The waitresses placed the 'Squirrel Mandarin Fish' on the tables very reluctantly . This dish was different from what they usually saw .
The shop owners sniffed . "Ahh, the dish is served . We haven't even eaten yet but this fragrance is already overwhelming . Looks like it's pretty good . "
"This appearance looks amazing . Chief Wang really chose a good restaurant . "
"This is a squirrel mandarin fish, right? Its appearance seems different from what I've had in the past . "
The waitresses poured the steaming hot gravy onto the dishes . It instantly made squeaking sounds just like those made by squirrels .
Wu You Lan said in surprise, "This is different from the squirrel mandarin fish I've seen before . Those that I've seen never made this sound . "
Wu Tian He was an experienced and knowledgeable man and he had eaten all kinds of delicacies . "This is an authentic squirrel mandarin fish . It's different from what most restaurants serve . "
Wang Ming Yang was a little shocked . It wasn't the first time he had eaten at this place, when had they added this dish to the menu?
One of the shop owners said, "Huh? Where's Master Lin? I wonder how his dish is turning out . "
Fraud Tian picked up his chopsticks and impatiently took a piece of the fish . "I'll try some first . This smells and looks amazing . It will obviously taste amazing too . "
This 'squirrel mandarin fish' was really shaped like a squirrel . Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a yellow-orange color . This appearance itself whetted everyone's appetites .
Fraud Tian took the piece of fish and placed it into his mouth . He chewed on it slowly . Suddenly, his eyes widened . Two flavors at their peaks exploded within his mouth .
When the crowd saw the look on Fraud Tian's face, they were astonished . What was with that expression? Had he eaten a worm or something?
One of the shop owners asked, "Is it good?"
Fraud Tian hesitated for a moment . "It's not good . Come, let's drink some wine . "
Everyone raised their cups but as they did so, Fraud Tian put down his cup and started eating maniacally .
In the kitchen .
Lin Fan removed his chef's attire and then he asked, "Head Chef Li, where do I put this?"
Head Chef Li was slightly startled . He gained back his senses quickly and came forward . "I'll take it . "
Lin Fan chuckled, then passed the uniform to Head Chef Li . This feeling of making ten servings of 'squirrel mandarin fish' was pretty good . He had still felt a bit unfamiliar when making the first serving, but by the second serving, he had started to feel familiar already .
His movements flowed like water, without a single moment's pause . It left Head Chef Li and the other chefs with their eyes wide open and mouths gaping, completely forgetting what they had been doing .
Head Chef Li was flabbergasted at that moment . He was convinced of this man's culinary skill . He had participated in several national culinary competitions before and attained second place a few times . As such, he was full of confidence in his own culinary skills . Even if he met some old masters, he might be respectful towards them but he surely wouldn't think less of himself than any of them . However, at that moment, he felt as if the gap between himself and that young man in front of him was too huge .
He had completely given in to Lin Fan's skill . When he had first seen those knife skills, he had been surprised but the second time he saw it, his feelings could no longer be described as 'surprise' . He was completely dumbfounded .
His speed was even greater than the first time . It was so fast that one's eyes couldn't even follow the knife .
He even knew how to make squirrel mandarin fish . Moreover, he had made it so well that Head Chef Li thought that it wouldn't lose to anyone else's . Head Chef Li now understood . There's always someone greater and there's always greater heights to achieve . This young man that stood in front of him was that someone at the peak .
Lin Fan's control of the flames had obviously left him stupefied as well .
As Lin Fan washed his hands, Head Chef Li immediately brought a towel . If Chief Zhang had seen this servant attitude of his, he would've been shocked . Head Chef Li's culinary skills were well-known by the masses . In fact, he had many honors bestowed upon himself . Yet, he was being so courteous to this young man at that moment .
"Thank you," said Lin Fan as he prepared to leave the kitchen . This feeling of cooking was not bad indeed . It seemed like he would have to do it more in future .
Head Chef Li drew on his resolve, then finally said, "Dear Master, could you make one more of that dish?"
Lin Fan looked at Head Chef Li in surprise . "What's the matter?"
