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God of Cooking

God of Cooking

God of Cooking
Chapter 34

Chapter 34: Chapter 34: A chef’s cooking (1)
Kaya’s childhood didn’t contain a single dose of romance or peace.
She didn’t have a father either. Her mother, Grace, said that her father left the house when Kaya was little. And when Kaya turned 6, another man appeared in Grace’s life. She didn’t remember the details, but she remembered that he had deep blue eyes. Grace called him Kaya’s father. Grace’s eyes were brown, and Kaya’s eyes were blue, so Kaya believed that man was actually her father.
But she wasn’t compensated for believing that. Her fake father broke everything in Grace’s household one day and started a fight, and after that, he was never seen again. He had left. After leaving a small human life in Grace’s belly.
She didn’t remember the details, but she remembered just how sensitive and miserable Grace was at the time. It was possible that Kaya was what drove Grace to work so hard. But was that not enough? Kaya still remembered her mother crying into her pillow with the lights turned off.
After a while, what comforted grace wasn’t tears but alcohol. Of course, there were no drugs. She drank lots of cheap beer and fell asleep drunk.
Was it because of the alcohol or because of her bad luck? The baby that Grace gave birth to was disabled. After seeing the baby, who couldn’t do a single thing on her own, Kaya felt her life sinking into a deep hole.
Kaya had to go straight to the market after finishing school during her elementary years. She didn’t hate that reality. Just like most kids in poor households, Kaya had no choice but to mature early. Her mother didn’t have a single skill, so she worked as a cleaning lady at the market. And Kaya’s little sister wasn’t going to survive once her family members left her. The reality was too heavy for her to throw a fit.
That didn’t mean she accepted her life and lived happily. She just felt like she was being dragged by life. Her personality became rough and so did her words. When Kaya saw the annoyed shopkeepers at the market as well as her friends playing without a care in the world, Kaya became even angrier. In the end, this caused Kaya to drop out of middle school.
“The only thing I can do is cook.”
That was what Kaya Reuters said in front of the camera. Martin asked with a quiet voice, “How did you first get into cooking?”
“I wanted to eat something good. Like I said, we were poor. So I took the ingredients that we couldn’t sell and cooked with it. At first, it tasted horrible. But I did have skill. So I tried a bunch of things to make it taste better, and it worked out. My mom and little sister liked it.”
“They must have been so happy.”
“Yes, I guess so. But beyond all that, cooking was my way of breathing. To be more exact, eating delicious food was like breathing. A spoonful of delicious food whenever I took care of my little sister, helped my mom at the market, and my whole body ached. That was the only time when I felt like life was worth living.”
She explained her sad past in a very calm manner. She wasn’t exaggerating either. She had no choice but to speak and think that way after the way she grew up.
“I quit middle school midway. Our household had a hard time just trying to pay for my little sister’s medical expenses. It wasn’t like I could go to college anyway, so I figured I’d just work.”
“… That must have been a hard decision.”
“I’m not sure. I actually felt free when I quit. I never felt like I belonged there. When I saw the other kids rebelling just because of puberty alone, I wanted to rip my mouth open. Have you seen Batman? Joker ripped his mouth there. Just like that.”
Kaya pulled her lips apart with both her fingers and then smirked. Martin smiled and signaled behind her. They had to cut that part out. This was too much for the viewers to handle in a positive light. Martin changed the subject. They already had a lot of content on her past.
“Are you close with any men?”
“No.”
Kaya answered without hesitation. And Martin was taken aback by this. He thought she would name someone, but she immediately denied it. Martin asked, “You must have people you hang out with. Marco, Min Joon, Chloe. Aren’t you close to them?”
“No.”
She answered in a firm manner. Martin smiled awkwardly and added, “You seem to be close though. You eat together, hang out together. Doesn’t that make you close?”
“Is it that easy to say you’re close? I’d have to know everything about them and trust them fully to say that we’re close.”
“Then I guess you’re in the process of getting close.”
“Well…”
Kaya grimaced. Her lips remained shut before they opened. But what she said wasn’t what Martin was hoping for.
“Next question.”
“… Is there a reason why it’s hard to answer that question?”
But Martin was persistent. He wasn’t the type to let go of something so easily. Kaya glared at him for a while. But it took a lot of effort for producers to get their jobs. Martin didn’t live a life that was so much easier than that of Kaya’s. Kaya sighed and answered in a cold voice, “Fine. I’ll tell you. I’m just embarrassed, that’s all.”
