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The Finale & Extras — Youn’s Kitchen, Season 2 Episode 11

In the last episode of season 2, Youn’s Kitchen’s casts and production revisited their adventure in Garachico.

Some time in March 2018, at a restaurant, in Sangam-dong, the casts got together again.

Seo-Joon showed up early. Yu-Mi was next, sporting a different haircut for a drama production ‘Live’ which premiered that week. Boss Youn, who was next to come, asked if she’d done filming and commented on her getting thinner. Boss Youn also asked Seo-Joon if he has started any work. “In another month,” he said — ‘Why Secretary Kim’ is set to air sometime in June. “Yes,” Boss Youn approved, “you should take a break.”

Boss Youn commented about a show’s rating dropping. “Is it ours?” Boss Youn asked, which drew laughter. Na PD was heard complaining about her nonchalance. Then Seo-Jin came. Yu-Mi asked if he was drunk. He commented that Yu-Mi had a lot of free time, citing a call when he found her weekend free.

Company dinner…

They were interrupted by the restaurant server. Seo-Joon asked for jeon, “as a starter dish.” A remark which drew laughs. They caught up with each other’s whereabouts. Seo-Jin had just finished filming a film. Boss Youn had heard that Seo-Jin’s character was always drunk.

As they started dining, Boss Youn shared her first impression of the first episode of season two of Youn’s Kitchen. She had been surprised. “Garachico is really beautiful,” she said enthusiastically. She hadn’t realised it since they hadn’t been around much.

A brief footage showed the lovely small town Garachico and traced the casts daily routine, going from home to the greengrocer’s to the Youn’s Kitchen….

 

 

They had started with just three dishes: kimchijeon as starter dish, bibimbab as main dish, and hotteok as dessert. Early on, having recognised the need for a varied menus, Seo-Jin had asked Seo-Joon if he knew how to make japchae. Japchae had become the first addition to the menu. The second had been chicken gangjeong, which had proved to be a hit among customers. Then they had added Galbi and kimchi fried rice. With a new dish every other day, they’d got seven dishes to offer by the end of the adventure in Garachico.

Seo-Jin had also come up with the set menu scheme, deducting a euro from each dish to boost sales.

The Customers

Na PD asked if there was any customer that came to mind at the moment.

“Mary!” Boss Youn said immediately. She had met Mary at the flower shop and seen her dining in Youn’s Kitchen. Mary and her husband had visited Youn’s Kitchen twice and become somewhat the authority on Youn’s Kitchen.

Yu-Mi said that she had thought of the crews of Aristides, the restaurant by the town square who had had their get-together at Youn’s Kitchen. Boss Youn recalled one of them complementing and saying “amazing” frequently.

And what about the customers’ impressions of Youn’s Kitchen? Since the production crews had also conducted customer surveys — they had followed and interviewed some of the customers — the customers’ stories were told.

The Customers…

The very first customers, the middle-aged Danish couple (ep. 1 & 2), were familiar with Korean cuisine. The gentleman had remarked that Youn’s Kitchen’s taste had been similar to the meal he’d had in Blue House.

The Swiss and his friend and family (ep. 2) had thought the food had been great and concluded that the cook must have been someone famous in the culinary world. He had even scouted Boss Youn and asked her to come to his hotel in the Alps and to cook there. He had told the production crew that he had been surprised by the fact that the cook had been an actress, not a professional chef, a sentiment shared by the Russian couple who had also visited on the second day (ep. 2).

“Right you are!” Boss Youn said while watching the interviews footage.

The American and Slovenian couple (ep. 3) had thought the bibimbab was delicious. “And the Kimchi is fantastic!” he had said. Seo-Joon commented that the guy had eaten kimchi as if it had been noodles. Seo-Jin explained that the American had lived near Koreatown in the States, which explained his knowledge and affinity to kimchi.

Another westerner customer who had been familiar with Korean food was a German, visiting on Saturday night with a Swiss lady (ep. 8). He had also spoken a bit of Korean, which had surprised Seo-Jin. The German had lived in Seoul for a time, “near Maebong.” Seo-Joon and Yu-Mi laughed when they heard the word ‘Maebong’ spoken perfectly. “He speaks Korean well!” Boss Youn said.

