July 23rd, 2014 Run by Agape
Boston - Tee's Steak House
Stepping into this restaurant is like stepping back into time. The decor carries a distinctive Wild West feel complete with a bull skull mounted over the bar and framed by a pair of ancient Colt Walker pistols. A bar stretches down one end of the room and this is where the locals appear to have gathered, watching on curiously. Booth seats in a deep blue are scattered along the opposite wall, with dim hanging lamps swaying above them. An attempt has been made to brighten the room and several, clearly new, spot lights focus into the large opening above a half-wall that allows guests to view into the kitchen.
Out of place is a long table that stretches down the centre of the room, bedecked with a white table cloth and pristine cutlery. It is clearly reserved for the night's special guests by a small folded card, allowing them all to dine and mingle together.
Places: an open kitchen, a long table
The doors to Tee's Steak House are opened, and the guests invited in. Several folks who look like regulars drift over to the bar and booth seats to watch the evening's entertainment with a beer in hand while the special guests are met at the front counter by a lovely auburn-haired young woman. "Evening, evening," she coos, flashing a warm smile to everything. "Would you'all mind giving me your names? And it's fifty dollars if you ain't a chef." The cooks themselves are lead off by a young man to gather in the kitchen. Terence, the resturant's owner hovers near the kitchen, waiting to welcome his contestants.
"Good luck, sweet pea." Wyatt tells Iris, giving her a playful nudge as he pulls out his wallet and shuffles some cash out of it.
Fenneke trails after the rest of the cooks, a brief nervous smile sent to Mischa and River as she goes. She reaches up to fiddle with her four-leaf clover pendant, thumb brushing over the enameled surface lightly.
Deirdre says (to Adrien), with a soft Scottish burr, 'Are you covering us both?'
Adrien heads in with Deirdre, tugging out his wallet as he waits for their turn to hand out cash. "It's a nice place, a bit overly themed, but nice." he decides quietly, clearly speaking to his wife.
Adrien nods at Deirdre.
"Have fun." Iris flashes Wyatt a quick smile, though she's soon hurried off with the other contestants, fingers lacing and fidgeting together nervously as she eyes the kitchen and then shifts to look at the other contestants.
Mischa offers Fenneke a thumbs-up and a smile before moving toward the auburn haired woman. "Hi, Mischa Moore." He offers over fifty dollars, dipping a nod.
Sun reaches into her purse and pulls out a single fifty, the clinking of her jewelry the only noise coming from her small person.
A little bleary-looking, River nonetheless shows Fenneke a warm smile and a casted a-okay sign as she moves away. He follows after Mischa, ponying up the fee and offering, "River Campbell."
Harry comes shuffling in towards the back, eyes sweeping across those already present with an overall genial and relaxed expression plastered on his features. He weaves his way through the crowd towards the front counter, queuing up behind the others -- "Harry," he says when he actually makes it to the front, dropping off his entry fee at the same time.
Wyatt's lips curl into a polite smile as he faces the woman, handing over the fee, "Wyatt Cross." he says, as he looks like he's fighting of a yawn.
"Adrien Moreau." Adrien introduces as he passes over money, then nods at Deirdre. "Deirdre Moreau."
Sun falls in step behind the others and hands over the bill, "Sun Kwon." she says in a demure tone when it is her turn.
Deirdre smiles politely at the woman.
Harry feels a little awkward being near to Fenneke and River, though.
The young man leads Fenneke, Iris and Delilah off into the kitchen. "Ladies, may I introduce you to Mr. Phillips. He's the owner and host of the contest today." Terence steps over, offering a hand to each of the women in turn. He's a largish man, more middle-age spread than muscle. Dark hair and dark eyes but a genuine smile. "Evening ladies. Welcome to my resturant. I hope you will have a wonderful time tonight." The Southern woman at the counter checks names off the list, nodding her head and taking the cash that she slips into the till. Another waitress is waiting to lead the audience members over to a large table set up in the center of the room and have people seated.
Adrien takes Deirdre's hands as they're lead off, quietly looking from face to face.
Mischa takes a seat at the large table next to River, probably trading spots with someone to get the spot. A grin forms on his lips as he looks around the steak house, though it does waver momentarily at the bull head, but only for a moment as he looks around the rest.
Iris reaches out a small hand when it's her turn, shaking Terrence's hand politely and bobbing a small nod while a smile laced with some nerves tugs at her lips, "Nice to meet you, Chef Phillips. You have a lovely restaurant."
Deirdre follows someone over to the table, her fingers lacing with his briefly before she takes a seat.
Adrien turns his attention back to Deirdre once they're seated. "You know.. I figured we would know at least one person here."
Fenneke mimics Iris's motion at her turn, her smile easy and her attention focused on the man, "Yes, it's really lovely. Nice to meet you, Chef Phillips." Should she shake, she tugs her hand back and flicks her fingers lightly through her hair.
Harry finds himself a seat next to whomever, relaxed and a little faintly amused as he scans the interior of the steak house, soaking in his surroundings.
"Well ain't this fancy." Wyatt mutters as he makes his way over towards the table, taking a moment to check his phone before he moves to get seated.
Harry says (to Wyatt), aside to the man, in a joking tone, 'Just like home.'
"Reminds me of back home," River says to Mischa, once he's gotten comfortable, shoving a bit at his shirt's sleeves. He takes a curious look over the interior, then the the rest of the table's occupants.
Deirdre says (to Adrien), with a soft Scottish burr, 'We really haven't been about and met that many people.'
Delilah smiles and echoes Fenneke. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Phillips."
Sun slips into a seat at the table and crosses her legs, her mouth forming a slight frown as she looks around with interest.
Deirdre glances over at Delilah and says quietly to Adrien, "Maybe she knows a good doctor around here."
Mischa looks over to River, chuckling. "Yeah? You know, I've never actually been to Texas." He then looks over the other patrons, offering a smile and a nod to each he comes into eye-contact with.
Adrien looks over at Delilah, then back to Deirdre. "We'll have to ask her afterwards." he decides.
"Texas is a fine nuff state, I reckon." Wyatt tells Mischa with a small roll of his shoulders as he continues to fiddle with his phone, before he looks around at the table, giving a nod of greeting towards everyone before he looks at Sun, "An' good to see you, missy."
Deirdre nods Adrien in agreement. "We probably should."
Sun inclines her head in Wyatt's direction and offers him a small smile before turning her face forward.
River takes a second to eye Harry, squinting down the table as though trying to place the man. After a little suck on his cheek he shakes his head, touching up at the roll of his sleeves and rubbing at his cast. "Yeah," he says to Mischa with a bob of his head. "You guys should tag along the next time I get homesick. You'd love the food."
Adrien looks over at Wyatt as he speaks. "Is it?" he asks quietly in his French accent. "I have not seen any state but this."
Terence smiles broadly, shaking each hand in turn and nodding his head. "A pleasure to meet you all as well." He leans to the side to listen to something from the young man who led them in then waves him off. "If she doesn't make it then we'll just make do with what we have." The young man nods curtly and retreats. Turning back to Delilah, Fenneke and Iris he gestures to the large opening that reveals the kitchen to the diners out in the main room. "If you'd like to line up there, then we can get this thing started." The man himself steps out of the kitchen and up to the front of the large open window, clearing his throat as he takes a microphone and taps on it a few times. Waiters and waitresses hover around the main table, taking drink orders. There's beer, wine and various cocktails along with regular non-alcoholic beverages.
Harry leans forwards after a perfunctory scan of the other guests, craning to place his gaze on Mischa. "Did you say your name was Mischa Moore?" he asks. A waitress swings by and he orders himself a beer.
