Home > Korean Dramas > Gourmet Episode 19, recap

Gourmet Episode 19, recap

Thursday, August 28, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s been a while since I posted about Gourmet, yeah? Well, it looks like Un Ahm Jung’s going to close down after threatening to do it every two episodes or so. Wonder how they’re going to reconcile everybody… and in the case of Sung Chan and Bong Joo, whether they’ll reconcile at all.

Episode 19

Sung Chan is driving around, and we see him flashback to visiting various suppliers who give him their best produce. He’s taking care of himself and his truck, mostly availing himself of nature’s resources (and no soap in water source, good boy). Being a good cook really doesn’t hurt as he bachelors (is that even a word?) his way through life. I envy his ability to eat fresh veggie and have ramen every day.

As he eats, he thinks back to Joo Hee telling him about her engagement and Jin Soo’s partial innocence in the circumstances. Food for thought, yep.

Sung Chan brings in a prime watermelon for Jin Soo, at her workplace, only to discover that she quit her job. As a matter of fact, she’s waitressing  at the place she and Sung Chan were scheduled to meet. She hears Sung Chan’s shouts for customers outside the shop and totally loses her ability to concentrate on her tasks.

Jin Soo comes out to look, but she walks back to work after hearing him sell ‘Jin Soo’ watermelons. She’s angry at being played around with, while her boss makes the connection.

Chef Oh visits the hospital on the sly. Joo Hee awaits him anxiously as she is about to leave for work. (I love how everyone lives on the Un Ahm Jung compound, but on the other hand the cabin fever must get intense at times.) The old man was expected to go, but he has decided to stay.

Apparently this trip is super important, and chef Oh wants Joo Hee to tell Sung Chan on the phone before she leaves.

Lol. Sung Chan walks into the restaurant, pretending that the rain has chased him from his duties as veggie seller. He orders beef broth, which Jin Soo serves to him after prodding and with a vengeance. Before he can apologize, another one of those bad-timing drama moments come – Joo Hee calls Sung Chan, who answers in Jin Soo’s hearing range. The girl stomps off, bad temper renewed.

Joo Hee thanks Sung Chan for the gift of abalone and tells him that thanks to him, the banquet was a success. She adds that chef Oh wants to see him. Sung Chan glances at Jin Soo’s back (she’s probably viciously scrubbing some poor dish) and sits back down. I find it so cute he can’t talk to her while sitting down.

Living on the road must have perfected his food-shoveling skills. (On the other hand, he’s a boy. Nvmd.) Sung Chan quickly finishes the food he’s ordered while muttering that the call came at a bad time. Joo Hee takes out tickets for her boat trip and looks at it fondly. (If she likes SC that much, then she should take the leap. Otherwise, stop torturing yourself with what you can’t have.)

Unfortunately, Jin Soo takes this momentary silence on Sung Chan’s part to be a confirmation of their ‘strangers’ status, and leaves work early. Her boss is confuzzled.

Well, we knew Sung Chan was a determined boy. He parks his truck outside her apartment building and stares up at her lit balcony. (Um, I know he’s one of those really nice guys, but this is still going into stalking territory.) He flashes back to Jin Soo’s boss – also a friend – talking to him: What did you do to her? She came back everyday to cry in the beef soup. It was terrible.

(Aww. Jin Soooooo, I’ll give you a hug.)

Just as he’s about to go in, Jin Soo turns her light off.

Bong Joo and Joo Hee host the opening of Un Ahm Jung’s new location, attended by many many important people in the restaurant business. (Including Director Jang of the assholey ‘tude.) The new location (besides having been built super duper fast) is glitzy and shiny. Bong Joo also fairly glows with pride.

(Is Joo Hee going to become one of those submissive, unhappy wives? I’d prefer for her to remain single, in that case.)

Chef Oh walks to where Sung Chan enthusiastically hawks his (admittedly superb) merchandise to happy ajummas. Chef Oh walks happily forward, calling to Sung Chan. (I guess he’s decided that if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain will have to shift its feet and come to Mohammed.) He suggests a place to drive to, and Sung Chan agrees.

Switch to expensive plates and bite-sized food that looks very colourful. It’s meant to be arty, but all I can think of is that iceberg lettuce is baaaaad. But hey, food porn. I can’t complain. (Well, I can, but I shall cook myself yummy things tomorrow morning.) Bong Joo does his foosplaining. (Food-explaining, get it?)

I laugh at the engrish, ha!

Bong Joo touts the value of mountain-grown ingredients, all natural, and thus giving off a refreshing taste. Yeah yeah, Director Jang, shut up.

