The screencaps for this one took forever, but they came out well, so I’m satisfied. Only three more episodes to recap after this. GASP! What will happen with the New Chef Competition, Oh Sae-young and Seol’s undying vendetta against Choi Hyun-wook?
episode 17 recap
Choi Hyun-wook tells Seo Yoo-kyun that he won’t stop her from going to work anymore – it’s good to see her do well in the kitchen without him. This upsets her and she back hugs him. (Yay! The lady pulls the moves!) She doesn’t want to do well without him. She wants to do well with him. Time together is precious and she could do really well with him there. He hugs her arm and looks extremely touched. Aw, she melts his steely heart.
When Yoo-kyung goes home and peeks into Oh Sae-young’s room, she isn’t there. Yoo-kyung worries for her roommate.
Sae-young calls Hyun-wook and looks really emo. She apologizes for everything: her lack of confidence, her cheating in the competition and her complete mortification. Because she didn’t trust herself, she cheated in a competition that she still would’ve won had she played fair and square.
He opens up a bit and admits he has nothing to brag about. Then, she informs him that she recommended him to La Sfera because she wanted to stand proudly before him and work side by side. She makes her last request: Come back.
We have San brooding in his apartment over the dilemma in the restaurant – no chefs, understaffed kitchen, tension between the cooks who are there. (An aside, I really hate those paintings he has on his wall. They’re ugly and don’t match his apartment.)
San calls up Hyun-wook and convinces him to return to work, alleviating the cooks’ worries about their ability to handle lunch while severely understaffed. Nonetheless, they are shocked to see Hyun-wook return, chest puffed out. Yoo-kyung beams and Eun-soo flashes another cheesy week. Aw, cuteness!
Chef Choi apologizes for the tousle he caused and also says that he likes standing in this kitchen with everyone. Enter Seol, who FLIPS. I laughed so hard. What a doofus.
Sous Chef Geum Suk-ho lays into Chef Choi – he’s never seen a kitchen run well with dating. Chef Choi must promise to fire Yoo-kyung the moment his judgement becomes unfair and he agrees.
In San’s office, Seol flips again but San FINALLY seems resistant to his manipulation. He has docked Seol’s pay, causing another dramatic outburst. He is humiliated by the downgrade at his age and experience. (Uh, then you shouldn’t have have embezzled, you bastard. You’re lucky to have a job via nepotism.) San tells him to quit if he’s unhappy and sends a contrite Seol away.
As Chef broods in front of Sae-young’s empty desk, the pasta line comes in. He tells them they worked hard and Jung Ho-nam says that it’s not the first time Team Italy has run out. “Did you want me to hear that or was it said directly to me.” It depends, Ho-nam replies. Chef says that since Team Italy left out of consideration for their chef, if he want to insult anyone, insult him directly. Ho-nam makes sure that the Chef won’t get mad.
“Isn’t it embarrassing saying two things at once? Isn’t it embarrassing coming back with all of them. Don’t you have anywhere else to go?”
The Chef tells Team Italy to apologize to the mainline and the sous chef, to get along better. He is also adding Yoo-kyung’s ginseng pasta to the menu. She comes in and Ho-nam (and Team Italy) think the Chef is already showing favoritism. But he tells her to hand over her recipe and teach Sun Woo-duk how to make it. She is dejected but understands his reasoning. The Chef sends the pasta line out and keeps Yoo-kyung, to their surprise.
Hyun-wook apologizes for stealing, but she can’t keep her ideas to herself in a large kitchen like this. I’m a thief, right? She nods with a small smile. When she says it’s mostly his and she added ann option, he replies that and option can be added or taken away. Her idea is integral to the recipe, like salt in a kitchen. Be the light and salt in our kitchen.
In the hallway, Team Italy confronts Yoo-kyung, discover she has the chef’s recipe book and demands that she hand it over. Not one person has seen those notes until now. Hyun-wook materializes to give them a headsmack and flicks to the forehead. “Are you the neighborhood bullies?”
