Hello, everyone, and welcome to Pasta: Episode 8! As you’ve probably noticed, skimmy and I are having a blast recapping these episodes, and we’re glad you guys are enjoying it as much as we are!
In my personal opinion, this show certainly has the eye candy factor going on, and I feel a need to share.
SONG OF THE DAY
Clazziquai – “Chocolate Truffle” [ Download ]
Pasta: Episode 8
Episode seven ended with the “disgusting but adorable” conversation between Hyun Wook and Yoo Kyung. As skimmy pointed out in her recap, the two go back into their apartments much happier.
The next day, someone far less happy goes to La Sfera to pay the new president a visit. It’s Mr. Ev-ul himself, former President Seol. San berates Seol for not only pocketing so much money, but for making the “weakest Seo Yoo Kyung” his scapegoat. Seol insists he’s already returned the money, but that’s not enough. San wants him to apologize to Yoo Kyung. Seol says he will do it. (Although I don’t really believe him, do you?) Finally, he gets to the real reason for his visit. (How many people were expecting him to ask for his job back?) Seol wants San to buy insurance from him, and ask the kitchen staff to purchase as well. Hmmm….the sneaky former president is now an insurance salesman? Is anyone else enjoying the irony?
San then receives another visitor, one he is probably happier about seeing. Yoo Kyung comes to ask if he is the one who had been putting the cactus pictures on her locker. He denies it. (Does anyone actually believe him?) Yoo Kyung then issues a warning:
Don’t get too close to me. Don’t do anything to create misunderstanding in front of the Chef. Understand? If I have a president to back me up, I’ll make him do lots of things for me. But if you don’t have that ability, don’t get too close to me. And don’t make it seem like you’re backing me.
San is quite amused by this (probably not the reaction she was going for.) He responds, “I’ll do that! I’ll back you! Just name it. I’ll be your back; what else do you want me to do?” A now slightly confused Yoo Kyung leaves San’s office, musing, “What a strange man.”
Time for La Sfera to re-open for business!
Team Italy and the kitchen assistant are unloading the truck that has delivered the very expensive ingredients for a big VIP dinner the restaurant is to hold as its reintroduction. Team Korea is noticeably absent from the hard labor. It is rather amusing how the Team Italy boys will take what they can carry and go on their way, but when the kitchen assistant tries to do that, Hyun Wook stops him and piles more ingredients into his arms. Yoo Kyung arrives to help with the delivery, and Hyun Wook treats her much the same way. She picks up some rather small boxes that she can easily carry when the Head Chef reminds her she is in charge of the clam pasta, therefore, she is responsible for bringing the rather heavy bag of clams into the kitchen. Ji hoon comes out of the restaurant in time to see her struggling with her load, and relieves her of it, despite her protests. If she had just accepted his help quietly, Hyun Wook may not have noticed, but he does, and is not happy that her busy sunbaes can’t get anything done because they are helping her. He is about to levy his punishment, a finger flick to the forehead, when his phone rings. Hearing Sae Young’s voice on the other end, the now irritated chef dismisses Yoo Kyung, who grabs two more small boxes and hurries inside.
Sae Young is being particularly pushy and annoying, telling Hyun Wook, “It’s been so long since darling and I have been in the same kitchen. I’m a little nervous.” (Me: *vomits*) Samsooki had quite an appropriate nickname for the second female lead in City Hall: “Smirky Evil.” I want to borrow that phrase for Sae Young, only she’s more annoying than she is evil, so I think I’m going to go with “Smirky Annoying” for this one. I hope samsooki doesn’t mind!
Back in the chef’s locker room, Team Italy is graciously acknowledging Team Korea’s success in the recipe completion. Team Korea, hence forward will now be known as Team Whiner, is not accepting the praise like good team players should. The Sous Chef comes in and starts babbling about how the kitchen is not a place for personal glory, and how, “It is a place where we unite, a place where we help each other out and make a living together.” He then presents them with information about a “new chef” competition. He tells them they are all qualified. There will only be on team representative for each restaurant, so he warns them not to tell the others. He calls that teamwork?