"Yeah? Figure that'd be a good time. We can double-date it, or something." Mischa tells River, giving a light nod. He orders himself a beer, then Harry's question catches his attention. "Hm? Oh, yeah. That'd be me. Have we met?"
Iris carefully pulls an apron from her bag, slipping the stained thing on over her clothes and tying it around her waist before making her way over to the front of the open kitchen and clasping her hands in front of her as she takes her place at the indicated spot, if only to try and still her nervous fidgeting.
"Don't think so no, but one of the folks in your family's my roommate. Dylan? She's mentioned you, at least, pleasure to meet you." Harry leans back in his seat now, cordially offering his hand to Mischa behind another question.
Fenneke moves into position, settling at the counter and resting the heel of her hand lightly on the lipped surface. Her color is a little high and her fingers twitch, tapping lightly against the counter as though nervous. There's no apron for her, instead her free hand is smoothed over her free-form dress once more.
Delilah looks over at Iris and murmurs, "knew I forgot something..." She smiles though, moving to her place in the line, her knife kit at her side.
"Yeah, fella. It's pretty nice of an area." Wyatt tells Adrien, as he tilts his head forward, shifting in his seat to take a proper look around the restaurant.
"Oh! You're the officer she's rooming with, yeah. She's my neice." Mischa tells Harry, offering his own hand over to shake his. "She's behaving, I hope. Hah."
"Hot, I imagine. It's always hot here." Adrien faux complains before placing an order for two nonalcoholic drinks. Probably tea, given the restaurant.
The host taps the microphone one more time, dipping his head to blow into it before noticing the thumbs up that he's getting from the sound guy. He gives a quick nod before straightening up. "Good evening everyone. My name is Terence Phillips and I am the proud owner of this establishment." His dark eyes scan the room as he pauses, let his words linger. "Tonight I am also the proud host of our very first Boston's Best Chef contest!" There is some applause, most enthusiastically from his staff. "To start us off for the evening, let's have our wonderful contestants introduce themselves, starting off with the lovely..." He glances down at his clipboard. "Fenneke King!"
"Real proper, yeah," Harry confirms, grinning a little. "Hasn't even pranked me back yet - I uh, might've done something to deserve it." He quickly settles back into the seat at the conclusion of his reply though, attention drawn to the presenter.
Mischa grins at Harry and turns up to Terence when he starts speaking, then applauds when Fenneke is introduced.
After a pause to applaud enthusiastically a waiter brings over a bottle of beer and a glass for both Harry and River. A refreshing sweet tea is brought out quickly afterwards at Adrien's behest before Mischa, Sun and Wyatt are quietly asked what they would like to drink.
Perhaps with a touch of awkwardness that Fenneke bites down on, her smile shifting to steady and firm, she steps forward and offering with a little wave to those seated at the tables, "Hello, I'm Fenneke King. I'm a home cook from Boston. I -- don't have any real training but I own Sunflower Supermarket in Haven and I've been getting advice and tips from my bakers and chefs there. I love both baking and cooking, although I'm partial to baked goods. And... thank you for having me." That last part is sent to Chef Phillips, coupled with a slightly brighter smile.
"It's a habit..." Iris murmurs back to Delilah, though she soon falls quiet as Terrence speaks, applauding quietly as well along with everyone else and turning aside to listen to Fenneke.
"Uuuh, coke please." Wyatt softly replies towards the wait staff, his hands giving a polite clap for Fenneke after she's introduced before he's leaning back in his seat, looking lazy as hell.
River's idea of clapping is a little muted with the cast covering most of his arm, encouraging Fenneke on through her awkwardness with a bright grin towards her. He goes about pouring his beer afterwards, thanking the waiter quietly.
Deirdre taps her fingers on her other palm in a light applause for Fenneke.
Terence returns Fenneke's smile warmly. "Excellent. Hopefully we can see a lovely dessert coming from you. Next on our list is Miss Iris Song. Please, tell us a little about yourself."
Sun runs a single finger along her jaw as she watches the proceedings with interest.
Mischa offers the waiter "Oh, a beer please. Whatever River's having." He motions aside to River before turning back up to the introduction of Fenneke and the others.
Deirdre says (to Adrien), with a soft Scottish burr, 'I have a feeling this will be nothing like the meals we had in Paris.'
Adrien says (to Deirdre), in a smooth French accented masculine voice, 'Well, always something new to be had.'
"Think they have Lone Star?" Harry wonders laughingly over towards River, grinning sheepishly.
Iris grasps the microphone, taking a moment to try and find where she can actually be heard as she speaks into it, a sheepish flush rising up in her cheeks, "Ah, um, good evening everyone. I'm Iris Song. I've been cooking since I could stand in my parents' restaurants, and I now own my own in Haven, Massachussetts where I serve traditional Korean food that I learned from my mother and grandmother. One of my passions is sharing my culture's food with people in America and introducing them to something new, and the other is, well, cooking. Thank you." She trails off a little awkwardly, flashing a quick, nervous smile before stepping back.
The waiter bobs his head, making a note in chicken scratch writing on his little pad. He disappears off for a few minutes before returning with a coke for Wyatt and a beer for Mischa that matches the one that River ordered. Terence takes the microphone back from Iris, bringing it near his mouth again before he continues. "Thank you, Iris. Asian flavors always make for an interesting twist to things. Lastly, I'd like to introduce Delilah Aylin." He grins, handing the microphone over to Delilah. Meanwhile a waiter hovers near Sun, awkwardly waiting for her to order something to drink.
Sun blushes faintly as she finally notices the waiter, she quickly shakes her head and motions that she is fine for now, she whispers a soft, "Sorry."
Wyatt's fingers move to his lips as he produces a wolf whistle for Iris before he accepts his coke, and sips on the cold drink, firing off a text from his phone before he looks back up on stage.
"Probably. You can pick it up in plenty of places." River says to Harry, lips quirking a bit as he admits, "I just said beer. Little out of it today." He puts together some more applause for Iris, sipping his drink.
Taking the offered microphone, Delilah lifts her other hand, waving to the audience with a smile. "Hello, I am Delilah Aylin-Miles. Originally from New York City. I live in Haven now, and own Cherry Moon Diner. I taught myself how to cook, mostly be reading recipes, watching the Food Network, and trial and error. "She gives a soft chuckle. "I cook mostly like, home cooking type foods, but, I can do some gourmet things pretty well. I'm pretty happy just running my diner and feeding the good people of Haven. I might like to open another establishment some day, but, I haven't finished my business plan yet." She rests her hand on her round belly and smiles over at Mr. Phillips, offering the microphone back to him. "It's an honor to be able to compete today."
"Aren't we all," Harry asks with a little chuckle - it's not quite as mirthful or jesting as might be expected, a touch humorless and dry. His attention shifts away from River with a wry smile, focusing once again on the announcer and now, the cooks. Wouldn't want to miss those introductions.
Iris applauds politely as well for Delilah, though Wyatt's whistle draws a more reassured smile to her lips as she glances quickly his way at the table before returning her attention to the other contestants and Terrence.
Said waiter takes a step back from Sun, smiling thin-lipped and making his way to the outskirts of the room. During Delilah's introduction Terence talks quietly with one of his people, the young man with the clipboard. There is a flicker of frustration in his features for a moment but that melts into another winning smile as he turns back to take the microphone. "Thank you, Miss Aylin. I'll have to pop by Haven sometime and take a look." Scanning back over the audience he clears his throat. "Our fourth contestant doesn't seem to have been able to make it tonight so we are going to have to make some adjustments to the planned event. Instead of cooking in teams each contestant will have their own ingredients box and create their own menu solo. You need to create one entree and one dessert. You all have access to the basic ingredients in the pantry. We'll scratch tomorrow night's event and whoever wins tonight will be our grand winner and take home tonight's prize."
