One day, in a big city, a young chef debated on what should be his signature recipe for his upcoming culinary battle. His opponent was famed for having three Michelin stars and thousands of customers. As evening approached, the young chef decided to go to bed. He dreamed of what he could only describe as The Masterchef. As he slept, a person appeared in a pure white chef’s coat and gave him a recipe that was sure to provide him with a win. “There will be several cooks at your door tomorrow,” the Masterchef said. “Show them this recipe, and they’ll help you prepare it.”
The following day, he woke up and heard a knock at his door. “Do you have the recipe?” asked one of the cooks. The young chef looked around frantically until he checked his back pocket; a folded paper containing the recipe was inside. “Let’s get cooking!” the chef said.
As they worked, everyone was happy and eventually finished the final recipe. The young chef tasted the food, and it was terrific. All the flavors melded together to create a symphony. It was like a choir of angels singing with each bite of the food, and those were just the side dishes. The main course was as if he was in the presence of The Holy One himself. While it tasted amazing, the young chef still had a few days to practice, so he asked the cooks to come back the next day.
The young chef went to bed and started to think about the recipe and any way to tweak it to make it better. He woke up the next morning and heard the doorbell, and when he opened his door, they began to practice again. As the cooks prepped the dishes, the young chef added something new.
“What are you doing?” one of them asked.
“I just think that it’ll taste better with this in the food.”
“O- okay then …” the cook stammered but continued cooking.
The food tasted good, but this time there was something about it that he didn’t like as much. The next day the cooks came back, and he changed the recipe again.
“But The Masterchef made this recipe for you,” one of them objected.
“Oh, I’m sure he won’t mind.”
“Well, okay…” The cooks worked even slower this time.
The food tasted okay, but something was missing. The young chef had one more day to practice. This time, he changed the main protein.
“But The Masterchef made this recipe for you. Why would you change it?” asked one of the cooks.
“Because,” the young chef stated, “I. Don’t. Care. It’s my recipe now, and I can do whatever I want with it.”
The cooks sadly sighed. The food came out okay, but there was something off about it again.
Finally, the day of the competition came, and it was time for the culinary battle. The young chef and his opponent pulled out all their ingredients and began to work. Once the chefs finished the meals, they brought out their food for the judges to critique. The judges gave the young chef’s opponent great reviews and complimented each little piece. Once the critics finished with his opponent, the young chef gulped and presented his dish. The judges critiqued every detail. His opponent won by a landslide, and the young chef sobbed into his counter. He knew he could have done better. He now knew that he would have been the winner if only he hadn’t modified the recipe. He wiped his tears and was desperate to redeem himself.
“I demand a rematch!” the young chef cried, slamming his countertop. After much discussion, the judges agreed that there would be a second battle the following week on the same day and time.
The following day he woke up with no cooks at his door. As he sulked, he heard his doorbell. He could not believe his eyes. It was The Masterchef; the young chef fell on his knees. The Masterchef smiled and lifted him to his feet. “Boy, do I have a recipe for you.”
Enoch Alcala is an English Major at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He plans to author fantasy and fiction novels. He also plans to take culinary classes to become a cook or a chef at a restaurant.