• Solo • [Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

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25th Cylus 717
It wouldn't occur to Faith that maybe studying for her Diploma in Medicine, working as a doctor and volunteering at the Order of the Adunih was enough to keep any sane person busy. Since Tristan had bought her, she had worked two jobs and she did the same in freedom. It was unacceptable to her way of thinking to work less now than she had then, now she was working for them, after all, rather than for her owner. She didn't mention it to Padraig, but she had wondered whether three jobs might be possible. In the end, she'd decided against that because they needed to spend time together, too and she had a lot to do in terms of her studies.

Still, two jobs was the norm for her and so she made her way to the Knight's Rest, where she spoke to a quiet young woman with red hair. Zana, she introduced herself as and Faith took an immediate liking to the young woman who seemed shy and yet determined. Faith explained that she had come seeking employment and brought with her references. Zana looked at them and then at the young human girl in front of her.
"Come with me, and I'll see if my father is available?"
The references were very good and Zana had been toying with an idea for some time in order to increase their notoriety further and this might be the perfect opportunity.

So, Faith was shown into the main area where she sat and Zana got her a drink of fruit juice before asking her to wait. It wasn't long, a few bits later that Zana came back out and asked Faith to follow her into the office. There was a man with red hair and a red beard, the same shade as Zana's. They looked like father and daughter, it had to be said.
"Sit down girl! The name's Whit!" Whit, it seemed, was a bellower. Faith smiled and sat, Zana moving to sit next to her father.

The interview itself lasted about twenty bits, during which time they talked about the kind of food Faith cooked, where she felt her talents lay and so on. Faith was honest, although that often meant not selling herself as well as she could have done in truth. Whit looked at his daughter and Zana gave a slight shrug.
"We are looking to expand, Faith. Bookings are up and we'd like to be providing a high end dining experience. Our current chef," Zana explained, "is frankly excellent and we are looking to see if we can either hire someone as good as her, or at the very least train someone up to that standard. How does that sound?"
Faith nodded her head, "I am always more than willing to learn." Something she did every trial, after all.

Zana nodded her head. There was an incongruity between what this young woman sold herself as and what her references said. So, there was only one thing for it as far as she could tell, but she left that decision to her father.
"Right, then, girl." Whit seemed to refuse to call her anything except that, Faith thought with a smile, "These references say you are a chef beyond my wildest dreams. You sell yourself like you're average at best. So, cook something it is."
Zana nodded her head, that made sense to her.

Leaning forward, Zana explained, "My father and I would like to see us branch out, as I've said, into more exclusive dining. To do that, I want one of you focused on savoury, one on sweet. Where are you strongest, Faith?"
Faith considered for a few moments, "I would say that my skills are fairly even, but savoury just has the edge."
"Alright, well like my father says," Zana smiled. "We're going to give you the opportunity to show us those skills. A main course and dessert, alright? You have the run of the kitchen and can take what time you need."

Faith nodded her head, thoughtfully. "That would be more than acceptable. Thank you." Now, she cosidered, all she had to do was her best and it would be good enough, or it would not. At the end of the trial, it was just a matter of taste, after all.
word count: 748
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

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When she'd been led to the kitchen Faith took a few moments to get herself accustomed to the place. She found out where things were first, because once she had started to cook, she didn't want to waste time in seeking out utensils or equipment. Trills, after all, were the difference between good and excellent. So, she got everything out and ready, made sure that she knew what she was doing.

Which was something of a consideration in and of itself. There were things in here which she did not recognise, alongside more mundane things. Faith considered the range of ingredients which she had in front of her and she separated them out into what she knew and what she did not. Then, with a jug of water next to her into which she dropped some lemon and mint, she set about tasting them. Each one, each thing, she considered individually.
"I wondered if you'd worked with some of these things before," Zana came in and spoke in her quiet unobtrusive tone. "You said, you've just come to Scalvoris, and some of them are unique to us."
Faith smiled, "I love this," she said, of the sunburst fruit she was just tasting.
"They say that you can combine them all into something else, but I've never known it. Lenon makes it wonderful, though." Zana smiled and nodded, "I'm sure you will, too, if you choose to."
"It's going to be my dessert. I'll combine the three elements, I think, encased in a fine shell."
"What's the shell going to be made of?"
"This, I want to make three textures of it. A crispy shell, a crumb and the soft mousse. Maybe a little sugarwork, but nothing else."

The smile on Zana's face was genuine. It was strange to see the difference in the young woman who had applied for a job there. Now that she was in the kitchen and doing it, she seemed much more confident. "What about main course?"
"Chrythium fish with a cocolime glaze, I think. I'm not sure yet, it needs something else and I'm not sure what."
Zana nodded her head. "I'll leave you to it then."

Faith put the cocolime and the Chrythium fish as Zana left her to her work. Zana was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, the references were right about this young woman.

As with any meal, Faith got the desert going first. With a smile she considered that she could really use the help of a wandering chemist or alchemist at this point, but she simply got on with what she had to do. First, it was to prepare the sunburst fruit, which was easily sectioned and then she needed to get the right combination. This was going to be made quicker by the fact that they had some prepared which she could taste. She did, swirling the combined starburst mousse around in her mouth and considering it. No, it wasn't quite.

Faith could taste it, she knew that what she was tasting was excellent, but there was something more that this could be. She tasted again and she realised what it was. It was balance. This was an excellent balance of the three things, but balance wasn't what was needed here. Daring was what needed. She could combine these in a much more daring way and she determined that she would. The taste explosion she sought was about allowing one element to have dominance, for there to be an over riding taste of that aspect, combined with the other two in such a way that it would create more, so much more.

