Chapter 147: The Hundred Family Banquet's Preparations
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
Ah Lu swallowed all of the chicken drumsticks in his mouth in one gulp. His gaze was already focused on the Egg-Fried Rice in Bu Fang's hands.
From a distance, the Egg-Fried Rice looked like it was radiating golden rays of extremely eye-dazzling lights and had completely attracted their eyes and attention.
The fragrance of the egg and aroma of the rice wafting in the air blended together and flowed into the nostrils of Ah Lu and Ah Wei, causing mesmerized expressions to appear on their faces.
When Bu Fang placed the plates of Egg-Fried Rice before them, Ah Lu eagerly grabbed his spoon and started digging in.
He was simply enticed beyond his limits by the fragrance of the Egg-Fried Rice. The fragrance of the eggs was in fact an aroma that was extremely capable of arousing a person's appetite.
As the spoon scooped a spoonful of rice and created a hole in the mound of Egg-Fried Rice, the flowing egg which was eighty percent cooked left a string-like trail. However, the aroma trapped within the rice instantly gushed out through the hole and enveloped Ah Lu in its fragrance.
"Hmm..." Ah Lu let out a moan and then immediately shoved the spoonful of rice into his mouth. His eyes, which were almost hidden by the layers of fat on his face, suddenly widened.
After swallowing down the rice, he excitedly looked toward Ah Wei and said in disbelief, "Big bro... This Egg-Fried Rice is really delicious!
"The eggs used in this dish should be from the third grade spirit beast, Thunderstorm Pigeon. However, the quality of the rice is also very good and it's not any inferior to the spirit energy rice meticulously grown by the old man. Furthermore, the degree of control over the heat is really high. The egg that's eighty percent cooked was able to rely on its own temperature after leaving the wok to instantly harden after entering one's mouth. This requires extremely precise calculation! Oh... In short, it's delicious!"
Ah Lu said in a muffled voice. After he was done speaking, he eagerly entered into a battle with the Egg-Fried Rice.
Bu Fang was slightly surprised. His heart was slightly stirred as he watched the fatty who was engrossed in devouring his food. This fatty was actually able to figure out the important cooking procedures and techniques of cooking the Egg-Fried Rice from just a single tasting. Furthermore, he even knew the origins of these ingredients and was basically correct in his deductions.
Without a doubt, this made it clear to him about the fatty's identity. He was a chef as well, and not just any ordinary chef.
Ah Wei was shocked as well as he looked at Ah Lu. He understood clearly how picky his younger brother was about dishes without meat. He could be very lenient about dishes with meat but was extremely picky when it came to dishes without meat.
Ah Wei's Egg-Fried Rice had arrived as well, but he was not impatient like Ah Lu. Instead, he carefully admired the presentation and aroma of the Egg-Fried Rice first. Only then did he begin savoring the taste of this Egg-Fried Rice.
The taste of the Egg-Fried Rice had really exceeded Ah Wei's expectations. It was so delicious that he was bewildered. However, those were not the main point. The main point was that the Egg-Fried Rice actually contained a rich amount of spirit energy.
"Why does this Egg-Fried Rice contain so much spirit energy? This is completely illogical," Ah Wei thought.
Therefore, under Ah Lu's surprised gaze, Ah Wei ordered another dish...
After ordering a few more of Bu Fang's dishes, Ah Wei completely understood the reason for the store's high pricing because all of these dishes actually contained spirit energy. Furthermore, the concentration of the spirit energy had completely exceeded Ah Wei's expectation. The density of the spirit energy was even higher than the dishes they were selling at their store.
"You're welcome to come back next time," Bu Fang said, after keeping the crystals, toward the back figures of the two brothers who were stepping out of the store.
The two brothers, Ah Lu and Ah Wei, silently walked out of the store and stepped into the world filled with snow. Ah Lu had even stopped eating his chicken drumsticks and some solemnity had appeared in their eyes.