Oho. Chef Oh is taking Sung Chan to the very mountain/region where all these good ingredients come from. He wants to go fishing together. (Aww, such a father-son activity.)

Dear girl Jin Soo is loltastic in her fury. She’s a sort of super-waitress who can handle three plates and two full garbage bags. The restaurant owner is so evil – in a good way. When Sung Chan calls about the fish he delivered earlier for the owner’s daughter, who just gave birth, the owner requests more. He tries to get the two lovebirds to reconcile by sending Jin Soo to collect the fish from Sung Chan. Yeah, that’s not going to work…

So Jin Soo takes the bus to the remote town where Sung Chan and papa are happily fishing trout. In a way, this is more than a social call. By dragging Sung Chan out here, he gets him alone, in a place where he can’t run away. Chef Oh is concerned for Sung Chan’s future, as he worries (correctly, I think) the income is not enough to support his son in the long run.

The two cross paths with much awkwardness. 😀 Jin Soo is so annoyed when she discovers that her mysterious fish supplier is Sung Chan. The three do some fishing, and chef Oh spends some fun time with his son (and daughter-in-law, don’t hit me).

Bong Joo is teeing off with Director Jang, who is a two-faced snob whose only saving grace is money. Humph.

Sung Chan’s reckless driving lands the truck in the roadside and the fish on the ground. A woman rushes up angrily and scolds them for spoiling such precious fish.

As it happens, the old lady is an absolute genius when it comes to cooking trout. (I’m not sure about the fish acupuncture, but sure. Whatever works for the writers.)

They taste her fish broth with some doubt, since trout is best served raw or heavily spiced (in their experience, anyway). However, it’s absolutely delicious. Sung Chan makes a deal with the old woman – if he can duplicate the taste, then Jin Soo goes back to her old job as a journalist.

It’s not as easy as it looks, because the soup has a hidden spicy taste that is difficult to capture. Sung Chan tries raw garlic, green onion root, chili peppers without the seeds, etc, but is shot down. She tells him to stop cooking, as he can’t even take care of basic ingredients. (Fierce lady, that one.) Voila!

Back at a resort/hotel of Director Jang’s, Joo Hee and Bong Joo enjoy the Disneyland-esque landscaping. Bong Joo finds out that his father’s gone to visit Sung Chan.

He realizes that the taste of the water used to make the fish broth comes from a local spring. Sung Chan receives recognition from the old lady for finally having got it right. She also remarks to chef Oh when he isn’t around that Sung Chan is the same as a younger chef Oh – he wouldn’t rest until he could cook the best taste of anything.

Jin Soo is pretending indifference, but she’s really quite touched that he would got to such lengths just to get her old job back.

Back at Un Ahm Jung, Min Woo’s undercook is out checking sauces, but all of them have gone off. He brings samples of each to Min Woo, who is busy cooking and not at all concerned. He’s called away to meet with a Japanese VIP, who congratulates Un Ahm Jung on their recent success at the Korean Gourmet Association… but he’s iffy on the taste of Un Ahm Jung’s kimchi too.

Chef Oh (sneaky!) suggests that the two have a cooking contest, much as he did in his younger days with the old woman. (Both the young people think they were romantically involved in their youth, but if they did, they’re keeping mum.)

Well, this one is relatively straightforward. Sung Chan chops a fish in half and deep-fries pieces of the fish while arranging them in a scale pattern on the remaining half. The old lady makes a nicely appointed salad with raw fish slices, steamed black rice and various veggies.

The locals (lucky them) are judging the taste – Sung Chan’s fish flakes with what looks like soy-based sauce, and the ajumma’s with spicy sauce. Surprisingly, the ajumma’s sauce tastes off and Sung Chan is declared the winner.

The two receive tickets to the local amusement park, and spend a day of fun there.

Hmm. As suspected, the old woman did it on purpose so she would lose. Nice of her to give the kids some time to get together and resolve their issues. She cooks the real version for chef Oh. He guesses correctly that she didn’t put vinegar in the sauce.

Ahh, kiddies, enjoy your lives.

Jin Soo manages to drag Sung Chan on a calbe ride all the way to the top of the mountain. In the car, she discovers gleefully that he has a fear of heights. The scenery at the top makes up for it, I guess.

Sung Chan twigs on to the fact that his dad wanted him to come because he wanted him to see that there were other good cooks who exist in the world.

He also tries to patch things up between himself and Jin Soo.

