“In my kitchen, no women!”: Pasta Episode 2

Posted on: February 7, 2010

The head chef from hell is back. Reigning superiority in all 4 corners of the kitchen. Gosh, if someone could strip his ugly veneer and reveals what is eating at him all this time.


Sidetrack: After much fruitful searching, I have found out the title of the cooking programme Sae Young is hosting is Table Of Chef.

Now for the real deal.

The episode started on where it left off, at the pedestrian crossing. The face-off ensued and the strangely even-tempered side of Hyun Wook appeared once again. I have no idea what in the world is going on.

Anyway, Yoo Kyung proceeds with her life by spending the night downing glasses of Soju. She must have skipped the street fare as she stopped for a couple of instances to throw up along the sidewalks after. Then, she ran into Kim San. No clue as to how he coincidentally bumped into her; unless he was stalking her all that time.

Again, the Kdrama coincidences are flaring up.

He probes her about her heavy drinking and questions the reason behind it. “Were you fired?” Oddly, she struggles to keep her pride intact when she is around Kim San, unlike the countless of times she would appear in La Sfera despite her being fired by Hyun Wook multiple times. More on that later.

He decides to end his playful interrogation and lightens the mood by getting her “clean up after her puke”. She seems slightly more at peace and satisfied with herself for the rebuttals and casual talk.

At the time when the women were in their drunken stupor and sauntering along the sidewalk, Sae Young is once again featured — now pounding a treadmill. Then, a blast from the past reveals a tiny slice of her history with Hyun Wook. Hmmm, I wonder if he has any conscience for firing canoodling kitchen staff…

Thereafter, Hyun Wook walks into the same fitness center (24 hour gym. I. Am. In. Love.) after Sae Young has left. Eh.

This is yet to up the ante of weirdness. Kim San appears before Sae Young (Again! His first was at her book signing session.) at that hour of the night. My mind just trailed off the time when Hyun Wook mentioned that a woman meeting a man at such a late hour is to “sleep together”.

God how this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Ok, so maybe he was not stalking Yoo Kyung but dropping by to visit Sae Young as he was informed of her whereabouts? In any case… Don’t these people sleep?!

Tweet tweet went the little birdie by the window sill. It is morning! Hyun Wook arrived at work bright and early, pleased at himself of getting rid of her other sex in his workplace. Ah, the sweet sweet taste of victory and misogyny. Lingering, savoring.

Ah! Hyun Wook had a rude shock when he swung open the door to his locker. Yoo Kyung has taken residence in it, claiming it is the roomiest of them all. She pleas and whimpers a “I want to make pasta”. Honestly, this is when Hyun Wook is seriously pushing his character to its limits. “Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!” Never mind his unfriendly demeanor in the kitchen and his misogyny antics. What annoy me in the constant need to punctuate every sentence with a yell. I mean, for goodness’ sake. I CAN HEAR YOU. No need to scream to exhibit your superiority in the work place. I could go on all day with his actions…

Thankfully, but with little salvage to his annoying character portrayal, he nurses Yoo Kyung’s cramped legs. I like how he switches in and out of his head chef and civilian role. Being from care-less to caring. But still. The bad boy temper has to go. Pronto.

In a flurry of events, Hyun Wook calls for a change in the day’s recommended specials. This sends the restaurant out of total control, causing the kitchen staff fumble and a horrible backlog of orders. The waitstaff has even screwed up the specials. Nothing will do. Will La Sfera survive past today?!

Fear not! Hyun Wook called for back-up. Apparently, they are some sidekicks of his, a plan he devised from time immemorial. If he was taking over the kitchen, he was going to do it a lady at a time, then drive the male staff nuts to leave too.

After cries of “Si, va bene!” (also known as “Yes, Chef!”), the 3 sidekicks kicked into action as soon as they hit the frying pans. God how these professional know-hows made Yoo Kyung cower into silence. Her dignity is running thin, but it is apparent from the furrow of her brows that she is persevering to the very end. Whether he likes it or not.

You go girl!

