Chapter 53: The Culinary Tycoon

This chapter is dedicated to Fran and Aprillen for their Kofi support. The translators and I will continue to work hard (∩˃o˂∩)♡


Thingyan (Editor-in-cheese)


The Zhao Residence’s Birthday Banquet

After returning home, Yu Qingze discussed the upcoming tasks with Grandpa Chang and Brother Le.

It was certain that Brother Chang’s father and mother would be asked to help, and on the day of the Zhao Residence’s birthday banquet, Chang Le would also accompany them. However, they were unsure if the current team was enough or if they needed to hire another person.

According to the steward of the Zhao Residence, there would be at least thirty-five tables, with ten people per table. Each table would require shumai, crystal dumplings, and jujube cakes. Just for the lunch banquet, they would need to make at least 350 of each item. And if there were any extra tables or the afternoon tea, the quantity would be even greater. As for the return gift pastries, there would be a total of 300 boxes for three different types.

It was truly a massive order.

“I can also make pastries in the afternoon. I’ll talk to Dagen’s family and ask them to take care of the cattle for the last four days of the month. Then I can make up for those days at the beginning of September,” Grandpa Chang suggested.

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “That works. Then we don’t need to hire an additional person. Grandpa, let’s call Brother Chang and his mother over to discuss.”

“Alright, Xiao Hao, go to Brother Chang’s house and invite them over to discuss the matter,” said Grandpa Chang.

“Yes, Grandpa.”

After Brother Chang and his mother arrived, they readily agreed to the plan. They decided to start learning how to make Shumai that evening, and then learn one type of dish every night thereafter.

Though the method for making Shumai was relatively simple, it involved several steps. So, first, Yu Qingze explained the process to them, and then he guided them while they did the actual work. He didn’t participate initially.

While steaming the glutinous rice, Brother Chang’s mother started preparing the filling, while on the other side, Brother Le began kneading the dough for the Shumai wrappers.

Finally, Yu Qingze asked everyone to try rolling out the Shumai wrappers. He discovered that Brother Chang’s mother was the quickest and best at rolling them, so he decided to assign him the task of rolling the wrappers for both Shumai and Crystal Dumplings. Combining the two, they would need at least seven to eight hundred wrappers.

Both Yu Qingze and Brother Le knew how to do it, so they could take turns when they got tired.

The next day, following Yu Qingze’s instructions, Grandpa went to several households in the village and bought jujube and glutinous rice at market prices.

When they arrived at the snack stall, they saw Tian Jiabao already there.

The young boy sat quietly on the large stone beneath their usual shade umbrella, observing the hustle and bustle of the street. When he saw them approaching, his eyes brightened, and he quickly stood up, tidying his clothes.

“Boss Yu, Brother Le, Brother Chang.”

“Jiabao, have you had breakfast?” Yu Qingze responded and asked.

Jiabao nodded and replied, “I ate two steamed buns.” He then handed sixteen wen to Yu Qingze and said, “Boss Yu, this is the remaining money. Please take it back.”

Yu Qingze frowned as he looked at the sixteen copper coins and said, “Did you only have two steamed buns last night? Yesterday, I gave you twenty copper coins, and now there are sixteen left. You’ve only spent four coins, so it can only be for four steamed buns.”

Jiabao nodded and said, “I’m full.”

Yu Qingze took the money from his hand, ruffled his hair, and said, “When you start earning wages, make sure to eat something more nutritious, okay? You’re still growing, be careful not to stunt your height.”

Jiabao nodded again and replied, “I know, thank you, Boss Yu.” But he still had debts to repay. Once he returned the borrowed money to the neighbors, he would be able to eat better.

Chang Le brought over a food container, opened it, and took out a plate of Shumai and an egg pancake, handing them to Jiabao. These were the Shumai they had practiced making last night, and it served as Jiabao’s breakfast. Chang Le specially brought some over for him to eat.

Jiabao looked at the snacks and the egg pancake on the plate, then looked at Chang Le and asked, ” Brother Le, are these for me?”

Chang Le nodded, gesturing for Jiabao to take them.

“Thank you, Brother Le.” The young boy’s eyes welled up with slight tears of gratitude.

Yu Qingze patted his head and said, “From now on, you don’t have to worry about breakfast. We’ll bring it for you.”

