Yay! Show, you redeemed yourself. Chep, you did, too. As long as you stop verbally assaulting everyone. But the reason I’m happy is we had a smidgeon of plot movement. Thank you Former Manager Seol aka Mr. PICK-UL aka the Grinch. Because of your severe inferiority complex, I was greatly entertained.
“Listen to you” – Instrumental arrangement of Kyuhyun’s song (from the Pasta OST)
episode 15 recap
After watching Hyun-wook kiss Yoo-kyung not once, but twice, the Grinch-like Seol scampers off to La Sfera, singing a happy tune and attempting to dance like Gene Kelly. He’s got ammunition to get rid of his mortal enemy, the Chef, who, at that very moment is riding on a bus with Yoo-kyung.
They are arm-in-arm and smiley – ah, the first stages of love. Then, Yoo-kyung reverts to her motis operandi and begins to worry. What will happen to their jobs if they reveal their secret? She won’t be able to learn from him. Chef, a prime specimen of the male mentality, conveniently turns her words around and says he doesn’t want a disciple – only a love disciple. He also doesn’t want her to be a better chef than him. Do we finally see the chauvinism that was so prevalent earlier in the series coming back?
Former President Seol has told San the news expecting a dramatic severance of Chef Choi Hyun-wook. Instead, Kim San says that you can’t fire someone for liking someone in the kitchen. The Chef may be a hypocrite, but it hasn’t adversely affected the restaurant. This sends the Grinch into a tizzy and the truth comes out: he feels absolutely humiliated by Hyun-wook. The Chef yelled, “You’re fired!” in front of the entire staff, taking an ax to Seol’s pride. Kim San has a plan, but this doesn’t please the indignant Seol who storms out. He huffs and puffs his way down the hall, ready to blow Chef Choi’s house down.
Yoo-kyung is sitting in bed going through Hyun-wook’s notebook of failed recipes. He gave it to her so she could learn from his mistakes and challenge herself to improve. Prediction: She’s going to rock one of these in the future.
The next morning, Eun-soo and head waiter Ne Mo are chatting. Ne Mo reveals that Seol still receives the same salary that he did when he was president, which shocks poor Eun-soo who makes less than the dining hall maknae. Doesn’t a demotion usually come with a pay cut?
Grinch-y Seol is still pissy and treating Yoo-kyung like goldfish poo. He shoves by her in the hallway and then refuses to serve her food to the customers. Why? Because Yoo-kyung is not a fully trustworthy chef. Oh, and the waiters have a say about the quality of the food because they are the ones who get yelled at by unsatisfied customers. Chef Choi barks that Seol has no say in his kitchen. Cue fighting.
Then a ticked-off Chef Oh Sae-young puts her foot down. While you two are having a pissing contest, the food is getting cold. But Chef Choi Hyun-wook is having none of it. If the hall staff is the end-all, then they can make the food. After twenty years of watching, Seol says, I should be able to make a comment on the food even if I can’t make it. Are you two dating? Is that why I can’t critique Seo Yoo-kyung? A stare down ensues that is broken up by San scolding them for fighting in the kitchen. You only pipe up now even though you’ve been there the whole time?
In the chefs’ office, Sae-young continues her angry streak and tells Hyun-wook that she will stand between him and Yoo-kyung. He agrees as long as the kitchen is the only place she interferes. And her blank Barbie face is back. I think she’s trying to look sad, but I’m not sure.
Former President Seol is finally accepted by the waiters as he declares (with several fist pumps) he won’t let the Chef step on the pride of the hall staff. Rah, rah, rah, sis, boom, bah!!! Could an angry hall staff be more fuel for plot movement? Please, please, pretty please.
Team Italy thinks that the Chef is acting strangely. Better Yoo-kyung than evil ex Sae-young, Philip points out. Ji-hoon likens the Chef’s actions to adultery: everyone hates it, therefore its adultery. For that, he gets slapped upside the head – by Chef. Hyun-wook tests the waters by saying he and Yoo-kyung look good together. The result is shock and three Italian-trained chefs refusing to let him date Yoo-kyung. Waters are unsafe, Wookie.
On the second floor, Yoo-kyung’s pensiveness is broken by San. He wants to know why she doesn’t consider him much of anything. He’s a really good catch: rich, considerate, reasonable and thinks her cooking is the best. “Acknowledged,” she says to each of these. But the girl STILL don’t get it.
So San FINALLY confesses to her and she seems genuinely surprised. She leaves and immediately picks up the phone to call dad, in dire need of advice. A man likes me, what do I do?
Paralleling the conversation she just had with San, her father asks if the man has a steady job, if he’s considerate and reasonable, and if he likes her cooking.
Pops: Then what’s your question.