 

The Korean language had also interested others like Jeffrey from Belgium who had relied on a translator app to speak Korean. He and Stina had come back to Youn’s Kitchen for lunch on the last day, during which they had brought along their dogs (ep. 9 & 10). On their first visit on the previous night, they had come for a drink. He liked the food and the service. Jeffrey and Stina had got to taste Korean soju and learned “cheers” the Korean way.

Their dogs had been a source of amusement to a little girl who had come to Youn’s Kitchen with her parents, all donned uniform chequered outfits (ep. 9 &10). The family had shared the story of their first meeting, which had almost been a love at first sight. It had been glow at first sight as Each had thought the other had been glowing, like “having aura”. Thus they named their daughter Aura. Mum had liked the chicken gangjeong — “we ordered the chicken twice!” she had said. Dad had thought Aura had loved the noodles Japchae since she had eaten it with gusto.

Boss Youn regretted that she couldn’t recognise many customers. She and Yu-Mi had been cooped in the kitchen most of the time.

 

 

Next had been a lady whom Seo-Joon called the prettiest in Garachico. She had visited Youn’s Kitchen for a coffee (ep. 6) with her baby. She had been intrigued because she had passed Youn’s Kitchen a couple of times and people had been saying good things about the place. She had come back for lunch on the last day but unfortunately, the house had been full.

 

Back in March 2018, the casts were watching a footage and laughing. It was a footage of the get-together of Aristides’ staffs and crews.

After the get-together, they had given their impressions and opinions. Chicken gangjeong had been everyone’s favourite. Their chefs had said they might need to go to Korea to learn Korean cuisine. The head chef had noted some dishes and tastes had left strong impression — she had thought the spiciness is different to the spicy taste that is common in Canarian food. One of them had been the spaghetti-like Japchae. Another had been the kimchi fried rice which “sent me back to my childhood,” she had said.

Seo-Joon commented that watching them like this made him miss them.

Barraquito tasting session

Some time during the get-together, Seo-Jin had introduced Soju to the get-together party. In exchange for the soju, the party introduced Barraquito to Youn’s Kitchen’s casts. The Aristides’ Boss and the cool girl had fetched liquor from their restaurant. The cool girl then made the drink for the casts to taste. “It’s delicious,” Yu-Mi had said. “It’s sweet and strong,” Boss Youn had said.

 

In eight days of operation, Youn’s Kitchen had served 57 groups of customers, 160 people. The locals had been welcoming and considered that having a Korean restaurant in town had been a good idea. The food had been great, the waiters had been handsome. Over all, Youn’s Kitchen had been well-received.

Boss Youn liked the fact that there had been more locals than tourists visiting Youn’s Kitchen. Seo-Jin thought their business ended when they had just started, just as they had got the hang of it. His serious and impassioned speech prompted Boss Youn to comment that she thought she had joined a cult. Seo-Jin could pass as a cult leader.

More Statistics

The production crew threw a quiz. What was the best selling dish?

“Hotteok!” Yu-Mi said, which was correct. They had sold 50 servings of hotteok. Seo-Jin had mentioned about potential of hotteok becoming a hit. Yu-Mi mentioned the one time she had found the sight of Youn Yuh-Jung, the venerable Korean actress, pressing hotteok in the kitchen of a restaurant funny. She had even taken picture of the moment.

The second best selling dish was chicken gangjeong. Even though it had been a late addition to the menu, it had been the most reordered dish. They had managed to sell 45 servings of chicken gangjeong.

Best selling dishes

When asked about the bibimbab, the counter split between original bibimbab, which they had sold 39 servings, and vegetarian bibimbab. “Vegetarian bibimbab is still a bibimbab!” Boss Youn protested the rigged counting method. Adding all variants together, they had made 51 servings of bibimbab, making it the best selling dish of Youn’s Kitchen in Garachico.