Terrence finishes off, "Guests, please sit back and enjoy. Contestants, are you ready to see your mystery boxes?"
Fenneke likewise applauds for both Iris and Delilah, former belatedly, before nodding her head to the man speaking, a flash of nerves crossing her features as she peers at her basket before her.
Delilah takes a deep breath, showing a touch of nervousness. She smiles at her fellow competitors and offers to Terrence, "I'm ready, Sir."
Mischa sets back in his chair and takes a drink from his beer, looking back up to the contestants.
Iris nods as well, looking down at her basket as well with a thoughtful furrow of her brow, nerves seeming to calm when the event moves into the actual cooking portion of the evening.
Harry leans back and flags a passing waiter, casually inquiring about the selection of beer.
Delilah whispers over to Fenneke and Iris. "Good luck to you both."
"Thank you," Fenneke offers a whisper back to Delilah and then smiles to Iris.
"Good luck." Iris echoes sincerely to the other two contestants, nodding softly and offering Fenneke and Delilah a brief smile.
Staff bring out three small crates with hinged lids and place them in front of Fenneke, Iris, and Delilah. Each is labelled One, Two and Three in turn. A canned drumroll sounds a touch too loudly and at the clash, Terence calls into the microphone. "You have one hour. Lift your lids and go!" (ooc: you can see the ingredients in each box in the room extras)
The young man with the clipboard taps Terence on the shoulder. He listens to something and then quickly adds, "You HAVE TO use ALL the ingredients, ladies."
Delilah opens her box, pulling the items out. The audience might notice some things, such as a red bell pepper, lemon, ground beef, and vanilla bean. She nods to Terrence and says, "All of them, total, right? Not like, all in each dish? "
Iris pulls out a bag of mussels, some potatoes, asparagus, chili peppers, raspberries and nutmeg from her own basket after pulling open the lid, clearly taking a moment to take inventory and mull everything over before she busies herself with cleaning and prepping the mussels in the nearby sink.
"Can you run over the rules once more, Chef Phillips?" Fenneke asks as she starts to pull things from her own basket, peering to the man she's speaking to.
Adrien casually wraps his arm around Deirdre and looks around the table. "This should be interesting." he offers to nobody in particular.
Sun raises her eyebrows and leans forward as she watches the ladies get to work. She pulls out a small note notepad and begins to make notes as she seems absolutely smitten with the rules and kitchen appliances.
Mischa watches the contestants pull ingredients from the boxes, eyebrows raising at some of the required foods. He shakes his head a little bit and drinks from his beer, telling River "This kind of thing makes me wish I knew how to cook. Hah."
Harry leans forwards, casually settling his elbows on the table. "Looks like they all have different ingredients," he mentions to those on either side of him. "Guess that's good for variety."
Deirdre leans back resting against her husband's arm as her eyes graze over the ingredients.
A waiter steps up near Harry, brandishing a menu and listing off the various beers that the resturant over on offer. It is a fairly standard selection. Terence meanwhile leans over to inspect the contents of the various boxes. "Excellent. Yes, that is correct, Delilah. You must use all the ingredients to make one entree and one dessert. How you spread them out across the dishes is up to you."
Iris is already moving around at a quick speed, even as she glances at Terrence when Fenneke asks him about the rules. She's already peeling potatoes by now, a pair of pots of water set out to boil on the stove and the russets sliced and diced and tossed into the water right after.
"You're alone there, man," River says to Mischa, eyes going to half-lids as he relaxes back, watching over to the kitchen with a content curiosity. "Best park of cooking, to me anyway, is knowing someone else put a lot of effort into making something for me. If Fenn wasn't cooking every night I'd be broke eating out."
"I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about what I'm doing in the kitchen either." Adrien admits after a while. "More of an artist than a chef."
Mischa chuckles quietly at River, offering a nod. "Right? She takes good care of us." He relaxes back too, offering Adrien a nod over. "Yeah? I'm decent on a grill, but gimme a stove and I can barely turn the thing on. Hah!"
"Grill's all a man needs," Harry declares with the solemnity and gravity of a fellow delivering scripture.
"Right? I can cook you something.. But don't expect it to be gourmet." Adrien replies with an easy grin.
Mischa raises his beer up to Harry at that, chuckling. "Don't get me wrong. I make a meeean Mac'n'cheese." He gives a light upnod, as if it's something to be proud of, "Box dinner."
Deirdre gives a small laugh, "Ach, my mum was teaching me how to cook a thing or two when I was a wee bairn."
Iris pulls out a few eggs as well, whisking them together with milk, sugar as well as a generous grating of her basket ingredient nutmeg, placing it over the heat on low and turning back to the sink to place her mussels in a steaming basket and then over the boiling pot of water so they can start cooking.
"Then you changed your name and got yourself mixed up with a dropout street artist." Adrien teases Deirdre with a light grin. "And that's why we have leftover mcdonalds in the refrigerator."
Fenneke heads for the sink, washing her hands, before she approaches her box again. She starts to pull items from within. Chicken breast comes first, then jasmine rice. A few other items are tugged from within while she begins to hum softly to herself, sort of off-key but enthusiastically either way. She places a pan and a pot of bowling water on the stove-top and then heads to the pantry, gathering a variety of spices including salt and pink peppercorns as well as a grinder from the tools table. Grabbing a bowl, she begins to mix a spice rub, grinding the pink peppercorns. After patting down the chicken, she begins to coat in the spice rub.
Fenneke only has the salt and the pepper, per the rules.
Delilah seems to be staring at her ingredients, thinking for some time. She smile swhen a thought comes to her, and begins to set herself in motion. She turns to an oven, setting it at a certain temperature to preheat while working with her ingredients. She then gets a large pot on the stove top, filled with water. She sprinkles some salt in, and sets the flame on beneath, setting another pan nearby, turning heat on, but lower, just to get the pan hot. She turns back to her table and sets out two bowls, putting flour in each. She is racing now, as her mind sets a plan out before her. Grabbing the almonds, she goes to a food processor and pulses them until they are a fine powder, which she sets into one bowl of flour.
Deirdre says (to Adrien), with a soft Scottish burr, 'Its always an adventure with you, love.'
"I was going to say you can't bake cookies or pies on a grill," River offers heavily after a pensive silence, glancing to the other men, "but you kind of can."
Harry echoes Mischa's chuckling laugh and raises his glass in salute. "You can make mac and cheese on a grill too," he casually jests... or is he? He goes for a sip of his beer right afterwards, nodding sagely.
Terence watches the cooks all get going with some amusement before he looks down at his watch. "Forty minutes left." Moving into the kitchen he goes over to Delilah. "You are looking a little lost. Can you tell us what you have in mind for your dish?"
Adrien smiles and gives Deirdre a chaste peck on the cheek.
Mischa blinks some, looking between Harry and River. "... Huh. We'll have to put Fenne in front of a grill some time soon. See if it works." He looks up to Terence again when the forty-minute call is set, then looks to Delilah.
After a moment of consideration, Harry offers cautiously, "Well... you could get a baking pan or something, and then, uh, close the lid?"
Delilah doesn't stop moving now that she is on a roll. She sprinkles salt into the bowl of flour without the almonds, and sugar in with the almonds. Next, she puts some butter, after dicing it up, in with the almonds, and a sprinkle of cold water. She 'cuts' the dough with a knife until they are bread crumb looking in the bowl. "Um, Going to make a lemon custard pie, for dessert, and.. pasta for an entree. Not sure what kind of sauce for it I will make yet, I'll figure it out, Sir."
Harry says, in a quiet, Texan-laced drawl, 'Or maybe use a dutch oven...'