Team Italy is hurt that he didn’t share them. Hyun-wook basically says, “Too bad, they’re mine to share.” Then, he takes her hand and leads her away as Team Italy gapes after them, surprised by the public skinship.
They are jealous, Hyun-wook assures her, which prompts her to suggest that they share the recipe book. He doesn’t want to because Team Italy thinks that they are successful recipes. Only she can see them. She gets insulted, thinking she’s only good enough to see his failures and stalks away. He hadn’t meant that had all. I think he wanted to share them with her so she can learn. He only feels comfortable sharing his faults with her and no one else.
Eun-soo pays a friendly visit to Hyun-wook and offers him a lollipop. AW! Hyun-wook says he has more charm than Yoo-kyung – all she does is work. It’s not easy to be the chef’s woman, Eun-soo counters. She doesn’t want to be your weakness.
“I get nervous, too,” Hyun-wook admits and glances at Eun-soo expectantly. “You get nervous, too.” HAHAHA!
Yoo-kyung teaches Team Italy to make the ginseng pasta and is happy when Woo-duk takes her corrections seriously. They taste it and compliment her enthusiastically, making her blush. Then, goofball Lee Ji-hoon suggests they play a trick on the Chef and texts Hyun-wook to come try the pasta.
Woo-duk’s pasta gets a pass and then Ji-hoon asks the Chef which pan was made by Yoo-kyung. Hyun-wook lectures them. Both were made by Woo-duk. Did you think I wouldn’t notice that both were made by a chef with years of experience?
Yoo-kyung is pleased that Woo-duk made her pasta taste so delicious and Hyun-wook thinks she’s so cute that he tells Eun-soo to give her a lollipop. Tee-hee.
When he leaves, Philip puffs up his chest and imitates the Chef. Woo-duk joins in and they mock-chastise Ji-hoon.
In the stairwell, Yoo-kyung meets San and asks after Sae-young, who hasn’t returned home. San tells her that Sae-young needs some time alone. Yoo-kyung is worried because she looks up to Sae-young and hopes nothing happens to her.
It is dinner hour and Yoo-kyung gets assigned the scallops, which get passed and sent to the customers. However, there is a smell that bothers her and Seol brings the plate back triumphantly. He thinks Hyun-wook has shown favoritism. Woo-duk tries the scallop as does the sous chef. The smell is a normal part of an Italian restaurant. But Ho-nam points out that when Min Seung-jae makes it, there is never any smell.
When the Chef tastes it and questions Yoo-kyung, they discover she had used a new pan for the tester and an old pan for the customers. Seung-jae makes fun of her but the Chef gets really angry. If she had the skills, there would be no smell, no matter which frying pan she used.
The Waste-of-space trio is busy in their little pasta shop. Lee Hee-joo stops Park Chan-hee from serving a dish because it wasn’t prepared properly. She flicks her forehead and lectures her Hyun-wook style. Park Mi-hee tries to defend Chan-hee, but they both get shot down.
Ok, I think I like Hee-joo a bit more. The other two are still a waste of space.
A guilty-looking Sae-young meets reporter Yoon to spill the beans about the rumors.
Seol takes Team Korea out for meat. They freak out when he starts to cook it incorrectly and teach him the proper way to do it. It’s hard to get the feel for it right away and that’s why Yoo-kyung fails. The mainline has the most complaints because of that; she is the weakest link. It’s the first food that goes out and nothing else has dulled the palette – it is the most sensitive stage. This is how they will test the Chef’s impartiality.
Alone in the kitchen, Yoo-kyung is scrubbing the pans with rice. Hyun-wook comes in and says that her mistakes are worth ten mistakes made by anyone else because they’re under a microscope. He dumps the pans in the sink – her wrists will be busted after three days of doing this all night. She needs to maintain her dignity and fight fire instead of frying pans.
He proceeds to teach her how to work with the heat of the stove and the heat of the oil to properly make scallops. When she asks, he admits to being frustrated and doesn’t know why he nags her.
I know. You’re human like everyone else and the pressure is getting to you. Am I right? Hrm?
