Chapter 56: Gourmet Hero VS Sage Hero
「Okay then. Are you ready Fitis? 」
「Anytime you want. Master, I am going to surpass you today. 」
Three days had passed since the promised match between Miss Katherina and Fitis. It was finally the time for the two of them to fight in a cooking battle. The place of the battle was at Mina’s Restaurant. This match had three judges, the Lord of this town, Shendo Bird the Genius Hero, and my father, for some unknown reason. (EN: He did win the grand cooking tournament Kyou)
「I understand why the Lord and Shendo are part of the jury. But, why are you my father one of the judges as well…?」
「Obviously, because I am the most impartial about this match. It wouldn’t be fair if you or one of your girls stepped up as a judge. We mustn’t have bias. Besides my fairness, I have a great taste and experience when it comes to food evaluation.」
Well, now that he mentioned it, he sure had a point. Anyway, after the preparations were complete, the Lord gave the signal to start the match. Both of them began cooking, and it was enjoyable for me to watch their vigor and passion for food. Soon, fragrant smells spread from their cooking counters, and both dishes were complete.
「Well then. I want you to taste my food first. 」
After saying those words, Miss Katherina carried a large bowl with a lid and a small cup-shaped bowl next to it. I noticed that she carried deep green tea as well. When the judges, including the Lord, opened the lid of the bowl, a bright rosy glow emerged from there.
「This…This is…! 」
Inside the bowl were small vermillion eggs on white rice. It was a beautiful bowl filled with all kinds of seafood. I spotted the color vermilion eggs, Kraken’s legs, various fishes, and so on…Eh.
「Isn’t that a seafood bowl dish…!!! 」
Her dish was a big shock. Hey, wasn’t the main purpose of this cooking match an egg dish!? Miss Katherina, c’mon! Then, Miss Katherina turned back as if she weren’t that concerned.
「What are you talking about? This is a wonderful “egg dish”. Just look at it. The heart of this bowl is vermilion eggs, which is the color of the “fish roe”. If this isn’t an egg dish, then what is it then?」
That’s called a salmon roe!! I knew it! As expected of someone named the Sage Hero! As Fitis said before, the Sage Hero had an ability worthy of someone wise. Meaning that she used her strategy to play to her advantage. I felt as if she took us for fools, and at the same time, her strategy seemed like a foul as well.
「I see. But, eggs are eggs, those of fish roe or not. As far as the purpose of egg cooking is concerned, I can’t say that she played a foul. Therefore, we will eat her dish.」
With that said, each judge carried the colorful fish eggs with rice into their mouths. On this moment, the judges’ faces changed abruptly because of the shocking taste.
「This is…Oh my, what a delicious taste! 」
「Actually, fish eggs are transparent, and it’s very difficult to find colored ones because colored fishes are rare in the sea. However, these fish eggs are not only dyed in vermillion, but they are also opaque. And I was wondering why these fish eggs taste like this…」
「It’s the seasoning. Soy sauce. 」
My father said the answer while chewing the food in his mouth.
「Maybe she added soy sauce all night to adjust the taste. Therefore, the color of the colored fish roe changed from a faint transparent red to a strong vermillion opaque color. All because of the soy sauce. If you put it on rice and combine it together, then the whole taste will be more than sufficient, making it delicious.」
「It’s not over yet. Please open the small bowl next to the opened large bowl.」
While being guided by Miss Katherina, the judges opened the small bowl and saw a thin yellow jelly-like food that was inside of it.
「This is Savory Egg Custard*. 」
Yes, it was. In a sense, this food was one of the most delicious egg dishes that went well with seafood bowls. When they opened the lid, the smell of Savory Egg Custard wasn’t the only one that tickled our nostrils. The fragrant smell of wild vegetables was also noticeable. The scent was so strong that made us dizzy.
「I used the eggs of Basilisk, which is well known as the king of the desert. 」
「Basilisk! A monster equivalent to rank B that lives in my hometown. A powerful monster that has the ability to grow to rank A upon being threatened. It has the ability to petrify the opponent. However, their meat is regarded as a supreme delicacy. Moreover, it is said that the taste of the eggs has the highest ranking among the monsters of the chicken family. I never thought that she would use something like this…!」
「All I needed was the best ingredients in order to cook the best food. That’s my style. Besides that, I tried not to forget the spirit and love for cooking that I learnt from my match with the Kyou boy. Losing against him was a life lesson for me. That’s why I tried to remember that harmony is important in the making of a whole dish.」
Having said that, Miss Katherina pointed to the tea with her eyes. Of course, signaling to the judges to drink it after eating her food. A seafood bowl centered on colored fish roe as the main ingredient. A small bowl with edible wild vegetables and egg custard. And finally green tea to match the flavors of the food presented to the judges. It perfectly embodied the harmonious sense of cooking that I pointed out before. This was a perfect seafood egg menu.
Miss Katherina proved to be a fearsome opponent. I always knew that she had great abilities. But, I never thought that she would improve this much after the battle she had with me. It was going to be hard for Fitis to surpass this dish.
I stared attentively at Fitis. However, I noticed that Fitis wasn’t nervous nor was she in hurry. She just carried her food quietly to the judges.
Ah, that’s right. Why be in a rush? She couldn’t do anything about it now. She put everything she could into that dish. The only thing she could do now was to believe in her food and wait for the results.
As soon as the judges finished eating Miss Katherina’s food, they looked at the food spread in front of them, which Fitis cooked herself.
「I am sorry to keep you waiting. This is my dish…It’s called Omelet Rice**.」
What Fitis prepared was an omelet, which could be called the orthodox of egg dishes. The dish wrapped itself in a yellow egg leather, and covered with a yellow sauce.
*Named Chawanmushi (A silky smooth savory soft egg custard subtly and delicately flavored, yet packed with Umami).
**Named Omuraisu (A Japanese dish, which is typically an omelet with a filling of seasoned fried rice. Usually topped with ketchup).