The boy looked up in a panic and said, “How can that be? Boss Yu, I’m already grateful for being able to work here. I don’t need… I don’t need any more…”

Yu Qingze interrupted him and said, “It’s alright. Just focus on your work. Consider it an early reward for you.”

Hearing this, Jiabao paused for a moment, then said earnestly, “Thank you, Boss Yu. I will work hard.”

“Eat up. Afterward, go and learn from Brother Chang. He will teach you how to make them.”


Yu Qingze handed Jiabao directly to Brother Chang, partly to help Jiabao become familiar with the work and partly as a training opportunity for Brother Chang.

Old Huang was not wrong. Jiabao was indeed intelligent and diligent. He quickly memorized all the tasks at the snack stall.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

To Yu Qingze’s surprise, Jiabao was surprisingly good at arithmetic.

Once, a customer ordered a portion of Guandong-style hot pot, and Yu Qingze forgot to inform Jiabao about the price. However, when he looked up, he heard Jiabao telling the customer the correct price and collecting the money.

“Jiabao, do you know arithmetic?”

Jiabao nodded. “My mother taught me.”

Yu Qingze thought for a moment and purposely didn’t mention the price for the following Guandong-style hot pot orders to see if Jiabao could calculate it correctly.

In the end, it was confirmed that Jiabao got all the calculations right.

Yu Qingze was pleasantly surprised and immediately said, “Jiabao, you’ll be in charge of the Guandong-style hot pot, and you’ll handle the money too.”

Since Brother Chang was a bit slow at mental calculations, he was currently responsible for both cold noodles and Guandong-style hot pot. Sometimes Brother Le would also come to help. When there were many customers, it became a bit overwhelming. But now that Jiabao could do calculations, things would be much simpler. Whenever a customer ordered Guandong-style hot pot, Jiabao would take care of it.

It was like finding a treasure!

Yu Qingze was overjoyed.

Brother Chang and Chang Le were also happy when they heard the news. Jiabao had really helped them a lot.

“Oh, Brother Le, should we learn arithmetic too? I’m so slow at calculations. Look at Boss Yu and Jiabao. They can just glance and know the exact amount of money. They’re so impressive. If Jiabao can learn, we should be able to learn too, right?” Brother Chang said to Chang Le while collecting the dishes and chopsticks.

Chang Le had been thinking about the same thing, so he nodded, indicating that he also wanted to learn. That way, they could assist Big Brother Yu more.

Brother Chang then said, “Once we get through these busy days, let’s ask Boss Yu to teach us, okay?”

Chang Le nodded in agreement.

The two friends exchanged a smile, reaching an unspoken understanding.

After a whole day, Jiabao had become completely proficient in running the snack stall.

When it was time to close the stall, Yu Qingze gave him sixty coins and some Guandong-style hot pot leftovers, saying, “Don’t eat steamed buns for dinner tonight. Cook yourself a meal at home, understood?”

Jiabao took the money, counted it, and said, “Boss Yu, you gave me ten extra coins.”

“That’s right. Consider it your payment after the trial period. Keep it well. Now, go home,” Yu Qingze replied.

Jiabao was very happy. He put the money in his pocket, took the food Yu Qingze gave him, bowed to express his gratitude, and headed home.

Old Man Huang, who was also preparing to close his stall, saw Jiabao walking away and said to Yu Qingze, “Boss Yu, thanks to you giving him work, otherwise he would probably still be at home, neither eating nor drinking, grieving for his mother.”

Yu Qingze sighed and answered, “I thought that keeping him busy would help him maintain a normal life and prevent him from sinking into sadness.”

“That’s the right approach. The living has to continue moving forward,” Old Man Huang said, shouldering his stove and pots and went home.

Several peaceful days passed, and Yu Qingze gradually gathered all the ingredients and packaging materials needed for making snacks.

Jiabao also settled down at the snack stall. Every morning, Brother Chang would bring him breakfast. Jiabao was grateful and worked extra hard. He looked more spirited with each passing day.

On August 26th, when it was time to close the stall, Jiabao informed Yu Qingze that he would need to take half a day off tomorrow.

Yu Qingze realized that tomorrow was the seventh day since Jiabao’s mother’s passing, and he would need to go for memorial rites.

“Alright. Do you want me to accompany you?” Yu Qingze asked.

