Home > Korean Dramas > Gourmet Episode 17, recap

Gourmet Episode 17, recap

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

OMG. This is when all the cards show themselves. I’m so excited!

Also, does everyone have checkered family history here? I’m starting to feel a little bit abnormal to have this warm, loving family. Gah. Stop messing with my head, Gourmet.

Episode 17

Jin Soo is furious when she finds out about Director Han’s actions and shouts at her coworker, for lack of a better target. Sung Chan drives with all haste to find Jin Soo, but she’s taken a cab to Un Ahm Jung right under his eyes. Sung Chan tries to dial her phone number but his nimble fingers fail him this time (this is why you should have her on speed-dial, dude). Jin Soo picks up her phone and calls Joo Hee.

Un Ahm Jung is literally in turmoil as many of their bigger investors and supporters suddenly announce a withdrawal of support. Joo Hee arranges a meeting with Jin Soo outside of the restaurant (to avoid the ravenous media, I bet). Min Woo catches the end of her call and gets ideas about Jin Soo. Uh oh.

Jin Soo knows it’s her fault for not being careful enough with her ‘secret files’ and apologizes, and adds that if there’s anything she can do to help, she will. Joo Hee knows that the only strategy at the moment would be to weather the media storm, and she tells Jin Soo this.

Aha! Her real reason for meeting in a discreet cafe is to ask about the truth of the article: did Bong Joo really plot to hide Sung Chan’s ingredients? Is this why Sung Chan left?

Looking terribly conflicted, because she did promise Sung Chan not to talk about it anymore, Jin Soo quietly admits that it is true. Joo Hee looks like she receives a physical blow from this confirmation of her suspicions. Jin Soo’s concerned – with reason, as Joo Hee looks the green kind of pale. Anyway, when she hears that Sung Chan is in town, she hurries off to find him.

Ironically, now she’s standing in the very same spot Sung Chan did just this morning. Jin Soo’s fingers don’t have dialing dysfunction, and thus the call goes through, but Sung Chan’s not answering. He’s driven to the seaside and sits reflecting on his father’s words – that he’s always intended Un Ahm Jung for the imperial cook’s descendants. He also remembers Bong Joo’s shock and displeasure at the announcement. Meanwhile, Jin Soo is dying on the other side of the phone.

Poor Sung Chan is breaking his head trying to figure out what to do about the situation.

Jin Soo runs around town looking for Sung Chan, with limited success. Joo Hee returns to Un Ahm Jung, where more associates are cancelling their credit to Un Ahm Jung. Bong Joo is super frustrated, and Joo Hee goes to work, reassuring him that it’ll be alright. Bong Joo wants to know where she’s been, and Joo Hee joins the ranks of Those Who Are Really Bad At Lying.

Chef Oh walks up with a sheet of instructions and what to say for Sung Chan, and tells her to arrange matters with ‘reporter Kim’ (aka Jin Soo). Joo Hee reads the sheet and tells him Un Ahm Jung can’t afford for Sung Chan to say he was deceived, it’ll kill their credit and spell the end for Bong Joo’s projects, if not their restaurant. Chef Oh, however, is stubborn, and will not be swayed.

Jin Soo continues to look for Sung Chan, with info from Suk Dong that he always goes near a red-coloured bridge to reflect (so she looks for him near all the red bridges. Oh, Jin Soo.) When she finds him, it’s nearly sunset. Their meeting is very tense, but at least it’s also honest.

Jin Soo: What are you doing?
Sung Chan:
*looks at her in disbelief and, I believe, hurt*
JS: Why didn’t you answer your phone? I spent the entire day looking for you!
SC: Is there something else you wanted to dig up? You know everything already, I have no more secrets for you.
JS: Sung Chan…
SC: Pretending to be on my side, pretending to be my friend, pretending to understand me, spending time with me, was it all for this? You have admirable journalistic fervour, I admit it. You’ll make a great reporter. You can be a part of the formal staff and write taste columns now. Be happy with that.
JS: Just once… can’t you believe, just for one time, that it was a mistake? When the article came out we were together, fishing and picking peaches. You never thought for one moment that I may have also been a victim?
SC: Even now you…! Why should I?
JS: In your heart, I am the kind of person who would do that to you?
SC: What kind of relationship do you think we have? You made a mistake. We won’t work together, you and I. So let’s not meet in the future. You and I, the ‘us’ stops here.

He walks away. Awwwwwwww. Someone give Jin Soo a puppy. And a hug. And a huge chocolat fondant. Dammit, I hate it when she cries.

Even when Sung Chan drives away, he keeps looking back to where she is. And Jin Soo just watches the truck disappear.

