Chapter 154: You Can't Accept the Result? Then Try a Serving Yourself
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
The Hundred Family Banquet was an activity held by the empire for the sake of celebrating the Spring Festival and the banquet itself was a festive event.
Within the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, the scene of clouds of fragrance in the air and the sound of laughter resounding incessantly in the background was very harmonious. The aroma of the food interweaved with the laugher of the guests formed an unforgettable picture.
The guests were heartily enjoying their meals and the chefs were diligently cooking the food. Within this cold winter day, the atmosphere created a different kind of warmth.
However... when the warm mood was over, it was time for a cruel competition where the guests had to select the number one chef for this year's Hundred Family Banquet.
For the guests, it was blissful and joyful while they were eating. However, picking someone... was painful because there were simply too many delicious dishes in this year's Hundred Family Banquet. Whether the Four Happiness Meatballs, the roasted spirit beast, the barbecued spirit beast that was a dish within a dish, or the Rainbow-Colored Crescent Moon Dumplings... These were all dishes that they had never heard before.
Many of them were troubled with making a choice but they had no other option. Each of them were given the right to cast a single vote and not using it would be a waste. Otherwise, attending this year's Hundred Family Banquet would be in vain.
After Bu Fang was done kneading the dumplings, he gently breathed out and wiped off the moisture on his hands as well as the droplets of sweat on his forehead. After kneading a few hundred dumplings in one go, even he was feeling exhausted.
The other chefs were also finished as well and some of them were leisurely leaning on their cooking stoves. Even though there was still quite a bit of ingredients left, it was already time for the voting so everyone stopped cooking. This also meant that the Hundred Family Banquet was nearly over.
Chef Jin's eyes looked rather fierce as he felt somewhat helpless. The chefs participating this year were simply too frightening. Whether it was Owner Bu or the brothers from Qingyangzhen, there was a great possibility for them to endanger his position and it was making him feel nervous.
Ji Chengxue stood up and slowly walked forward with a cloak made from the fur of a spirit beast draped over his shoulders. He surveyed the entire place from the platform he was standing on.
"In this year's Hundred Family Banquet, I wonder if everyone had an enjoyable and satisfying meal?" Ji Chengxue's calm voice resounded within the Gate of Heavenly Mystery.
As Bu Fang listened to Ji Chengxue's lengthy speech, he dropped some dumplings into the boiling water. After cooking for such a long while, he himself was craving the dumplings as well.
Bu Fang scooped up the translucent and adorably plump dumplings from the water. As he took a bite of one of the dumplings, a stream of rainbow-colored fragrance instantly gushed out. It enveloped his face and caused him to become somewhat intoxicated.
This rainbow-colored fragrance was produced only after performing a special preparation. The secret was inside the dough. When Bu Fang meticulously kneaded the dough with true energy, the dough was infused with his true energy. As the dumplings were cooked in boiling water, the true energy sparked a chemical reaction and manifested the various colors of the fillings inside. In truth, the visual image of the fragrance was not real. In simple terms, it was actually something like a mirage.
However, the fragrance itself was genuine.
After drinking a mouthful of the heartwarming soup, Bu Fang lightly breathed out and took another bite of the dumpling. The delicious flavor was wrapping around his taste buds and making him feel satisfied.
Sometimes, a bowl of dumplings was enough to make someone feel extremely satisfied.
When Bu Fang finished eating a bowl of dumplings, Ji Chengxue finally ended his lengthy speech as well. Like those high ranked officials and public figures, he needed to say a lot of insignificant matters before an event could start.
Bu Fang had already long gotten used to such things.
After Ji Chengxue was done with his speech, he went back to his seat and sat down. A eunuch stepped forward and started announcing the rules in a high-pitched voice. "Next, all of you're currently holding onto a special copper coin. This coin represents your vote. Among the dishes of the many chefs here today, which is your favorite? Once you've made your choice, place your copper coin into the porcelain plate in front of that chef's cooking stove. The chef with the most votes will obtain a reward prepared by the imperial court."
The commoners below immediately started whispering to each other while looking at the special copper coins in their hands.
When the eunuch announced the start of the voting, the commoners immediately left their seats and headed toward the chefs' cooking area.
"Chef Jin, the Four Happiness Meatballs were really too delicious! I am rooting for you!" a brawny man said as he excitedly placed a copper coin into the bald-headed Chef Jin's porcelain plate.