Adding flour to the mixture of salt and pepper, Fenneke begins to lightly bread the chicken, as it is no longer a spice rub. The heated pan is doused with a light layer of oil, which she flicks around, letting the viscous fluid slide around the pan to coat it and become heated. Washing her hand after handling the chicken, she moves to the rice and pours it into the water. Moving to the mushrooms, she washes them with quick and efficient strokes before heading back to a clean cutting board, beginning to chop them into even, slices. Her hands are shaking with nerves, however, and she slices her fore-finger, just a brief glance but it's enough to cause her to bleed. Offering a hiss, she heads for the medical station, quick-bandaid-ing her finger and grabbing a pair of gloves.
Iris also collects some flour, sugar, butter and oil, looking to be putting together a quick dough and kneading it viguoursly as she does. Shifting over to check on the mussels, she draws a pair of tongs and pulling out a few that don't open and tossing them aside into a bowl before taking the ones that have opened up to the sink. A few of the correctly cooked ones are once more set aside before she carefully removes the inner flesh from the rest of the shells and moves to start roughly chopping them into smaller pieces.
Mischa grins at Harry, nodding. "Probably would work, sure. Hah. Figure if you can do beans on a grill, you can do mac'n'cheese... Meh." He then looks back to the contestants, drinking more from his beer. "It's already smelling awesome in here."
Delilah kneads the pastry quickly, putting it in a small pie pan, much smaller than normal, for speed of cooking. She places the crust in the oven on it's own, moving to the other flower bowl. She cracks an egg and separates the yolk, putting only that into the flower, then adding some milk. She works the dough with her hands, until it is in a ball, then begins to pound it out into a messy, but flat shape. She runs over to the pasta roller, cranking the machine until the dough comes out the other side. She begins again, repeating the process until it is the right consistency, carrying the rolled dough back to her station. Man, running pregnant woman, stay out of her way!
"Lemon custard pie? A classic," Terrence comments with a grin and a bob of his head. He seems about to say more when he notices the hiss from Fenneke. "Medic!" he calls in a loud voice. The already bustling kitchen is filled with a handful more people, paramedics on stand-by. They draw Fenneke off to check her finger. "No need for stitches, Ma'am," one of them affirms as she wraps up the cut after cleaning it and helps Fenneke slip the gloves.
Iris heats up a skillet next, poking a fork into her boiling her potatoes and nodding before dumping them carefully into a strainer into her station's sink. The asparagus, washed earlier along with the mussels is tossed in the same pot used to steam them to blanch quickly while she mashes the potatoes into a fine paste, tossing the mussel meat into the mix along with some beaten eggs, milk, and a generous portion of salt and pepper.
The cry of 'medic' prompts a curious glance from Harry in the direction of the contestants, his baby-blues briefly sweeping over the group. "So yeah," he starts, going back to the previous topic. "Who needs a stove?"
Iris also adds some flour as well, into that potato/mussel mixture.
Delilah grabs the ground beef and runs back over to the stove, breaking it up into little pieces, setting it into the pan to cook. She sprinkles it with salt and pepper, then rushes back to her table. She picks up the corn meal, and stares at it, as if she forgot all about it. She sets it back down, picking up the red bell pepper. She dices it with quick chops, into tiny pieces, and carries them over to the pan, mixing them in with the ground beef. She mutters to herself, "what the fuck, corn meal," and stirs the cooking meat before running back to her table.
Iris drains off the asparagus and shocks it in a bowl of ice water to keep the pretty green color and crispness of the vegetables before draining them again and drawing her knife rhythmically through the stalks, slicing them into small sticks almost like one would do with a green onion. She's running around and looking a bit red in the face, though she seems laser focused on what she's cooking. The custard on the low heat of the back burner gets a quick stir, the mixture having thickened into a smooth, off-white cream studded with flecks of nutmeg. Next the skillet she was working with seems to be hot enough, a dollop of butter and drizzle of olive oil coating the skillet.
Delilah takes out a bowl and quickly begins to put ingredients in. First, sugar, and butter are beaten together until they are well blended. She separates two more eggs, setting aside the whites and using the yolks, blending them in well. Next comes the flour, and milk. She cuts a lemon in half and squeezes it upside down, making sure no seeds fall into the bowl. Then she repeats the process with the other half. She sets the remainder aside and stirs. She rushes over to the stove, dumping the mixture in a pan. Letting that rest, she stirs the meat and sets out another pan, dumping in a bunch of balsamic vinegar. "Hmm, wish I had some cheese.. and mushrooms," she seems to talk to herself.
Moving back to the mushrooms, Fenneke continues her neat chopping, muttering under her breath and then briefly nodding to the paramedics. She heads back to the pantry, gathering eggs, sugar, and milk, as well as a fluted ramekin. The rice is fluffy and cooked by this point and she sets it aside before grabbing a large bowl from the shelf. She begins to crack eggs into the bowl, one at a time, methodically. Milk is added as well, along with sugar, measurements showing that there probably has been some basic recipe memorization at some point or another. A cup of ricotta is whisked into the mixture, as well as a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon. The mixture is creamy and smooth, probably the base of some custard if you were aware of such things, and she whisks in the cooked rice right after. Taking a break from the bowl, she heads for the apples and begins peeling them with a flick of her wrist and a knife, making a long curl of peel on the counter.
Terence wanders around his kitchen, poking his nose into just about everything. Another glance at his watch has him calling out, in his booming chef's voice. "Twenty minutes left. If you're doing any baking things should be in the ovens by now." Sauntering over to Iris he gives the mussel and mashed potato mix a quizzical look. "Where are you planning to take this?" he asks, somewhat dubious before offering the microphone.
Delilah checks the lemon mixture, then runs back to the table, whipping the egg whites until it looks like a meringue, soft and fluffy. She takes the ,lemon mixture from the stove, pouring it into a bowl which she places in a blast chiller. She spares only a moment's glance at the other women before beginning to work on her pasta. She sprinkles some corn meal on the counter, smiling and nodding as if proud of herself as she then lays out the dough. She then begins to cut several circles from the rolled out dough. She runs to the stove and grabs the pan of cooking meat, making her way back to the table. She nearly trips, but oh, good save, she doesn't drop the food, much. There is still enough left to use. She spoons out equal amounts onto each circle of dough, then sets the pan aside, beginning to fold them in half and press them closed, turning them into half moon shapes.
The soupy potato mixture is given another vigourous stir, handfuls of asparagus tossed into it as well to make perhaps a rather unusual batter of potatoes, mussels and asparagus. That's left to sit for a moment while Iris turns her attention back to the dough she made earlier, rolling out the dough on a floured surface and glancing up before she leans over to talk into the microphone, "Um, I'm making a version of a dish called haemeul pajeon. It's a savory pancake with seafood and vegetables in it. I'm also going to make a chili sauce and some steamed mussels to put on top." Then she's cutting her dough into rounds with a cookie cutter, sprinkling it with sugar and placing it onto a baking sheet.
Chopping the apples now, Fenneke liberally mixes them with sugar. Slipping away from the apples, Fenneke fills the ramekin with the rice-custard mixture and then settles the chopped, sugared apples overtop in a thick layer. Getting a pan from the tools cabinet, she fills it halfway up with water and settles the ramekin in the water bath, before popping the whole thing in the oven. She returns to the chicken and the mushrooms, putting both into the heated, oiled pan as she begins to pan-fry the chicken, tossed with the mushrooms.
Delilah pauses for a moment, letting out a deep, cheek puffing breath. "Dear God, no would be a bad time to go into labor." She chuckles at the joke, then shakes her head, bringing her pasta moons over to the boiling water and dropping them in. She pulls the pot of reducing balsamic vinegar closer, adding butter, then milk as that melts. She sprinkles in some pepper, and grabs a spoon to taste. She tosses the spoon in with the dirty dishes and lowers the temperature on the sauce to let it simmer while her pasta boils. She runs to the blast chiller to remove the lemon custard, and brings it back to the station. She dumps the meringue in, and begins to fold it together, returning it to the chiller and then, quickly, getting out the pie crust from the oven, and letting it chill too.