Yoo Kyung walks into the kitchen to find Hyun Wook working on his antler fish liver foie gras. She asks if she can taste it, he says, “No.” She asks if she can help, he says, “No.” She then asks if she can have the rest of the antler fish for her fish ball pasta, he once again says, “No.” He puts me in mind of a kindergartener keeping his prized possession away from the girl that he likes. It’s almost cute.
Former president Seol meets with the unnies to discuss the chance of coming back to work at La Sfera. Um, get over it already people. Three of you were fired, one of you voluntarily quit. I think it’s time to go find other jobs. Seol, giving false hope to the unnies, lies about his meeting with San. He claims that he told San to fire Hyun Wook, and thinks Hyun Wook won’t last at La Sfera through the end of the year. (Me: Good God, get over yourselves people. La Sfera isn’t the only restaurant in Korea!)
In a seemingly meaningless bit, Eun Soo, the kitchen assistant, goes into the freezer to ogle the expensive ingredients. When he comes out, he has quite some trouble opening the freezer door. He makes it out of the freezer without incident, but doesn’t tell anyone about faulty safety latch on the inside of the freezer. (This guy isn’t too bright, is he?)
Even while the kitchen staff is preparing dinner for their current guests, Hyun Wook is giving orders for early preparations for the VIP event the next day. He orders Eun Soo, Yoo Kyung, and Ji Hoon to stay after and handle the necessary tasks. Oh, to be stuck in a restaurant after hours with Ji Hoon! Where do I sign up?
While this is going on, San comes in with some interesting news. Somehow he had gotten the impression that Sae Young and Hyun Wook had discussed her coming into the kitchen to prepare her winning dish. (Wonder where he got this mistaken idea? Ms. Smirky Annoying herself?) Everyone is surprised that another Executive Chef will be coming into the kitchen. Team Italy is the first to speak up, comparing a kitchen with two chefs to an orchestra with two conductors. Team Whiner also speaks up, continuing the metaphor and questioning who the orchestra will be expected to listen too. San, either not hearing or not caring about their arguments says, “The restaurant has already closed for three days. Yet all of you are still not prepared to accept any major restructuring.” I’m thinking San isn’t being very smart right here. You’d think he’d listen to what his kitchen staff has to say, especially when for once, they are all finally in agreement!
Smirky Annoying walks into the kitchen, and in her annoyingly smirky way asks everyone to take care of her, and not to chase her out simply because someone won’t tolerate a female presence in his kitchen. I’m thinking maybe it’s not so much a female presence as it so much an annoying presence. She then goes on to promise to listen to the Executive Chef and do just as he says. She asks him where she should stand (a different kitchen?) and when he doesn’t answer, decides to stand where she wants. Right next to Hyun Wook, who immediately leaves, asking for a discussion with San.
In Hyun Wook’s office, the men have a face off. Hyun Wook wonders if San is trying to run him off. San counters that it is just the introduction of the new dish. The dish that, he, Hyun Wook, chose. San asks if Hyun Wook has no confidence in his kitchen. Hyun Wook says it isn’t his kitchen. His kitchen would never have two executive chefs. Then, San makes what is probably the lamest argument ever when he says, “Even if there are two executive chefs, you’ll still be the Head Chef.” (Me: WTF?) Clearly, neither man has successfully made his case to the other one, but Hyun Wook has one more argument to make. In the middle of the dinner rush, he leaves.
Hyun Wook spends the evening at a rather skeezy looking night club while the kitchen falls into shambles. The cute Head Waiter comes in to find out why there is a delay on certain orders. The Sous Chef is unsuccessfully barking orders and the kitchen staff keeps messing orders up. This is just not a good reopening night for La Sfera all around. Shouldn’t the Sous Chef be able to effectively handle the kitchen when the Head Chef is unavailable? I mean, what if he wasn’t just being a spoiled brat? What if he was sick or something? Regardless, the kitchen is a mess. Team Italy has a brief discussion as to who is at fault. Ji Hoon believes Sae Young is a jinx, while Philip blames the Head Chef for letting her be the winner in the first place.
In an attempt to save the day, Yoo Kyung ducks into the freezer and calls Hyun Wook. (I’m amazed she can get such a strong cell signal in that freezer…we sure can’t in the coolers and freezers at my store!) Hyun Wook has no interest in returning to La Sfera, and asks Yoo Kyung to come out and play.