Cougar (Kim Kang, San’s noona) meets Sae-young and stares in wide-eyed astonishment at all of the news. Apparently, San hasn’t heard about the article yet. He is moping around the dining room.
Seung-jae is pushing Yoo-kyung to hurry and finish the scallops. When they are rejected, the entire kitchen staff has to begin their dishes again. The sous chef says the Chef is being too picky, but then he proves he’s not being biased towards Yoo-kyung: the mainline’s dishes are the first to be tasted and need to be better than “acceptable”. Her dish gets rejected a second time and she gets put on dessert, which she doesn’t like.
Ji-hoon feeds Yoo-kyung’s scallops to Team Italy and says that the Chef is responsible for the delay, not her. “you be the chef then,” Hyun-wook replies and Ji-hoon meekly returns to his place.
At the coffee bar, San commiserates with a broody Yoo-kyung. Chef joins them after looking pensive over her stove. San wants to know when her scallops would be approved. Hyun-wook tells San to budget more for ingredients because all of the scallops in Korea are going to be ruined by her.
Then SURPRISE! Daddio shows up and all three of them immediately stand at attention. Yoo-kyung immediately tries to convince him to leave, but daddy isn’t having it. They both like you? Which one of you likes her food? They introduce themselves and dad announces that he wants to eat dinner with each of them. Hyun-wook first. Gulp.
They all go to the kitchen and dad wants Yoo-kyung to make him what she makes most. Ruh-roh. She proudly brings it to her father who wants Hyun-wook to taste it first, like they do normally. He tells her to do it again and she’s mortified.
Her food continues to be rejected. This part goes on way too long. In the end, her father is angry that she is so dejected by all the strict criticism and he is embarrassed as well because of her failures. Hyun-wook wants to give her another chance, but mad dad walks out.
Yoo-kyung wonders why he had to do that in front of her father. He saw that she is repeatedly rejected. He tries to comfort her but she pushes him away. Although she doesn’t show it in the kitchen, she’s not a stone and gets affected by all of her failures.
Hyun-wook defends himself saying that each dish that goes through him is his dish because it’s his decision that a dish is good enough to be served. To approve her dish means it has to be good or else he would feel embarrassed in front of her father who Hyun-wook wishes to impress.
She doesn’t care. She’s too hurt. Hyun-wook tries to hug her again, and this time she cries into his chest.
Dad feels bad and returns to the kitchen. They jump apart. He’s interested in what Hyun-wook has to say after he comes to his spicy noodle restaurant – trust Yoo-kyung’s taste, too. “Wipe your tears. What kind of girl cries in front of a man?”
Yoo-kyung follows her father out but he’s long gone. She returns with a smile on her face. (Bi-polar much.) She thinks her father must like Hyun-wook because he was invited to the restaurant. Really? Hyun-wook asks.
They giggle together.
So I think the lack of plot movement has finally stopped bugging me. Perhaps ’cause there are little ripples in the water now. Here are a few parting thoughts.
Yoo-kyung: Girl, take a chill pill. Not everything is the end of the world. I know life is hard and you’re getting the short end of the stick, but aside from being stubborn, you don’t stand up to anyone but Hyun-wook. Even then, you don’t do it in the kitchen like the sous-chef or anyone else. Let’s go. Let me see some of that verve from earlier on.
San: YOU LOWERED SEOL’S PAY! Finally. I think he is finally a man. He has grown a pair.
Hyun-wook: I like the vulnerability we’re seeing. He’s the character who has grown the most.
Sae-young: Boo-hoo. Poor you. You deserve it. Stop hiding and get on with your life. This character is just so pathetic. She is no kind of second lead. She is not even a black hole anymore. She’s a shriveled mummy of a character.
Waste-of-Space Trio: The writers are preparing something for them. That’s the only reason Hee-joo would start imitating Hyun-wook’s behavior and finding that she understands him. If anything, they’re going to kiss and make up.
Ho-nam: Choke on pasta and die, you arrogant jerk. The universe doesn’t revolve around you. He is so selfish that I think he should be our second female lead in Sae-young’s stead.