For the next round, we had to make an entrée using any type of fish and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. When I was in the fridge earlier getting ingredients to make the spaghetti sauce I spotted what looked like pufferfish on the top shelf. I knew if I could get my hands on that pufferfish before anyone else got it then I could make pufferfish nigiri. I knew for sure no one else would want to attempt a dish like that because of the risks involved. Poorly prepared pufferfish can make you sick, maybe even kill someone if you don’t properly clean out all of the toxic parts of the fish. The judges said I needed to take more risks and if they wanted risk, I was gonna give them risk!
As expected, everyone else left the pufferfish behind in the refrigerator so I grabbed a hold of it and took it back to my workstation to properly clean it. When I was finished I went back to the pantry to get rice and wasabi to begin preparing the sushi but I couldn’t find any at all. I knew they had both of those things because I took a mental note of it after grabbing the fish. No one else was making sushi so I didn’t know where they could have gone.
“Hmm, looking for something Sloane?” Chad sneered.
Just the look on his face alone told me that he knew exactly where the rice and wasabi were. “Do you have the rice and wasabi? I need them for my sushi. Can I have them please?”
“And you think I’ll just hand it over to you, why?”
“Because I asked for it nicely.”
I groaned, “You’re not even making sushi so you have no need for it.”
“It doesn’t matter if I’m making a cake,” He smirked. “This is a competition, dumme mädchen! Get over it!”
Just because I don’t speak German doesn’t mean I didn’t know what he was saying. My Aunt Izzy used to date a guy who was from Windenburg before she met Uncle Tanner and he wasn’t a very good boyfriend to her. He also used to call her that when they argued. Good thing Aunt Izzy told me what she used to say in response.
“Listen here, you arshloch!” His eyes widened in surprise when the word came out of my mouth even though I said it low enough so that no one else, especially the judges, could hear me say it. “Give me the damn rice and wasabi this instant!”
He laughed. “Or else? What will you do? Go crying to the judges like a baby?” He snorted, his German accent sounding more annoying to my ears with every word he spoke. “Excuse me, I have an entrée to finish and a competition to win. I don’t have time to listen to you whine.”
You ever had one of those moments where you look at someone and you start seeing red? And then the next thing you know you’re beating the crap out of them like an MMA fighter relishing the feeling of having them in a chokehold? Yeah, that’s what happened to me.
Too bad it was just a daydream because I really wanted to wipe that smug smirk off his face with my fists! And I’m not even a violent person.
I had never been more pissed off at anyone in my life! He was purposefully trying to sabotage me by hiding the ingredients he knew I would need for my dish. Now I couldn’t make the pufferfish nigiri but I had already spent so much of my time cleaning the pufferfish and everyone else got the best cuts of fish in the fridge.
When I looked around I realised that Tatiana was making fish and chips with cod, Jacklyn was making pan fried tilapia, and based on the ingredients he had on his station Spawn of Satan was making herb crusted salmon. There was still some tilapia left but I didn’t want to make the same dish as someone else and have the judges think I was playing it safe again. I decided to check the fridge one more time hoping to find something that could save me and by the grace of the Watcher there was some fresh sea bass in the back of the fridge sitting there expectantly like it was meant for me or something. It was already filleted so that bought me some time and now all I had to do was figure what I was going to do with it and I had seventeen minutes left to decide.
Chad thought he had defeated me but I would show him!
I took the fish back to my station and seasoned it properly before sautéing it in a hot pan with some extra virgin olive oil. I was going to make blackened bass, a gourmet dish that I had never made before so for me I was taking a big risk. Once the bass had the right colour I placed it in the oven to finish up while I worked on the sides.
“I saw what Chad did.” Tatiana said to me. “Don’t study him, you keep at it girl.”
“Thanks.” I really appreciated her encouragement. It was nice to be reminded that not all competitors are as evil as Chad Munch.
The clock was running down and I barely had enough time to get everything on the plate but thank goodness I was able to finish. My bass was perfectly cooked and it had the right amount of char on it. I tasted a little of it after I plated and I was sure to get good reviews for my dish. There was no way I was going to be in the bottom two this round.
Chad Munch could suck it!
As I expected the judges loved my food. They all saw how I was scrambling to finish after that hiccup in the beginning. I was tempted to call out Chad and let the judges know that my hiccup was caused by him hiding the rice and wasabi from me but I decided not to. I didn’t want to actually seem like I was whiny. It wouldn’t do any good anyway. They were judging on taste and presentation, not on ethics.
I was comforted by the fact that Chad’s attempt to sabotage me didn’t work because the judges were impressed by my blackened bass. Even Jeffrey, the one judge who nit-picks to find a flaw in everyone’s dishes enjoyed it.
I was over the moon….that was until elimination. Tatiana and Jacklyn were the ones eliminated leaving Chad and me in the final round – the dessert round.
I was disappointed that Tatiana got eliminated since she and I became really good friends and Jacklyn would have been a good competitor since she was very creative and bold with her flavours but at the same time, I was happy that it came down to me and Chad.
