Home > Korean Dramas > Gourmet Episode 13, recap

Gourmet Episode 13, recap

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Spent all morning making Nutella cheesecake – arm has died from mixing. Hopefully the cake currently chilling in the fridge is good.

Did I mention that Gourmet has an awesome OST? Well, it does. (Download it here.)

Here’s 꿈의 시간들, by Tei.

Episode 13

Last episode Sung Chan rescued Jin Soo from the big evil rain in the forest/mountain that she got lost on… in the morning, the no longer drunk coal supplier dude leads them both on a merry hike to a different mountain (Sung Chan is chagrined that he actually climbed the wrong mountain yesterday). When not drunk, the man moves like the Roadrunner.

Both Sung Chan and Jin Soo are starting to realize their feelings for each other, and it’s kind of fun to see her get tongue tied and him smiling to himself. Then Jin Soo’s reporter instincts kick in, and she asks him what Suk Dong meant by the materials for the last competition. Sung Chan runs away.

Their goal is a tree that died during the winter but is very good material due to growing (literally) from the crevice between two rocks on the peak of a mountain. They take all the logs back to a small vertical cavern dug out of the side of a mountain, seal them in with bricks, and light a bunch of wood on fire near the top of the cavern. After six days of intense fire, the logs will become top grade charcoal.

To Jin Soo’s surprise, Sung Chan has decided to stay here for the six days. The third step is entirely his responsibility and thus he feels the need to stay with his materials every step of the way. Coincidentally, her MC job has been cancelled and now she has orders from her boss to follow Sung Chan for however long it takes. So they rough it out here in the wild.

Except Sung Chan can’t sleep so he spends the night outside, right in front of the oven. Jin Soo finds him in the morning and smiles. They take care of each other, through rain and intense heat. Anyway, the charcoals are ready, and spill out of the superheated oven in red, glowing chunks.

At Un Ahm Jung, chef Oh decides to impart the wisdom of the charcoal to Bong Joo. Joo Hee is super happy and the father-son duo drive off. (I have a feeling people are going to clash a bit.) When they get there, the old man comments that nothing much has changed besides a slight widening of the entrance.

They climb up a mountain for the logs. I must say, the mountain looks really familiar… and yep. When they get to the top, the tree has already been sawed away.

Down at the ovens, Sung Chan, the charcoalmaker and Jin Soo indulge in a bit of soju and barbeque off the remnants of the charcoal. Just then, chef Oh’s charcoalmaker comes up, Bong Joo and chef Oh in tow, demanding angrily about the tree. Oooh. Moment of sparks as each party recognizes the other.

Chef Oh, Bong Joo and Sung Chan sit down for a few drinks. The old man begins speaking:

I never thought we would meet here like this. I thought you two could encourage and help each other during the competition, and you’d both become excellent cooks, but perhaps I was too greedy, and things turned out like this.

Bong Joo apologizes, but his father goes on speaking.

If you want to become good at anything, you must endure and hide yourself for a long time. Even the grass on this mountain, a tree, or a little rock underfoot, the time you have to yourself you have to devote to endurance and overcoming challenges. I stood by silently and watched you both, but can you two understand my goal? Even if you do not agree with each other’s opinions and worldviews, there is one thing you can never forget. You are brothers.

On the way back to the city, Jin Soo tries to make conversation, but Sung Chan is obviously not in the mood. She suggests that blood will out, but he quiets her, and keeps driving.

Back at the charcoal place, chef Oh’s contact comes with a box of premium charcoal from the tree – it’s from Sung Chan, who may be giving up his advantage in the competition by doing this. Chef Oh comments that at least he’s been moved, and asks Bong Joo what he’s going to do now. His son looks perplexed.

And so neither one of them takes the really good charcoal.

Chef Oh asks if it’s because Bong Joo is confident in his own skills that he didn’t take it, but he replies that he was not seeking the coal, instead, he was looking for something else. At this point, chef Oh stops the car and goes out to taste some type of sweet, broad leafed grass (露葵, if anyone can translate, that would be great). He picks a boxful and Bong Joo drives home. Chef Oh falls asleep in the back of the car as Bong Joo gets inspired for his dish from the grass.

The day of the competition dawns. It’s four chefs competing head to head, but I have only eyes for Min Woo and Sung Chan. (Honestly, only Sung Chan, cause Min Woo can go boil his head.) The judges are three very eminent members of the food industry, and one of them is acquainted with Bong Joo.

(As a side note, the new girl MC is much more professional than Jin Soo.)

This round is based on three criterion, each worth 10 points – the quality of the charcoal, the taste of the beef, and the way it is cooked. The part of the cow they use is the neck part, very marbled and full of fat, so that if it is well-cooked, the taste will be so amazing, if one of the people eating it dies, the others will not notice. (From the mouth of Director Han himself.)

Sung Chan looks over at Min Woo, who smirks at his astonishment at seeing the spheres of charcoal he’s using. The competition starts – everyone’s grilling their beef on a simple steel grid.

Lol. Back at Un Ahm Jung, the manager is feeling Dal Pyung’s absence. Madam Jo maintains that her Sung Chan will win the competition, while the others feel that their ‘secret weapon’ charcoal will seal the deal. Jang Goo is concerned about Kang and asks the butcher from Hanareum Inc. about him, but the other man will only tell him to go visit Kang himself.

The first team’s grilling passes by without incident. (Am going to barbeque later today, all this is making me crave grilled beef. Yum.) The second team, Hanareum, uses a special type of paper to prevent the oil of the beef from dripping down onto the coals. Plus, it adds flavour.

