OCN C47 An Introduction to the Kitchen

Qian Huang didn’t know how to continue but he also couldn’t ask. Thus, in the end, he just did what he thought might be right and went ahead.

When Xiao Ming watched Qian Huang pour enough water into the steamer to steam at least twice the amount of dough he had, and then even saw him add what felt like half a cup of salt, he really wanted to say something.

On the other side, Si Shi Wu gently shook his head. As a judge on the show, no matter how much it pained Xiao Ming what he saw, he wouldn’t be able to give any kind of warning to the contestants. Thus, he needed to hold back and preferably not even show anything on his face. Right now it wasn’t as serious yet, but it was a good chance to practice.

Xiao Ming also knew that he shouldn’t so he held back and just watched on in horror.

Qian Huang finally put everything on the stove, put the little buns that he had shaped with Ren Ya Hui’s help into the layers of the steamer, and then put the lid on top, looking at Xiao Ming for confirmation.

Xiao Ming didn’t know how to respond. What was he supposed to say now?

Si Shi Wu could also see that he had no idea how to go ahead so he cleared his throat and pulled the attention back to him. “So, how long will we have to wait until we are able to give your creation a try?”

Qian Huang looked at Si Shi Wu, and then at the steamer in front of him, and realized that there was yet another question that he needed an answer to. Thinking for a bit, steam would only be created if the water was boiling so first, that needed to happen before the whole cooking process could even start. “Uh … well, it will still need a while.”

Si Shi Wu nodded, slowly realizing that this guy really had no idea about cooking even though he was always managing the live stream. Clearly, whether it was him or Li Shui, the two of them had relied a little too much on Young Master Xiao. But that was nothing he should worry about. Or, at the very least, it wasn’t something that he should worry about right now. They could still worry about that when Young Master Xiao and their master had finally gotten together. Then, things might need a little changing up.

After all, their master would definitely try to spend as much time with Young Master Xiao as he could, meaning that maybe, Qian Huang and Li Shui would have to scavenge their own food going forward. Ah, he could already imagine how bad things would be by then. But come to think of it, there were also other ways to deal with this. In the worst case, they’d just have to move all three of them into the villa of the Si clan, and then he and young master Xiao could maybe take turns cooking for everyone. Or maybe they could just hire somebody. Looking at the twenty guys he was already living with, Si Shi Wu actually had a bit of a headache. Depending on who it was, they were actually able to eat quite a lot. Ah, well, that also wasn’t what he should be worrying about it.

Seeing that the four of them would have to wait for the water to boil, the host finally grasped the chance to take back his original task. “Well, since this will take some time, Mister Xiao, why don’t we have a closer look around so that the contestants can see what will await them in the casting tomorrow and the following episodes of ‘Golden Spoon’?”

Xiao Ming nodded and then glanced at Si Shi Wu, trying to see if he would follow them.

Si Shi Wu actually would’ve liked to but he felt that considering Qian Huang’s level in the kitchen, it might be better if he stayed with him. He motioned towards the steamer and Xiao Ming gave a faint nod. Well, it really was true that it might be better if somebody stayed close by in case of emergency.

Thus, while Qian Huang and Si Shi Wu were left behind, Xiao Ming and the host left the small aisle that they had been using and went over to the next one.

It was clear at a glance that each of them was exactly the same. There was the same counter in the front, the same cupboards in the back that had the same utensils and appliances as the one they had just come from.

The host turned to Xiao Ming and gave a smile. “Mister Xiao, why don’t you introduce everything to our viewers?”

The nervousness that Xiao Ming had felt before suddenly came back. Introduce everything … How much was there to introduce? In any case, it was just a kitchen. Using it was definitely the best way to show it. Just standing there and having to do so was a bit difficult. But what else was he supposed to do? Since the host had already invited him to do so, he could only go ahead.

Xiao Ming first decided to talk about some general things. “These are the places that will be used in the episodes after the casting when there is a limited number of participants so that everybody will have the same chance. All the appliances and utensils here will be used only by the participant with the corresponding number.”

The cameraman used the opportunity to show the number that was attached to the front of the counter, and then even panned back over to Qian Huang who was leaning over the steamer trying to look through the gaps and the number that was attached to the kitchen that he was currently using. Then, he panned back to Xiao Ming who continued to explain.

“Since a lot of people have registered for the casting, things will have to be a bit simpler for that occasion so these kitchen blocks will only be used starting from the episodes after that. That way, we can also ensure that there won’t be too much of a wait time for the contestants.”

Ren Ya Hui cooperated with Xiao Ming and inquired further. “Then can you reveal how things will look for the casting itself? I am sure that is what most people will be curious about.”