Delilah lifts her head to ask to Terrence. "How much time, Sir?"
Deirdre has been watching the women working with some interest, perhaps attempting to get some ideas or cooking tips from their actions.
"Hamool payjon," Terence repeats awfully with a nod of his head. "Is this some of your Korean heritage showing through?" he asks, distracting her even further with a microphone in her face. At Delilah's question he glances back at his watch. "Just over ten minutes left. You should start thinking about plating soon and get the food up to the pass." Meanwhile the waiters have been drifting back and forth to the main table, bringing up baskets of artisan bread and fresh butter for the guests to nibble on.
A couple of the paramedics in the corner look at each other nervously at Delilah's comment about going into labour. There seems to be a subtle game of rock, scissors, paper going on between them.
Harry unhesitatingly reaches for a roll and claims a little saucer of butter for himself. Bread knife in hand, he disassembles the bread with mechanical efficiency.
Iris pops the tray into the oven after brushing the tops of the rounds of dough with olive oil and butter. Then she ladles some of the batter into the hot skillet, the mixture starting to bubble while she adds more chopped mussel meat, finely chopped pieces of asparagus and salt and pepper to the top for color and extra flavor. "Ah, um, yes, that's right." is murmured into the microphone, giving Terrence a small smile before hurrying back to work. The raspberries get a few drops of vinegar and a dusting of sugar before being set aside, the custard similarly being moved off the heat after another stir.
Catching the discreet game, River watches the poor team of paramedics. At first he's blank about it, but as he puts two and two together a burgeoning grin works its way to the surface of his face, attention soon sliding over to watch Fenneke kitchen about again. He helps himself to a hunk of bread, not taking any butter.
Wyatt's hand moves into his pocket as he pulls out a tin of chewing tobacco, as he watches the people cook, tapping the side of his tin.
Delilah nods, and grabs a bowl. She slices a vanilla bean and scrapes the insides into the bowl, adding sugar and milk. She begins to let it beat on the stand mixer then grabs the plates necessary to serve her dish. She pulls the pasta moons from the water, letting them air dry with a few shakes of the basket. She sets them in a bowl-like plate, one in the center, five around it, like a flower, and goes for the sauce from the stove. She drizzles the creamed balsamic sauce over the pasta, then cuts nearly paper-thin slices of the red bell pepper, sprinkling a few over top for a colorful garnish. She runs to the chiller, getting the custard and crust, bringing them to the table. She pours the custard into the crust, and moves to check on the whipped cream. While not quite as fluffy as she would like it, she deems it as done as it is going to get with just milk, and plops a spoonfull onto the pie. She takes up the lemon half from earlier and sprinkles some lemon zest on top. After a momen
Terence makes his way out of the kitchen, calling, "Five minutes! Time to move, ladies!" over his shoulder as he steps to the front of the pass. He looks over to the audience. "Any favorites, ladies and gentlemen?"
Deirdre glances at the basket of rolls and then the foods being prepared and folds her hands at the edge of the table.
After a moment'ts though, Delilah adds a dash of zest to the pasta as well.
Sun frowns, and seems a wee bit torn as she's been watching all the females with equal enthusiasm.
Harry butters up a couple of slices of bread before biting into the first one, chewing thoughtfully and slowly. "Tough call, Terence," he calls out, looking to his left and his right for support.
Delilah looks over her plates, giving herself a nod. She slices a piece of pie, setting it on a small, matching plate, then takes the two to the pass. She sets them down and steps back, putting her hands on the small of her back for support, and panting slightly. It takes a lot of effort for a woman that pregnant to move that fast.
Adrien clucks his tongue a bit as he watches, "Very tough call.. You might want to save that question until we've tried it." he offers unhelpfully.
Mischa watches the cooks, giving a light nod over to Harry. "No kidding. It's gonna be rough, but awesome."
Sun's eyes light up when eating the food is mentioned and she bounces slightly in her chair.
Harry finishes off one slice, then gets to work on his second slice of bread. Sparing a sidelong glance at Wyatt and River, he adds with a trace of amusement in his tone, "Pretty sure some of us are playing favorites though."
Iris mixes some of the diced chilis with olive oil and vinegar and the pancake gets a flip, the first side a pretty golden brown in color with crispy edges. The dough is pulled out, equally crispy and golden and a touch puffier than when it went in. A round is transferred to a white plate with a spatula, some of the raspberry mixture spooned on top then a generous drizzle of the nutmeg custard. When that is done, she slides the savory pancake onto a plate, asparagus side up and topping it with mussels in the shell and a drizzle of chili sauce. Finally she picks up the plates, carefully pushing them onto the pass.
"Guilty as charged," River admits easily.
Sun looks over at the guilty men, "How do you guys not get fat getting to eat their cooking all the time!" she whispers enthusiastically.
The chicken cooks quickly, thankfully, and the mushrooms and chicken are both emitting a delicious scent before long as Fenneke gently begins to stir the items. Grabbing plates from the tools counter, she spoons the pan-fried chicken and mushroom mixture onto the plates and swiftly begins to slice the chicken breasts until they're in neat, crisp strips. She briefly spoons some of the mixture into her mouth with a tasting spoon and then adds a flick of salt and pepper, nodding to herself. Heading to the oven, she tenderly lifts the water-filled pan to the stove top and then removes the apple-crisp-topped rice pudding ramekins from within the water bath. Gathering platters, she puts both the plate and ramekin together and then lifts her hands.
Mischa looks over at the dishes, eyebrows raising slightly. He wets his lips then finishes off his beer.
A loud chime rings for a good thirty seconds or so to let everyone know that time is up. Terence claps his hands together in a generous applause then moves over to Delilah seeing as she was first up, offering the mic to her. "Please explain your dish and tell us how you've used all your ingredients." Before she even starts, he picks up a knife and fork, scooping up some of the pasta.
"Short answer? A lot of Pee Tee." Wyatt tells Sun, as he gives Mischa a small grin, "Sides, you only live once, right? A little bit of bias never hurt anyone."
River's gaze ticks over to Sun, offering the young woman a quick smile and explaining, with a quick wink, "Sun Tzu, divide and conquer, the Art of Leftovers." He focuses on Terrence and the women again after that, flagging down the waiter for another beer.
Deirdre takes a sip from her tea as she awaits Delilah's answer.
One of the staff drag out a fancy looking black-board on an easel. Menu Three is labeled at the top and he looks over to Delilah, waiting to eager write done the dishes.
Delilah takes the microphone in her hand and begins speaking as she watches Terrence begin to eat her dish. "Well, I uh.. Used the ground beef and peppers to make a filling for a mezza luna pasta. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper. The pasta was rolled out. I used the cornmeal to set it on, so that it would not stick to the counter as I filled it. It also adds a touch of texture to the pasta itself. The sauce is a balsamic reduction, creamed with butter and milk, seasoned with pepper. She turns to the dessert and begins to speak again."
Adrien looks at Sun, "How do they stay fit?" he asks a bit belatedly. "Demon hunting." He offers with a nod. He looks serious for a moment, before flashing the woman a grin.
"The pie is a lemon custard pie, using lemons in the custard, of course. The crust is a basic almond pastry, where I used some pulverized almonds for flavor and texture." Delilah smiles before adding, "Everyone's favorite, whipped cream, tops the pie. It has the vanilla inside, and it is topped with a lemon zest. Oh, there is a dash of zest on the pasta too, to give it an aire of brightness."
