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Youn’s Kitchen, Season 2 Episode 1 (Part 1)

A new adventure begins. Youn’s Kitchen is going to Spain with a new part-timer on board. First, let’s get to know the new setting in this new place.

One night in early winter 2017, somewhere in Sangam-dong, Youn Yuh-Jung and Lee Seo-Jin enter a restaurant. Jeong Yu-Mi arrives. “Her hair looks like yours,” Seo-Jin says to Boss Youn. “That’s what I’m going to say,” Na PD says. Yu-Mi’s hair has nice frizzles and she looks energetic with it.

They gather to start a new adventure with ‘Youn’s Kitchen’ and there is some management shakeup. Soe-Jin is promoted to Executive Director position, Yu-Mi to Head Manager from kitchen assistant. Boss Youn is, of course, still Boss Youn and head chef.

Our Halyu star is busy so…

But Shin Goo can’t come with them in this new adventure as he’s going to be busy in LA, him being a Halyu star and all. When Na PD visited Shin Goo, Na PD told him that he wasn’t fired since he is their permanent part-timer. “Let’s do it again another time,” he said.

There is going to be a new employee. Shin Goo was asked to give advice to the new employee. “First of all,” he said, “I’m really sorry I can’t join you.” And for the new maknae, “Since the boss is going to have a hard time, please help her with the things I couldn’t do. Help her make great food. Help her with the chores.” He said he would go if he got another chance. Shin Goo wished them success in this adventure with a smile.

“The new employee is younger than you,” Seo-Jin says to Yu-Mi. And he is physically strong as Park Seo-Joon claims in the car on the way to meet them. But, “what if he’s worse than you?” Boss Youn asks. If that’s the case, Yu-Mi will work harder than before. Seo-Joon, though, has experience working in restaurant. He’s familiar with service and good at washing dishes and sorting waste for recycle. Yu-Mi is still nervous, not knowing who will be the new employee.

Seo-Joon finally joins the rest of the casts in the restaurant. “What do you think of his physiognomy?” Na PD asks Boss Youn. Boss Youn says it doesn’t matter as long as he works hard. But Na PD says Seo-Joon is chosen because of his look particularly.

Boss Youn begins the interview, asking Seo-Joon if he can cook. Seo-Joon says that he lives alone, indicating he cooks. “Yu-Mi too lives alone but she can’t cook,” Boss Youn points out. Seo-Jin thinks cooking is not an important requirement, English is. Seo-Joon admits silently it’s a requirement he falls short. “Then he’s not qualified,” Seo-Jin says. Boss Youn should tell him to go if she doesn’t think this would work.

“But 88ers must have been better in English,” Boss Youn says. Everyone is quiet suddenly, expecting Seo-Joon to answer. He says he can listen to English better than speaking it. He almost stutters with his answer that invites Seo-Jin to remark that his Korean sounds worse. No, Seo-Joon just is nervous.

Tenerife?

When Na PD tells them that they’re going to Spain, everyone applauds. They’re going to Tenerife. “I’ve never heard of it,” Boss Youn says.

They are going to a place where everything is within walking distance. Their business will thrive. Seo-Jin will be ambitious about their sales but also considerate, suggesting early closing when he sees everyone is tired. “I really like you,” Boss Youn will say.

Seo-Joon will also shine. From serving to preparing ingredients in the kitchen, he will do well and work hard. “We couldn’t have done it without you,” Yu-Mi will say. Boss Youn will compliment him, “him being here is like getting a hundred men power.”

Their food will be well received. Youn’s Kitchen will flourish there.

But back to the dinner at the restaurant. Na PD suggests they serve Bibimbab. Bos Youn questions whether foreigners will like it. “Koreans like bibimbab with gochujang (hot pepper paste). Will they like it?” They should prepare variety of sauce and let customers choose. Preparing bibimbap will be a problem as well. “Can you use knife?” Boss Youn asks Seo-Joon who answers confidently with a yes. Yu-Mi says she’s got better in cutting carrots. She gets better with experience.