SC: I’m not good at expressing myself… all this time I’ve been hiding my regret and guilt.
JS: Under those circumstances it’s entirely possible that I would have misunderstood too. As long as we take the time to explain what’s going on.
SC: You came all the way to see me but I let you leave empty-handed…
JS: But… I don’t understand what type of person you are… I can’t figure you out at all.
SC: Ah, the thing with Joo Hee
(he uses her official title, not her name) is complicated, it’s like –
JS: Oh no! I didn’t mean to ask! It’s okay, I don’t want to know.

She turns to leave and then Sung Chan grabs her hand. She’s shocked and Sung Chan is shy, but it’s a moment anyway.

Sung Chan: I’m afraid of heights. Can I hold your hand on the way down?


Back at Un Ahm Jung, an army of cooks and undercooks are packing up packets of kimchi for delivery. Min Woo tastes one but the flavour is off – without Bong Joo and chef Oh here, he can’t solve the problem – rather, he doesn’t know how to. Jang Goo, unaware, hurries things along. The two top chefs drive off to wherever they’re delivering the kimchi.

Bong Joo waits for Joo Hee but takes her off for non-business purposes. It’s a huge, well-appointed hall – Director Jang has agreed to lend the hall for their engagement ceremony. Joo Hee has reservations. She’s interrupted by a call from their client, hurrying them there.

The ticket for the ferry at the island falls out of her bag. Bong Joo mistakenly leaps to conclusions. He’s hurt (or overthinking) at her doing things behind his back. I mean, he complains that they’re making him pitiful, but they’re both just helping him, and it was an accident, but noooo Mr. Tragic Life has to make a huge deal out of it.

Then Bong Joo receives bad news about a refusal from the committee. So not in a good mood.

As Bong Joo and Joo Hee come out of the hotel, argument and possible breakup looming over their heads, they come face to face with Sung Chan and Jin Soo, who are sort of in the opposite situation.

Older bro just breaks under the load of self-generated inferiority and starts to punch Sung Chan. Joo Hee tries to stop him, while Jin Soo just stands shocked. Sung Chan’s not exactly defenseless, but he’s never felt angry enough with his brother that he’s needed to fend him off – so when he snarls right back at Bong Joo, I was quite taken back. Good acting.

Interesting lineup.

End episode.


– It really bothered me when he was doing his fish-cook trials and he’d just dump the fish away if the taste didn’t work out. I mean, it is really expensive fish, and even if it wasn’t exactly like the old lady’s style, it’s still edible. Food wastage is bad!!

– Sung Chan reminds me of the prodigal son, except minus the whole gambling and losing money thing… and Bong Joo needs to get over himself, honestly. He would be doing much better if he stopped trying to prove himself to chef Oh and Joo Hee.

– Does anyone like Bong Joo? I don’t mean understand (I understand where he’s coming from and would cheerfully watch him get his comeuppance). I just want to know as an audience survery sort of thing.


  1. Rong
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    honestly speaking, i don’t like Bong Joo that much. but i think it is pure and simple brother rivalry and jealousy. think of it this way, he’s daddy’s biological son but yet daddy loves the other son (SC – son of daddy’s friend) more than him (BJ), in his opinion. despite it being a bit twisted, i think he’s quite reasonable in thinking that he needs to PROVE himself. face it, he’s insecure. haha!

    but then i really don’t understand Manager Eun (Joo Hee). her character is a bit unexplained in a way. i don’t understand why she has to stay with BJ if she already likes SC. cos of JS? can’t be right? if it is, then i can only say she doesn’t like SC as much as JS likes SC, who quit her job cos she knows staying in POINT just reminds her how she has hurt SC.

    BUT, i really love these episodic themes of each episode. so far, i love all the short stories, except SC’s undercook’s (abalone kid) story. i felt that there wasn’t enough expansion of the story. i loved the old lady with dementia who passed away, the knife-maker with gastric cancer and this episode’s old couple. hee. i love them most!!! =) these are the stories that kept me watching. or else, how can i depend on the romance story between SC and JS, when its development is slower than soap dramas… haha.

    two more weeks to the end. hope it gets even better. most importantly, BJ to wake up… ^_^

  2. tisyamey
    Friday, August 29, 2008 at 12:20 am

    i love the way you summarized the episode… you have a great sense of humor!!!
    i’ve always thought that this drama is going to be good, but i never expected myself to like it so much that it borderlines obsession…hehehehe… but since i’m a sucker for anything Kim Rae Won’s, it’s very likely that it’s not going to be the last time i’ll go crazy over any of his projects…

    thanks for the funny summary… i truly appreciate it because for a non-korean like me i depend on this tidbits to get the gist of the epis… thanks a lot!!!

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