Home > Korean Dramas > Gourmet Episode 9, recap

Gourmet Episode 9, recap

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, things are getting interesting… πŸ˜€

Episode 9

Awww. The poor Kang warrior is as clay in the hands of his daughter. The woman storms in and rejects his gift, warning him to stop trying to ruin her life, then stomps out. Sung Chan and Jin Soo, here to beg again for an interview, are embarrassed at witnessing this intensely personal incident.

He sits them down and explains: his Soo Yun was engaged to a very personable young man, whom both she and her parents liked. At a meeting between the parents of the to-be-wedded couple, a jealous colleague revealed Kang’s real profession and the man’s parents dashed off in dismay. His daughter blames him and refuses to forgive him even now. To add more injuries, his wife fell ill at around the same time, and he quit his job to apologize to his daughter, but she has severed all ties with him.

He muses that in the ancient times, his job would have called for isolation. (There must be a social stigma thing I’m not getting here. Someone who’s more familiar with Korean culture, enlighten me?)

Sung Chan and Jin Soo look sad (especially Jin Soo, those huge eyes of hers are brimming over). Sung Chan protests that Kang was a master at his craft, the best there was. To Kang, however, it’s all useless:

The best? There is no point in being the best. I have lost everything else.

The three get drunk on soju together.

At a press conference for the beef competition, as if to overrule Kang’s melancholic musings, Bong Soon whispers to Joo Hee that their success all depends on finding Kang – the person who arranges the meat will hold the key to winning the competition, since there are many more good cooks than good butchers out there.

Director Seo of the evil cackle is gleeful at finding out that Sung Chan is a master cook. He’s resolved to hire him. He bribes Ja Woon by feeding all his friends Jajangmyeon – lol, I want some too – but that’s not enough, so he hands over a blank check to Ja Woon. He wants to hire Sung Chan at all costs, it seems. When he tells Ja Woon the old man’s jaw makes an acquaintance with the wintry floor. (Making promises before you know the person involved is not too smart, yo.)

Meanwhile, Jin Soo is very fired up about Min Woo’s threats to Kang’s daughter to ensure his cooperation, and vows to reveal the story. Sung Chan’s a little less pumped up, as it does concern the reputation of his beloved father’s Un Ahm Jung. He leaves Jin Soo in the truck as he dashes up to where Soo Yun is working.

Sung Chan walks up to her and tries to initiate a conversation with her about her father, but she ignores him and calls for the next number. Sung Chan, however, is one step ahead, and has a little stack of the wait room numbers with him. She is about to call security when she collapses, inciting immediate concern, and of note is one particularly nice-looking man who seemed to care about her when she came in with a perturbed face.

At a meeting back in the restaurant, Joo Hee is now the one leading the podium. Those who want to participate in the competition must form teams of three, one cook, one butcher and one assistant. As to the competition, only one rival is of note, but no one’s really worried as Min Woo assures them that Kang will be on their side. (Aha. Ha. Ha.)

Chef Oh looks like he has indigestion throughout the entire meeting. Joo Hee looks a little conscious of her betrayal, but she plow on with the plans.

Upon exiting Soo Yun’s workplace, Sung Chan is dragged away by two mafia dudes. Jin Soo impatiently rushe up only to see Soo Yun’s coworkers carry her out. At the hospital, they confirm that she miscarried. Her coworker, whom I suspect more and more of being her husband, is super worried about her current health, as she’s not eating anything. Jin Soo sympathizes some more.

Sung Chan is dragged groaning into Seo’s headquarters. The man berates his underlings for mistreating such an important guest, and tosses them out. Seo gently puts some raw beef slices on Sung Chan’s bruised face, but he demands that they get to business right away, so … two tables of food are brought in. Now that we can see the entire hall, it’s actually quite large and well-appointed. Definitely a Korean/Japanese feel to it too.

Jin Soo is going frantic waiting for Sung Chan, while he’s slowly driven to insanity by Seo’s endless ramblings on the nobility of cows in Korean history. (I thought the Hindus were the ones who worshipped cows?) He manages to force enough alcohol into the courteous and beaten Sung Chan that he becomes dead to the world. While he’s asleep, Seo slips a Buddhist talisman into Sung Chan’s pouch – I’m guessing this is what he paid Ja Woon so much for.