Yoo-kyung: I like someone else.
Pops: Is he as good as this other one?
Pops: Choose the first guy.
The scene cuts to San’s office where his cougar sister, Kim Kang, walks in and informs him that she knows about hi, moonlighting as Mr. Cactus. She wants to meet Yoo-kyung to help her dongsaeng get what he wants. Aw, cougar, your a good noona.
After a brief meeting with Kang, Yoo-kyung runs into Seol in the hallway and demands to know why her food wasn’t good enough. He puffs out his chest and says he’s knows good cooking and her dish was fine. This begs the question, “Why are you acting like this?” He tells her that she knows why but that only leaves her confused.
To hurry plan “Take Out Chef Choi”, Seol decides to goad Team Korea into taking action. How? By revealing that Team Italy makes more money than they do. Isn’t that confidential information? In any case, this juicy morsel sends Team Korea raging into the chefs’ office.
And good ol’ Seol is in high spirits once again. He snatches Eun-soo’s chef’s scarf to erase the Special’s board, which angers Eun-soo – it’s a chef’s pride. What do you know about pride? Seol asks. (His pride is still recovering.) Eun-soo then asks about Seol’s salary but he blusters and manages to avoid answering the question. Hrm, guilty much?
Inside La Sfera, cranky people abound. Team Korea marches through the restaurant, shoving Eun-soo out of their path. Eun-soo gets brushed off by Chef when he tries to tell him about Seol’s salary. Chef gets turned down by San when he asks for equalization of salaries. Show, you’re giving me some real conflict. Thumbs up.
The kitchen is now so full of tension that it could be cut with a knife. When the Chef decides to use Yoo-kyung’s vongole as his chef’s recommendation, Team Korea refuses to change the menu, arguing that it doesn’t make sense. Why change the menu when they have everything ready to prepare the original course? Is it because Yoo-kyung made the vongole? Hyun-wook is starting to boil. Find another kitchen then, he barks.
Ho-nam nastily points out that Chef wouldn’t go after them to bring them back like he did for someone, and glances pointedly at Eun-soo. Philip gets in Ho-nam’s face as kicked puppy Yoo-kyung asks what she should do. The Chef flips his lid. Why are you questioning me? Is this how your sunbae’s taught you?
To make matters worse, Seol comes in, hands-on-hips, and arrogantly asks how long the recommended course will take. The Chef puts Team Italy on it and takes a pan himself. For the third time this episode, Chef Oh gets angry and orders Seol out of the kitchen. He tries to argue, but she stands her ground. Then she turns to Team Korea and tells them that even if they’re fighting, they shouldn’t let it affect the food. You go, girl.
Realization finally hits the Chef: he’s caused a lot of problems and now he’s reaping what he’s sown. He begs Team Korea to get back to work and they do, but not without glares all around. The lowering of his pride is telling.
After the day is done, Yoo-kyung and Eun-soo moan about their exhaustion and sky high stress levels. Chef enters and helps Eun-soo up by his hair, flicking him on the forehead for good measure. But that doesn’t deter him. Eun-soo tells Chef the obvious: everyone is watching and waiting for you two to slip up. Do you know how many knives are in there? (Literally and figuratively.) Eun-soo is going gray under the pressure.
The Chef, cracking a little further, admits that the only reason he didn’t go off the deep end was because they were there. This admission gives Eun-soo the courage to tell the chef to ease off on his temper.
All three of them know the secret will not be a secret for much longer.
As Seol has a fit in the bathroom over the fight he had with the Chep, Eun-soo informs Hyun-wook and Yoo-kyung about Seol’s salary.
Team Korea comes in and threatens that Hyun-wook and Yoo-kyung won’t get off easy if they are actually dating. With perfect timing, San enters and offers to take Yoo-kyung home.
More shock. (Nice move, San.)
Jealous Hyun-wook goes off to drink with Team Italy as San drives Yoo-kyung home. She thought it would be awkward after his confession, but she feels comfortable. He hopes she’ll stay in the kitchen and she replies that she wouldn’t back down now. She fought her way into the kitchen, and there she will bury her bones.
At a bar, Chef asks Team Italy to air their grievances, but no matter what they say, they get slapped. Ji-hoon points out that aggressive behavior is how the Chef shows love and Team Korea doesn’t get that. One more smack upside the head for good measure.
Enter the waste-of-space trio. They’ve come for dinner with Team Italy and to shower them with backwards praise. Sous-chef Geum Suk-ho throws it right back and them and then, gasp, he smiles.
Wait, let me replay that.
Yes, that was a smile.
