The contrived conflict at the end of the episode really did me in. There was a point they should’ve ended it, and they missed their chance. But, there were some good moments. So read on and enjoy!
“Part Time Lover” – Clazziquai Project (from the Pasta OST)
episode 18 recap
The morning paper has come out and it has some shocking news. An article titled “‘Chef’s Table’ program’s Oh Sae-young’s confession” is on the front page. Hyun-wook reads the paper at home and Team Korea, Team Italy, the dining hall staff and San read the news on the internet. In the article, Sae-young admits to sabotaging the competition – Choi Hyun-wook.
When Eun-soo shows Yoo-kyung the paper, she runs to San’s office, worried for Sae-young. San is on his way to see her and says he’ll keep Yoo-kyung posted.
Choi Hyun-wook receives a text from Sae-young saying that she loves him and that she lost. He replies that the real rivalry can begin now, making her smile.
The dining hall is buzzing with gossip about Oh Sae-young and to make matters worse, the bitchy critics from the Golden Spoon are there. They order rare steaks, which confuses the kitchen staff. Seol bursts into the kitchen in a panic – the critics who created the lobster scene are back!!!
Seol’s panic spreads but the Chef tells them to focus and reassigns jobs in the mainline so that the sous chef can make the steaks. When Seol takes them to the critics, he is sweating bullets and runs away when they ask him about his change in dress. (Uh, major demotion ladies.) They taste the steak and call for the Chef.
The kitchen staff meets with Seol who speculates that Sae-young tarnished their reputation and that the Golden Spoon means to re-evaluate La Sfera with Chef Choi as the sole head of the kitchen. Team Italy is all for it because it will bring the Chef the attention he deserves.
The critics ordered rare steak to test the quality of the meat, which pleases Seol because sous chef Geum rocks the steak. Team Korea says he’s the “Golden Steak.” Har har.
Anyway, the ladies from the Golden Spoon say that the steak doesn’t taste totally clean – it has some gaminess. They wonder if should trust the quality of the dishes because of Sae-young. He asks them if they would acknowledge his expertise if he were to analyze the problem.
A peeved San meets Sae-young, hurt that she didn’t confide in him. Was he just a scarecrow of a friend? She says that he should understand why she couldn’t open up to him. She had unfinished business with Choi Hyun-wook – she might’ve gone back to him. Did she think he wouldn’t be there? “What do I do now?” she asks.
In his office, Chef asks the mainline if they think their steak is perfect. There is a smell that is masked by cooking it medium or well-done. The sous chef thinks it sounds like a contrived problem. It seems to me that Hyun-wook likes the challenge, but Team Korea thinks they’re being played.
Eun-soo comes in with a hunk of meat. The cause of the gaminess is the blood in the meat. The key is to wrap it tightly in clothe and plastic. Ho-nam points out that a good sauce takes that away and it’s better to develop that than waste time wrapping meat. But the best quality meat comes from the steak itself and that comes with the preparation.
The chef asks them to go through a time-consuming process to improve the quality of the meat and they are pissed and insulted. He asks them to stay after work to prepare it. Yoo-kyung offers to stay as well.
On the roof, Team Korea bitches that the chef only cares about the star rating and showing off. They get a call from the New Chef committee reminding them that they need to resubmit their application with a managing chef.
Hyun-wook is hounded with calls from the Daily News and hangs up on all of them. Ji-hoon thinks that he should just talk to a reporter and get the attention he deserves to boost his career. With a few threats, Hyun-wook shuts him up and leaves. Eun-soo thinks that the chef is siding with Sae-young because they once dated. Philip and Woo-duk are pissed that Ji-hoon spilled the beans about their past relationship to Eun-soo.
Kim Kang, San’s cougar sister, meets Sae-young. She says that the second time she divorced, people made her out to be a criminal. That spring she cried like a lunatic and was depressed. Her pride was hurt and she couldn’t say she wasn’t wrong. When the flowers bloomed, she couldn’t enjoy them because she thought about her ex-husband’s hurt. Cry like crazy because you did wrong, she tells Sae-young, who bawls into Cougar’s shoulder.