Hyun Wook receives another phone call. This one he chooses to ignore. It’s Sae Young, who looks quite perturbed to be connected to voice mail. Ha! I love that he answers when it’s Yoo Kyung and ignores when it’s Smirky Annoying!
After the chaos of the dinner rush has ended, San strolls into the kitchen to find Yoo Kyung busily preparing for tomorrow’s big VIP dinner. She is the only one still following the instructions the Head Chef had given before he disappeared. I guess Ji Hoon and Eun Soo decided they didn’t need to stay since the Head Chef had left. San informs Yoo Kyung that the Head Chef may never come back. She defends Hyun Wook, saying “He’s the type who will come running back to the kitchen to ensure that everything is okay. At times when he’s worried that I’ll not perform my best, he will come back just to lecture me.” San asks her, “It’s officially my first day as boss. Aren’t you worried about me?” She says nothing, so I assume that means she is not worried.
Yoo Kyung heads over to the skeezy night club and tries to convince Hyun Wook to come back to work. He has no interest in listening to her “nagging,” so he tries desperately to get her to join him for some fun. Neither one is willing to give in, so finally, Hyun Wook just asks her to leave.
Yoo Kyung heads back to La Sfera to finish her preparations. As she is moving the food back into the freezer, she eventually gets locked in by the defective door handle. She searches frantically for her cell phone (which we know gets great service in the freezer), only to notice she left it out in the kitchen.
On his way home from the bar, Hyun Wook stops in front of La Sfera and debates whether or not to go inside. Was anyone else yelling at the computer screen: Go inside, Chef! Go inside! He doesn’t listen to me, and decides not to go in. (Why don’t these Kdrama characters ever listen to me? It’s like they can’t hear me or they don’t speak English or something….)
With no one to help her, Yoo Kyung wanders around the freezer, desperately trying to figure out what to do. She watches helplessly as her cell phone receives a call. It’s San, who, upon getting her voicemail, probably just assumes she’s ignoring him. Yoo Kyung tries to form a makeshift shelter for herself out of old boxes and Styrofoam. It is not enough to protect her from the cold. Finally, she finds the switches that control the temperature of the freezer. She holds a debate with herself as to whether or not she should shut the freezer down and thus causing all of the food to be ruined.
The next morning, Hyun Wook stops by Smirky Annoying’s apartment, and she is just oh so excited to receive a visit from the Head Chef. This isn’t a social call, however. He tells her, “The menu item, fine you make it. All I need is the chef who has a great recipe. That’s it. Don’t misunderstand this. Nothing has changed.” He then gets to what is (probably) the real reason for his visit, and asks about Yoo Kyung. Sae Young is more than happy to tell him she didn’t come home last night.
At the restaurant, Team Whiner arrives with the Sous Chef (all in the same car, which I find odd). They are only mildly surprised to see Hyun Wook pull into the parking lot at the same time. This leads one of them to wonder if they now have two chefs.
The staff comes into the kitchen, and it doesn’t take them long to find Yoo Kyung locked inside of the freezer asleep. They finally get the door open, and once they determine that she isn’t frozen to death, they notice the temperature isn’t quite right. She had turned off the switches. Some of the food is ruined, and some can be saved. What can’t be saved, however, is the sea urchin roe Sae Young had specially ordered for her dish. I question this: If her dish contains this expensive and hard to get sea urchin roe, how did she meet the under $10 requirement set by San in the contest? Needless to say, Hyun Wook is not happy to find most of his ingredients ruined, and chases everyone out of the freezer. (Then closes the door? Hello, plot hole.)
Hyun Wook wants to know why Yoo Kyung didn’t just freeze to death. She answers that she “wanted to live.” She thought she had to “live to become a chef.” He responds, “Kill the ingredients so the chef can live?” He then very sarcastically thanks her for living. Ok, I’m not a chef, heck, I barely cook, so maybe I’m not getting something here, but to me he seems completely out of line. Sure, the ruined ingredients are expensive, and in some cases hard to replace, but they are still a whole lot less valuable and easier to replace than oh, say, a human life! Would he have let his precious self freeze to death had he been locked in? Had I been Yoo Kyung, that’s what I would have asked him!
