Ji recipe. In future, this dish will be the signature dish in our Wan Lai Fu Restaurant.

 

“It is really true!” Cao Kang was surprised. Just now he thought that Lin Wei had covered up for Ye Chui just to spite him.

 

He gritted his teeth in anger as he looked at Manager Yang, “You just purchased this recipe at $100,000! Are you crazy?”

 

“Oh?”

 

Yang Yong was surprised at Cao Kang’s outburst. He did not understand why Cao Kang was so angry. But as a manager of a large restaurant like Wan Lai Fu Restaurant, the most important thing is to guess what the guests want.

 

He thought, is Cao Kang hinting that this recipe is too cheap? That’s right, it must be this! Just now he had offended Ye Chui in the kitchen. Cao Kang wants to take revenge for Ye Chui…..

 

Once he thought of this, Yang Yong hesitantly said, “Then…. I will offer $120,000 for this recipe?”

 

Cao Kang:“……”

 

Again, he was rendered speechless.

 

Frankly speaking, you cannot blame Yang Yong for not getting the hints that they were giving him. The chief reason is that Ye Chui’s performance in the kitchen is too superb. Then he saw Ye Chui sitting at the same table as all the other distinguished guests, and thought that Ye Chui has strong connections with the rich and powerful men.

 

Under these circumstances, he made an honest mistake in interpreting Cao Kang’s words.

 

Ye Chui could not stop grinning in his heart. He had never ever Yang Yong to increase the price, and magnanimously said, “Since we have agreed on the price of $100,000, there is no need to increase the price.”

 

“We cannot do that. This La Zi Ji smells good and taste better. It is definitely worth this price. Just now I felt that $100,000 does not do this dish justice. Mr Ye, please do not decline my offer.” Yang Yong immediately replied. He looks as if he could not wait to put more monies into Ye Chui’s hand, and made Ye Chui felt very good.

 

Ye Chui then suppressed his smile and nodded his head, “Since it is like this, I graciously accept your offer.”

 

Cao Kang did not anticipate that Yang Yong would ‘help’ Ye Chui. He angrily asked, “So what if there is a recipe? Can Ye Chui grasp the essence of this dish?”

 

These words are to snub Ye Chui. It meant that Ye Chui had gained this recipe. So what if he could sell the recipe?

 

But in the ears of Yang Yong, it means an entirely different thing. Just now Yang Yong had uttered the same words in the kitchen while Ye Chui was cooking.

 

Hearing this, Yang Yong assumed that Cao Kang was scolding him for his earlier attitude. He immediately apologises, “Of course Ye Chui did not only have the recipe. His cooking skills are top notched. Otherwise, we dare not to hire him to serve Elder Han.”

 

As soon as he said this, not only Cao Kang, but also Lin Zhengdao and Cao Xiong were stunned. All of them knew Elder Han. This man is famous for his picky taste. Everyone knew that Elder Han will be coming to Xizhou, and was wondering which chef will be scolded by this man.

 

At this time, Yang Yong told them that the one who will be entertaining Elder Han is this 17-18 years old man?

 

“Ye Chui, is what Manager Yang said true?”Lin Zhengdao could not resist asking Ye Chui.

 

Ye Chui nodded his head, “That’s right!”

 

“This….” Lin Zhengdao, who was intending to watch the war of words with a bemused expression, was completely dumbfounded by this news.

 

He could not help re-evaluating the young man in front of him. This young man looks ordinary. But he is anything but ordinary.

 

 

 

To request to entertain Elder Han is something that most chefs dread. But Ye Chui did not even look flustered. He was explaining to Lin Wei how this dish of La Zi Ji is made.

 

Cao Kang face turned black. If just now Ye Chui’s war of words is a like a normal blow, then the words of Yang Yong is the coup de grace.

 

****

 

Notes

[1] In Chinese to butter someone up is called, 拍马屁. This translated literally as  ‘To say good things about a horse’s fart’.  So when I said he flattered ‘the wrong horse’ and not ‘the wrong man’, you get the drift….. �

 

 

 

 

 

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Translated by Prosperous Food dot Com

Rehosted by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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