That night, Yoo-kyung brings the meat but Team Korea refuses to prepare it. The chef is trying new things when they’re busy because he’s materialistic. Seung-jae accidentally says that they need the time to prepare for the New Chef competition and Sang-sik hilariously tries to shush him. Too late. The cat’s out of the bag.
They swear her to secrecy and when she offers to ask the chef for help, they adamantly refuse, thinking he’d never help them. Why should the sous chef relearn the basics when he’s already awesome at making steak anyway?
Seriously dudes, stop taking your issues out on poor Yoo-kyung.
Hyun-wook drives Yoo-kyung home and ignores more calls from reporters. She thinks he’s being too hard on Team Korea – why does he treat them like they don’t know the basics? They don’t have them down pat, he says. Yoo-kyung wants him to give them at least half the affection he gives her but he thinks it’s a waste of time because they never listen to him.
Then she gets a call from her dad who tells her to do well so that Hyun-wook can hold his head up. Whose side are you on? she demands of her father and hangs up. Hyun-wook is pleased that her father took his side.
At Eun-soo’s urging, Team Italy hesitantly goes to help Team Korea prepare the meat. They shock Team Korea who’s trying to practice for the competition. Eun-soo declares that they’re here to help but Team Italy gets suspicious. Seung-joo quickly ushers them out. They don’t need Team Italy’s help.
On either side of the door, each team is wondering what the other is up to.
The next morning, the chef discovers that Team Korea only made sauces. They will not take filet mignon orders today because the meat was not prepared properly. Why can’t they let go of the sauce? Team Italy wants to know why they can’t just do as the chef asks.
Finally, the sous chef tells the chef to do whatever he wants. He’s already insulted them. The chef smirks. Then he’ll take them out of the New Chef competition. If you can’t please me, how are you to please the judges? Team Korea gives Yoo-kyung the look of death. The chef forbids them from using the kitchen after hours to practice – he’s going to lock the door.
Team Italy is angry that they decided to do this and represent their kitchen without informing anyone. The two teams get into it but the chef stops them, telling them to get back to work.
Yoo-kyung asks why Hyun-wook was so hard on Team Korea and he wants to know why she’s siding with them. If I only took your side, what would I become? she replies. They have a cute moment as they say “posso fare” back and forth, which means, “I can do it” in Italian.
That night, Team Korea shows up and finds the doors are locked. Even the sous chef loses his cool! When Yoo-kyung shows up, she calls the chef, asking why he’s doing this when he could use this opportunity to bring the kitchen together. At least give me the keys and I won’t ask for your help anymore. If you’re not going to sabotage them, at least let them practice.
Hyun-wook gets angry, but he intended to go back anyway. Before he can, however, he receives a phone call from Reporter Yoon who is interviewing Oh Sae-young. He wants to hear both sides of the story before publishing his article. Hyun-wook says the contents of the articles are true, but surprises Sae-young and Reporter Yoon when he says she would’ve won anyway. She is an excellent chef and it angers him that an excellent chef may stop cooking.
At La Sfera, Team Korea and Yoo-kyung wait impatiently for him. They get really angry at her and leave, thinking that she’s made a fool of them.
Hyun-wook rushes to La Sfera but he’s too late. He finds Yoo-kyung drinking alone at a pojangmacha and sits behind her without her noticing. He texts her twice but she ignores him. When he leans in close, they bump heads.
She scolds him heavily for pushing Team Korea down and for not helping them to become better chefs. Why can’t he open his heart to them as he did to her? Like them, she can’t go to Italy or a good cooking school so she understands their desire to win the competition and study in Italy. At her impassioned words, he gives in although he says if they refuse him as their managing chef, he’ll be embarrassed. She assures him that they won’t refuse him.
With a smile, she says she’s sad that she can’t monopolize him anymore and he begs her to monopolize him. Uh, get a room guys.
They head on home and San is there for a man-to-man with Hyun-wook. Thanks for taking care of Oh Sae-young, he says. You’re the only one who can get her on her feet, he says.
