The anxious crowd was quickly divided into several groups consisting of 24 people within 1.
From there, once the teams were created.... 2 supervisors would be assigned to oversee the examinations of each group.
And just to make the place less congested.... each group was taken to several locations within the massive Academy grounds.
That was George's group!
George gulped nervously, as he looked at the scene before him.
He and his groupmates were presently standing on a field that had several tables, cookers and many more on it.
He looked at the scene before him and gulped down nervously.
On those tables at the forefront, one could easily see several raw materials stacked in heaps before them.
From vegetables, onions and even carrots..... one could easily find them in those tables ahead.
Now... apart from those tables, each contestant still had their own personal table on the field, which would also act as their workstations as well.
Their workstations were assigned to them based on their number tags..... so as to make it easier on everyone.
And on these workstations, one would also find chopping boards, knives and other basic utensils and tools used for cooking.
The competition will run for 2 hours tops..... and within this time frame, you all are expected to prepare your raw materials and cook any dish of your choice involving potatoes.
And if any of you have any questions during the exam.... just raise your hand up and one if us will get back to you as soon as possible.
As for the raw materials at the forefront, the contestants can take as many as they want as well." Said one of the supervisors, as he gestured towards 2 tables that had been joint together and filled up with several bags of potatoes.
"With all that said... Your exam begins now!!" Bellowed one of the supervisors.
And in that moment, everyone quickly made several lines at the forefront.
The earlier they got their raw materials.... the earlier they could make their dishes.
And as they were taking the raw materials away.... several other ' exam helpers', were busy replacing them as well.
In this way, there were always raw materials on those tables for the contestants to use.
So even if one of them wanted to change his or her plans on what to cook midway through the examination..... they would always find enough raw materials to do so.
As for the quality of these raw materials, the workers had done their best to provide a large quantity of both good and bad ones.
It was the place of each contestant to figure out whether these rare materials were good or not.
And sometimes, some dishes required food to be somewhat 'over-ripe ' or not fully developed.
'Swish! Swish! Swish!'
'Din! Din! Din!'
The entire place had turned into a battlefield, as the contestants hurriedly went about the business..... while looking at the massive clock before them.
George looked at the basil leaves before him, and overturned it several times... while observing its leaves like an art appraiser.
And when he was somewhat convinced hmin his choice, he tore out a tiny fraction of the leaves, sniffed it a little and placed it in his mouth.
'Chew! Chew! Chew! Chew!'
His eyes lit up and he subconsciously nodded in appreciation for its quality.
'Excellent!, he thought, as he continued on inspecting the other ingredients that he hoped to pick up as well.
And after picking, choosing and taking his ingredients back to his workstation.... George quickly looked at the knives before him and picked up a 'number 5' knife.
It had a good weight to it that seemed to be evenly proportional to its blade width.
He held the knife in his hands, as he tried to get the feel of it first.
'Good knife!', he thought.
Now it was time for him to get back to work.
He quickly placed his raw materials in several large bowls and hurriedly washed them at least twice before beginning.
With all his ingredients washed, it was time to head on towards phase 2... cutting up the ingredients.
He took his chopping board and immediately started this task.
Thanks to his research and attentiveness to the radio.... he had picked up several cooking methods and key points to note of when cooking.
For one, depending on what dish he wanted to make.... the size of the ingredients would also play a major part in making food otherworldly.
He quickly picked up his knife and cut his vegetables into perfect matchsticks.
Of course with the carrots being the thinnest ones of all.
Even though his every motion was a little rough around the edges... one could see that to a certain degree, he had still managed to keep his veggies within the same size range.
What he needed was more practice and techniques... in order to get that precise and uniform motion that all chefs yearn for.
'Top! Top! Top! Tip! Top! Top! Top!"
The sounds of numerous knives coming into contact with the chopping boards could be heard from a mile away.
And as they chopped, the supervisors on the other hand..... went about observing each contestant's methods.
One should know that as judges.... several key points were important to them:
•Appearance/ Plate presentation.
•Execution: How they did it
•Hygiene during and after cooking.
•\u0026 Completion of the actual task.
Of course some of these judges werealso teachers within the academy, so they found it somewhat hard to maintain a straight face..... when facing people who wanted and butchered ingredients like so.
As they moved about, they were secretly screaming within their hearts while watching the contestants.
'So slow! So slow!!!
Look!!... now you've missed the mist crucial point of it all!!', one scolded in his heart.
'Too much!!.... Too much!!!
How can you apply so much salt into just one tiny pot?
If it were spices or seasonings... I could understand were you're coming from.
But with that much salt, the food would be bitter by the end of it all!!.
Ahhh!!!.... what a waste of ingredients!!', another cried out within his heart.
As the supervisors moved, they held their score sheets and gave out several marks to the contestants while observing their techniques.... and soon time was up.
One by one, the supervisors/judges critiqued everyone's meal brutally.
"To put it bluntly..... I can't serve what you've just made to any of our customers EVER!!!"
George heard the remarkand for the first time in his life, he try felt like crying.... had he failed just like that?
One had to know that it was a must for them to pass all the first 6 exams in order to be admitted in.
And this one was part of the ones that he needed to go well on.
He tilted his head downwards, as he felt his eyes get a little misty.... but he tried his best to suck it up, as he needed to hear every single criticism so as to improve himself further.
"Here!... take your dish, step into that room there... and take a whiff!" One of the supervisors gestured.
George immediately did as he was told, and was immediately shocked by the outcome.
One should know that he had been cooking in an area that was filled with several aromas from other contestants as well..... so it was hard for him or any one for that matter, to notice anything scent-wise.
But for these professionals, even when they were judging in such an environment.... they could still get what the problem was scent-wise?
For him.... it was only when he got into this scent free-room, that he had gotten a slightly burned scent from the food.
In essence, even in restaurants.... the kitchens were always filled with several aromas that marked several other dishes.
So what happens when something smells bad and is brought into the actual restaurant that has a clean scent to it?
Of course the customer would be pissed.
George came out of the room in defeat,as he knew exactly where he went wrong.
"Do you understand now?"
"Yes...." he said while trying to hold back his tears.
His entire family was depending in him and his sister back in Carona .... and here he was f***ing it up.
He felt his heart tremble violently,as he found it hard to breathe through it all.
Just what the hell had he been thinking of to not notice it?
"But, even though the scent was terrible.... surprisingly, you did well in other aspects too."
With that sentence, George suddenly lifted his head towards them as if saying: 'Eh?'
"And in terms of hygiene, texture, appearance and task completion..... I would say that you did exceptionally great." One of the judges said.
"I agree... the real issue was with your techniques and execution skills.
But of course we can touch those up here in the academy.
So with that said... I guessed you've passed today's examinations with a 62% mark.
Congrats contestant George Craymor on advancing to the next phase."