In San’s office, he and Sae Young discuss postponing the event. Sae Young tells him he can’t. As much as it pains me to say this (and believe me, it does) she’s actually right.
The food has to come out as scheduled. That’s what a restaurant is. We can’t keep giving excuses to close the restaurant or postponing scheduled events. That’s too unprofessional. We were closed for three days with no reason. So after one day of opening postpone the event?
She assures him she will try her best to take care of things and encourages him to take care of Yoo Kyung. Even though she is both smirky and annoying, Sae Young is neither dense nor unobservant. So, the question is, is she sending San to take care of Yoo Kyung because she knows he likes her, or because she can see the budding feelings between Yoo Kyung and Hyun Wook?
The chefs hold a meeting in Hyun Wook’s office to discuss how they will replace the ruined ingredients. Sae Young assures them that she’s already had the sea urchin roe replaced. In fact, it’s on its way from Jeju Island as they speak. As for the rest of the ingredients, he orders them to try and borrow them from the neighboring restaurants.
The next scene is a montage of the kitchen staff preparing for the VIP dinner, including a gratuitous shot of Noh Min Woo, aka Philip, on his motorcycle as he rides off to beg, borrow, and perhaps steal from other restaurants in an attempt to get what is needed. In the kitchen, the other chefs are working like a well-oiled machine to prepare as much as they can. Meanwhile, clearly unaware that Sae Young had already handled it, Yoo Kyung is running from eatery to eatery trying to collect enough sea urchin roe.
After making several stops, Yoo Kyung finally meets with success and finds someone gracious enough (or “moved” enough by her begging) to give her some sea urchin roe. It must not be enough, however, as she then calls her father and asks him if he knows where she can get some. His immediate response, “Did you cause trouble again?” Have to say, I’m not loving her father. (Gee, and it’s usually the mothers in these dramas that I have issues with…go figure.)
San, the cute head waiter, and the rest of the wait staff happily greet and serve the VIP guests. The truffle risotto looks especially yummy. I wonder where I can try some of that and if I can get a cute head waiter to serve it to me?
Meanwhile, Sae Young gives an almost-non-smirky-non-annoying press conference all about her “Three Taste Pasta.”
After the big VIP dinner, which I’m assuming was a success, the two Executive Chefs present the kitchen staff with their creations to try. Both dishes get rave reviews from the kitchen staff. After giving the staff their clean up orders, Hyun Wook takes his leave, followed shortly thereafter by Sae Young. Alone with the food, the rest of the chefs chat about food and eating habits, and both teams of chefs appear to be getting along really well. Ji Hoon looks over and sees Yoo Kyung standing alone. He grabs a leftover dinner roll, and while it isn’t much in the way of apologies, it’s the thought that counts as he says he’s sorry for leaving her alone to do all the work the night before. He can’t help but wonder if he had stayed like he was supposed to, that perhaps her accident wouldn’t have happened. (Uh, you think? Ji Hoon, you’re cute enough, but sometimes I have to wonder about you….)
When Yoo Kyung finally leaves the restaurant, she finds Hyun Wook waiting for her in the parking lot. He eventually convinces her to get in the car.
Meanwhile, after finishing up their own work, Team Italy and Eun Soo (the kitchen assistant) leave the kitchen to find someone waiting for themi as well. San’s sister Kang is waiting, clearly wanting once again to try and make a move on Philip. Kang wants to treat them, as she knows they’ve had a rough day. Eun Soo enthusiastically accepts her invitation (I think he has a bit of a crush on the older woman). The rest of the guys can’t help but also accept, having been sold out by their friend.
She takes them out to a bar, which kind of looks like a dive, and tells them how much she loves Italy. She had her first honeymoon in Firenze, and coincidentally, the same city where Team Italy studied. She had her second honeymoon in Milan, and wants to take her third honeymoon in Sicily. This last part is said with little hidden innuendo towards Philip. Now, I’m all for the older woman/younger man romance, but I have to say, Kang seems to lean more towards the creepy with her advances towards Philip. Frankly, she makes me shudder a bit.