Na PD also explains that even small restaurants there serve three course meal — entrée, main course, and dessert. They should have them too. Boss Youn says Seo-Jin is great with bread and pastry. “Who eats bread for dessert!” Seo-Jin says. The crews suggest Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancake. “What about bungeoppang?” Yumi says. Boss Youn thinks foreigners don’t like red bean paste.

This spells work for Seo-Joon, the part-timer. Everyone will need to get up early in the morning to prepare for everything. Boss Youn is getting nervous already, thinking ahead about the menu, the preparation, whether they should have Bibimbab with ribs “no, bulgogi…,” she says. But Na PD picks up on the ribs and pursues this line of thought. “Shut up! I was wrong (for giving you ideas),” Boss Youn says.

Preparing the Menus

Some time later, the casts meet again at a restaurant in Itaewon. It’s the famous Hong Seok-Cheon’s My Sweet. They get together to develop the menu.

Yu-Mi shows Seo-Joon her notes. Seo Joon remarks on her hair, a tidy bun with darker colour. Yu-Mi fashions it differently every day. “But why are you talking to me with formality now?” Seo Joon says. Yu Mi asks whether she has ever talked casually to him. Seo-Joon replays a scene, “Seo-Joon, you! You should do it properly!” Yu-Mi denies ever saying anything of that kind but she changes her speech to casual. From now on, “you will have to help me a lot!” She says. Seo-Jin comes, followed by Boss Youn.

Leaning about the menu

Hong Seok-Cheon welcomes them. He will be their mentor with Lee Won-Il, just like before. Of their new arrangement, Seok-Cheon thinks the best about it is Seo-Joon as the their maknae. A good maknae is important. “Then what are you going to do?” Seok-Cheon asks Seo-Jin. “I’ll be responsible for the Hall!” But Seok-Cheon thinks Seo-Jin played around too much during their Gili season. “That’s my style. Leave it alone,” Seo-Jin says.

Seok-Cheon compliments Seo-Joon a lot. “He’ll be popular,” he says to Boss Youn, “you won’t need to worry with employee like him.” He’ll attract customers. “You said that as well about Yu-Mi, but look at the result!” Seo-Jin counters his argument. Seok-Cheon just says that apparently Yu-Mi wasn’t that popular in Bali.

They discuss the menu. Seo-Jin thinks they need a different style of bibimbab. They also need appetiser and dessert. The work on food should be distributed between Yu-Mi and Seo-Joon. Seok-Cheon once again picks on Seo-Jin, “what about him?” Seo-Jin will be strictly managerial.

For appetiser, Seok-Cheon suggests kimchi pancake, kimchijeon, and for dessert he’ll teach them Hotteok that they can adjust with whatever they’ll find on the spot. Seo-Jin suggests a lot of things, like adding ice cream and sprinkling nuts, to make Hotteok look inviting to foreigner and palatable. The result looks like a good looking classical western pancake.

The Boss having fun with ideas…

Boss Youn also puts on some ideas on the appetiser, the kimchijeon. They could do without the tuna oil. It’ll be better to make the pancake bigger. They can add flour, They should shape it better. Seo-Jin thinks she’s having fun while working hard. “What about adding meat and coriander?” She continues with more ideas.

Chef Lee Won-Il comes to teach them Bibimbap. They should prepare veggies, meat, sauce and seasioning, and rice. As “watching someone doing it is different than doing it oneself,” Boss Ýoun says, she, Yu-mi and Seo-Joon try making it. They decide on the Bibimbap variant: with bulgogi, spicy (with gochujang), and a vegetarian version.

 

 

First day in Garachico, Tenerife

They fly Barcelona and then to Tenerife. On the plane to Tenerife, Yu Mi gives Seo Joon questions on Spanish, which he answers most of them correctly. From behind them, Seo-Jin suggests they switch roles but Yumi says she wouldn’t answer. She plans to stay in he kitchen so she doesn’t have to speak a lot of Spanish.