The kimchi-jeon, Japchae, and Galbi had scored 29, 28, and 27 servings respectively. The last addition to the menu, the kimchi fried rice had been sold 3 servings. For the beverages, they had managed to sell 78 glasses of beer, 51 glasses and 13 bottles of wine, and 36 cups of coffee.

Seo-Joon The Back-Up Cook

The talk shifted to Seo-Joon whom Seo-Jin alleged to have been making chicken gangjeong at home. Seo-Joon’s mother had asked about the deep-fryer but since Seo-Joon hadn’t got a clue, she picked a bigger size. Mum had been busy making stuff like corn-dogs with it ever since.

One of the production crew spoke about Seo-Joon’s cooking in Garachico which had not been broadcast. He had made tomato pasta when he and Yu-Mi had been hungry after preparation before opening. “It’s easy and quick,” Seo-Joon said.

Spicy tomato pasta for brunch

At the time, Seo-Joon had made the pasta using whatever ingredients available, such as garlic, onions, pepperoncino powder — “just a bit!” Yu-Mi had said as she couldn’t eat spicy food — frozen shrimps and tomato paste. “Hurry up! I can’t wait!” Yu-Mi had said. The result had been too spicy for Yu-Mi, yet she had kept eating it. “It’s spicy but delicious,” Yu-Mi had said.

Seo-Joon had proved to be a fast-learner in the kitchen as shown during their study with chefs Ho Seok-Cheong and Lee Won-Il before going to Garachico. He had shown aptitude in making and decorating hotteok. He had practiced tossing and flipping food in the skillet that he could do it with ease by the time they had got to Garachico — he had met the challenge tp flip the great kimchijeon (ep. 2). He’d proven to be a valuable help in the kitchen.

 

Since running a restaurant had been very hectic and on tight schedule, they’d had to sneak and eat lunch as fast as they could. They’d also had to deal with leftovers. “We ate all of it,” Boss Youn said.

Japchae on the sacred fruit bowl

After their disappointing first day, there had been so much meat and vegetables leftovers that they had decided to have a meat party for dinner. Seo-Joon had played the cook and made spicy stir-fried meat — It had been a great dinner. The next day’s dinner had been a repeat dish on a different plate and leftover japchae.

Back in March 2018, Seo-Jin recalled he had eaten a big portion of japchae every day. “Exactly!” the others agreed. They had always had japchae leftover and it had been on the same fruit plate. Japchae reminded Yu-Mi of Seo-Jin — it’s his favourite food. “Me too!” Seo-Joon said. They’d eaten japchae every day, combined with whatever leftover garnishes or meat available.

The Free Time

The casts were asked about their free time in the mornings and during breaks. Boss Youn wondered what Yu-Mi had done with hers as she recalled Yu-Mi had always taken care of the laundry.

Yu-Mi's secret morning
Yu-Mi’s secret morning

It turned out that Yu-Mi had gone out to walk early in the mornings before the others had wakened up. Her secretive mornings weren’t broadcast because no one had been around her with a camera.

But on the ninth morning, a PD, who had started working early, had found her by the sea near the Hello-Kitty-themed playground. Without the standard camera, the PD had resorted to using a cellphone camera. Thus exists the footage of Yu-Mi’s morning walk and exercises on the playground. Walking back home, passing by an unfocused camera facing the front door, she had stumbled a bit.

 

On a day off, the casts had driven to a restaurant by the seaside, in the area of Zona Comercial Albierta. “It’s got a great view,” Seo-Jin said. Boss Youn only recalled Yu-Mi asking her to buy sushi.

While enjoying the starter, bread with shaved butter which had been great, they had talked about pledges of closing Youn’s Kitchen. Boss Youn had proposed that if they managed to get full tables they could have the next day off. Seo-Jin had put forth a more ambitious goal: € 200 and serving the four tables twice.

The main course, various seafood dishes and yellow coloured rice, had drawn different reactions. Seo-Joon and Seo-Jin had enjoyed the food. Boss Youn had thought them too salty. Yu-Mi had thought them too salty as well yet still eaten them and then asked Boss Youn to buy her sushi. “You should buy me that,” Boss Youn had said. They then had made plan to get the famous and expensive sushi once they got back in Seoul.