Hyun Wook takes Yoo Kyung out for some warm food that will help thaw her almost frozen body. The Head Chef does most of the talking. He tells her that she’s really tenacious and that most guys would have given up by now after receiving the scolding she got. He likes that she’s stubborn and not manipulative, saying, “the manipulative ones would even play with the food. The ones that mess with the food don’t have rights to be cooks.” (Gee, any guesses on who he’s talking about?) He points out a few more of her good qualities, finally saying, “You think you’re invisible, but we all see you.” He then tries to encourage her to eat, but she doesn’t want to, and quickly leaves. Confused, Hyun Wook follows Yoo Kyung into the street. This time it’s her turn to talk. She wants to know why he praises her and then puts her down. She wonders if he plays with her just because he knows she likes him. Then, they argue:
Yoo Kyung: You walk out of the kitchen if you’re upset. You fire women because you don’t like them. You act and live exactly as you like. It must be nice to be able to do that.
Hyun Wook: You’re right. It is nice.
Yoo Kyung: Yes, I’m an insignificant person, a beginner, and my job is to try and have people be happy with me. It must be nice that you only have to worry about me making you happy, isn’t it?
Hyun Wook: Yes, it is. So what exactly did I get my way on? Not once, but twice you were fired by me, but you’re still in my kitchen causing chaos. I told you to freeze to death, but you won’t. I don’t want you to freeze to death so I buy you hot food but you refuse to eat it and just yell at me. You’re right. I’m only concerned about myself and my comfort and living just fine like that. So what?
Yoo Kyung: *walks away*
Hyun Wook: Stop right there!
Yoo Kyung: You said there are no women in your kitchen so why are you letting me work there? And now that you have two women in your kitchen, what are you going to do about that?
Hyun Wook: You’d better shut your mouth.
Yoo Kyung: How nice for you.
Hyun Wook: Say one more thing.
Yoo Kyung: *steps closer*
(Me: *thinks they might kiss*)
Yoo Kyung: So why are you making a person so confused about her feelings?
The argument continues, but digresses into a metaphor with her heart as a fish on his cutting board, which eventually leads her to think he is saying she should throw her feelings away. I know this is a show about the kitchen in an Italian restaurant, but I’m a bit over the use of food as a metaphor for feelings. Anyway, Hyun Wook urges Yoo Kyung to go home (with him). She walks away, telling him she is going home. She walks away from him, leaving him staring after her before he turns and walks in the opposite direction.
I’m of the same sentiment as skimmy, that I don’t know what is going through some of the characters’ heads! She was referring to the Sous Chef, but for me, it’s the unnies and the former president. I’ve never in my life seen anyone hold so tightly to a job they lost…through their own fault! The two unnies that were fired were fired for legitimate reasons, as was the president. The other girl quit, of her own accord! Seriously, folks, move on, find other jobs, and get out of my show so that you’ll quit annoying me and that maybe screen time formally occupied by you can be filled by, oh, say, Ji Hoon and the other cuties of Team Italy instead!
Unfortunately, another annoying character is a necessity to the storyline (I guess.) Sae Young is another one who I don’t know what’s going on in her head. After the dirty trick she pulled on Hyun Wook when they were students, she actually expects to rekindle their relationship? And that was how many years ago? Shouldn’t she have moved on to ruin another man’s life by now? And really, I wish I had a sarcasm font to use while talking about her, because she makes me feel sarcastic. All. The. Time.
An odd thought occurred to me while watching the scene with Kang and Team Italy. (Not even going to get into Kang and her creepiness…this thought has nothing to do with her.) I was just thinking, if you take into consideration Hyun Wook’s distaste for women in his kitchen, as well as the prettiness of his handpicked chefs, and if it wasn’t for his chemistry with Yoo Kyung, I would maybe wonder about him just a tiny bit.
Now, onto some randomness. Is it just me, or does anyone else suddenly get hungry whenever they watch an episode of Pasta? I swear, it happens to me every time, even if I just ate!
And, if anyone is wondering about the poll from my previous recap, Hyun Woo’s Pasta hair won by a landslide over his Dream hair.