Now I had the opportunity to give him a fitting answer for what he did to me earlier by showing him what I was capable of.
“Are you nervous?” He asked with a smirk. “You should be.”
“Not nervous at all. I’m pretty confident that I will take this prize.” I responded.
“Sure, if you say so.”
“What’s your problem?” I finally asked him. “You’ve been antagonistic towards me since the moment we met.”
He didn’t answer but I didn’t really expect him to.
The judges called us over to tell us what the requirements were for the dessert. The dessert had to include chocolate.
Chocolate was the easiest ingredient to work with since it pretty much pairs well with most flavours so it would be very easy to make something like a chocolate cake or a brownie. When the clock started I saw Chad rush over to the ice cream maker presumably to block me from using it. He was obviously going to make some kind of chocolate ice cream. Typical!
I wasn’t going to play it safe and make an ice cream. He could block the ice cream maker for as long as he wanted because I was going to make something better.
My macaroons came out perfect!
They were light and airy and bursting with flavour. I used almond meal instead of flour and whipped the egg whites with some coffee liqueur which I knew will enhance the flavour of the chocolate and almond cream filling.
Chad’s eyes opened wide when he saw me presenting my macaroons to the judges’ table. I guess he didn’t think I would actually bake something given that we only had 30 minutes to work with. His mint chocolate ice cream didn’t look bad and it probably tasted good too, but I knew my dessert was going to take the prize.
And it did!
The judges were really impressed by my macaroons and because of it I managed to beat Chad for the win by 10 points. He looked so disappointed. I swear I heard him growl when they called my name as the winner but then he recovered his smug composure. “Congratulations Sloane.”
“Thank you.” I simply said.
“I guess it pays to have such an influential name, huh? JFCI just got some great PR by announcing that the daughter of a legacy family just received a scholarship to their school. Not even sure why they even had the competition to begin with when it’s obvious how rigged this game was from the start.”
I was about to assert how I worked very hard for this and that it was my talent and creativity that made me beat him but then something occurred to me. “How do you know I’m in a legacy family?”
We didn’t meet before today. None of us met the other competitors until just before the competition started. I certainly didn’t mention my family’s legacy status to anyone so there was no way he could have known that.
“I knew from the moment you said your last name. Ivy Sloane must be your mother, correct?”
“How do you…? You’re from Windenburg. How do you know anything about anyone in this town?”
He chuckled. “I have somewhere I need to be. Enjoy your well-earned win, Maia Sloane. I’ll see you around.”
And then he strutted out of there with the utmost confidence but I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was extremely disappointed. That would explain his attempt to make me feel insecure about my win but I refused to give him that satisfaction. I knew I got this on merit and not because of my family name.
Mom and Dad came in to congratulate me. They had been outside in the waiting area the entire time while the competition was taking place. It was really sweet of them to spend the last four hours waiting for me when they could have gone home and then come back later.
“I knew you could do it baby girl!” Dad cheered. “I’m so proud of you!”
“I am too!” Mom smiled. “See, I told you that you had this in the bag!”
I filled them in on everything that took place in the competition like how Tatiana, Jacklyn and I exchanged numbers so we could keep in touch, how Darren nearly burned the kitchen down, and about how Chad tried to sabotage me during the entrée round and what he said after I won.
Then Mom told me that Chad Munch was the son of Wolfgang Munch, the same douchebag that Aunt Izzy dated who liked Mom the whole time. But not just that, his mother was Mom’s former co-worker Sofia Bjergsen who practically hated Mom even before she was fired. Mom said that the two of them got together after Aunt Izzy broke up with Chad’s father. She found out when she saw their wedding announcement in the newspaper a few months later. Both of their families were from Windenburg originally so I guess they moved back there at some point and had Chad.
It made sense now why he was so antagonistic towards me and it also explained how he knew so much about my family. I still don’t understand one thing. Why would he hold a grudge towards me when I never did anything to him? I mean, what happened in the past was between our parents and we had nothing to do with that. It was way before either of us was born.
Anyway, I decided to forget about Chad. It’s not like I would ever see him again anyway. All I wanted to do right then was celebrate my victory. I had completed part of my dream and now the next step would be to finish culinary school and then open my own restaurant. I was very proud of myself and I felt really strongly that things would only get better from then on out.
These chapters were really difficult to screenshot. I wanted the competition to have a format similar to the show ‘Chopped’ complete with shots of the contestants lined up in front of the panel of judges at each stage but my sims weren’t cooperating at all so I did what I could.
For anyone who is curious, all of the contestants and Maia were in a club I created called “Culinary Institute”. I restricted members to teens and set their only club activity to cooking so they would all start cooking as soon as they gathered. I also made the chef outfits their club uniforms.
By the way, that fight between Maia and Chad actually happened in the game autonomously. Just like that, for no reason, he attacked her right after they met so I knew they weren’t going to be friends.