“I understand. To be interested in someone…”
“No, that’s not what I mean.”
Kaya cut Martin off. She looked Martin straight in the eyes and opened her mouth.
“I’ve gone through the process of getting close to many people. 18. I’m young, but Not that young. I’ve met good people and horrible people, too. And I tried getting close to them. But that never happened. Even if we seemed close, they all ended up leaving.”
“…”
Martin was unable to answer. He knew that he had to continue asking questions for the show. But Kaya’s eyes looked too sad for words. She was a young woman who just became an adult. It was too cruel to make her reveal more.
“It could be my personality or for another reason. But that’s the truth. I’m not cut out to get close to people. Just because we’re close now doesn’t mean we will be later down the road.”
Martin and the cameraman were unable to respond. Kaya smiled. She smiled confidently, but Martin felt an emptiness within it.
“Do you get why I was embarrassed to say it?”
After the interview, Kaya slowly headed over to the waiting room. She was sensitive after revealing her hurtful past. If anyone talked to her at this point, she was surely going to curse. Kaya stood in front of the door of the waiting room and opened her mouth.
“Calm down, Kaya Reuters. You came here to escape all that. You can do this. You’re strong. You’re…”
Kaya stopped her mumbling. The doors opened and Cho Min Joon came out from the room. Did he hear her? Probably not. The door was closed. But what if the door wasn’t soundproof? Kaya stared at Cho Min Joon. Cho Min Joon flinched and looked at Kaya.
“What?”
“… Nothing.”
Kaya answered in a low voice and entered the waiting room. Cho Min Joon watched her with knitted brows. He was bothered, but he couldn’t follow her in. It was time for his interview.
When he entered the interview room, the producer seemed off. The female writer was sniffling and wiping her tears while the cameraman looked sad. Cho Min Joon sat down and asked, “Why do you look so down?”
“… We heard Kaya’s story. You know about her past, right?”
“Just what they aired on the show.”
Cho Min Joon answered with a shrug. Martin sighed.
“Well, we heard more of it. It’s enough to make anyone with emotions cry.”
“Seeing how you’re fine, you mustn’t be so emotional.”
“Of course not. I’m just not the type to cry so much.
Cho Min Joon smiled bitterly and shut up. Margin smirked and asked, “Well then. Are you confident about the next mission?”
“I can’t say until I know what the mission is. I’m actually scared to answer now. I feel like if I say anything, I could end up getting backstabbed like last time.”
He said it indirectly, but he was talking about when he talked about Kaya in the 1st episode. Martin scratched his head. Cho Min Joon glared and said, “You said you wanted me to win, so I thought you were cheering me on. But I guess those were just empty words.”
“I am cheering you on. But I’m a producer. You gave me some good content, so I had to use it.”
Martin smirked. He was a sly man. Cho Min Joon glared at him and then smirked.
“You’re right. I understand.”
“Let’s proceed with the interview, Min Joon. Viewers had different responses after the 1st episode. ‘Is there no way of succeeding as a chef in Korea? Why did he come to America?’ What do you think about this?”
“I’m not sure. That’s a sensitive topic. If I have to talk about the latter, I’d say it’s because of my own greed. I was touched after seeing the last season of Grand Chef. It made me want to stand here myself. It’s a good opportunity and a good stage.”
“But it’s not common for someone to come all the way from another country. You’re the only one out of all the contestants.”
This made Cho Min Joon realize that he was special. Even those who wanted to become chefs didn’t come all the way to America for it. Cho Min Joon wondered if he was too desperate and greedy. He also didn’t want to work as a helper at a restaurant again. It wasn’t a deep reason, but it didn’t have to be either.
“Please consider it as my deep passion.”
“Okay then. Then what about the previous question? About Kaya winning.”
“You know what that was. I said many things after that. You shouldn’t be asking me as the one who edited that part out.”
“Oh, did you say something else?”
Martin made an exaggerated gesture and looked at Cho Min Joon. Cho Min Joon sighed.
“I’m going to win. I’m determined.”
“Okay. I got it. You’ve been spending a lot of time with Chloe, Kaya, and Marco. Are you friends?”
“I think so. But that’s just my opinion.”
“How did you get close?”
“I’m not sure. I got close to Kaya after sharing food with her, and I got to know Marco because he was a New York contestant. As for Chloe, it was during the team mission. But is this the kind of content you need for the show?
Martin smiled in response.
“I guess not. We like more provocative content. Speaking of which, let me ask you about your scandal.”
“… My scandal?”
“We got a tip-off from Mr. A. He said you left your dishes with him and ran away… Is this true?”
Cho Min Joon let out a laugh.
“No comment.”