Ah, the boys take a night out. By boys, I meant the newbies, head chef and new kitchen assistant. Oh wait, he just promoted the kitchen assistant to an assistant pasta chef 3 days after he started work. Injust! Yoo Kyung slaved for 3 years before getting to the place she is in now! (Technically, she is fired but I like to think of her as an assistant pasta chef. Let’s face it, the new kitchen assistant has A LOT to learn.) The boys sipped on their beers and pondered over the current situation. I am glad one of the newbies spoke up on women’s tenacity to hack the demanding work environment but Hyun Wook decidedly turns a deaf ear to the matter.

How angsty.

In parallel, the other male kitchen staff sits down for a meal at another restaurant. I like how this 2 rivaling camp in the kitchen is going on. All the challenges and aggravation. Oh, the men sure know how to fist-fight their way to righteousness and that is what I am waiting for!

Back at La Sfera, Yoo Kyung holds a pity party for herself while slurping on pasta. She assures herself that her cooking standard is qualifying to serve at a customers’ table. You can see she really wants the opportunity to showcase her budding talent. Oh dear…

Round 497 of in-your-face you-don’t-belong-here drama between Hyun Wook and Yoo Kyung. I admire her sheer determination. If I were her, I would have huddled in a corner of a dingy apartment with a box of tissue paper and cry myself to sleep night after night, till I grow sore from it. Despite the adversities, she insistently reports for work and Hyun Wook ignores her every step of the way.

Oh, also she made up her mind to fill the new position as a kitchen assistant.

Bother, bother, bother.

After that, the newbies cordially introduced themselves to the existing crew and failed. The latter is clearly displeased with the new management as the sous chef approaches Yoo Kyung with some words of advice, “You heard him, leave! Leave if you still have some pride in you. Even a 3 year old knows how to kick up a fuss when a toy is being snatched from him.” She remains transfixed and speechless.

Later, Kim San pops out from nowhere, demanding for a delivery of pasta personally cooked by Yoo Kyung herself during the restaurant’s prep time. Sensing something amiss, he probes her about her job at the restaurant. Finally, she admits to being fired. However, he goes on to press her for an Al Olio. Initially uncertain, she caves in and resolutely makes her way to the kitchen to prepare the portions. A waitstaff tries his best to talk her out of it but to no avail.

Just in time, Hyun Wook also pops out of nowhere and takes up the challenge to prepare the best Al Olio for delivery. If he loses, he will resign. If she loses, she gets out of his kitchen. For real. The battle ensues and the two chops, fries, shows off some culinary acrobatics and viola! Out spun 2 plates of Al Olio. Only difference? Hyun Wook’s was gracefully kept warm by a silver food cover while Yoo Kyung, by a chinese noodles take-out delivery box. She snagged it from her father’s noodle shop.

In a painful submission: Hyun Wook 1, Yoo Kyung 0.

The two race to the finish line with their take-out methods and arrive at the office building. Eh, no good is going to come out of this delivery. Sae Young was about to share an on-screen time with Hyun Wook. After that flashback, I think the two are better apart for now…

Back to the pasta, a waitstaff who accompanied them lifted the cover of Hyun Wook’s dish, only to reveal a magnificently twirled and towering Al Olio. At the meantime, Yoo Kyung busied herself by presenting her plate of plain pasta tossed with oil and sauce on-site.

Presentation-wise: Hyun Wook 2,  Yoo Kyung 0.

Everything hit a downward spiral thereafter as Hyun Wook’s Al Olio had way more strengths than Yoo Kyung’s. Furthermore, I have to agree that fine dining pays more attention to presentation than how the food actually tastes, so with that, Yoo Kyung noodle toss seemed off-putting and much too household for the fine diner.

Hyun Wook won the bet.

Once again, he raises his voice at the end of his statement: “In my kitchen, no women!” God, has the man ever heard of full stops?

In a finality, Yoo Kyung drops to her knees as Hyun Wook leaves in an elevator by himself, more frustrated than content. Sae Young and Kim San worriedly looks on from a distance.

Indeed, no rest for the wicked.


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