An underling reports to Bong Joo that Sung Chan’s been seen with their competitor, but that Kang has yet to join… and Min Woo lies to Bong Joo, that he’s succeeded in persuading (ha!) Kang to join their restaurant.

As it turns out, Ja Woon uses his windfall to treat his friends to a meal at Un Ahm Jung, which infuriates Joo Hee’s dad (again a contrast of homely vs high-end) but he can’t kick out paying customers, as much as he’d like to.

Ja Woon wanders in to chef Oh’s room, where he’s wrapped up in his blankets, wanting to be dead to the world. Joo Hee coaxes him to take some beef broth Bong Joo’s made specially for him, but he refuses. Ja Woon orders her to bring him more alcohol and he proceeds to cheer up chef Oh. His news about Sung Chan actually makes chef Oh get up.

Jin Soo waits for Sung Chan at one of his habitual spots and chews him out for leaving her to deal with the situation alone. He has complaints about being kidnapped, but they drop everything to go visit Soo Yun. Sung Chan cooks for her, all the while practicing his lectures about putting her father in difficulties.

Once they get there, he brings three different porridges for her and lets her choose. (I love how subtly they showed that he’s a traditionalist at heart, while making porridge, he got all dismayed when Jin Soo was going to use an electric mixer.) Her father rushes in, super concerned, but Soo Yun pushes all the containers aside and screams at her father to get out of her life. The coworker looks awkward while Sung Chan gears up for a rant. Jin Soo shushes him and the four make a distressed exit.

The coworker only mentions that he doesn’t know what’s going on either… but he does say that Soo Yun is craving for beef, and the beef that her mother used to bring home. This perks Kang up and he goes to work super fast. After a cool sequence of him slicing meat really fast and really well, he mentions that his wife, too, used to have difficulty eating when she was pregnant and that only meat he prepared were okay for her.

Kang is touched and sad at the same time, that she should remember what her mother said about his skills. Sung Chan and Jin Soo look teary but are all gung-ho about helping. (Awww. Someone give the guy a hug.) The master butcher is super grateful that he still has the chance to do something for his own child.

Sung Chan goes to deliver the meat to her (cooked with his superb skill, of course) and finally blows up at her recalcitrant attitude. He gives her the knife and shows her the name carved into the handle – it’s hers, of course, and he talks about their joy in having a child and pride in his profession. Soo Yun cries a little.

(Bit of a fast turnaround, but hey. If the plot demands.)

Later, having dinner together, Jin Soo rakes Sung Chan over the coals for just giving the knife over like that: now she has nothing to base her interview/investigation on! Of course, when she hears that director Seo kidnapped Sung Chan, her mind switches gears and goes into headline mode: “Un Ahm Jung vs. Uh Ahm Jung.” It’ll be the news of the year! In cooking, that is.

Sung Chan, who’s been in the dark all this time, looks surprised that Un Ahm Jung is also participating…

In the morning, some dude from Un Ahm Jung comes for Kang, in a posh car. Kang asks for a few moments and gets them. Soo Yun visits her father and introduces Song Jun from her office as her fiance. She did an astounding 180 and is now proud of her father for who he is, and also grateful for caring about her so much even when she was doing her best to drive him away.

Aww. Song Jun gets on his knees to ask Kang permission to marry his daughter, and Soo Yun gets on her knees to apologize to her father. She also mentions that she’s resigned and will focus on her family from now on. She says sorry in the same breath that she releases him from his shame of being a butcher, I think, and it’s just so nice for the old man to have some happiness. πŸ˜€

(Min Woo, eat dirt!)

Uh, wait. Kang still went to Un Ahm Jung? What the heck? Min Woo is busy tarnishing Bong Joo’s crispy-clean image to his underling, who though he had no idea of the blackmailing. At least Kang has his business face on.

He goes in to taste the soup the Min Woo has prepared for him. Joo Hee and Bong Joo look anxious, then relieved when Kang praises it. Oh! Kang comes out with the point of this series, I think:

A grand and beautiful place, with cooking like this, will attract people’s eyes and tongues, but never their heart.

