Chapter 68 – The Chef Certificate – Obtained!
The Zhan Xiang kitchen knife, or chefs knife, was indeed a good knife, and Ye Chui had no complaints about its handling. Furthermore, since Elder Han gave this knife to him he was pretty sure that this knife was something quite valuable. Even so, Ye Chui never would have thought that this knife was famous to the point of shocking people. Ge Yongming was really excited when he asked, “Is your knife truly the Zhan Xiang?”
“Yes…” Ye Chui nodded, he was completely bewildered. This knife was not some kind of legendary treasure knife out of a novel, even if the Zhan Xiang was famous, just how did this old uncle knew it with just one glance? Curious, he asked, “Teacher Ge, may I ask how you recognise this knife?”
“Isn’t the word ‘Zhan Xiang’ etched upon the knife handle?” Ge Yongming pointed at the knife handle, made of red pear wood, as he spoke.
Ye Chui, “… …”
Maybe he was just over thinking things…
“Moreover, the wave pattern on this knife is very unique, like a blooming Chinese Crabapple flowers. I saw a picture of this knife once in a knife appreciation magazine, which is why I could recognise it immediately.” Ge Yongming continued as he admired the knife. Good knives to chefs, were like precious swords to swordsmen, Ge Yongming himself was a chef, and thus he naturally could not resist fanboying over such a famous knife.
There were not many candidates in the exam hall who had heard of Zhan Xiang, but Wang Haichun and Fan Wenbin definitely knew about them. Fan Wenbin suddenly reached out to stroke the wavy pattern on the knife. “So this is the Zhan Xiang? I did not think that I would ever live to see this famous knife with my own eyes.”
“I heard that the Han family elder and son were collectors of these knives, but how did it end up in the hands of an exam candidate?” Wang Haichun had a puzzled expression on his face, he felt like he was on the verge of understanding something important: This kind of precious item would never be given willy nilly to just anyone, what more to a young boy? The only explanation was that this Ye Chui have some kind of connection with Elder Han, could it be… this young man was Elder Han’s disciple?
This was the most logical line of thought most people would pursue, moreover, if one consider his unusually high culinary skill, the more they consider it, the more likely it felt.
Wang Haichun scrubbed the sweat on his face, to think that this Ye Chui have such a powerful backing behind him. That Elder Han was a giant mountain in the culinary world. Someone he could never offend, he felt like kicking himself for ever thinking about going against Ye Chui. He had to quickly think of a way remedy this!
Ge Yongming and Fan Wenbin also sensed that this Ye Chui must have some connection with Elder Han. Rumour has it that Elder Han was in Xi Zhou City to do some self-cultivation, for a young super talent chef like Ye Chui to suddenly appear for the Xi Zhou City Chef Certification at the same time armed with a knife collected by the Han family, well, the connection was clear. The looks they gave Ye Chui were vastly different from before. With the help of a knife like Zhan Xiang, thought Ge Yongming, it would be possible even for a young chef like him to produce the perfect rolling cut.
This was the point where he had thoughts had gone veered off to the wrong direction, Ye Chui could produce the perfect rolling cut even with an ordinary fruit, however, he knew that if this matter was made known to Ge Yongming, he’d probably be seen as some sort of heavenly being. The current fuss made over the rolling knife cut now was already troublesome enough.
It was at this point when Ge Yongming suddenly thought about the cheating matter, he has an honest character and would make considerations for most things, but he has a strict bottom line on things like cheating. Thus, with a slightly heavy heart, he asked Ye Chui, “Ye Chui, did you help this candidate cheat? I ask you to speak the truth now!”
“No,” Ye Chui shook his head, and said plainly, “Those stem lettuces were certainly cut by me, but I did not hand over any cut slices to Sun Yi, he had probably taken it off my work space himself.”
“Is this true?” Ge Yongming sighed in relief, he looked at Sun Yi, “If you wish to deny this, then please demonstrate your cutting technique to me.”
Sun Yi stared at Ge Yongming, realizing that he had really put himself in trouble today. No matter what, he would be exposed. If he deny it, he would have to demonstrate his inferior cutting method, thus, he could only lowered his head and admitted his mistakes with a regretful expression, “He’s right…”
“If that’s the case, then Ye Chui did no wrong today!” Wang Haichun hurriedly spoke up. “However, candidate Sun Yi had cheated and this he should be disqualified from the exam. Ye Chui, do you have any objection to my decision?”
Wang Haichun was looking for Ye Chui’s opinion!
He not only abandoned all intentions of going after Ye Chui for cheating, and had in fact asked him for his opinion. This kind of 180 degree change could be felt by everyone around them.