Jiabao shook his head and said, “No need. I’ll be fine. Thank you, Boss Yu.”

Yu Qingze patted the boy’s head and gave his shoulder a reassuring pat. He said, “Alright, you’re a strong young man now, and I believe in you. Be safe on the mountain, understand?”

“Mmm, thank you,” the boy bowed and headed home.

In the following three days, Yu Qingze stayed at home to make snacks while Brother Chang’s father came to help at the snack stall.

During this time, Jiabao’s presence became particularly important. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, when Yu Qingze was making snacks at home, Brother Chang and Chang Le sold the Guandong-style hot pot, but they were slow at counting money. Now with Jiabao around, there was barely any difference from usual.

“Jiabao, this child, is really capable,” Brother Chang’s mother praised.

Chang Le and Brother Chang nodded in agreement.

Jiabao blushed slightly, lowered his head, and continued working with a hint of shyness. However, he was secretly pleased.

On the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth, Yu Qingze and the others were extremely busy. Finally, late at night on the twenty-eighth, they finished making all the snacks. They just needed to let them cool and then package them.

The next morning, Yu Qingze and the others packaged the remaining snacks from the previous day. They sealed them with the Yu’s Delicious Delights brand and waited for the ink to dry. Once it was done, they loaded three carts with a total of three hundred boxes of snacks.

In the afternoon, Yu Qingze, Brother Chang’s mother, and Grandpa Chang each pulled a cart and delivered the snacks to the Zhao Mansion in the southern part of the city. After the Zhao family inspected the goods, they promptly settled the payment.

In the meantime, Yu Qingze also went to check the kitchen prepared for them for the next day. He familiarized himself with the layout and utensils before returning home.

On the thirtieth of August, it was the birthday celebration of the Zhao Mansion’s patriarch.

Early in the morning, Yu Qingze’s group dragged two carts filled with ingredients and utensils and headed to the Zhao Mansion. When they reached the West City Gate, Tian Jiabao met up with them and they went together.

Upon seeing Jiabao, Chang Hao immediately displayed his outgoing nature. He affectionately called him “Brother Jiabao” and engaged in conversation. Even before reaching the Zhao Mansion, the two had already become quite familiar.

Friendship among young people always develops unexpectedly fast. Thanks to Chang Hao’s friendly nature, Jiabao became closer to them as well.

They entered the Zhao Mansion through a side gate and were led by the staff arranged by the steward to the kitchen, where they began their preparations.

Yu Qingze assigned different tasks to each person based on their abilities.

Brother Chang was in charge of making jujube cakes, which was relatively easier and less meticulous. Chang Le, being strong, was responsible for chopping the filling. Yu Qingze and Brother Chang’s mother kneaded the dough and rolled out the dough for shumai and crystal dumplings. Brother Chang’s father and Grandpa Chang washed the vegetables and assisted, and later they would also help in wrapping the shumai and dumplings. The two boys were in charge of making the fire and assisting with washing the vegetables, as well as mashing the jujube and red beans into a paste.

Each person had their own task and they were all busy, but it was organized and orderly.

The lunch banquet was scheduled to begin at noon. Just before noon, they successfully wrapped the shumai and crystal dumplings needed for the banquet and waited for steaming. They made some extras, fearing any unforeseen accidents or spills during the serving of the dim sum, just in case they needed backup.

Yu Qingze looked at the time and estimated that they had about half an hour before the banquet. He placed the shumai and crystal dumplings in the steamer and instructed Chang Hao and the others to start the fire and begin steaming.

At that moment, the steward of the Zhao Mansion rushed in and, upon seeing Yu Qingze, said, “Ah, Boss Yu, it’s so good to see you. We’re in a desperate situation!”


Thandar: No worry, steward bro. Boss Yu to the rescue.


  1. sissilia says:

    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

  2. Aprillen says:

    Ooo, thank you for the chapter, and the dedication! 😀

    Don’t tell me, YQZ is going to have to cook the banquet food as well…!?

  3. Aprillen says:

    Ooo, thank you for the chapter, and the dedication! 😀

    Don’t tell me, YQZ is going to have to cook the food for the banquet too, isn’t he? 😄

  4. Aprillen says:

    Oops, sorry for the duplicate comment, I couldn’t see the first one despite reloading the page several times so I thought it was eaten by WordPress…

    1. Thandar says:

      Lol no worries

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