He goes on to add that he has no intention of joining such a cruel place, that he came only to taste the food. Yay! He leaves Joo Hee, Bong Joo and Min Woo distressed, though only Joo Hee shows it.

Kang drinks in celebration with Sung Chan. He proposes that they both go to work for director Seo, and though Sung Chan not-so-gracefully backs out, he finds out with distress (him too, yup) that the company that mistreated Kang was Un Ahm Jung.

Sung Chan goes home for the evening, still chewing on the news that Un Ahm Jung had resorted to blackmail. He meets chef Oh at his door – and promptly drops all his gorceries. (Speaking of which, he only secures his truck with a zipper. There had better be a combination lock I didn’t see, or I’m going to go over there and set a few dogs on his truck.)

There is a joyful reunion of father and son.

Chef Oh properly puts the history of the Lee’s at Sung Chan’s feet – Un Ahm Jung belonged to his ancestors, but were handed over to the Ohs for safekeeping. Then ancestor Lee was executed by the Japanese, and the Ohs went to work for a Japanese restaurant. After the occupation, he gained the restaurant, and founded Un Ahm Jung.

He urges Sung Chan to come back. Sung Chan refuses, and chef Oh doesn’t press him. He departs with a few pithy phrases, “But don’t put down your knives. A cook is a cook is a cook. You cannot escape from that. You are not competing against Un Ahm Jung. You are trying to surpass yourself. Always remember that you are competing against yourself.” (Uhu. I guess the old man knows what’s going and is prodding him forward.)

The old man returns to Un Ahm Jung, resolved to wait for Sung Chan.

Director Seo tells his underling to enter Lee Sung Chan in the competition, despite all protest. (Wily old man can’t write, lol.)

Min Woo comes to ‘apologize’ but angers Kang further with his request for Kang to stay out of the competition.

Sung Chan comes in, all happy at having obtained Soo Yun’s favourite snacks, but find them angry over Min Woo’s leaving money with his apology. Having just about had enough, Sung Chan promises to return the money and drives off.

OHHH. Major confrontation, with tempers flaring on both sides. Bong Joo denies doing anything, but Sung Chan knows him better than that, and divines that he may not have done the act, but he approved of Min Woo’s actions. The other is angry that Sung Chan would dare to enter against Un Ahm Jung. They go all macho and promise to meet each other at the competition.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Whoo! Exciting times ahead!

– I’m a bit too absorbed in Iljimae at the moment to do this show full justice, but don’t worry, I’ll be back with my wacko theories and analyses in a while.

– Bong Joo finally goes evil. Well, it was bound to happen. So now the selfish glory-hound Bong Joo gets to go against the earnest, do-gooder Sung Chan.

– And what’s with this actor lending? First Byun Shik appears as Dal Pyung, and now the little kid who was Kyumi in Iljimae will appear in episode 10… someone tell me what the connection between Iljimae and Gourmet is, please, before my brain explodes with conspiracy theories.

Sevenses

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  1. Joy
    Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve also been more into Iljimae than Gourmet, but it’s because I’m waiting for Bon to release Gourmet with English subtitles. Both of these dramas are pretty good. Thanks for your recaps!

    The only theory I can think of about the Byun Shik -> Dal Pyung crossover is due to both dramas are produced by SBS. Kind of makes it easy for actor lending.

    What are your thoughts about Gourmet’s love triangle? Bong Joo is too evil to end up with Joo Hee – hope she ends up with Sung Chan. Jin Soo is cool, but I’m not sure if she’s a real good match for Sung Chan. Sometimes she’s too annoying.

  2. sevenses
    Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I’ve been more into Iljimae simply because it’s been airing longer!

    Yeah. Gourmet was finished before it aired, so I’m guessing little Kyumi and Byun Shik just got shooed into their next drama.

    Bong Joo is slowly going evil, and I think once Joo Hee realizes just what he’s done, she’ll leave him. At the moment I can’t tell. (For an episode, I thought they were going to throw a Bong Joo/Jin Soo at us. Freaky.) Joo Hee’s got her shortcomings too. I’m actually much more interested in the food than I am in the love triangle. πŸ˜€

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