Xiao Ming nodded. “Of course, it’s not a secret. Actually, the venue has already been prepared and the crew is just fixing a few last details right now, so we can’t go over there at the moment to show you. In any case, the cooking aisles you’ll have in the casting will be a bit smaller and only provide you with a stovetop and a few essentials. For everything else that you need like special kitchen appliances, the dishes for plating, or even a bigger assortment of spices and seasonings, you will have to head to the common areas.

“Those common areas will hold the same things as these bigger kitchen aisles, just that everybody will have to share. So let’s take a quick look at what we have in this kitchen so that you will know what you can plan with.”

He first went over to the fridge and opened it up, motioning for the cameraman to show what was inside. “The fridges are stocked with several kinds of ingredients. There will be an assortment of vegetables and meat, as well as different types of sauces. Other ingredients, like spices and seasonings, are right next to the fridge in these aisles but will all be sorted into one big shelf at the casting.” Xiao Ming closed the fridge again after having pointed at the ingredients that could be used, and then went over to the spice rack, showing a few of the most commonly used spices that might be needed for the casting.

“Then, as you’ve previously seen, you naturally also have utensils and dinnerware that you can use in the cooking process, like cutting boards or a full set of knives. These will also be given to all individual participants in the casting so you can find them at your own kitchen block. If you need more, you will once again be able to get those in the common areas.

“Other than those, there is, of course, the dinnerware that you might want to use for plating. You can find that in the cupboards here.” He opened a cupboard and chose a few decorative plates and bowls for the camera. “These will be changed at different stages throughout the show. As for the casting, you will have a wide assortment of them in the common areas. So when you choose the ingredients, you might want to choose some of these as well and already take them back to your place. Otherwise, if there aren’t enough and another contestant chooses them before you, it’ll be too late. So always keep that in mind.”

The host couldn’t help but pipe up at that moment. “So does that mean that in the casting, things will also depend on speed?”

Xiao Ming nodded at that. “Yes, those who are able to choose everything that they need early on will naturally have the advantage in so far as there will be more to choose from. So those who only plan the plating later on can only choose from what is left over by that time. Since everyone is assigned to one common area, if the thing they want isn’t available anymore, they will have to make do with something else. They are not allowed to go to the other common areas to search there to keep it fair for everyone.”

“Then could it happen that there won’t be any dishes left at all? How awkward that would be!”

Xiao Ming smiled but shook his head. “No, nobody will have to worry about that. There is more dinnerware prepared than the number of contestants. It is just that there are varying numbers of the different types of dishes. So, if you want a specific type of plate or bowl, then those might already be gone at the time you finish cooking.”

Ren Ya Hui merely nodded and then let him continue.

Xiao Ming put away the dishes and then turned to the appliances. Patting the stove, he also reminded everyone of what he had said before in one of his live streams. “The kitchen appliances used here are some of the most commonly found ones so the contestants will hopefully find themselves familiar with them. In case you notice in the casting that you are not, just look out for one of the staff members that have been assigned to your area and wave them over. They will come and assist you. You will be able to recognize them by the uniform they wear. You can also ask them about ingredients to check whether they are available or not.

“For those of you who are very curious, you can already check the list of ingredients on the website. While it doesn’t list the dishes, it will give you a specific list of what ingredients will be available to you in the casting so you can plan ahead.”

Ren Ya Hui once again to turn to Xiao Ming. “Mister Xiao, then what happens if an ingredient somebody needs isn’t on the list?”

Xiao Ming’s expression turned apologetic. “Then I’m afraid they will have to choose something else. There are thousands of ingredients that could be used but the show naturally can’t provide the contestants with everything. At the very least, not in the casting. In the episodes going forward, there will be some challenges where everybody will be given the same materials to cook something with and also rounds where contestants will be able to ask for specific ingredients so that they can cook with the things they are most familiar with.”

Ren Ya Hui smiled at the camera. “That sounds as if the episodes after the casting would be much more interesting.”

Xiao Ming wasn’t sure how to react to that and felt a bit put on the spot. He couldn’t really say that the casting wouldn’t be interesting, right? But also … well, the episodes after it would likely be more important.

He pondered for a moment and then slightly tilted his head. “I’m not sure if I would say it like that. The episodes after the casting will be more complicated and might thus seem more interesting. But I think that what is interesting about the casting — and what the episodes following it can’t provide — is that there will be so many people coming together, all presenting what they have learned so far about cooking in their life. I think that is a kind of experience that is seldom to come by. While in the first episode, there will still be sixty-four participants, that can’t compare to the thousands of participants we will see in the casting. I think this will definitely be a sight to behold.”

He smiled and the host gave a nod, seemingly satisfied with the answer. Back at the other counter, Si Shi Wu took out his phone and quietly sent a text to Si Yi.

Si Shi Wu: [The host is a problem.]

Then, he quietly put his phone away, looking at Ren Ya Hui with a dark expression.

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