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God of Cooking

God of Cooking

God of Cooking
Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Chapter 2: 7 years earlier (1)
“Wake up, Min Joon! Cho Min Joon!”
In response to the calling, Cho Min Joon knitted his eyebrows and opened his eyes. He remembered that he was sleeping in the kitchen, so why was he in his house? He was quite dumbfounded. Lee Hye Sun then continued talking.
“Why do you look so out of it? Wake up already. It’s 10 o’clock already.”
“…10? 10 o’clock? Oh no. Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”
“What are you talking about? You’re on leave right now.”
“There’s no such thing as being on leave at a restaurant! I have to go to work!”
“A restaurant? You’re hilarious. Did you dream of becoming a chef? Wake up Min Joon! You’re a college student!”
“…Pardon?”
A dream about being a chef. He said that because he was sure he worked at a restaurant. But apparently, he was now a college student. He was confused.
Cho Min Joon reflexively looked around the house. The chair that had its leg broken three years back was in front of the table. Even the extremely poor quality TV was right in the middle of the living room. Cho Min Joon then asked with a confused voice, “Mom, what year is it…?”
“What kind of question is that? You’re still asleep, aren’t you?”
“What year is it?”
“It’s 2010! Now wash up and eat your breakfast, it’s getting cold.”
It was 2010, the time when he got out of the military. Cho Min Joon washed his face in a daze. As soon as he sat in front of the table, a computer window popped up in front of Cho Min Joon’s eyes.
[Polished rice]
Freshness: 73%
Origin: Korea
Quality: High
Cooking Score: 5/10
“…Huh?”
Cho Min Joon stared at the rice with a blank look on his face. ‘What am I looking at? Am I crazy? Am I still dreaming? Is this a hallucination?’ Such thoughts went through his head.
But no matter how many times he blinked, the window wouldn’t disappear. Cho Min Joon then turned his head around to look at the soy bean stew.
[Soybean Stew]
Freshness: 90%
Origin: (Too many ingredients for an accurate calculation)
Quality: Medium High (average amongst ingredients)
Cooking Score: 4/10
“Maybe I’ve been reading too much fantasy novels in my spare time…”
“What? You’ve been reading novels instead of studying?”
“O-of course not, Mom. That’s not it…”
“Don’t you know how hard your father works? Think about me and your dad!”
He was being scolded for reading novels. He hadn’t heard so much scolding since he had graduated college. However, he never missed hearing it.
‘Did I go back 7 years in the past?’
He then remembered the conversation he had with Cooking Leader. Considering how unbelievable this situation was, he wondered if what he had said was true.
‘He sent me back to the past.’
After that, he thought up of another justification for his assumption. Cooking Leader asked him if he would go straight into cooking if he could turn back time. Cho Min Joon replied that he would. He said that he was certain that cooking was his path.
He was more shocked than happy. But thinking about it wasn’t going to give him an answer. Cho Min Joon took a spoonful of the soybean stew into his mouth. And at that moment, another window popped up.
[You memorized Lee Hye Sun’s soy bean stew recipe.]
After mixing strong soybean paste with regular soy beam paste, add three times the amount of water. After cooking the potatoes in the boiling water, add half an onion and a block of tofu. After that, mix in anchovies until the broth is complete.
‘…No MSG added?’
Rather than the window itself, this stood out to him even more. He always said that this flavour could never come out without MSG, his mother refuted. While he stared at Lee Hye Sun, she clicked her tongue and remarked, “Why aren’t you eating? Are you rebelling? I thought you’d be better after going off to the military…”
At that moment, he thought of something horrifying. If he had gone a little further back in time. If he had gone back to when he was 21 and 22 as a military soldier…
‘Thank you, Cooking Leader.’
‘I meant everything when I told you about my passion for cooking.’
It was past lunch time. Since he had breakfast at around 10, he wasn’t very hungry. As a result, he was able to think more carefully. He was 30 years old. He was also a high school English teacher, but he wanted to become a cook. But right now, he was 23 years old. He was a college student, and he was waiting for school to begin.
“…What should I do?”
As soon as he came back to the past, Cho Min Joon made his decision. This was his last change. He didn’t want to lose his chance of becoming a cook this time. However, there was no way his parents would allow him to quit college just so he could become a cook. He first had to prove himself.
Cho Min Joon went into the living room. Lee Hye Sun was folding laundry while watching TV. Cho Min Joon then asked, “Mom, should I make you something for lunch?”
“You’re going to cook?”