In-flight learning session

Seo-Joon continues studying Spanish. He has been learning Spanish from a friend, especially Spanish for restaurant business. The result will show that he will be able to talk and deal with customers easily.

After a three and a half hour flight from Barcelona, they arrive at Norte Airport in Tenerife. They get into a car and Seo-Joon drives to get to their destination. On the way, they take in the scenery. The geology reminds them of Aewol in Jeju. They notice that the island is also part of a volcano (Mount El Teide). The beaches have black sand from the volcano. “It’s beautiful. It’s good to be here,” Boss Youn says.

… the road to Garachico

After a forty minute drive, they pass a long tunnel that ends at Garachico, the small town where they’ll stay and open Youn’s Kitchen. The small town has 5000 residents. It is bestowed with incredible landscape and has natural pool by sea.

Seo-Joon parks the car. They get out and walk to get to their restaurant. “What Lovely alleys,” Boss Youn says as they walk through lanes. Finally, they see it, Youn’s Kitchen.

The Youn’s Kitchen

Youn’s Kitchen

“It’s lovely,” Boss Youn says as she looks at the exterior. It has four outdoor tables, and four tables inside the Hall, a comfortable bar, and a simple kitchen. It’s located at an intersection of alleys, and opens to a lane which leads to the beach at one end and town square at another end.

Seo-Jin enters the Hall and looks around silently, smiling in approval and appreciation. Yu-mi follows and takes in the interior. She is lost for words. Yu-Mi asks Seo-Jin if she can have a drink. “Sure,” he says. “I really love this,” she says, still captivated by the Hall.

Outside, Boss Youn and Seo-Joon is looking at the menu board. The menu is written in Spanish. Seo-Joon explains the Spanish to Boss Youn. “How is it that the boss doesn’t even know what is written on the menu!” Boss Youn comments.

She enters the Hall after Seo-Joon and is immediately taken by the beauty. Outside, a passerby stop and cant’ help looking at the interior, admiring.

They get to the kitchen, a small but efficient one. “This is so beautiful,” Yu-Mi says of the kitchen. “Working here will be a pressure.” Boss Youn thinks this is an upgrade, a very huge leap from the one they had at Gili in Bali.

Inside the beautiful Youn’s Kitchen

Yu-Mi tells the the crews that she really likes the restaurant. She thinks the restaurant feels almost luxurious. It’ll be so popular that the Hall team will have a hard time serving the customers.

A brief look into the near future vindicates Yu-Mi’s premonition. Youn’s Kitchen will even get quite a queue. It will bustle with business. At one point, they will have served 60 servings of food in one day.

While Seo-jin is exploring the neighbourhood, going to the town square, Boss Youn has to reject a would-be customer, a passerby who is interested in the restaurant. “We’re not open yet. We’ll open a day after tomorrow,” Boss Youn says. “I’ll be gone by then,” the man says, for he only stays until Saturday. He is surprised that they have just arrived. The man wishes them success. “This restaurant is going to be famous,” he says. Boss Youn thanks him for the well wishes.

A break…

Seo-Jin returns to the restaurant and tells Boss Youn about the surrounding area. They take a little break, sitting outside for a while. Boss Youn once again expresses surprise that this one is much better than their previous one in Gili Islands.

Boss Youn starts making plan for tomorrow. “Let’s have a practice run, from the beginning to the end, from cooking to washing dishes,” she says. Boss Youn is nervous as she worries about the the future.

Yu-Mi stamps the back of Seo-Joon’s hands with the Hall’s stamp which bears the Youn’s Kitchen logo, each with different colour. Seo-Joon shows them to Boss Youn. “A mark that he’s our employee,” Yu-Mi says to Boss Youn. But the ink won’t wash off. Seo-Joon can’t get his hand cleaned. That means “you are in this forever!” Yu-Mi says. Whether it’s a threat or a promise, it will begin tomorrow.

