Chapter 108: Exchange of Pointers

While Yuan Zhou had just gotten on the cab, Chef Yu was still waiting patiently. However, the general manager started to get slightly worried.
“Chef Yu, do you think that guy will come?” The general manager paced around Chef Yu twice and in the end, couldn’t help but ask.
“He will.” Chef Yu said firmly.
“How would you know?” The general manager looked at Chef Yu’s expression curiously.
“Yesterday, my senior, Wang Shuyuan, told me everything about him. So I know he will definitely come.” While speaking, Chef Yu recalled Wang Shuyuan’s comments about Yuan Zhou.
At that time, Wang Shuyuan told him frankly, “Master Yuan is a top-class chef who isn’t short of talent, skills or efforts. Moreover, he takes his work very seriously. In comparison, although you likewise have excellent skills, you are not genius and also do not have the seriousness that gives rise to a top-class chef.”
“If he can get such high comments from that senior, he would surely come.” Chef Yu thought inwardly.
Chef Yu was rather convinced about the comments of Wang Shuyuan. However, it was impossible for him to completely believe Wang Shuyuan as he had his own pride.
“Alright.” Seeing that Chef Yu was not willing to talk anymore, the general manager could only instruct another staff member behind him. “Go and prepare all the ingredients required.”
The efficiency of the big hotel was pretty good. All the ingredients had been well prepared twenty minutes before the contest started.
Seated in the middle, Wang Shuyuan was both excited and embarrassed. Originally, this matter had nothing to do with Yuan Zhou but due to his mistake, things became this way.
Fortunately, the contest didn’t seem to be official and was really like an exchange of pointers, which made Wang Shuyuan feel a little relieved.
Looking at Chef Yu who was already in front of his own kitchen stove and again at the other vacant kitchen stove in the opposite direction, Wang Shuyuan became a little worried whether Yuan Zhou would come or not. After all, his old friend had told him before this guy was an extremely principled individual.
The audience at the side who came to watch also got slightly rowdy.
“Why hasn’t the other chef been here? Don’t they say the contest starts at 3:00?” a devoted customer of the World Foodie Hotel said to another one beside him in a whisper.
The one beside him was also quite curious. When he turned his head and found that there really wasn’t anybody appearing, he answered, “I have no idea. He’s supposed to arrive any minute.”
“But the time is up,” somebody checked the time and said curiously.
While the audiences over here were anxiously waiting, Yuan Zhou was leisurely walking into World Foodie Hotel along with Meng Meng.
“Boss Yuan, there are only 10 minutes left. Can we make it for the contest?” Meng Meng kept asking while circling around Yuan Zhou.
“Yes, we can. Just in time,” Yuan Zhou answered calmly.
Yuan Zhou’s time of arrival was perfect. He didn’t come over from the kitchen but directly from the lobby. Therefore, the audiences didn’t see him until he approached the kitchen stove. Meng Meng, nevertheless, dutifully stood outside where Yuan Zhou wouldn’t be disturbed.
“We didn’t see him just now and yet, here he is. The chef is fairly young.” The regular customers of the hotel sized up Yuan Zhou curiously.
“True. He doesn’t look bad.” Though not so handsome, the unflappable temperament of Yuan Zhou was still striking.
“But the timing of this young man must have been precisely calculated. He arrived just ON TIME.”
When Yuan Zhou just put on his simple chef uniform, the hour hand had just reached 3:00, neither one minute more nor less.
“You must be Master Yuan, right?” When Chef Yu realized Yuan Zhou didn’t intend to greet him, he had to speak first.
“Shall we start?” Yuan Zhou didn’t respond to the courtesy of Chef Yu.
“Master Yuan turns out to be short tempered.” Likewise, Chef Yu didn’t seem to stand on courtesy either, of course, only on the aspect of culinary skills.
Yuan Zhou stood there quietly, not answering his questions and just waited for Chef Yu to start first.