A smile immediately appeared on Chef Jin's face like a blossoming flower. The first person was already voting for him? Looks like the response for his Four Happiness Meatballs was pretty good.
Chef Jin rubbed his bald head and suddenly felt the world was beautiful again. He gave Bu Fang who was standing far away a provocative-like glance and then snorted at the fatty next to him who was continuously chomping on chicken drumsticks.
After getting the first vote, would the second vote be long?
"Fatty, your roast meat was very delicious! This elder sister is rooting for you!" This was someone who voted for Ah Lu.
"Chef with the large black wok, your barbecued spirit beast was practically making me unable to stop eating. It was simply too delicious! As expected of a chef! " This was someone who voted for Ah Wei.
"Owner Bu! You're so handsome! Your cutting technique was practically blinding my eyes! Your dumplings... made me want to cry! It's too delicious!"
"Owner Bu, I want to give birth to your child! I'll root for you forever!"
"Owner Bu, we really enjoyed your dish. We hope you'll continue cooking delicious dishes. We're rooting for you," an old couple encouragingly said with a faint smile as they walked over hand in hand and placed their copper coins into the porcelain plate in front of Bu Fang.
Bu Fang's expression straightened as he slightly bowed toward the old couple and softly said, "I'll do my best."
The situation became one-sided within an instant...
Chef Jin looked as if he had nothing to live for as he stared at the single copper coin sitting all alone in his porcelain plate. Where was the second coin that was agreed upon... What happened to the peak of his life that was agreed upon?
His bald head gradually grew dimmer and almost lost all of its luster.
Ah Lu pulled out a chicken drumstick from the pocket on his apron and fiercely chewed on them with a satisfied expression on his face.
On the other hand, Ah Wei was looking at the porcelain plate in front of him with a gloomy expression. Obviously, compared with Bu Fang... his votes were far lesser.
Was he going to lose? How could that be possible... He already put in so much effort to make this dish! He even resorted to a technique like dish within a dish, so why was he still losing? Furthermore, he lost to someone who was not even using ingredients with spirit energy!
Ah Wei tightly clenched his fist and firmly bit his lips. He was unwilling to admit defeat just like that.
"Smelly boss! This dumpling is super delicious! Are you going to sell this in the store?" Ouyang Xiaoyi gleefully said as she energetically approached Bu Fang. She was definitely going to vote for Bu Fang.
Xiao Yanyu, Xiao Xiaolong, and the others also came over and placed their copper coins into the porcelain plate in front of Bu Fang. They gently smiled and nodded toward Bu Fang.
Other high ranking officials came over as well. Even though some people within the high ranking officials chose Ah Wei, there were even more people who chose Bu Fang's Rainbow-colored Crescent Moon Dumplings.
From their point of view, Ah Wei's barbecue technique might have reached an extremely perfect level but there was no comparison with Owner Bu's dumplings in terms of emotional investment in the dish.
That sort of dish that could make people feel happy and let them experience bliss during winter was still lingering in their minds.
There was something magical about Owner Bu's dish! A sort of magic power that mesmerized them!
"I can't accept this result! How could I lose!" Ah Wei could not accept his defeat. His expression was extremely unsightly as he stared at the scant amount of coins in his porcelain plate. Of course, the scant amount of coins on his plate was already not bad when compared to other people's completely empty plates.
Even though his younger brother, Ah Lu, only had a few coins as well, Ah Lu was unconcerned about the result. He was having a good time delightfully pulling out chicken drumsticks and shoving them into his mouth.
"You can't accept the result?" Ji Chengxue indifferently gave Ah Wei a glance and asked, "This result is determined through voting, what are you unsatisfied about?"
Ah Wei was suddenly stumped for words. Indeed, Ji Chengxue's words were reasonable. The result was determined through the voting of all of the guests. What was his basis for not accepting the result?
However, he was still unable to accept the result... Why was the dish that he meticulously cooked inferior to Bu Fang's Rainbow-colored Crescent Moon Dumpling which did not even use ingredients with spirit energy?
Chef Jin was standing there, looking as if he had nothing to live for. When he heard Ah Wei's questioning, he also straightened his back and slightly nodded.
The taste of ordinary ingredients was definitely incomparable to ingredients with spirit energy. This had always been common knowledge in the culinary world. However, Bu Fang broke this principle today.
Bu Fang rubbed his own stomach as he expressionlessly gave Ah Wei and that bald-headed Chef Jin a glance and lightly breathed out.
He said, "You can't accept the result? Then try a serving yourself."