They leave Youn’s Kitchen for another restaurant for dinner. They cross the townn square. “This feels great,” Yu-Mi comments. Boss Youn agrees. She greets some children who are playing on the town square.

It only takes a two minute walk to get to the restaurant that Seo-Jin has reserved for dinner, Restaurante Aristides. Specialised in fresh seafood, a sign on the restaurant reads “the sea on a plate”.

 

 

The First Night’s Dinner

They take the seats outside. They then observe closely from the menu, to the prices, to the service.

They get a free starter. “No. We can’t open restaurant here,” Boss Youn says as soon as she tastes the dish. Unlike in Gili where the competitors’ dish tasted poor and they were confident they’d get michelin stars, here, the service and food are top notch. From the starter, the anchovies, to baked potato, to octopus, to beef-tadaki, to pork chop, the dishes are exquisite — Na PD even remarks that they’ve got flower on the plate. They are in a country where fine-dining is a norm.

Future excursions to restaurants show them developing the habit of observing and learning the menu and the service. Seo-Jin particularly is rigorous in doing market research. “This coffee is better than ours,” he says in one of them. They eat out and get nervous when the food tastes delicious, comparing it to theirs. “We must find our strength,” Seo Joon says.

Delicious dinner

Dinner is delicious but Boss Youn looks nervous, almost discouraged. They toast for success. Seo-Jin thinks they can get money from kimchi pcancake. Boss Youn thinks Seo-Jin should decide the pricing as well. In his market research, Seo-Jin also studies the pricing with Seo-Joon helping him spying on the menus and pricing. The main courses are sold at €15 in average. So Seo-Jin puts €12 for their bibimbab.

“And €2 euro for pancake?” Boss Youn asks. Seo-Jin puts the kimchi pancake at €6. “Half the price of the main course?” Boss Youn thinks it’s too expensive. But Seo-Jin thinks they can sell it at that price since the kimchi is brought form Korea. “It’s special,” Seo-Jin says. Seo-Joon also points out that a mere salted anchovy costs about €8.5. Entrées are commonly sold at €8.

What about dessert? “The Hotteok will be €5,” Seo-Jin says.

The sun is setting and street lamps are switched on. It is a beautiful sight. Yu-Mi takes a couple of pictures with the handphone. “I may not be a good photographer but I thought I took this one well,” she shows Seo-Jin a picture of him on the plane. “You looked younger,” she says. Seo-Jin tells her to delete it. Yu-Mi shows it to the crews, inviting more sulking remarks from Seo-Jin.

The lodging

As they walk home, Boss Youn once more speaks about their to-dos tomorrow. They need practice to find out the time to prepare everything. They’ve already got familiar with the place. They’ll do a simulation tomorrow.

They walk down the alley to the their lodging. Seo-Joon walks with Boss Youn and asks her if she’s tired. It’s been a tiring day since they landed nine hours ago. They may still have jet-lag. They finally arrive at the lodging. Boss Youn thinks the surrounding looks like the neighbourhood in which she grew up.

Home, at last.

The lodging is an old-fashioned two story house. Inside, the high ceiling and warm interior feel cosy. “How did they find a place like this?” Boss Youn sounds amazed. There is a living room and kitchen on the ground floor. There is also a courtyard, a bedroom on the ground level has its door opened to it. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, one with two single beds and one with double bed. There is a basketball ring (“for exercise”) and a couple of outdoor lounge chairs at the courtyard.

They assign the rooms. Boss Youn gets the room on the ground level, Yu-Mi gets the room with double bed upstairs, Seo-Jin and Seo-Joon shares the room with two beds.

Boss Youn asks what time they should go to the restaurant tomorrow. ” We can go at ten in the morning,” Seo-Jin says. For now, they shall rest and sleep.


To be continued to part two of episode 1 recap.

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