At night, she can’t go to sleep because she’s too busy crying – she wants to apologize, and didn’t even get the words out before he left. The camera focuses on the wilting wildflower chain on her dresser, obviously cherished like it’s made out of gold. She goes back under the covers to continue crying.

Sung Chan meets with Bong Joo, who wants him to tell everyone that he told Jin Soo to say those thins in retaliation for losing the beef contest (thus making the two people telling the truth take the fall, ha, not going to happen, Bong Joo, you’re in a drama). Sung Chan can’t stomach the lying on such an epic scale, and is also flabberghasted at the extent his brother has changed. Bong Joo reiterates that it’s the only way to go, because if Sung Chan did as chef Oh wants, then the restaurant would be in Sung Chan’s hands (frankly, don’t see what’s so bad about that).

He adds that Sung Chan doesn’t have the ability to be able to manage Un Ahm Jung (yeah, right). Sung Chan accurately translates his brother’s words: “I don’t want to lose my stranglehold on Un Ahm Jung, so get out of my sight.”

Sung Chan isn’t going to leave his beloved restaurant in the hands of someone like that and refuses Bong Joo’s order. (Aha, the look on BJ’s face!) He claims Un Ahm Jung as his own, and will run it honourably – he also plans to make Bong Joo’s actions public. Ouch.

The next day, Jin Soo’s friend tells Director Han that Jin Soo is here. When he hears, he looks like he’s furiously praying to heaven that she’ll spare him or something. She’s packing up. When he tries to act like everything’s normal, she confronts him and leaves. He thinks he’s doing his job as a reporter, Jin Soo thinks he was being unforgivably nosy.

When she’s strolling (more like sleepwalking) on the streets, Jin Soo spots newspapers announcing Sung Chan’s upcoming press conference. The lawyer faxes Joo Hee the prepared speech for the conference, but cautions her that reporters can prove more deadly than stockholders.

Min Woo bursts into Bong Joo’s motionless office, demanding to know what’s going on – he’s also in danger, actually, as Sung Chan harbours no love for him. He also lets slip that Joo Hee probably knows what went on already, as she’s met with Jin Soo.

For that night’s date, Joo Hee finds Bong Joo already there, about three sheets to the wind with his bottle of brandy (?) half gone. She starts talking about the day’s efforts with banks and branch heads, but he cuts her off with a cryptic query – does she understand his actions, from the very beginning. He goes on to say that as long as understands him, he’s okay with whatever outcome there is. (HA.)

He’s in pain, blah blah, trapped, blah. I have no sympathy, sorry.

Sung Chan is getting ready for a sleepless night in his truck/cot when Joo Hee calls him. She carries out dual duty as Bong Joo’s general manager as well as secretary to chef Oh, so she gives him what he’s supposed to say the next day. She apologizes for treating him the way she did before, as she didn’t know what he was going through, but tells him that if he goes ahead with what he plans, Un Ahm Jung may never recover.

Her face is contorted in her concern but Sung Chan looks down and walks away with the paper. Oi.

The next morning, hordes of people descend upon the conference room. Joo Hee anxiously awaits Sung Chan’s appearance. When everyone is seated and anxious, he makes an appearance wearing his trademark casual clothes and totes a backpack. (A backpack! At a presscon! It’s like he just got out of high school.)

He begins speaking:

Hello, I’m Lee Sung Chan. It wasn’t my intention to speak here, like this. I regret that. However, since you are all gathered here, I might as well as speak the truth.

Here both chef Oh and Joo Hee look strained, because (I’m guessing) he’s not speaking from the pre-arranged draft at all.

It’s true that I am the royal chef’s descendant. That part of the report is the truth. However, the rest of the article published by Point magazine is not. I left the position of heir of my own free will. My father and older brother arranged the competition so I would inherit the restaurant. When I realized this, I abandoned my position and left Un Ahm Jung. To me, the heir of royal chef is a heavy duty, one that has no appeal for me. I like how my life is right now.

Chef Oh looks heartbroken. Bong Joo is all astonishment. Joo Hee is sad.

Like it says on this presscon brief, it is still the intention of my brother and father to make me the director of the restaurant. But I disagree. I think, like I always did, that the person best fit for the position is my brother.

Here Bong Joo closes his eyes. Joo Hee looks on the verge of tears.

As for the rumours published for truth, they have no basis in reality. All the ugly aspersions on Un Ahm Jung about the competition are false, and I hope that such attacks will cease in the future.

Min Woo’s underling looks gratified.

Well, it is the strict truth. Disaster temporarily averted.

Sung Chan leaves without answering any of the reporter’s questions. DIrector Han is like one of those bulldogs – he doesn’t let go, and instructs Jin Soo’s friend to find her.