The desserts, milk pudding, had been too sweet for Boss Youn. “The food is either too salty or too sweet,” Yu-Mi had said. Judging from the full tables around them, people here must have preferred strong tastes in food. Boss Youn had had to adjust her cooking to the local palates.

The Happiest Moments

For Yu-Mi, the happiest moments had been dinner time at home. The memory had struck her even more now that she couldn’t eat properly due to filming.

The dinners had also been accompanied with casual, at times hilarious, talks. One night, Seo-Jin had prodded Boss Youn to make mashed potatoes for galbi. Seo-Joon had advised her to ignore Seo-Jin’s suggestion and just heed his. The production crews had laughed. “He’s aiming for a higher standing than I am,” Seo-Jin had commented.

On the fourth night, they had had kimchi soup, based on Boss Youn’s recipe, for dinner. After dinner, out of the blue, Boss Youn had prodded Seo-Jin to get married. “You even had your house revamped,” she had said. Seo-Jin had countered that he had renovated the house to suit his bachelor lifestyle better. He had also pointed out that people his age should have fretted about getting grandchildren, not marriage. (A caption indicates a sorrowful tone)

happy moments...
happy moments…

On the eighth night, Boss Youn had decided to make fish cake soup. The recipes had also come from Boss Youn’s soup notes. Boss Youn had also brought various ingredients and side dishes from Korea. Boss Youn had cooked the fish cake soup which had been delicious.

Dinner time at home in Garachico had been delightful and merry. They had become a memory to cherish.

 

Another moment had involved the “ocean on the plate” Aristides, the restaurant near the town square. Saying goodbye to the crews of Aristides, Yu-Mi had felt sad yet weird. It had been something indescribable yet she tried to describe it. “Was it an upset stomach?” Seo-Jin said and ruined the mood.

On their last walk home from work, they had met the crews of Aristides and said goodbye. They had grown close that it had felt weird. Yu-Mi had felt happiest then. “I felt ‘it is good to be here’,” she said.

For Seo-Jin, the happiest moment had been the moment he had counted the day’s earning and learned that it had grown each day. Of course.

Seo-Jin’s happiness
Seo-Jin’s happiness

Any starting restaurant expects losses in the beginning that getting increased sales is considered a success. Seo-Jin had told the production crews then that, given their sales trend and trajectory, had they been given a month they would have ruled Garachico. Impressed by his speech, Boss Youn offered a toast to his shrewd business acumen. “You’ll make it big,” she said.

In eight days of business, Youn’s Kitchen had earned a total of € 2,397.

If…

Na PD posed a question: if they can, what other dishes they would like to add. Seo-Jin looked thrilled. He wanted to add tin-foiled kimbab. “You won’t find such kimbab anywhere else,” he said. Boss Youn agreed.

He also had thought of adding spicy stir-fried meat, tteokgalbi (grilled short ribs), and kimchi dumplings — Seo-Joon made gestures of rolling doughs. He proposed a five-days-a-week operation. “Unbelievable!” Boss Youn commented, “he even thought of such details.”

Seo-Jin brought up the falling rating of latest episodes. People weren’t interested in behind-the-scenes feature, unlike the actors. For viewers the show ended when they left Garachico. Boss Youn asked if he should be producing films since he knew so much about the audience. Seo-Jin thought opening restaurant would be more successful.

The Mysterious KPOP Connoisseurs in Garachico

It’s the mystery of KPOP songs and sing-along coming out of a house that the casts had walked passed by on the way home. A month before the casts came to Garachico, The production crews had encountered the phenomenon. The source of the mystery had been keeping up with KPOP since the songs had been released just months to weeks ago.

Then a head had come out of the door, made herself known to the camera. She had been one of the girls who had been seen hanging out near Youn’s Kitchen. Seo-Joon had waved to them when the casts had walked home from the ice cream parlour (ep. 3). They had been seen waiting for Seo-Joon at one of the tables on the last day (ep. 10).