How is it possible that you two are only friends? Hyun-wook wants to know and San tells him that she was waiting for him.
Next, they verbally bump chests over Yoo-kyung. Chest thump.
Meanwhile, the ladies are having a session of their own – a decidedly sappier session. Sae-young wants to start from the bottom, feeling undeserving of the title “chef.” Yoo-kyung tells her that she’s her hero and calls her chef. It’s touching. Really.
Hyun-wook drives Yoo-kyung to work and she says Team Korea is going to think he’s nuts for being nice to them. It’s true.
Very early the next morning, Team Korea arrives to practice. Seol has the keys and is going to open the kitchen for them. Eun-soo comes in to do prep work and gets some snark from Team Korea. But then, the New Chef committee calls to inform them that they have a managing chef, Choir Hyun-wook! Gasps all around. Team Korea quickly leaves, deciding not to practice behind their chef’s back.
There’s a cute little moment between Seol and Eun-soo when Eun-soo asks Seol for the keys. Why does the dining hall maknae need the keys when the kitchen maknae comes in early every morning to prepare? Seol holds the keys high above his head. Cute!
In the hall, Team Korea nervously calls the chef who barks at them, but they respond heartily with “yae chep!” to everything he says. Now you guys are dead, he says and Team Korea breaks out into grins. They misjudged him. Uh, no duh, jerks. The hypocrites-formerly-known-as-Team-Korea dream of Italy.
Hyun-wook is hungry and Yoo-kyung suggests going to eat at her father’s jjajangmyun restaurant and he agrees. She teases him that he should tell her father to redo their meal over and over again, like he does to her. But, Hyun-wook says he’d really do it and Yoo-kyung gets seriously upset. He’s joking, but she gets so worked up when he doesn’t relent that she tells him to pull over and let her out.
They argue. She doesn’t trust his temper. He is furious that she actually thought he’d do that when he wants to impress her father. Then, he drives off without her and she is shocked. She pitches a fit like a child.
I’m going to try not to rant. But I can’t promise anything.
Yoo-kyung: Girl, stop your damned whining. Everything is an issue with you, isn’t it? Did she SERIOUSLY think Hyun-wook would humiliate himself in front of her father?
That said, what a contrived bit of conflict. The way her character is going, I felt that she would’ve worried, but not gone to the extent of climbing out of the car and pitching a toddler’s fit. I was thoroughly annoyed. So much so I lost any pity I felt for her because of Team Korea’s douche-y-ness. Grow a pair. Seriously. And then use them. Because if this continues, I will not be responsible for my actions.
Hyun-wook: I like his character more and more. He retains the prickly exterior we all know and love, but he softens, doing kind things in the guise of his old selfishness. After a mistake, he actually takes responsibility. Well, save for driving away from a shrieking Yoo-kyung. But I can’t blame him. I would’ve done the same thing…at 90 mph. I do hope he goes back for her, though.
Team Korea: Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! All of them are pretty damned selfish. Take some flippin’ responsibility. THEY hid it from the chef so even if Yoo-kyung HAD told the Chef, they took La Sfera’s reputation into their own hands without the knowledge of the president or the chef. Stop shifting the blame and being such pussies.
On top of that, they hoisted all of their anger onto poor Yoo-kyung. Maybe that’s why she went batshit crazy at the end. They’ve done that the entire time when they’re really angry at the Chef.
Also, even if it’s unreasonable, not doing what your superior tells you too is grounds for firing. I understand that the relationship is less than stellar, but come on. Blatant rebellion? If you care so much about La Sfera that you make wise cracks when Team Italy leaves, you should at least respect it enough to try and up the quality.
Eun-soo and Seol were adorable fighting over the keys. That made me giggle.
Finally, Sae-young became something more than a black hole. I finally saw Honey Lee REALLY act, not act like she was acting. But she still is a miserable second lead.
I need some more cute and less contrived conflict. Remember I complained before about the lack of conflict? Please take it away. Off with it. The cute is what this show is about.
BRING. IT. BACK.