Joo Hee and Sung Chan have a painful parting on the rather inglorious sideroads of Un Ahm Jung.

In a fast-food eatery, Jin Soo is astonished by the faux-revelations. Her friend hands her the candid shot she did in the dark with Sung Chan, but Jin Soo departs in a hurry, without even eating her food, wow. It turns out she’s going to a restaurant to meet with Sung Chan – remember when he told her to wait for him at a certain place at 12 in a week?

She waits for a super long time. Jin Soo ends up crying into her (super yummy-looking) beef noodle soup. The shot’s a bit crooked, but that’s because they want us to see that Sung Chan’s been parked there in his truck way before she even arrived. As she looks up, he drives away.

Sung Chan goes back to his life on the road, peddling fruits and veggies. (Portable propane flasks and cup ramen are his friends.) It’s still a lonely existance. He goes in search of Suk Dong and ends up on the southernmost end of the peninsula. At least there he’s greeted rapturously.

Ja Woon is consoling chef Oh, who misses his other son something fierce. They’re both grateful that he cares so much for Un Ahm Jung.

Suk Dong is pissed off that Sung Chan passed the opportunity to take control of Un Ahm Jung again. (It’s not like a soccer ball, hyung!) The other convinces him to continue pursuing his education as a chef, but Suk Dong has got the hate of Un Ahm Jung into his bones now. He will consider it if Sung Chan returns too, however. 😀 Being together with the outspoken and exuberant Suk Dong does make him feel better about this whole sorry mess.

They enjoy some accidental water sports. And then Suk Dong feeds Sung Chan fresh seawater produce (man, my stomach wants some too). It’s nice to see Sung Chan relax around someone.

Life at Un Ahm Jung goes on, and the stockholders have all settled down. Director Jang visits with other luminaries, and mentions that this year’s Korean Gourmet Association has a difficult topic: “Anticipated happiness.” (You can just see the wheels turning in Bong Joo’s head.) If he participates, he’ll be going against two other restaurants, and if he wins, Director Jang will provide him with funds to expand. (Again? He shouldn’t trust this guy.)

But all is not well. Min Woo and Jang Goo are always in minor conflict with everyone, while Joo Hee and Bong Joo are drifting apart – first of all, she doesn’t think Bong Joo should be allowed to boss Un Ahm Jung around, and second, she doesn’t agree with how Bong Joo handled the last crisis at all. He is bitter too, suggesting that she won’t be satisfied until Sung Chan has everything Bong Joo has right now.

He accuses her of not really supporting him and of lying to him. (False on both counts, unfortunately for him.) She’s hurt at his harsh words and runs away to cry by herself in the back yard (pretty and very artistic, but it’s still the restaurant’s backyard).

Sung Chan is giving the protesting Suk Dong a bath – the way people without proper plumbing do it – by hand. (OH GOD. My slash sensors went haywire over this episode.) He sees Suk Dong’s granny receiving a package from the mailman but hiding it. (Hee, the family issues again.) Anyway, Suk Dong offers a permanent spot for Sung Chan at his house – fishing in the day and planting corn… also in the day.


Suk Dong says, “Do you know when I first started liking you?” (ARE THEY FRACKEN SERIOUS?)

He recounts when he was new on the staff and hungered after the yummy stuff cooked at Un Ahm Jung (you’re not alone, Suk Dong), but would always get beaten if they caught him taking bits here and there. One night, Sung Chan calls him out and gives him a nice big feast. He even wipes the corners of Suk Dong’s mouth, taking care to avoid the bruises.

Sung Chan does not stop his mantra of encouraging Suk Dong to keep cooking, but the other guy has another task now – to find the mother who left when he was 7, to support him. (His father died at sea.) He wants to find her before he enlists in the military. (Finally a mention of this oft-avoided subject in dramas.)

Suk Dong goes all puppy-faced.

The next morning, Sung Chan wakes up super early to find granny sitting amidst a bunch of packages. He sees that it’s from Suk Dong’s mother, and goes out to find him.

OMG JOO HEE WHAT. She’s … visiting Sung Chan with a large package, omg, has she quit her job??

But it’s another turn for the near miss – she doesn’t see him driving into the cargohold of a boat bound for another island.

End episode.


– Note to self, do not write recaps for Gourmet near lunchtime. Your stomach will make itself known in embarrassing ways.

– It’s like Bong Joo’s just got this huge blind spot when it comes to Un Ahm Jung. Anything else and any other time he’s nice and smiley, but threaten his hold on Un Ahm Jung and boom! You’d think the world was ending.


  1. ...
    Friday, August 15, 2008 at 9:00 am

    lol! thanks for the recap!

  1. Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 9:17 am

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