Series: Cooking Master Boy/Chuuka Ichiban
The protagonist of the story. Mao basically grew up in the kitchen watching his mother cook in her restaurant. Due to this, he grew up learning his mother's cooking skills and also ended up with the same love for cooking his mother had. Although, even though he had that kind of knowledge, Mao didn't cook much and everyone just thought of him as a kid who just played around and who didn't even know how to cook. It wasn't until his mother's restaurant was in jeopardy that he decided to cook. To everyone's surprise, Mao was a genius chef. Seeing his talent, General Lee sends him on a journey to become a Super Chef. Eventually, Mao becomes the youngest Super Chef in history and decides to travel the country even more, so he can learn more about cooking techniques.
Even though he doesn't have much experience, Mao has the pride of a truly experienced chef and having learned from his mother that a chef's purpose is to create a dish that makes people happy, he always put his customers' needs first and is always able to make a creative dish that greatly satisfies them. Along with his curiosity in wanting to learn more about cooking, Mao also has unique taste buds; having the ability to remember every single food he's eaten and its ingredients, he could even identify or name all of the ingredients in the food he's currently eating. These traits make Mao a strong contender in the battlefield of cooking.
The daughter of Zhouyu. Originally, she was a helper at the Yang Spring Restaurant. She fell in love with Mao after seeing how much he loves cooking and how he also cares about others. She only knows a little about the cooking field, but she's useful when it comes to little facts and often tries to help Mao with various other things. Although, she says that her number one rival for Mao's heart is his love for cooking. She's a spitting image of her deceased mother, Meika.
When Mao met Meili for the first time, Meili is the person who was nice to Mao after Mao spent his journey from his home in Sichuan to Guangzhou. She also the one who introduced Yang Spring restaurant to Mao, a restaurant where Mao would be working at to hone his cooking skills.
Before Mao could work in Yang Spring restaurant go hone his cooking skills, Zhouyu had to test Mao's cooking ability. Zhouyu tested Mao's cooking ability to see whether Mao is worthy enough to work in Yang Spring restaurant. Zhouyu tested Mao's cooking ability by asking him to cook stir fried Baby Kailan. Unfortunately, Mao almost failed his test because the stir fried Baby Kailan that he cooked was smelly. Fortunately, he got help from Meili alongside with Master Luoh to solve the smelly stir fried Baby Kailan problem. Meili and Master Luoh explained the reason why the water in Guangzhou is dirty, which could help Mao to solve the smelly Baby Kailan problem. Meili isn't a cook like Mao but she could be useful for Mao by giving him an explanation to help Mao to solve his problem.
After Mao succeeded his test to be accepted in the restaurant, Meili persuaded her father to let Mao working in the restaurant. Meili persuaded her father to let Mao working on the restaurant because she could understand Mao's hardwork and determination to be accepted in the restaurant, so Mao could hone his cooking skills.
While Mao was working in the Yang Spring restaurant, he and Meili together persuaded Sanche to regain back his cooking spirit and to convince Zhouyu that Sanche also has the ability to cook. Meili didn't do as much as Mao on ra gaining back Sanche's cooking spirit but she did the right thing, she encouraged Sanche to regain back his cooking spirit. Meili also didn't want Sanche to fail.
Then, when Mao lost his spirit to challenge the French chef, Meili gave an encouragement to Mao. She gave an encouragement to Mao so he could challenge the French chef. Meili was rather harsh on Mao, but there is a reason, the reason is because she didn't want Mao to fail. Meili was clearly supportive towards Mao.
Later part, Mao grew a romantic affection towards Meili, and I can see why. Meili has been supportive towards Mao, that's why Mao grew a romantic affection towards Meili. As a sign of Mao's romantic affection towards Meili, Mao gave a necklace to Meili after he went back home from his trip to Southwest China.
Another sign of Mao's romantic affection towards Meili could be seen on the Peach Buns that he made for Meili's birthday. Meili enjoyed Mao's Peach Buns because she could feel Mao's affection for her just by tasting it.
Then, when Mao decided to travel around China after he defeated Leon to retrieve back the legendary cooking utensils, Meili decided to join Mao on his travel. Meili joined Mao on his travel because she falls in love with Mao. She fall as in love with Mao for his passion for cooking and his caring attitude towards other people.
Alas, when Mao and his companions were on the way to Sichuan to retrieve back the legendary cooking untensils, Meili was being seduced by Zhuqi, one of the dark cooking society members. Zhuqi seduced Meili in order to sabotage Mao, Meili was unfortunately fell into Zhuqi's trap. Because of Meili was being trapped by Zhuqi's seduction, she turned a cold shoulder towards Mao.
To patch up her relationship with Mao, Meili took a reckless decision to be the judge for Mao and Zhuqi during the cooking match to determine who would be able to cook the dish for Officer Jinwang.
Thankfully, after Mao defeated Zhuqi in the cooking match, Meili finally apologized to Mao for her recklessness and also being cold towards him. As a sign of apology she ran towards Mao's embrace and she made a new clothing to Mao.
When Mao and his companions arrived at Chengdu, Meili finally made herself useful to help Mirei to win the Mapo Tofu cooking match. She helped Mirei to win the Mapo Tofu match by cooking Mapo Tofu by herself, even though she isn't a good cook like Mao. Meili helped Mirei to win the Mapo Tofu cooking match because she sympathized with Mirei. Meili finally earned a respect from Mao because she was able to cook to help Mirei win the Mapo Tofu cooking match.
Finally, during the final cooking match at the Great Wall of China, Mao choosed Meili as his personal cooking assistant. The reason why Mao choosed Meili as his personal cooking assistant because he was impressed with and respected Meili's cooking ability during the Mapo Tofu cooking match. Mao saw Meili in the new light, he no longer saw Meili as just a tag-along girl of his but as a trustworthy ally whose cooking ability could be useful for him to win the final cooking match. Another reason why Mao choosed Meili as his personal assistant is because Mao has a romantic affection for Meili.