Short Story: The Better Dish

“I challenge you. Whoever makes the better dish gets the room with the sea view,” he declared.

His grandmother nodded. “Alright.”

The competition began with the selection of ingredients. His grandmother let him choose first, so he made sure to make the most of it. He picked the best ingredients, looking for the innovative flavour combinations he had practised with while at culinary school.

There was only one kitchen in the house they had rented for the weekend, so they cooked side by side at the old stove.

With practised familiarity, his hands flew as he prepared his ingredients. His dish needed a few elements, and each needed to be perfect for the whole dish to work.

In contrast, his grandmother leisurely diced and sliced, tossing ingredients into one pot without touching a single measuring instrument. She even helped his save his cooking from burning a few times while he was preoccupied with something else.

Finally, they were done. His multi-element dish to her one pot meal. He thought it was his best attempt yet.

But his grandmother’s dish was so much better.

There was no contest. He admitted his defeat and conceded the sea view room to his grandmother.

“I’m not surprised,” his mother said. “When your grandma was younger, she travelled around the world to win at least one cooking competition in every country. As a ‘fun exercise’.”

“Did she really?” he asked.

“She did. She’s the champion of more competitions than you’ve even competed in.”

He stared at his unassuming grandmother, mouth open with awe. His mother laughed and clapped him on the shoulder.

“Ma will still be here after we get back. Enjoy this weekend break. You can pester her for cooking lessons later.”

He laughed and mentally postponed his plans to do exactly that until after they returned home.

“Yes, Mum.”



Genre: slice of life