Chapter 39: The Semi-Final of the Grand Cooking Tournament
「This is my dish. 」
「Thi…This is…!? 」
The judges, including the Gourmet Master, looked attentively at the dish that I gave them. It was because of the roux created with a pure white rice, and on top of it was a sweet monster fruit that I had harvested. It was the so-called fruit platter.
「He…Hey, are you an idiot…!? 」
Shendo was perplexed upon seeing my dish. Well, I guess his reaction was normal. Actually, the dish was too innovative. I managed to pull it out, but that didn’t mean that everyone would think positively about it.
But, this wasn’t a joke. They were probably wary about this dish, but I wanted them to take the first bite instead of being uneasy. In response to my wish, the Gourmet Master was the first one to taste my food.
The dish was created with rice, a special roux, and pineapple from the Queen Pineapple monster. The judge put a variety of fruits onto his spoon, such as a strawberry from the Strawberry Turtle monster.
「Go…Gourmet Master!? 」
The other judges were extremely surprised. And, the words that came out of the Gourmet Master soon after were equally surprising and unexpected.
The whole venue made a buzz upon hearing the main judge’s word.
「He…Hey! How can your curry taste like this even though it has fruits!? 」
「No, that shouldn’t be possible! 」
「Bu…But, the Gourmet Master wouldn’t lie… 」
The people in the venue were confused. Even the announcer didn’t know what to do, or what to say. The other judges began to eat the curry after the Gourmet Master took his first bite. All of them ate it one after another. And then…
「Thi…This is! 」
「This is definitely delicious! Un…Unbelievable!! 」
A storm of critical acclaims. The atmosphere of the venue changed completely.
「Speaking of curry, it’s a dish originally made to be a spicy food. Moreover, Shendo’s curry is actually spicy hot. But, that’s one kind of curry, and what I’ve made is a different type. This one has a mild but rich taste. The mixture of fruits didn’t cause a milder taste. Actually, the sweet flavor from the fruits soaked the whole curry increased its taste!」
「Is that so…! The sweetness didn’t overpower the dish because you used the water of the Killer Plant! But, I can still feel the sweetness of the Killer Plant fruits! You blended that water and the fruits with the spices, and managed to create an entirely new curry!」
「Curry and fruits! I thought this was a weird combination, but apparently, it’s not! With a proper combination recipe, this dish was created harmoniously!」
「Oh…Oh my! Everyone from the jury, including the Gourmet Master, praised the dish enthusiastically!! This was a surprising dish from our contestant Kyou! Fruit Curry! A huge reversal!!」
The venue was filled with cheers after they heard the words of the Gourmet Master and the jury. Next to me, Shendo had an astonished expression on his face. It seemed that he couldn’t believe what just happened.
「Okay, the evaluation will start now…But, that’s probably unnecessary. 」
「…That’s right. Gourmet Master… 」
On this precise moment, the evaluation was revealed when the Gourmet Master signaled. The results were; 『Kyou: 4 』, 『Shendo: 1 』.
The moment I saw it, the voice of the announcer filled the whole venue.
「Thi…This is…!! Our last year’s winner Shendo was defeated!! Unbelievable!! It’s a complete victory for our contestant Kyou and his Fruit Curry!!」
「It…It’s a lie!! It…It can’t be!! It’s impossible for a curry with just fruits to beat the perfect spicy curry that I’ve created!! My curry is definitely more delicious!!」
Despite the judges’ decision, Shendo began to yell aloud and complained aggressively about the results. On the other hand, the Gourmet Master just sighed upon hearing his tantrums.
「…Shendo. Have you forgotten about the purpose of this tournament? 」
「Ah? Isn’t it new Food Cultivation? 」
「Then, why did you serve us the same dish of last year? 」
「It’s not the same dish! I changed some of the spices! Last year I presented it with the spice from the Caracalla nutmeg, but this year, I added the spruce seeds, the Calicle fruit, and the leaves of Jasmine Flower! My curry is definitely more delicious and much more flawless than last year’s! I managed to evolve it to a completely different level to enhance the highest form of taste and quality! So, tell me how my dish doesn’t fit within the theme of this year’s grand food tournament!?」
Shendo protested against the decision of the Gourmet Master. The other judges were looking at him with hardened expressions on their faces.
「…I see. The new spices managed to enhance the taste of an existing dish. Certainly, that’s a new kind of food development. But, your dish was presented on the safe side, without taking newer risks.」
「Tha…That’s because… 」
「The reason why you were able to win last year’s tournament was because you created a revolutionary new dish called curry. I made my evaluation. This time, Kyou is the winner of this match because he managed to create a breakthrough dish that showed the possibility of a large variety of choices. You, too, pretended to be the same as Katherina, and forgot about the new challenge of this year’s edition.」
Shendo kneeled after hearing those last words. He prioritized his selfish desires when he kidnaped Mina-chan to weaken me, over the development of a new dish.
It was simple theme, and yet, he completely ignored it. But, the result was still the result. And that remained unchanged. The words of the announcer vibrated through the whole stadium.
「Well then! The winner of the semi-final of the Grand Cooking Tournament is…Contestant Kyou!」