A drunk Hyun-wook comes back to the apartment and looks for Yoo-kyung. Instead, he gets her roommate and treacherous ex-girlfriend, Sae-young. They have a nice little chat. Basically, Hyun-wook admits he has too much male pride to let his woman be a better cook than him – it would make him feel inferior, angry and jealous. He would’ve broken up with her anyway had she won the contest fair and square. I’m not sure how she feels about it. The Barbie face is back. I’m going to assume that she’s disappointed and hurt.
Hyun-wook goes outside to wait for Yoo-kyung and jealousy flares when he sees her drive up with San. She tells San that she likes the Chef, but San says he’s going to keep trying. She refuses. Rejecting him once was hard enough and she doesn’t want to do it again. I love how forward she is. With a cheeky smile, he declares that he’ll decide what he will do. Cute.
Pissed-off Hyun-wook meets them in the lobby and makes jabs at San about the salary fiasco. Hyun-wook asks for Team Korea to get a raise and for San to treat his people fairly. (Despite his nastiness, the Chef now thinks of everyone in his kitchen as ‘his people’. Progress.)
San explains that Seol is only getting what is fair. He dedicated twenty years to the restaurant. After the shady business Seol pulled with the money, Hyun-wook calls San’s reasoning nepotism. He also threatens to tell the staff how much Seol makes.
“Although my taste buds are quite elegant, my speech is cheap.”
With that, this testosterone pumped male wrist grabs Yoo-kyung and hauls her away, leaving an angry San in their wake. What’s that smell? Oh yeah, trouble brewing.
Upstairs, the inebriated Chef sits down in the hall and Yoo-kyung joins him. He is still jealous that she drove home with San but she says she won’t do it again. The price is too high.
Yoo-kyung then tells Hyun-wook that her father thinks San is a better man than him.
Hyun-wook: Am I a bad guy?
Yoo-kyung: Yae, chep.
Hehehe. Ah, honesty.
He is surprised that she told her father about her men issues already and wants to know what daddy said. Of course, her father wants Yoo-kyung to choose San. But Hyun-wook is more curious to know who she chose. She’s never been a very obedient daughter, she says. Chef nods and grunts, “Good. You can’t ever be an obedient daughter.” Aw.
San decides to lowers Seol’s salary and the crazy man finally explodes. A furious Seol shoves past everyone on his way to the kitchen and bellows at the Chef when he arrives. Why did you stick your nose in my business? (It’s called karma, asshole.)
And then he does it.
Seol announces how he saw Hyun-wook and Yoo-kyung at the bus stop kissing even though the Chef banned love relationships in the kitchen.
Dun, dun, dun.
Ji-hoon and Yoo-kyung try to diffuse the situation but the Chef has other ideas.
He leans against the chef’s table and says, “She likes me. That is true. As for me…I love her.”
A moment of shock-filled silence.
Then Seol grabs Chef’s collar and yells triumphantly, “You fired!”
The ever prideful Choi Hyun-wook shoves Seol off and straightens his clothing. He admits that he’s done something worthy of losing their trust, but he doesn’t have any desire to ask forgiveness for loving Yoo-kyung. Her eyes brim with tears.
Chef takes off his red chef’s scarf and slams it down onto the chef’s table. “I have no right to be chef, so I’ll leave the kitchen now.”
He and Yoo-kyung glance at each other while the kitchen staff tries to digest everything that has happened. Seol looks like he won the lottery.
I GOT MY CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In case you didn’t notice, the keyword in this episode is “shock”. Perhaps it’s because I’m shocked there was plot movement, however little.
We have our baddie, Former President Seol, stirring up trouble to compensate for his hurt pride. He’s a drama queen whose gaping faces really amuse me. But really, he’s getting more pathetic by the minute. Earlier in the drama he screws Yoo-kyung over by framing her for stealing money. Now, pride smarting, he acts offended when all she’s done is love a man. He’s taking out his anger at the Chef on her. This poor puppy gets the brunt of almost every attack.
Yoo-kyung is finally getting her spirit from the earlier episodes back. I was afraid she’d become a slave to the Chef’s opinion and her desire to please him. With the return of the chauvinism bit comes Yoo-kyung’s gumption.
And my dear Honey Lee. The one emotion you can act out well is anger. You get some applause because I wasn’t completely bored with you this episode.
As for the Chef, he’s done three things we never thought he’d do:
1) He begs.
2) He admits he treats women badly.
3) He admits his love.
Well, lookie here. Do I see the douchiness finally giving way? I was glad for it because he was so insufferable last episode. This episode, he allowed his relationships with Yoo-kyung and Eun-soo to ground him in the kitchen and help him make better decisions. Hopefully, he’ll keep making them in regards to Yoo-kyung. If he abuses her anymore, I’m a San-shipper for good.
I’m actually looking forward to the next episode. Bring it on!