Sun blinks incredulously at Adrien but she seems highly amused regardless. Shifting slightly, she tucks a leg under her body, so she can sit higher on the chair, both her hands ending up on the table as she waits for the part she came for, 'taste testing!'
Terence nods thoughtfully as he chews on the moon-shaped pasta. "Mmm, almost Mexican but without the kick. An interesting take on the corn meal. It does make it a little grainy though." He daps at his mouth with a paper napkin and moves onto the pie, slicing it with a fork. "This I like," he concludes. "Fresh. Rich but also refreshing. The almond crust really gives it an earthy flavor. Well done." He smiles, reaching over to shake Delilah's hand before moving over to Iris. "Alright. Tell us what you have here please?" The man at the board scratches out the menu on it before hurrying off to bring out a second menu board.
"I made a savory mussel and asparagus potato pancake. It should be crispy on the outside and slightly creamy and rich on the inside, with crunchy slices of asparagus and tender mussel meat throughout." Iris starts to explain, motioning first to the thin pancake in front of Terrence, the edges golden and crispy and topped with open mussels in the shell and glistening with a red chili-studded sauce. "I also added some more mussels on top and a hot chili vinagerette to cut through some of the richness of the pancake and you always have to have something spicy with Korean food. This is a twist on haemul pajeon, which is a popular Korean dish."
"And for dessert I made a sweet, crunchy biscuit with flour, sugar and olive oil. I baked those and topped it with raspberries mascerated in sugar and a touch of vinegar to cut the sweetness as well as a nutmeg custard for some smooth, richness." Iris explains next, motioning to the dessert plated next to her entree. "Uh, it's also a twist on a Korean dessert called yakgwa. Please enjoy them both."
Wyatt's stomach gives a little growl as Iris finishes explaining, he tilts his head towards the waiter as he asks for a dark beer.
"You know what would go good with that?" Harry mentions quietly aside to Wyatt, noting the man's tummy rumbling. "Some yogurt soju. You ever have any of that?"
Terence nods his head as he listens, picking up a fresh knife and fork that he uses to cut into the potato pancake. Again he chews on it thoughtfully, expression almost blissful as he absorbs the flavors. "I have to admit, I've never had anything quite like this before," he replies after swallowing. "Like you said, crispy at the first bite but then very rich. The sauce really does give it a kick though." Next he moves onto the dessert, tasting a raspberry alone first, then having another spoonful of the custard to go with it. "Yes, this is very nicely balanced. Well done." Just like before he shakes Iris's hand and moves over to Fenneke. "Last but not least, as they say. "What do you have for us tonight?" The poor staffer writes up the second menu and then scampers off yet again to bring out another board."
Iris smiles softly but seems genuinely pleased at Terrence's words, shaking his hand again and settling back on her heels, a faint blush to her cheeks at the largely positive reviews of her food.
"You know, I don't think I have." Wyatt says over towards Harry, as he gives a small nod of approval towards Terence's words.
"Damn, you're missing out," Harry quietly confides, keeping his voice low and both eyes on the cooks. "Soju's uh, Korean vodka, right? But then they mix it with this sweet stuff they call yogurt drink. It doesn't taste like yogurt at all, really good."
"Well, for the main course I lightly breaded the chicken in a mixture of flour, salt, and pink peppercorns and then pan-fried it in oil with the sliced mushrooms in oil. I sliced the chicken afterward and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper to my taste. While simple, I hope the flavors of the product shine through. As for the dessert, I made a ricotta rice pudding, flavored with cinnamon and topped with caramelized apples," Fenneke explains her simple fare with a blush on her cheeks, motioning to the arrangement of food on her platter. She ducks her head, peering over to the chef and host for a moment before offering quietly, "I hope you enjoy it."
Harry whispers to Wyatt, ' .... this .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... they'd .... you .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... pancakes ....'
Wyatt's brow raises as he looks over at Harry.
Wyatt whispers to Harry, ' .... ....'
Mischa whistles quietly at the explanation of the desert of Fenneke, giving a small nod. He looks over to River, "I can't wait for that. Hah."
The staff member writes out the third menu, that's actually the first one because that's how he originally labeled them, and then arranges the three boards to be easily viewed from the main table. Terence spears a piece of the chicken, bringing it to his mouth. He chews on it while pushing the rest of the chicken aside and trying the mushrooms. Eventually he swallows and dabs his lips with the napkin. "I feel like you could have pushed this much more. It's good, but a little simple." Moving onto the rice pudding he adds, "I'm surprised you didn't use the rice as a base for the chicken. You've smothered the fragrance of the jasmine under the cinnamon. I do like the apples though. Not too sweet." Reaching out his hand he shakes hers and smiles reassuringly. "Good job." Then he steps back to his place beside the open window and faces the audience to continue.
Adrien looks over the menus for a moment, before settling on the second one. "I think that might be the one I want," he offers to Deirdre, nodding at the board lightly.
Adrien says (to Deirdre), in a smooth French accented masculine voice, 'What do you think?'
Deirdre says (to Adrien), with a soft Scottish burr, 'I'm torn between that and three.'
Terence clears his throat, taking a glass of water and sipping on it before he speaks again. "There you have it, ladies and gentleman. A round of applause for our contestants." He gives the applause a moment to die down again. "Now it is your turn. Each of you will be asked to select a menu that you would like to dine on tonight. Each time a menu is selected it garners the contestant one point. If no one selects a particular menu that chef is out for the evening, so I do hope you'll all be sporting about it. Please decide what you'd like to eat and pass your order onto a waiter when you are ready." Looking back over at the chefs, he grins. Behind them a small army of staff are wiping down the kitchen and replacing dirty pans and bowls with fresh ones. "Take a moment to catch your breath and then the orders are going to start coming in so be ready."
Adrien quietly applauds the chefs before looking over at Deirdre, "I'm going with Iris' menu." he decides.
Harry sweeps his gaze away from the chefs and over towards the menu board, eyes thoughtfully moving from side to side as they scan each row descending. "Pancake looks good, but I think I might wnat something more savory today," he muses quietly to himself as he leans forwards and scribbles something down onto a piece of paper and hands it to a waiter.
Iris applauds quietly when everything is said and done, though she stops rather abruptly if she's the only one. Clearing her throat, she hurries back to her station, looking ready to handle the orders as a professional, practiced air settles around her.
A waiter nod to Harry and moves over to the pass. "One pasta and lemon pie!"
Sun pushes her hair over her shoulder before motioning that she'd want to eat menu two for the evening.
Mischa follows Iris along with the clapping, then orders from the third menu. "Fenneke's dish, please."
A waiter looks from Mischa to the menu then back again. "Menu three? Or Menu one?"
Unsurprisingly, wearing a lazy smile as he returns to the table from a short phone call, River tells his waiter, "Menu one, please."
Mischa looks up at the menus, squinting a moment before he tells the waiter "Er-- One, sorry."
"Eh, I will go for menu two." Wyatt tells the waiter, as he takes a moment to look down his phone, looking back up at the wait staff with a polite smile.
Deirdre looks over the dishes and menu again then says to the waiter , "I'll have three please. "
The waiter gives Mischa a nod and smile before hurrying back over to the pass. "One potato pancake... thing and the biscuits! Two chicken and apple custard!"
"Two for me." Adrien tells the waiter.
Delilah smiles as she looks up, her menu coming to pass. She turns back to her station and sets to work, carefully filling the pasta circles with the meat filling. As another oder is placed, she sets a new pan on the stove, adding the ground beef and dicing up some peppers. She gets that cooking, just in case she runs out, having spilled some earlier. She boils the filled pastas and checks on the sauce, noting there is still plenty of that left.