If Bu Fang was participating in this year's Hundred Family Banquet as well, according to the level of the dishes they had just eaten, the two of them basically did not even have the slightest chance of getting first place if they do not give their all... Bu Fang was giving them too much pressure.
"No wonder the old man said that the continent is teeming with talented individuals and told us not to be too conceited. We've only just arrived at the imperial city and we're already put in our place," Ah Wei thought.
"Big bro, now that we've met Owner Bu, I feel like we're going to lose..." Ah Lu said, seemingly having no confidence at all.
Ah Wei stopped walking and his sharp chin tilted upward as he earnestly said, "Therefore, we'll have to get serious... At first, I thought we could obtain first place without putting in any effort. Now it seems that it's not as simple as we imagined!"
As he straightened his back, Ah Wei took off the large black wok off his back and smashed the wok into the ground, causing the ground to slightly shake and sink a little.
"Let's give it our all. If we want to obtain first place, we'll need to demonstrate our actual culinary skills. Otherwise, we're not even qualified to compete with Owner Bu!" Ah Wei said.
Seeing the grave look on Ah Wei's face, the layers of fat on Ah Lu's face trembled and his expression became solemn as well. As he reached his hand into the pocket of his apron, he pulled out a chicken drumstick and solemnly shoved it into his mouth and started chewing...
The festive mood of the Spring Festival was still enveloping the entire imperial city, or perhaps the entire Light Wind Empire.
Each and every household was joyously preparing entire tables of sumptuous Spring Festival food in order to reward themselves for working hard for an entire year and allow themselves to experience the delights of delicious food.
Meanwhile, at the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, the preparations for the Hundred Family Banquet were being hurriedly readied. Large tables were carried out and placed on the plaza grounds before bright red tablecloths were laid upon them.
As the standard of this year's Hundred Family Banquet was raised because of Ji Chengxue, no one dared to be careless and the preparation workload was heavier than previous years.
The main area of the Gate of Heavenly Mystery was densely packed with tables, while simple cooking stoves were set up in the inner area. They were specially prepared for the chefs, so that they could prepare their dishes in full view of the guests.
This would undoubtedly test the actual skill level of the chefs. However, the chefs who would dare to participate in the Hundred Family Banquet were all well-known within the Light Wind Empire. There was naturally no need to worry about their capabilities and they too were confident of their own skills.
While these preparations were going on, various types of dazzling ingredients were also being brought out. The dishes that were going to be cooked by each chef were different, so there were all sorts of ingredients as well.
Since that day was the Spring Festival, the store's business was not too good. Therefore, Bu Fang was languidly curled up on his chair and feeling extremely pleased as he drank from a cup of warm water in his hand.
However, when some travel-worn eunuchs rushed into his store, Bu Fang knew he was about to get busy.
"Owner Bu, may I know which ingredients you require? Please tell me, so that I could send someone to purchase them," a young eunuch respectfully said. This young eunuch was originally one of Lian Fu's close aides, so he did not dare to act impolitely in the slightest as he knew how terrifying Bu Fang was.
Bu Fang pondered for a moment. He was actually still mulling over the sort of meal he should cook during the Hundred Family Banquet.
Since it was the Hundred Family Banquet, the quantity of the food should be large enough. Otherwise, he would not be able to satisfy the requirement of a few hundred households... Therefore, Bu Fang concluded the main point of this year's Hundred Family Banquet: the dish he was going to cook needed both quality and quantity.
Therefore, choosing the right dish was extremely important for Bu Fang.
The guests attending the banquet were randomly selected from the commoners living within the imperial city. Many of them might not possess cultivation and there might not even be a shred of true energy in their bodies. If Bu Fang cooked using high grade ingredients with spirit energy, the quality of his food would be guaranteed. However, not everyone would be able to consume his food. In the end, choosing to cook dishes with spirit energy would be arduous and fruitless.
Therefore, after much consideration, Bu Fang finally decided on the dish he was going to make.
Bu Fang beckoned toward the young eunuch and said, "Help me prepare these ingredients..."