Seeing that Yuan Zhou really was not prepared to say anything, Chef Yu became rather speechless and had to make an opening remark himself, which implied the start of the exchange of pointers, namely the contest.
“Thank you all for coming here to attend this private exchange of pointers meeting. This time, we two chefs are going to cook the dish Phoenix-Tail Prawns separately. I hope everybody could favor us with your constructive advice while savoring them later.”
Chef Yu spoke in a fairly civil way but all the people here knew that the atmosphere was not that harmonious as it appeared.
Nonetheless, it was worth it to be able to watch a distinguished cooking contest like this one. All the 10 people on the sides were chosen from the devoted customers through the Lucky Draw. They absolutely deserved the name of a senior foodie.
Another one was Wang Shuyuan, the former producer of a cooking show. It seemed pretty fair with these judges.
[This is Meng Meng live broadcast. The contest between Master Yuan and Chef Yu is beginning right now. Which side do you guys want me to broadcast?] The atmosphere was quite solemn. Meng Meng didn’t dare to utter any words for the live broadcast. Therefore, she directly muted the phone and started typing.
[The live broadcast is finally here. Of course, I would want to watch Boss Yuan, not that Chef Yu.], from Irritable Me.
[I wanna watch Boss Yuan. This is an unfair contest. I strongly request Master Yuan to pull his punches since I have eaten the dishes of Chef Yu before.], from Amisa
[Ah, I found a wealthy guy here. World Foodie Hotel is a hotel with stars. I’m envious.], from Squad Leader Loving Watching CCTV News. Just from his name, others could tell how patriotic he was.
[Hey, wealthy guy. Do you lack an attendant?], from Lian Xuan.
[Don’t change the topic. I also want to watch Boss Yuan but strongly request for Master Yuan to cook with only one hand. After all, I have eaten dishes of Boss Yuan and know his culinary skills.], from Boundaries of Firmament.
As soon as Meng Meng posted subtitles, her audiences began to refresh the screen rapidly, basically all for asking to watch Yuan Zhou cook. Chef Yu was nevertheless ignored.
[Then I’m starting the live broadcast.] After sending this message, Meng Meng began to move the camera lens to face Yuan Zhou and likewise covered Chef Yu a little. It was impossible to totally not video any part of him.
Finally, Chef Yu finished his words of gratitude and said while looking at Yuan Zhou, “So let’s start now. The ingredients are all on the table. If you need any special kitchenware or ingredients, you can request for them now.”
Yuan Zhou’s eyes swept around and said straightforwardly, “No need. It’s good.”
“Ok, so let’s start.” Chef Yu made a gesture of ‘please’ and then the two of them started immediately.
Chef Yu also had his own skills. On the aspect of choosing prawns, for example, the hotel provided three varieties of prawns. These included cultured white prawns, shrimps, and Chinese penaeid shrimps. Chef Yu chose the cultured white prawns, which were the medium-sized ones rather than the biggest.
After the prawns, he chose green peas, a few fresh corn kernels, and some chicken soup.
The way Yuan Zhou chose the ingredients was much easier. He directly chose to use the biggest Chinese penaeid shrimps. After aiming well, he caught 8 shrimps which were approximately the same size with a small fishing net.
With only the skill of catching the shrimps, he appeared more professional than Chef Yu who appeared to be much slower. While the audience of the live broadcast began to compliment him in various ways, the audience watching at the side nevertheless remained quiet.
The tail of both the different prawns required cleaning. Such meticulous work definitely had to be done with the help of a small brush. Yuan Zhou picked up the small brush and began to clean each shrimp gently by brushing them.
On the other side, Chef Yu also finished picking his prawns but with a number twice as many as those of Yuan Zhou’s. It seemed that Chef Yu didn’t intend to clean them one by one.
He took out some salt and scattered it into a clean glass container and then he put the prawns inside and poured a drop of oil onto the salt. Afterward, the white prawns inside started to throw up silt and sand from the mouth…

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