Mischa wets his lips, looking up to Fenneke. He grins broadly, telling her "If this is good, we're having it every Tuesday night!"
"Thank you." Iris says politely to the waiter, working on heating her oiled skillet back up, the biscuits stuck back in the oven briefly to simply heat gently and the same done with the remaining custard while she ladles some of the pancake batter into the skillet, scattering the top with more chopped mussel meat and sliced asparagus and flipping it over after it browns on the first side.
Another waiter (don't they all look alike?) takes down Wyatt's order and then the one from the couple. With a nod he joins the first at the pas again, cupping a hand to his mouth. "Two more potato pancakes and rasberry custards. One more pasta and--- fuck." He mutters at himself, looking through his orders. "UHm... yeah! Two pancakes and raspberry biscuits. One more pasta and lemon pie."
With the orders up, Fenneke goes to making the two servings. The remaining chicken is pan-fried to order, while she lightly warms the remaining ramekins in a low oven. She's passive in her movements but her approach is more deft this time, less nervous as she goes through the motions again.
Iris slides the first pancake onto a plate, repeating the same process with her second one and leaning over to pull the biscuits out of the oven once they've warmed up, one of each arranged on small plates and the top ladled with the mascerated berries and smooth nutmeg custard before she turns to flip the second pancake over to continue cooking. Her movements are crisp and practiced, like someone who has done this sort of thing often. The first pancake is topped with steamed mussels and the chili vinaigerette, and the first order of entree and dessert is delivered up to the pass, the food not taking too long now the prep is largely done.
Delilah gets out the plates needed and moves to the pot, pulling the cooked pasta. She plates the moons just as before, one in the middle, five all around, and drizzles them with the sauce. She thinly slices some more red pepper, sprinkling it over top and grabs the unused lemon, zesting it a bit over the pasta. She then cuts slices of pie, placing them on their individual small plates. "Pastas and pies, to pass," she calls out as she balances the dishes and wlks up to the pass.
"Order up." Iris calls out as well, sliding the pair of plates onto the pass and trotting back to her station to continue cooking.
Terence moves over to take a seat at the head of the long table, having abandoned his microphone. He doesn't seem to be ordering anything but he does look around at the various guests ordering with interest. "I heard someone mention biases earlier?" he opens with, working to get a conversation started while the food cooks.
Fenneke begins plating the chicken and mushrooms, slicing them in the same way she did previously, before she settles them on platters with the ramekins of pudding. She continues to cook until she moves to the pass, offering with a bright smile, "Two orders, ready."
Adrien looks over at Terence and nods over at someone and River. "Those two, for certain I believe. Though everybody at this table knows them, I believe. Excluding myself and Deirdre of course."
One of the hovering waiters scoops up a the pair of plates from Iris, He moves over to the table and lays then out in front of Sun and someone. "Enjoy," he murmurs before returning. Another waiter is already on the way, like a human conveyor belt of food. He has the order for Adrien and Deirdre, one of the pasta and one of the potato pancake. Theses are also served up while a third waiter brings along twin plates of the chicken dish for someone and River. The first waiter lingers at the pass, waiting for Iris's last order.
Iris slips the final pancake out onto the plate, carefully arranging a trio of shiny black mussels open wide to reveal the tender flesh inside. A generous drizzle of spicy vinaigerette tops it off and she steps back to inspect both plates, wiping off a little extra bit of sauce here and making sure the biscuit is centered there before whisking them off to the pass. "Last order up."
When the plate is set before her, Deirdre turns her fork sideward to cut off a piece of pasta and quickly pops it in her mouth.
Mischa looks up as Fenneke finishes serving up the two plates, apparently waiting for the waiter to bring the servings over to him and River.
Sun smiles softly and inclines her head at the waiter, she carefully looks over the food and crosses her ankles.
Terence nods his head, straightening up and looking pleased as most of the food comes out and ends up in front of the diners. "Please, eat up," he tells them all, gesturing broadly and grinning. He attention shifts over to Mischa and River after he gives Deirdre a nod. "Are you family or friends of Fenneke?"
When Adrien gets his food he nods thankfully and starts to cut up the pancake. After a few moments he tries it and nods appreciatively, "That is rather good." he comments to nobody in particular.
Soon enough all of the food is served, the professional waiters managing not to mess up who gets what. The cooks are left to their own devices for the moment though they are offered drinks or bottles of water if they want it now that all the cooking is done.
Delilah stands near the pass, watching the people at the table. Her eyes don't linger on any one person but for a moment.
Mischa looks up to Terence, offering a smile. "I'm actually her brother-in-law, yeah. I've had her food at home, but I'm still excited to see how this turns out."
Sun pops a mezza luna pasta into her mouth, her jaws moving as she chews silently, her eyes taking in the colors of the dish. A happy murmur escapes her as she nibbles on a red pepper, bit by bit before her plate is mostly empty.
"Um, water, please. Thank you." Iris breathes out, accepting the bottled water and taking a long drink, settling back on her heels to watch everyone in the dining room for the moment.
Fenneke just watches the people get their food, the question from the Chef not seeming to bother her that much. She rests her hand on the edge of the counter, inspecting her gloved hand idly when she's not watching the eating.
"She's my girlfriend," River says up to Terrence with a quick smile, then eyeing over his meal. With the bread he pilfered earlier demolished, he goes for another piece from the basket, bothering with butter this time and tucking it in on the side of his plate, eyes indecisively bouncing between the pudding and the chicken breast with its mushrooms. They escape their boundary eventually, and he considers the custard and biscuits that other people have curiously.
Harry has been quietly nomming away, fulling intent on his food and little else. Pasta is deftly twirled about on a fork before brought to his mouth and devoured in a single neat slurp. He doesn't skimp on the bread either, managing to finish up the leftovers of his roll and even going for another while he's still working on his pasta.
"Um, Wyatt's my boyfriend, so he already likes my cooking." Iris tells Terrence from the kitchen, pointing at the man that is totally still there and probably eating.
Terence nods, finally finding the bread too tempting. He reaches out to take a roll then breaks off a piece to chew on while he listens to Mischa and River. "I see," he replies, glancing up to the pass and grinning at Iris before looking back to the others. "So two boyfriends and a brother-in-law. It's still anyone's game then it seems." After polishing off his roll, the large man brushes off crumbs from his fingers and adds. "You'll find a small card and pen next to your plates. Once you are done, please score your meal from one to ten. One being horrible and ten being the best you've ever had, naturally."
Mischa starts off with the chicken, cutting off a piece with his fork. He sighs quietly as he eats, chewing slowly. "Oh, man..."
Adrien finishes up his meal rather quickly and turns his attention to the card. "So, this might be a touch biased." he tels Terence. "Naturally, they'll rate it higher than an outsider would."
Delilah shrugs. "My people are all working. I can't fault them for working hard."
Sun happily begins to eat the pie with much more enthusiasm than the pasta, she bounces a final time in her chair before beginning to write on the small card provided, her strokes large.
Harry is halfway though his custard pie when the call to score the meals comes through, which pretty just prompts him to eat a tid bit faster. He takes the time, nonetheless, to jot down with one hand something horribly unreadable on the card besides him and then pass it over to a waiter.
After some more starry-eyed dessert gazing, River goes into his chicken with a happy relish, sawing off nice little chunks of the breaded breast and making sure to spear some mushrooms with each bite he takes. He licks his lips, lazily humming his approval and flashing a smile over Fenneke's way.
Fenneke has been watching River and his covetous dessert-lust and covers a giggling laugh.
"Of course they will," Terence replies across the table to Adrien. "But this is far more interesting than me simply choosing a winner. And this way I got to see how they manage in the kitchen under a little pressure."
"Fair enough, though I hope you will have a say in the matter." Adrien replies with an overall indifferent shrug. Then he's leaning back a bit and rolling his sleeves up.