Sun Yi was also a clever one, he immediately cast pleading looks at Ye Chui. He believed that this Ye Chui should have some influence that could make this Wang Haichun change his mind. If only this guy would just say some good words for him, then, it was entirely possible that he would not be disqualified…
However, Ye Chui merely shook his head. He had already gone out of the way to give Sun Yi a hint for his exam, but to think that this man would repay his kindness by stealing ingredients cut by him… this kind of attitude was something that Ye Chui could not forgive, thus, with a neutral voice, Ye Chui said, “I have no objection.”
“Very well, Sun Yi, you are hereby disqualified from this exam!” As Wang Haichun bluntly made this declaration, he cast a quick eye at Ye Chui and continued, “As for me, after tasting Ye Chui’s Gan Chao Niu He, I too feel that the fragrance, appearance and the taste of this dish is the epitome of perfection. I wish to adjust my points, I award him 10 points!”
Wang Haichun’s words once more drew commotion from the candidates around them, nobody thought that Wang Haichun actually change his attitude so quickly, to such extreme that the points went from zero to a 10. More importantly, Wang Haichun kept looking at Ye Chui’s expression as he made his decision, was it his imagination or was that lad’s face still seemed a little suspicious?
Zhao Hongyu could not understand just what was happening, he ran up to Wang Haichun, “Uncle Wang, you… why did you give him 10 points… he had been caught cheating, you should just eliminate him…”
“I don’t need you to teach me how to do my job!?”
Wang Haichun gave Zhao Hongyu a cold glare, his was angry to the point of screaming at his own mother. He had thought that this Ye Chui was a mere youth who had overestimate his own ability. He had thought that strewing some obstacles in this brat’s path would not cause any trouble for himself. More than half of the exam candidates were routinely eliminated anyway, he would just end up as part of the statistic. Who would have thought this young man’s dish would be so amazingly delicious, and more importantly, some how connected to that Elder Han. How could he offend this kind of person?
Just looking at this Zhao Hongyu who could not read the situation, he really hated the fact that he could not just slap this little brat in this face.
Zhao Hongyu’s face stiffened, his fine brain finally turned, he looked at Ye Chui with eyes gradually filling with horror. An Jing was his classmate, thus he was fairly clear with her family situation, but just how did this Ye Chui managed to amass such great strength and influence?
“Just what are you doing here? Is a chef’s certification a playground for a brat like you?” Wang Haichun continued to scold Zhao Hongyu.
Zhao Hongyu finally realized his position and quickly ran out of the hall, Ye Chui looked at his running figure, a rather cold light gleamed in his eye.
Since Sun Yi had been disqualified, he could only pack up his things and leave. He cast one last envious glance at Ye Chui before leaving the exam hall.
Ye Chui felt a little regretful about Sun Yi’s position, but that was it. This brat had brought everything on his own head, he was disqualified because of his opportunistic behaviour. Nothing bad would have happened to him if he hadn’t cheated.
After all that excitement, Ge Yongming, Wang Haichun and Fan Wenbin officially wrote their names and points awarded on Ye Chui’s registration form. After a final stamp of approval this form would be sent to FFA to be certified.
During the entire process, Wang Haichun tried to quietly flatter Ye Chui, who merely smiled but did little to reciprocate. The reason Wang Haichun had targeted him was due to that Zhao Hongyu, if Ye Chui wanted to find someone to vent his feelings, he would go look for that Zhao Hongyu.
After solemnly thanking the other two judges, Ge Yongming and Fan Wenbin, Ye Chui cleared up his equipments and left the hall. Ge Yongming looked at Ye Chui’s disappearing figure and licked the corner of his mouth, his eyes irresistibly going to the plate of cold Gan Chao Niu He. Unable to restrain himself, he picked up a bit of the cold rice noodles with his chopsticks and popped it into this mouth.
He sighed, “That Ye Chui will be a great chef in the future!”
When the registration form, all signatures and points awarded, was registered at the FFA registration office, Ye Chui officially become a proper one star chef. Though the actual certificate would take some days to prepare, Ye Chui was now qualified to operate a family diner.
He had just left the registration office when, at the entrance of the FFA building, he once more encountered Sun Yi.
Who was currently crying his eyes out…
 Famous knives – Hmm, I don’t know about this… Most of the knives I see have the symbol of the knife maker etched on the metal body of the knife itself. Perhaps this is an isekai difference? Even Ye Chui was dumbfounded…
Anyway, I couldn’t find any references on a knife maker called Zhan Xiang, I’d love to see the actual crabapple flower pattern. Knives with wave patterns are more expensive than plain knives as a rule. I actually bought one, it cost me about US$100, and I never regretted it. My precious… Crabapple Flowers