Chapter 987: The Great Chinese Chef
When the old man spoke, the old woman on the bed appeared to be moved as her eyes lit up while she listened on.
“It’s that famous Little Boss Yuan,” said the old man. “No wonder the fried rice was so good. Since it’s Little Boss Yuan, nothing is surprising anymore.”
The old woman muttered softly. The old man understood what she said and replied with a nod, “Yes, we have to remember Little Boss Yuan’s kindness.”
They chatted for a bit while the old man put away the plastic bottles and the Mantous he bought earlier.
Although this old couple had been together for several decades, they still had many topics of conversation.
That was something extremely rare.
The old woman smiled and muttered again. Perhaps because she no longer had all her teeth, or perhaps it was some other reason, others would find it hard to understand what she was saying. However, the old man could understand her.
“Time to eat,” said the old man with a smile as he helped the old woman up and let her rest on a wooden frame.
Naturally, there were some clean rags on the frame to serve as a cushion.
The old man placed the bag on the floor. Then, he went out to wash his hands. Naturally, there was no tap water supply in an abandoned factory. For their daily usage, they used rainwater they gathered.
After washing his hands, the old man entered the room again. Due to the old woman’s unwell body, she was not fit to sit straight for a prolonged period. Thus, the old man would always help her finish the meal before he went on to do other things.
“You have great appetite today. Eat more,” said the old man gently.
The old woman muttered a response. Others wouldn’t be able to understand what she just said, but that was not the case for the old man. She was saying that the sunlight today was very comfortable, therefore she was in a good mood.
“This rice is nice, right? I waited there for the young man today. Little Boss Yuan is in good health and he is a fantastic lad,” said the old man. The old woman ate while listening attentively with a smile on her face.
“He is the talented lad I told you about previously. His restaurant’s business is incredibly good. Every single day there would be a long line outside the restaurant. It’s very lively there,” said the old man while helping the old woman eat.
In a short while, only about half the fried rice was left. This meant that the old woman had finished her portion. Thus, the old man helped her back to bed again before he started eating. He finished eating quickly before helping the old woman to the toilet.
As the old woman couldn’t even turn around, she would basically lie there without moving when the old man was not around.
Of course, the old man himself wasn’t exactly in perfect physical condition. Thus, he still needed to expend great effort to do this.
On the bright side, as the old man once said, they were lucky the old woman still had some of her teeth.
Otherwise, the old man wouldn’t be able to afford a blender for her eating needs.
Meanwhile, the “eccentric genius” Yuan Zhou had returned to his restaurant.
Usually, if there were new ingredients during BBQ, it signified that there would be a new dish in the restaurant.
The reason Ma Zhida could become the number one new dish expert of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant was because he was part of the BBQ squad.
When Ma Zhida saw the sky covered with dense clouds, he knew it was going to rain soon and thus he rushed over for some BBQ.
Unfortunately, as per Murphy, anything that could go wrong would go wrong.
For example, the sky was getting dark and was obviously going to rain soon. But the moment Ma Zhida arrived at the restaurant, the clouds cleared and no rain was in sight.
“What in the world?” Ma Zhida was usually a polite and clean person. But he had a bad habit. When he was unhappy, he would spit at the source of his frustration.
Thus, he faced the sky and spat into the air.
“Shit, shit!” Ma Zhida left while angrily wiping the spit off his face with a paper napkin.
But when he was about to leave Taoxi Road, he recalled something and stopped his steps.
He recalled something important. As a new dish expert of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, Ma Zhida still knew something.
For example, he noticed that the ingredients used during BBQ were ingredients present in the dishes of the restaurant. Thus, if he found new ingredients during BBQ, he would visit the restaurant the next day to confirm if there were new dishes.
“During lunch today, I ordered fried rice and found no new dishes,” said Ma Zhida as he contemplated with a frown. He decided to come again tomorrow night.
Since Shen Min was there to take care of the pub, Yuan Zhou stayed in the restaurant to research about food. But to be precise, he was researching imaginary dishes in the books.
He had spent the past two days reading many novels. But only the Dream of the Red Chamber was able to fulfill his requirements.
That’s right. It was the Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the Four Classics of Chinese Literature. That was a wide-ranging and profound book and there was even an academic field devoted to the study of this book, Redology.
One special part about the Dream of the Red Chamber was the way in which the scenes and outfits in the book were depicted. But the depiction of food within the book was very special as well.
Yuan Zhou suggested three dishes in a row to the system, such as Pheasant Soup, Dredged Quail, Melon Red Pine Mooncake, and Rouge Dried Swan.
Without exception, all of them were rejected by the system as someone had already recreated these dishes.
Through this, Yuan Zhou found out that there was a cuisine known as Red Chamber Cuisine, specializing in the delicacies mentioned in the book. Although these dishes were not exactly common, they weren’t rare as well.
Even the dried fish depicted in the book, the one with the most complicated preparation method, had been recreated many times with seven or eight different preparation methods for this dish existing presently.
Yuan Zhou was left stunned for a long time before he said, “Sure. Excellent. Amazing.”
This did not apply to only Dream of the Red Chamber. Yuan Zhou found that any novel that was popular would have the dishes within the book recreated.
Thus, he found with despair that both Wuxia novels and classical novels already had their dishes recreated.
The various books like Water Margin or even Dream of the Red Chamber with its own set of cuisines were all no longer available for him to recreate the dishes within.
One could say that the pursuit for delicacies in China was extremely intense. Even the delicacies of some foreign books had been recreated as well.
For example, the Treacle Pudding, Steak and Kidney Pie, Rock Cake, Treacle Tart, and the more common Butterbeer from Harry Potter had all been recreated and were available in various restaurants in China.
“Am I being pushed to a dead end?” Yuan Zhou muttered to himself.
Nobody answered his question. But since he had accepted this mission, he had to complete it no matter what. Thus, Yuan Zhou continued reading novels.