Three elements to the dish, three elements of the fruit. Each different, each complimentary. That was what she could do, what she was going to do. Faith pulled out her notebook and started to make notes. The sought after taste was a perfect balance, but not being in the same amounts. So, the outer shell would have the perfect balance with the over riding taste being the suntips. The mousse inside would be an explosion of sunfingers and there, in the center of that would be a meringue-like texture of the sunsphere.

Faith knew, instinctively, that this could work and she also knew that it was going to take her time to perfect it. So, she got started on it; if she didn't do that, she considered with a smile, then she would certainly never get finished on it.
word count: 768
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

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It took her a few breaks to work out what proportions she needed. She started with the sunfingers for the simple reason that they were the middle flavour, there were more of them and it felt like the right thing to do. She prepared a good amount of them, the suntips and the sunsphere. Then began the combining and tasting and for a full break, Faith added more of one, less of another and worked with minute amounts.

Nothing.

Faith knew that what she was creating tasted lovely, something that people would be happy to pay a premium for, but it wasn't what she could taste in it. It wasn't the potential. She was missing something, she thought, something about these three ingredients together. Sitting back on the stool she'd perched herself on she looked at the fruit and frowned. She was missing something. Maybe it wasn't the three, maybe it was two of them together. Or maybe, she thought.... yes, that was it. First, she had to get the right combined mixture of the two parts which weren't going to be the main taste. Then, she would combine them with the sunfingers. Sure that she was on to something, she got about that.

First, she worked with combinations of the sunsphere and suntips, balancing them perfectly until they were just the right combination. Every tiny step, she tasted and then, when she could taste the beginning of the taste she wanted, Faith knew it was time to add that to the sunfingers.

What then followed was a slow process, but a necessary one. Taste, add, taste. When she got it right, though, then Faith beamed. She knew, at that point, that she had it because the explosion of taste in her mouth was every bit of the potential that she'd expected and more. Delighted, she focused then on making the mousse, before moving on to the suntip mixture, which was much quicker since it was the same basic idea of combining the other two, then adding them. That, she turned into two wafer-thin half spheres. Finally, it was the sunsphere meringue middle.

When those were finally done, Faith put them to cool and smiled, pleased with that work. Then, it was on to the main course. Zana had checked in on her a few times, she'd always been polite and the young woman had tasted here and there. She had then gone back and told her father that, as far as she was concerned, they should hire Faith now, if it wasn't for the fact that she really wanted to taste this food. Unaware of this and, largely, unconcerned, Faith carried on in the kitchen, moving on to the main course.
word count: 468
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

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So, now it was on to the main course. Chrythium fish with a cocolime glaze and.... Faith had considered what the "and" might be as she worked on the dessert. She didn't think about it consciously, so much as just let it permeate into her mind and she'd come to the conclusion that it would be a paprika crumb. That would give texture and be a play on the traditional taste. It would work, she was sure.

First, then, it was to prepare the Chrythium fish. This was a fiddly business but she went about it with her usual methodical approach. Each tiny 'frond' had to be cleaned and Faith did this with care and attention to detail. Then, she checked it. After this, she got together the cocolime and considered the best kind of glaze to make here. Again, it was going to be about balance. It was a beautiful taste, nothing like either coconut or lime, but a unique flavour.

She decided that the best thing to do for this glaze was to create a reduction of the cocolime, intensifying and enhancing its flavour. Pulling everything together to do that, she put the pan on and got it underway. Every few moments, she tasted and as she considered the taste, she just added the slightest drop of vanilla, to give it an undertone. The next time she tastes, that worked more than well.

So, on to the paprika crumb. This was a trick that Faith had thought about a lot, the idea of a herb or spice crumb. She pulled it together, mixing paprike and tiny crumbs of bread; mixing in some salt, she kept adjusting the ingredients until that was just right. Then, everything was ready to go.

Putting the vegetables on to cook first, Faith then let the reduction just simmer slightly and began to cook off the chrythium fish. When it was about half way done, Faith put the paprika crumb into a griddle pan and crisped it up. When she was content that everything was cooked the very best that she could, she pulled it together and plated up the main course. Crythium fish with a cocolime glaze and paprika crumb served with seasonal vegetables. She dished that out to Whit and his daughter and then went and constructed the dessert into a sphere which was crisp and wafer thin on the outside filled with mousse and with a crunchy light middle.

Although she'd had no idea of such, there was only one outcome. She was hired and, delighted that she had been, Faith made her way home to tell Padraig.
word count: 447
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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[Knight's Rest Inn] A Matter of Taste

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Faith


Knowledge
Chrythium Fish
Cocolime
Cooking: Adding the final touch
Cooking: Balancing Flavors
Cooking: Letting a flavor dominate
Cooking: Mixing mousse
Cooking: Seconds is the difference between good and excellent
Cooking: Testing Ingredients
Etiquette: Maintaining Proper Poise During an Interview
Knight's Rest Inn: Staff
Knight's Rest Inn: Your New Job
Sunburst Fruit
Zana: Excellent Chef

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: +2 Create a New Dish

Story 5/5
Collaboration
Structure 5/5

Comments: That was very well written! I could never write something like this; it was well put together, thoughtful, and organized. I enjoyed the progression. Sorry if my knowledges were shoddy, I have no idea anything about cooking!
word count: 121
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