“I already do that from time to time. There’s a dish I’ve been practicing.”
“Okay. Let’s give my son’s cooking a taste today.”
In response, Cho Min Joon headed to the fridge. Lee Hye Sun didn’t particularly enjoy cooking, but including the kimchi fridge, she had three fridges at home. As a result, they had a lot of cooking ingredients. His father always scolded his mother for letting food go bad.
“Let’s see…”
[Eggs]
Freshness: 85%
Origin: Korea
Quality: Medium
He didn’t like the way the windows popped up all the time. He first added eggs into a bowl. He then fetched lemon, sugar, and butter. As soon as he saw the eggs, he thought of what to make. It was simple, yet a little troublesome to make. Soufflé. It looked like a muffin, but it was much softer in terms of texture.
Soufflés were what separated the good cooks from the bad ones. They even say that cooks who can make good soufflés can make just about anything.
There was a time when he was obsessed with soufflés. He was so obsessed that he ate it three times a day. Of course, he was tired of making it after a week, but after that, he still made it once a week.
He was confident. Cho Min Joon heated the oven and separated the egg yolks from the egg whites of two eggs. He then added two spoonfuls of sugar. What was next was simple. All he had to do was beat it vigorously.
Lee Hye Sun was fascinated by the noise in the kitchen. She raised her voice and asked, “Why is it so noisy in there?”
“I’m making bread.”
“Bread? You can make bread?”
“Just wait. It’ll be delicious.”
Cho Min Joon continued to move his arm. Once it was beaten enough, the eggs turned into foam. And once it turned into cream, that’s what cooks call as a meringue.
Some might wonder how hard it could be to beat some eggs, but those who made meringues built quite a bit of muscle. It was a dish that made cooks take turns using both arms. But of course, one had to beat it only in one direction. If you beat it in both directions, the foam would likely disappear.
It took him 4 minutes to create the meringue. Cho Min Joon breathed deeply and looked at the final result.
[Meringue]
Freshness: 85%
Origin: (Too many ingredients for an accurate calculation)
Quality: Medium (average)
Cooking Score: 5/10
He worked very hard on it, but his score was only a measly 5. He understood. Rather than adding sugar throughout the process, he added it in the beginning. It wasn’t a normal way of making the dish.
Cho Min Joon smacked his lips and sliced some lemons. After obtaining the juice, he poured it over the meringue. The meringue slowly turned yellow and elicited a refreshing scent. At this point, the dish was complete.
Cho Min Joon rubbed butter and sugar inside a mug and poured the meringue afterwards. He thought that he could fill exactly two cups with it, but there was excess that needed to be moved into a third cup. It was simple from there on out. Cho Min Joon then put the mugs inside a heated oven.
It was all easy from there. He used the mixer to turn sugar into sugar powder, and waited. A moment later, the oven’s bell went off, which signalled Cho Min Joon to take out the soufflé and sprinkle the sugar powder on top.
That was it. On top of the lemon-colored soufflé was sugar powder that looked like snow. Cho Min Joon looked at the window that popped up on top of the lemon soufflé.
[Lemon Soufflé]
Freshness: 98%
Origin: (Too many ingredients for an accurate calculation)
Quality: Medium High (average)
Cooking Score: 6/10
6 points. Cho Min Joon smacked his lips and tasted the soufflé inside the smallest cup. It was soft with a thick texture as a result of the egg. The way it crumbled like soft snow blessed the tip of his tongue. The flavour was also exceptional. It was sweet and sour in the best way possible.
Cho Min Joon then said, “Mom, it’s ready.”
“Okay. Bring it over.”
“…Sure.”
She didn’t seem appreciative of his efforts. Cho Min Joon grumbled as he brought her the lemon soufflé. He was certain that the flavour would blow her away.
And it was just as he expected. Lee Hye Sun’s eyes grew wide as she looked at the soufflé and at Cho Min Joon back and forth.
“You made this?”
“Who else?”
“But… this tastes like it’s from a restaurant.”
Lee Hye Sun continued to taste it. She put her spoon through the lemon soufflé and exclaimed, “Wow… It’s so soft.”
She then took another bite. She chewed it, flinched, and took another bite. She then stared at Cho Min Joon.
“…Are you going to cooking classes behind my back?”
Cho Min Joon smirked in response. And at that moment…
[Lee Hye Sun commends your ‘Lemon Soufflé!]
[Additional experience points for an exceptional dish!]
[Level up!]
[Level up!]