Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Seeing the judges praising Yuan Zhou’s Bell Pepper Prawn one after another, the host did not know how the others felt. What he did know was he was breaking out in cold sweat.
After the four judges finished praising Yuan Zhou’s dish, the host was on the verge of going on a strike.
“I am the host of this cooking match, yet from the start, all the judges are overwhelmingly praising only one side, as if this was a fixed match. What can a professional host like me do? Well, of course, I’m going to forgive them,” thought the host as he finally calmed down after an intense mental gymnastics.
“Well then, since the judges have all voiced their opinions, let us move on to the next dish,” the host quickly moved on the next dish when the judges stopped talking.
“Please grade the second dish of the seafood alliance, Winter Bamboo Shoots With Sea Cucumber,” said the host.
Whoosh! Whoosh! This time, only two signboards were raised, the signboards of Bai Xiaoxiao and Wang Xiang.
“The other two judges, please raise your signboards as well,” reminded the host gently.
“Zero points from me for this dish,” Zhou Shijie said.
“Um, zero points,” Zhang Yan nodded and sat there without any intention of moving.
“Ok. Then, the Winter Bamboo Shoots With Sea Cucumber has obtained a total of two points,” said the host with a smile after stealthily taking in a deep breath.
“Holy shit, they can even grade this way?” This was the thought everyone had at this moment.
Having learned his lesson, the host did not stop and immediately spoke, “Chairman Zhang, please give us your thoughts on your reason for giving zero marks.”
“Simple. This dish is neither a Sichuan Cuisine nor is it seafood. Moreover, the sea cucumber’s flavor was lost while the winter bamboo shoots are bitter,” said Zhang Yan without hesitation.
Upon hearing this comment, Qianji Crab Restaurant’s head chef who was the chef for this dish paled. After all, they were telling him to his face that he couldn’t cook.
Alas, he couldn’t say anything of retort. After all, Zhang Yan was the chairman of Sichuan Cuisine Association, an even more troublesome individual than Zhou Shijie. As the saying went, at times, federal authority was incomparable to the local authority.
“I thought Head Chef Qian claimed that this is his signature dish?” said Chef Li resentfully as he looked at Head Chef Qian behind him.
As for the others, some looked at him with sympathy while others looked at him with resentment. After all, the score of this dish was too low and would affect their final victory.
“Damn it. I refuse to believe Yuan Zhou is better than me. He does not specialize in seafood. It is possible he hasn’t even seen a sea cucumber before,” thought the head chef as he glared at Yuan Zhou.
On the other hand, Yuan Zhou was calmly staring at the distant clock, calculating the time left until he could return to his restaurant.
As for the hatred and envy he was attracting, Yuan Zhou did not care. In his opinion, there were way too many people jealous of his handsome looks. That random chef whose name was unknown was not worth any concern.
That’s right. All the while, Yuan Zhou was of the opinion that those envious gazes thrown his way was due to his good looks. After all, his great cooking skills were already common knowledge, something nobody would be jealous of. Therefore, the only reason someone would be jealous of him was due to his good looks.
“Looking too good can be troublesome as well,” thought Yuan Zhou as he frowned deeply, as if he was deeply anxious about something.
“Please grade Head Chef Yuan’s Red Sea Cucumber Bamboo Shoots,” said the host. The clamor and noise did not affect him at all.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Four signboards were raised in tandem.
The host cautiously looked over the points given by all four judges before he spoke.
“Looks like Head Chef Yuan has once again conquered the taste buds of the judges. Again, he obtained 10 points, an incredible result,” said the host.
This time, the host did not bother asking the judges or Yuan Zhou for their opinions. He immediately moved on to the next dish.
Wang Xiang who was already ready to voice his thoughts choked on his own words when the host moved on.
The grading of the next dish caused the sounds of discussion of the seafood alliance people and the others to grow even louder.
That was because subsequently, the seafood alliance obtained two points per dish three times in a row, while Yuan Zhou obtained the maximum points for all of the three dishes.
With this, the gap between the two parties became extremely large. Everyone there was stupefied.
Not even the reporters could bear to continue watching.
“Their score is too low. This is probably the largest disparity ever in the history of cooking matches,” lamented a certain reporter while checking the information in his notebook.
“Yeah, what’s going on here exactly?”
“Are their dishes really that bad?”
“Or perhaps Head Chef Yuan is really that good?”
“I guess so? After all, he is the person who had defeated Tengyuan Jiayuan and the inheritor of cooked wheaten food. He is also the owner of Sichuan Cuisine’s exemplary restaurant.”
Upon realizing Yuan Zhou’s previous accomplishments, the reporter found this result acceptable. Subsequently, the reporter found this match dull as it was clear the seafood alliance would be defeated.
During the first dish, the four points they got put Chef Li in some sort of calm as he believed they would make a comeback.
During the second dish, Chef Li regretted his decision to let the head chef of Qianji Crab Restaurant to participate in this match. But the subsequent succession of two points per dish made him both curious and indignant.
“I refuse to believe that. That is not possible. How can our score be so low?” Chef Li muttered repeatedly.
“Yeah, that is completely unreasonable. I tried Chef Sun’s yellow croaker before, it’s very good. Chef Lin’s Salad Sea Snail is remarkable as well. How are those dishes worth zero points?” said Ao Pi indignantly.
“Indeed, he is not as simple as he looks,” said Head Chef Zuo with a helpless smile when he saw that his worries had came true.
Nevertheless, the grading for the sixth dish was still going to start.
This time, they started grading the seafood alliance’s Flaming Squid.
This time, the judges actually raised four signboards for their dish, causing Liu Jie who had already turned his head away to quickly focus on the judges again.
“Four points, seafood alliance’s Flaming Squid had obtained four points,” said the host, reassuring Liu Jie that he was not hallucinating.
Perhaps it was due to the consecutive two points they had obtained, but for some reason, Liu Jie felt like even four points was a high score.
But that was no misconception. Rather, that was the truth. Ever since the first dish, this was the second four points the seafood alliance had obtained.
As usual, Yuan Zhou obtained yet another full score. By this point, Chef Li was already gnashing his teeth with an unsightly expression on his face.
As for Ao Pi, he did not have the time to question the results as his dish was next.
The host announced the names of the two dishes and invited the judges to grade the dishes.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Four signboards were raised, causing Ao Pi and Head Chef Zuo to heave a sigh of relief.
“The final dish of the seafood alliance, Rolling Crab Dumpling has obtained four points,” said the host.
The seafood alliance people did not realize that rather than getting such a score against Yuan Zhou, the zero point something Yuan they were rated online was already a better score. The ratio of their points was already lower than the gap online.
Even so, Ao Pi and Head Chef Zuo were still rejoicing in the fact that they did not obtain two points.
Before they could even stop rejoicing, Yuan Zhou’s score was announced.
“Head Chef Yuan’s final dish, Big Crabs, has obtained the maximum score, 10 points. Thank you, judges. Now, we shall start calculating the final score and will be announcing it shortly,” said the host. At this point, he was already numb to Yuan Zhou’s victory.
After all, Yuan Zhou had never gotten anything other than 10 points.
Just as the host was about to take a five minutes break, Chef Li stepped forward and stood at the center of the room.
“I do not accept this! I do not accept this result!” Chef Li said as he glared at Yuan Zhou before looking at the judges resolutely.