One time when sitting outside after hours, Boss Youn had been approached by a family. The mother had introduced her daughter who was a Koreaphile. She had asked for Boss Youn’s autograph. Boss Youn had asked if the girl had known Youn Yuh-Jung or if she had seen any Korean shows. The girl had said she was a KPOP fan.

 

 

***

The Last Night

It’s the last business day. The casts walk home for the last time. Boss Youn marvels at the number of dishes they made today. “We must have made more than 60 portions,” she says. “76 dishes,” Seo-Joon says. They finally make it home.

They decide to make ramyeon for dinner. Seo-Joon will be the cook. Seo-Jin who looks tired sits by the dining table. “He looks 10 years older,” a caption says. Boss Youn also sits by the table, commenting the day’s work. “We are amazing Koreans, are we not?” she says. It’s been a tiring day, Seo-Jin didn’t even bother to count the last day’s earning.

Meanwhile, Seo-Joon is busy cutting onions. He will add other ingredients as well into the ramyeon. It’s not going to be an ordinary ramyeon. The other casts are sitting and waiting by the table. Into the boiling water, Seo-Joon adds onions, washed kimchi, ramyeon seasoning, noodles, and eggs. It’s finally done.

The last dinner
The last dinner

They enjoy the last dinner in Garachico. Boss Youn praises the ramyeon but Seo-Joon thinks it tastes delicious because they are hungry. She eats until the bowl is empty and thanks him for it for she had never finished ramyeon before.

And dinner isn’t over yet. They have some leftover meat. Seo-Joon prepares to make patties and serve them with toasts and cheese. When they are served, Seo-Jin asks for fork and knife. “I must be a Spaniard,” Seo-Jin says. He praises Seo-Joon for his excellence in service.

Yu-Mi’s plate of toast and patty is untouched on the table. She has gone to the living room to rest her head on a pillow on a table. Seo-Joon brings another pillow and tells her to lay on her back else gas will accumulate in her stomach. She follows his instructions.

In the dining room, the rest of the casts and crews talk about saying goodbye to the crews of Aristides. Seo-Jin had felt their warmth. “It’s a beautiful farewell,” Boss Youn says. Seo-Jin brings up the head chef’s likeness to Annie Lennox of Eurythmics. He plays a bit of the band’s song ‘Sweet Dream’.

Talking about songs and music, Boss Youn requests Don Maclean’s ‘Vincent’ to be played. It’s a song from her generation that is still well-liked even by Seo-Joon’s. She recalls having the LP played in a dance room at one time. Seo-Jin mentions that he too has the LP and will play it for her via the telephone whenever she wishes. Seo-Joon enacts the possible scene.

Boss Youn has been moved by the lyrics. Whoever wrote the song “must have loved Van Gogh,” she says. Seo-Jin confesses that he didn’t know that the lyrics “stary stary night…” is a reference to Van Gogh’s famous painting.

Boss Youn recalls Yu-Mi’s question about the shape of the moon a few nights ago. The moon had been on the waxing gibbous phase that night. Yesterday, as she saw the moon was approaching full moon, she remembered a line from Juliette in the famous balcony scene in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circle orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable

Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 2

Don’t swear by the moon. The moon is always changing. Every month its position in the sky shifts. I don’t want you to turn out to be that inconsistent too. (via SparkNotes’ No Fear Shakespeare)

Under the changing moon, the Youn’s Kitchen’s casts have changed as well. It’s a good kind of change. From arriving in the small town of Garachico and finding everything new to learning about the town’s customs and inhabitants, meeting various customers and making friends, winning hearts with food, and finally bidding farewells.

With the ‘Vincent’ song playing, the last starry night in Garachico goes by, the last morning comes, and their once in a lifetime experience in Garachico ends. But the memories live on as if immortalised in paintings, just as the starry night is in Van Gogh’s painting.

Adios, Youn’s Kitchen Garachico Chapter!
Adios, Youn’s Kitchen Garachico Chapter!

***

Back in March 2018, the casts and crews applauded for another successful adventure. “Thank you for your hard work,” were exchanged. Boss Youn urged the crews to wrap up and gather around the dinner table. Boss Youn and Yu-Mi clapped to mark the end of the filming.

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