Chapter 37 – Can I Take You Home?
Translated by Prosperousfood.com
Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com
As a gourmand, he needs to have a pair of sharp eyes to discern quality food. There were 4 dishes in front of Elder Han – he ate 3 of them but did not touch the most delicious one.
Therefore, Ye Chui said that his taste buds are such a let down and were not satisfied with Elder Han’s evaluation of ‘Very Satisfied’.
Ye Chui was sure that if Elder Han had eaten the last dish, he will not only be ‘very satisfied’, but will be ‘Super happy’ or ‘Extremely satisfied’.
Everyone understood Ye Chui’s words and looked at the dish that seemed to be so ordinary.
Elder Han frown as he looked at the untouched last dish.
This is a cold dish, but Ye Chui said that this dish is the tastiest of the 4 dish?
“What are you talking about? This cold dish looks very ordinary. How could you claim that this dish is the most delicious of the 4 dishes? Han Yuyan shouted at Ye Chui. She was very aggressive and looks like she would attack him at any moment.
Ye Chui just sneered, “Children that do not understand should not talk rubbish.”
“You….” Han Yuyan’s eyes widen in surprise. Ye Chui dared to call her a child? She is older than Ye Chui! This kid is too arrogant! She will teach him a lesson!
Han Yuyan clutched her fists and was about to attack Ye Chui. Elder Han suddenly stopped her, “Yuyan, do not be rash. He is right. He had cooked 4 dishes, but I have only tasted 3 of them, and did not touch this cold dish. This is a fact.”
Hearing Elder Han’s words, Ye Chui nodded his head. This Elder Han is a man of high status, but he is willing to admit his shortcomings. This is the mark of a capable man!
Elder Han not longer looks as angry as before, but his eyes were still cold. He stared at Ye Chui, “You said that this dish is better than the other 3 dishes? The other 3 dishes had already given me a pleasant surprise. If it is much better than that, then I should be able to enjoy eating it much more than the other 3 dishes. Even the top chefs could not guarantee that I will like the dish. Do you think this dish can meet my high expectations?”
“That’s right!” Ye Chui confidently reply.
Elder Han nodded his head. It was unknown if he had applauded Ye Chui for his courage or was annoyed by Ye Chui bold declaration, but he decided to give this dish a try. He picked up the pair of chopsticks, grabbed some strips of chicken and cucumbers, and placed it into his mouth.
Food connoisseurs enjoy the food in a slightly different way from most people. They have a habit of expressing their delight or enjoyment of the dish much like the way people appreciated arts – very slowly.
Tian Xiaoduo, Han Yuyan and Yang Yong held their breath as they looked at Elder Han. Their hearts were beating rapidly. To their astonishment, Ye Chui was as calm as ever, showing how confident he is that this dish will delight Elder Han.
Elder Han chews very slowly, as if trying to savour the dish of this dish.
Then his face suddenly stiffens.
Tian Xiaodu’s and Yang Yong’s eyes nearly popped out of their head as they watched Elder Han’s reaction. This reaction is really strange.
“Grandpa?” Han Yuyan called out.
Elder Han looked at Ye Chui. He is already 97 years old. From the time he is 40 years old, he had been a leading food critic. For over 50 years, he had eaten all sorts of fine cuisines from all over the world, and is very used to eating fine food. He thought that he would never be pleasantly surprised anymore.
But this time, Ye Chui managed to do it. No, this could not be described as pleasantly surprised anymore. The other 3 dishes had given him a pleasant surprise, but this dish is indeed much better than that. He was astonished that such a tasty chicken dish actually exists!
Perhaps this dish is his reward for his unfailing dedication to find the finest cuisines.
“Thank you.” Elder Han whispered, and his eyes were filled with tears.
“You are welcomed.” Ye Chui replied.
“Grandpa, how is this dish?” Han Yuyan looked at Elder Han with curiosity. She could not understand why her grandpa suddenly cried and thank Ye Chui. And why Ye Chui uttered the words ‘you are welcomed.’
“All of you go out!” Elder Han did not reply to his granddaughter’s question, but he looked tired and happy when he said this. His eyes never left the dish, and if he was looking at the lover that he had not seen since he was a teenager.
Elder Han looks very scary, even scarier than he does not like the food. Even Han Yuyan was frightened by his behaviour. She immediately glanced at Ye Chui and Tian Xiaoduo and asked them to leave the room with her, and close the door behind her.
Outside of the VIP room, Fang Tao and the other chefs were waiting outside anxiously. When they saw Ye Chui and the rest exiting from the room, Fang Tao immediately asked, “shifu, how is the situation inside?”
Tian Xiaodu did not reply, but just look at Ye Chui. In his heart, Ye Chui was already an expert. But looks like he had vastly underestimated Ye Chui – from Elder Han’s reaction, Ye Chui’s cooking skills are much better than what he had thought.
He could not asking, “How did you cook the Hong word Chicken with shredded cucumber? No, I should ask you this question. This recipe is very precious.”
“No, this I can share with you.” Ye Chui smiled as he replied.
Everyone was surprised. They knew the value of the recipes. The La Zi Ji was sold for $120,000. But now he wants to share this recipe for free?
Everyone picked up their ears and listened, as if they were afraid of missing a beat.
Ye Chui just smiled and explained, “Actually Hong word chicken with shredded cucumber is very simple to make. For Shaoxing Drunken Chicken, the meat tastes best without skin. All I did is to take the skin off and simmer it for a short while in Stewed Chicken and mushroom gravy before finely slicing it. Next, I added the gravy from the Dong An chicken, and topped it all with finely shredded cucumber.”
This method does not seem very difficult. The problem is that n.o.body could make it. Because cooking this simple dish requires knowledge of making the other 3 dishes. That is why Ye Chui said that the other 3 dishes are just to accompany this dish. If someone does not know how to create the other 3 dishes, this dish is impossible to cook.
No wonder Ye Chui was nonchalant about revealing the secret recipe to this dish. And no wonder this dish is much better than the other 3 dishes.
“Just now, when Mr Ye told me that this dish was served in the Manchu Han Imperial Feast, I did not believe him. Looks like I was wrong. This dish is indeed worthy of being included in the Manchu Han Imperial Feast!”
“I really want to try this Hong word chicken with shredded cucumber just once.”
The chefs sighed.
Fang Tao’s face changed. The dish that he had prepared for Elder Han is also a cold dish. This is why he was very hostile when Ye Chui prepared a cold dish as well. Now that he knows this dish is very difficult to make, he still refuse to admit that his dish was inferior to that of Ye Chui’s.
As a chef specialising in cold dishes, he asked, “This method of combining the 3 dishes into 1 is too messy. The taste of each dish will be in conflict. How could it become delicious?”
“It is the cucumber. Because there are cucumbers.”
Ye Chui explains, “Cucumber is naturally mildly sweet and refreshing, and is a natural blending agent. It can blend the 3 tastes into one.”
“Cucumber could do this?” Fang Tao was rendered speechless.
All the other chefs looked at Ye Chui with respect and admiration in their eyes.
Han Yuyan is no longer angry with Ye Chui, nor does she dare to belittle this young man.
She suddenly grabbed Ye Chui by his arms, and shown a most bewitching smile, “Your name is Ye Chui? May I ask if …. I can take you home?”