Head Chef Li said, "Your culinary skills are truly admirable . I want to take one more close look at it and at the same time, I want to give your squirrel mandarin fish a try . Please . "
Since he had said so much, Lin Fan couldn't just leave him disappointed . Moreover, this Head Chef Li had such a good attitude that he couldn't refuse, so Lin Fan said with a smile, "Alright, then I'll make one more serving . "
He didn't only know how to make this dish . There were many other delicacies in Jiangsu cuisine but since Head Chef Li asked for it, Lin Fan just made another squirrel mandarin fish .
Head Chef Li watched him without looking away for even a moment . He had to watch seriously and closely this time . He knew himself that he was inferior in making this dish, hence, he wanted to find out just where the brilliance of the dish lay .
The knife skills were on display once more . Head Chef Li knew that he probably wouldn't achieve this level of skill in his lifetime because this wasn't something that could be trained . It was raw talent .
Even if he trained his a*s off for 30 years, it wouldn't amount to the understanding that someone talented could achieve in a year .
This 1% talent is sometimes more significant than the 99% hard work . It is a popular saying used to encourage students, but this part is often left out because it is too harsh .
Even if you work even harder, it wouldn't amount to someone else's 1% of talent .
The wok was heated up . Oil was added . Head Chef Li kept track of the time in his mind . 30 seconds .
It was 5 seconds faster than before .
This made Head Chef Li confused . He had seen Lin Fan make ten servings of squirrel mandarin fish but each time, the timing was different .
He wanted to ask but he didn't dare to . He was afraid of disturbing Lin Fan .
Lin Fan lifted the fish onto the wok, then looked at Head Chef Li and smiled, "This heat control is dependant on feel . The temperature of the oil has to increase five times . It must be closely watched . The heat from the flames can vary and thus the time will vary as well . A squirrel mandarin fish can be cooked at a flame of level 5 to 8 but for the best result, it should be kept at level 5 . Every second makes a difference in the tenderness of the fish . "
Head Chef Li focused his attention and listened attentively . It made him feel like he was back in his younger days . Back then, his professor, who had already been in his seventies, would explain things to him just like Lin Fan was doing .
Head Chef Li asked, "How do you judge if the oil temperature is at five times?"
Lin Fan smiled, "That takes practice . Practice controlling the changes in the oil . "
Head Chef Li nodded . It was easy to say but to do it was incredibly difficult .
Lin Fan grabbed the supplementary ingredients and without looking, he added them in at the appropriate timings, "The same ingredients, prepared by different chefs can produce entirely different tastes . There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes . The dishes' tastes can never be the same . Even if it's the same chef preparing the same dish, there would be a subtle difference in the taste each time . In order to control this subtle difference, you have to rely on feel . "
Head Chef Li stood by Lin Fan's side . He didn't even dare to take a deep breath . He just listened carefully .
Meanwhile, Lin Fan wanted to earn some Encyclopedic Points so he wasn't tired of explaining .
He removed it from the wok . A delicious serving of squirrel mandarin fish was ready .
"Encyclopedic Points +1"
A wide smile appeared on Lin Fan's face . That was an easily earned Encyclopedic Point .
Bursts of aroma emitted from the dish . Head Chef Li's heart shifted . He felt a kind of rush . Then, he picked up his chopsticks and placed a piece of fish into his mouth .
Head Chef Li's body shuddered . His taste buds utterly blew up . That sweet and sour taste flooded his mouth .
That flavor made his spirit start to boil up . He closed his eyes, then slowly savored the aftertaste . It was no longer a question of whether it tasted good . It had ascended into an art form .
Lin Fan watched as Head Chef Li savored it with his eyes closed, then Lin Fan chuckled . He packed up the things, then prepare to leave .
As Lin Fan reached the door, Head Chef Li opened his eyes . His expression changed greatly . "Master, may I ask where you learned your skills?"
What a question…
"New East Cuisine School," said Lin Fan with a laugh . He left the kitchen and thought, D*mn . That's all I could say but I don't think there's such a school .
Head Chef Li was puzzled . Where is this New East Cuisine School?