The judges are very impressed with the beef, but then the fragrant scent of whatever Un Ahm Jung is cooking attracts them to Min Woo, who is smugly cooking his beef. He explains that it’s the scent of the charcoal combining with the natural odour of the beef.

We flash back to chef Oh showing Bong Joo how to make the balls of charcoal by mixing in the fragrant leafy grass he picked earlier. Chef Oh, watching the live broadcast, leaves the room when Joo Hee’s father starts gloating. He probably feels bad helping Bong Joo and not Sung Chan.

Min Woo is too busy boasting to notice that one of his beef pieces is about to drip fat onto the coal – and Bong Joo, watching him, is muttering under his breath about concentration. A drop falls, but Min Woo notices quickly enough to remedy the situation. The judges walk away satisfied, though one feels the edge of his cheek in slight pain.

Sung Chan, watching carefully, begins slicing his beef and preparing. Like Un Ahm Jung, he has also prepared his own charcoal. However, he ignores all the MC’s queries and listens closely to the sound of the meat cooking. When the sound changes, he flips the meat and cuts it up for serving. He tells one of the judges to take meat from one side of the dish as those are cut thinner and would bother his teeth less. The judge is gratified, and praises his meat as infinitely tender.

(Min Woo looks super pissed, lol.)

Surrounded by praise, Sung Chan points at Jin Soo, who blows him a kiss, as both are super happy at the success. Ja Woon, watching the live broadcast, feels left out as he didn’t come to seek Ja Woon’s advice even once.

Jang Goo stands outside Kang’s hospital room as Kang and his daughter watch the live broadcast. He doesn’t enter, but reaches for his wallet and heads back to the entrance.

The final scoring goes something like this – 28 for both teams, 10/8 for charcoal, 9/10 for skill, 9/10 for taste. (Scores are given ‘Un Ahm Jung/Daejin’.) So it’s an even score, though to me, Sung Chan won on the important bits like skill in cooking and actual taste – if everyone had been given the same coal, his score would have beaten that of Min Woo’s.

Everyone’s shocked by the stalemate in score, including the MC – though Director Han shows his partiality by jumping up and down and then trying to hug his fellow MC when he saw the score. Jin Soo is wildly elated.

The judges have decided to hold a fourth round to determine between Un Ahm Jung and Daejin, and this time the topic is “Beef beyond the wildest imaginations”, which is basically a free topic, as long as it contains beef. Bong Joo looks pensive. Lols at DM Food – they couldn’t decide after all.

When they go back, Bong Joo decides to take Min Woo out of the team and go ahead himself. He also gets into a tantrum and half-destroys his piles of books, but whatever. Director Han tells Jin Soo, who is shocked, but her boss is just gleeful that his prediction of Un Ahm Jung vs. Un Ahm Jung has come true.

Director Seo takes Sung Chan to see his all-knowing daoist, who turns out to be Ja Woon. He only hints at ‘banquet’ when asked to help with the fourth round, and drags Sung Chan off for a private conversation. Director Seo is stymied by his cryptic hinting.

Ja Woon goes off on a long spiel, but the essential point is that for the sake of Un Ahm Jung, Sung Chan should come back, as he is the rightful successor. He also tells him that if Bong Joo loses, Un Ahm Jung will be in big trouble, and maybe even close down, as Bong Joo overreached himself and has borrowed money he cannot easily return.

Meanwhile, Joo Hee takes Bong Joo to a small roadside restaurant that is popular with foreigners and they discover a heavenly tasting chili sauce. He goes back and searches for the same flavour, but is frustrated. He also offends Madam Jo in the process by brushing off her help without even a word of thanks.

Sung Chan is cooking to his heart’s content with Jin Soo helping, and they have many couple moments, but one mustn’t dwell. Kang walks in, puzzled that someone seems to have paid his hospital bills and left his knife for him. (Jang Goo, I say, but it will take a while before the proper reconciliation between UAJ and DJ team members.) He’s been testing out his cooking with his neighbourhood ajummas… lol. I’m getting fat just looking at his cooking.

He decides on a ginseng and beef dish that the ajummas all polished off, but one woman jars him with her protestation that beef is too expensive for her to enjoy but rarely, and with the ginseng the dish will be hors de prix altogether.

That night, driving Jin Soo home, he mentions the desire to cook something delicious without super expensive ingredients. He also mentions that he needs a new place to live soon, since his current building will be pulled down. He spends the night flipping through his book and memories.

In the morning, Jang Goo complains at Min Woo’s absence, while Joo Hee helps Bong Joo with the search for their sauce. In bursts Jin Soo, full steam ahead, with info for the times and stuff. She starts poking around and asking questions, then sheepishly pulls up and admits it’s her job infecting her mindset. (You know, I have a feeling that if Bong Joo lets go of his inferiority complex and everyone tries a little, they’d all get along very well.)

Bong Joo, tasting the new line of cream desserts, lights up as he and Joo Hee share in their discovery – of all the things that they’re missing, it’s the creamy buttery taste that they need to add to their chili sauce. Jin Soo just looks terribly aware of their couple moment.

Jin Soo, departing after tasting a belly-full of Un Ahm Jung’s best, overhears a drunk Min Woo griping. He’s drunk, so he lets slip about the plot to steal Sung Chan’s ingredients. Jin Soo is shocked.

End episode.


– Does ‘I love this show’ count? I don’t want to think too much, and it is getting muchos exciting.


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