Delilah turns to her two competitors. "You both seemed to make amazing dishes. I don't really care who wins. It was just fun to get out of the house for once." She smiles. "I think we all win."
Terence nods his head, collecting the little pieces of card as people finish up their meals. "I've already given them a score of my own," he assures Adrien. "All of it counts in the end."
Mischa gives a small nod as he finishes the desert, then takes a note card. "Do we score the entree and desert seperately?"
"I think everyone's food looks really good. Lots of different styles." Iris murmurs in agreement with Delilah, extending a small smile to her and Fenneke. "I did this to challenge myself... so I'm happy with what I did."
River Finished with his chicken and only leaving a smattering of the mushrooms, having at his pudding. After finishing it all, he cleans off his mouth and starts to scrawl out his score, asking Terence, "Do we give the ent-- what Mish said."
Harry looks the last bit of whipped cream off his fork and settles back, humming quietly to himself. After a second of that though, he twists around and asks the waiter for another beer - something light.
Terence glances down at the cards then shakes his head. "All together is fine, otherwise I'll just average out the score." A waiter steps up to Harry, taking another order for beer from him.
River jots down his score, passing it off to a waiter or the big boss himself, whoever's closest.
"You both looked like you id a great job," Fenneke says as she smiles to Iris and Delilah both, leaning a little on the counter. "I'm just a home cook so I'm glad to be included, that's all."
Delilah shrugs a shoulder and says to Fenneke, "I'm barely more than that, if at all. Just own a diner with home cooked food. Fried chicken, lasagna... things your mom would make... um, if you had a mom, who cooked... maybe"
Terence takes the cards from Mischa and River, looking amused as he reads the latter one. He doesn't say anything about it though. Instead he looks over to Wyatt and Deirdre, waiting for the pair to finish.
Harry relaxes in his seat with a beer, sipping away at it lazily. On a whim, he posits to Mischa, "So, how many of these recipes you think you could do on a grill?"
Overhearing Harry, Delilah offers, "everything can be cooked on a grill, with the right tools. I think"
Mischa grins up to Harry, looking toward the dishes. "How much of -that-? I wouldn't even know where to start."
Wyatt doesn't talk much at all as he enjoys his meal, just crunching away into his pancakes, looking over at the group occasionally as he stuffs his fatty face.
Terence chuckles at the discussion over reconstructing the meal at the grill. He casts another look down at his watch before addressingthe guests again. "I think it's time that we finished this off. May I have your scores, please?" he asks the last two remaining guests.
After an extra moment, Wyatt finishes up his meal, looking up at the others as he writes the score down on the napkin, letting out a loud burp and slides it to Terence.
Harry gives the menus each a cursory sweep as he sips pensively at his beer. Head leaning slightly Mischa's way, he admits, "Yeah, I don't know how to make pasta on a grill either. Guess if you had a pot or something..."
Harry says, in a quiet, Texan-laced drawl, 'But if you're just treating the grill like another heat source, that's kinda like, cheating.'
Sun frowns as she looks around her plate, "Ah... did I remember to hand in my card?" she asks, Terence softly.
Mischa says (to Harry), offering over, 'Well, like... You heat up a can of beans on the grill, and that still counts. Or cooking something in a bowl of tinfoil--..." He pauses a second, then asks "I mean, other people do that, right?"'
"But if you do that," Harry counters, "you're basically just using your grill like a stove. So why not just use a stove?"
"Whelp, I can die happy now." Wyatt mutters as he leans back in his seat.
Mischa's shoulders roll in a shrug as he discusses grilling etiquete with Harry. "To get the good wood or charcoal taste in there. That's why you don't just cool a good brat on a stove, you know? Or a burger for that matter."
Mischa says, after a brief pause, 'Cook. Obviously.'
Terence nods to Sun. "Yes, I have one for you." He gives Deirdre one last look before pushing out his chair as he rises. "Excuse me. I just need to have these all double checked and we can make the announcement." He steps away from the table to a gaggle of staff who look through all the cards.
Fenneke just waits patiently while Terence calculates the scores, tugging her gloves off and then proceeding to clean up her station, almost absently.
Harry ponders Mischa's for a long, long while -- it's four sip wait before he comes up with an answer. "But what if it's propane grill?" he posits.
Iris clasps her hands together, waiting patiently and shooting Wyatt a small smile from her area in the kitchen as she does.
Reaching over to take the mic once more, Terence beckons for the cooks to come out and line up in front of the window. "Ladies and gentlemen. We have a winner." Another drumroll starts...
Delilah leaves the kitchen to stand in front of the window.
Mischa makes a face at Harry. "Propane... Man..." He looks almost disappointed until someone looks about ready to announce a winner. He sits up and watches.
...and crash, the drumroll finishes of. "The winner- of the very first Boston's Best Chef contest- please congratulate Miss Iris Song!"
Delilah smiles at Iris and applauds her.
Sun gives a polite round of applause for Iris.
Fenneke begins clapping, her smile quick and easy. She looks towards Iris and gives her a little curtsy, grinning.
Mischa grins some and applauds for Iris, leaning back in his seat.
Iris blushes a bright red, smiling broadly and dipping her head repeatedly to Terrence, Fenneke and Delilah, and the rest of the room. The other two contestants are offered a hand to shake. "Thank you both, that was a good competition. You both did great."
Delilah smiles, taking the woman's hand gently and giving it a shake in congratulations.
Wyatt gives a loud round of applause for Iris as he leans forward, before giving Harry a little grin, "Swear she's going to make me fat, though."
Harry(lightly) bangs the table a couple of times in lieu of applause, though his good-natured grin and the raised salute of his bottle of beer betray its congratulatory aspect. "Just do more pee tee," he tells Wyatt with a chuckle.
Terence smiles broadly as he takes a silver looking trophy from one of the other staff members and brings it over to Iris. It has a shield on the front labelled 'Boston's Best Chef 2014' with a space underneath for her name to be engraved on at a later date. "Congratulations," Terence says as he hands it over and shakes her hand. "Would you like a to say a few words to your supporters out there?"
Wyatt says (to Harry), just staring at him, 'You know, for that you earned a round of early morning pee tee with me.'
Harry lofts a good-natured grin Wyatt's. "Hey, works for me," he says, his eyes thereafter swinging over to focus on Iris.
Iris accepts both the trophy and Terrence's handshake, nodding a few times and leaning in to speak into the microphone again, "Um, I'd like to thank everyone who ate my food, and Wyatt for coming out to support me and giving me the confidence to do this. I'd like to thank Fenneke and Delilah for also being great cooks, and, uh, if anyone wants more of my food you can visit my restaurant in Haven, Western Seoul. Uh, shameless plug there."
"There you have it folks," Terence adds after taking the mic back. "Miss Iris Song of Western Seoul in Haven is our winner. Thank you to our other wonderful contestants and also to our lovely guests for the evening! You are all welcome back to Tee's Steak House anytime and don't forget to tell your friends about us!"
Fenneke offers another round of applause, grinning and hanging around still in the kitchen, though soon enough she leaves and darts over to Mischa and River, trying to give the first a quick squeeze before settling her arms around the latter's neck, resting her chin on his head.
Mischa grins and stands, offering a nod over to Harry. "Well, Harry. Was nice meeting you!" He hugs Fenneke back, chuckling, "Good job, Fenne. That was awesome."
"You should say that, you're stuck with me," Fenneke comments to Mischa with a grin as she settles against River.
Sun stands and quickly gathers her things with a pleased expression on her face.
Iris drifts over to the table, specifically heading for Wyatt with the trophy cradled in her arms and mouthing bemusedly to him, "I won." She seems pretty surprised, all in all.