Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 19: The Chef’s Situation
I brought the fluffy and fragrant chiffon cake to the dining room. I cut the cake into pieces for easy eating and topped it off with the whipped cream that I had made.
The whisked cream was light and airy. The white whipped cream on the fluffy, yellow tinted chiffon cake looked like clouds. It was a combination of soft and delicious-looking colours that made one happy just by looking at it.
It was a great way to bring out various flavours and textures, and it also hid the crispy part of the chiffon cake.
I’m sure that my muscles will be sore tonight, but I think it was worth the effort to make it.
“Lady Leticia~! I’ve finished my work! Are there any sweets left?”
“Welcome back, Krona. We’re just about to taste them.”
Krona sat down in front of me, squealing in delight. She took a slice and put extra whipped cream on it, then eagerly grabbed her fork and reached for the dessert.
Krona took a bite and opened her eyes in surprise. Her pupils were round and dilated, like an excited cat.
Following her, I also brought a piece of cake to my mouth. The light texture was soft, yet it conveyed a moist and sweet taste.
Moist but (at the same time) fluffy. The sweetness of the eggs and sugar filled my mouth with a gentle flavour. Adding oil to the dough and mixing it in gave it an exquisite texture.
Krona seemed to be hooked on it, too, devouring it in no time at all and silently demanded for more. I was glad that she enjoyed it, but I shook my head.
“I’m sorry, but that’s all for today. I’m also going to share it with the chefs who lent me their kitchen.”
“Aww…but Milady is right, I can’t keep it all to myself…”
Krona was silent and melancholic. Her tail seemed to give off how disheartened she was by drooping.
“…I plan on making it again, so when I do, I’ll be sharing it with you and the rest of the maids, okay?”
“Yes! Thank you so much!”
Doing a complete one-eighty, Krona’s eyes sparkled with delight.
If the chiffon cake can be enjoyed this much, I suppose doing well, right?
I planned to serve it to the maids and servants when an opportunity arises and use it as a chance to interact with them.
While I was drinking a cup of tea made by Lucien after finishing my chiffon cake, there was a knock at the dining room’s door. The person who came in was Mr. Gilbert, the head chef of this royal villa. He was a slender, lanky, tall, middle-aged man with sunken eyes, but…
…Don’t you look a little unwell?
The depressing atmosphere had always been there, but today it seemed even darker than usual.
“Lady Leticia, I heard that you finished the pastry. May I join you?”
“Yes, please. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.”
I offered him a slice of the cake. Mr. Gilbert observed its appearance for a while, checked its aroma, and then after anxiously picking at it, he proceeded to eat it.
How good was the chiffon cake, and what did a professional chef think of it? As I waited with some anxiousness, Mr. Gilbert’s mood became dark and gloomy.
“Was it not to your liking…?”
When I asked timidly, Mr. Gilbert looked up as though he had been startled.
“No, that’s not it! The cake is very delicious! But that’s why…”
What does he mean?
It was nice to hear that the food was good, but his expression was too gloomy. Mr. Gilbert reached into his pocket with a sullen look on his face and took out a piece of paper. Written on it was…
“…Letter of resignation?”
The handwriting was fine and neat, showing Mr. Gilbert’s personality, but the problem was what was written.
“Could it be that something happened to your family or a relative of yours?”
“No, not at all. It’s just that what I was originally prepared for has now become a reality with the chiffon cake.”
“What do you mean…?”
I served him the cake. He said it was delicious and ate it, then turned pale and handed in his resignation…I had no idea what all of this meant.
“This cake was very delicious. I think I’m not much of a cook compared to Lady Leticia, who can make such wonderful dishes…I’m used to getting fired, so feel free to dismiss me.”
“Why would I do that? I greatly appreciate the food that Mr. Gilbert and the others make.”
I really mean it.
The day after I arrived at the royal villa, I had asked them to use a moderate amount of spices in my meals. I couldn’t bear to have them change the menu entirely, so that was what I asked, and, as such, the resulting dishes were much more palatable.
Although the spices were somewhat reduced, the taste was still strong, but the flavour was harmonious in its own way. I made this chiffon cake today because my taste buds were getting tired with such rich food every day. However, it was the most delicious aristocratic cuisine I had ever tasted in this world so far.
Aside from the seasoning, the presentation, and the way the ingredients were cut, showed how impressive Mr. Gilbert and the other’s cooking skills were. There was no way I was going to fire him for making such food.
When I rejected his resignation letter and persuaded him, I noticed that Mr. Gilbert was patting his chest in relief.
“I’m sorry. I thought Milady was unhappy with our food, that’s why you ordered us to change the seasoning and even personally stood in the kitchen today…”
“That’s not the case. The reason I went into the kitchen was just that it’s a hobby of mine. And I asked you to change the seasoning because I like my food less spicy. You and the other chefs are very understanding of my selfish demands. Have some confidence, please.”
“…Thank you very much. I don’t deserve such kind words.”
The grateful Mr. Gilbert had a demeanour that could almost be described as rather subservient. His manner of speaking was too polite, even for me, the Queen.
“Mr. Gilbert, I have one question for you. You said earlier that you were used to being fired, does that mean that you were fired from your previous job before coming to this royal villa?”
“Yes, that’s correct. It’s a bit embarrassing to talk about, but…before I came here, I was in charge of a certain aristocrat’s kitchen. However, I had a problem with a colleague there and was sent away.”
…So that was the situation, huh.
The decision to come to this royal villa was made rather arbitrarily. It must have been difficult to gather top-notch chefs in such a short period. That might be why Mr. Gilbert, who was certainly skilled yet had been kicked out of his previous job, was sent here.
A chef’s job didn’t only involve cooking. It also required the ability to manage interpersonal relationships with co-workers and how to please one’s employer.
Chefs employed by royalty and aristocracy, are burdened with more responsibilities other than cooking. At times, chefs would form factions and fight amongst themselves, and the losers would be kicked out.
Mr. Gilbert, I’m sure you’re not a bad person, but from the looks of it, you seem like a pushover…
With no major problems in his skills or personality, he was more than likely involved in a factional dispute at his workplace.
What a sad story…he had lost all confidence in his cooking after being kicked out of his previous job.
“Mr. Gilbert, please don’t give me that look. I believe that the food you make is the result of your solid skills and experience.”
“Thank you very much. But you don’t have to be so considerate to my pathetic self…”
“It’s not flattery. I don’t know if this could prove it but…if you don’t mind, Mr. Gilbert, would you be willing to join me while I’m cooking whenever you have time?”
“…When Lady Leticia is cooking?”
“Yes, could you please?”
There were many recipes I wanted to try, but I was a novice when it came to ingredients and cooking methods unique to this world. With the help of Mr. Gilbert, who was an expert, it would be much easier to recreate and adapt dishes from Earth.
I hoped that I could help Mr. Gilbert regain some of his confidence through the process of making delicious food.
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