Are they serving you? 7 K

There is something irresistible when a handsome chef rolls up his sleeves, wields the kitchen knife with deft precision, dices vegetables, mixes ingredients and grills meat, performing the complex kitchen motions with the deft ease of a master. If you’re wondering where you can find this incarnation of perfection, which even plates food with flair, you don’t have to look far. K-dramas have given us the prototype of the complete man, who has challenged the stereotypical image of the hero in pop culture narratives. The kitchen has been owned by the men in these dramas, who have proven their expertise as cooks beyond their many skills, masterfully serving delicious dishes.

Without further ado, here are seven talented K-drama chefs who have tempted viewers to their hearts’ content.

wok of love

The highly talented star chef at a luxurious hotel, Seo Poong (Lee Junho), is a rising star whose popularity irritates the head chef and his team. However, proud of his skills and his innovative cooking techniques, Poong remains unmoved, until a turn of events leads him to lose his job. He gets a double whammy when he discovers his wife’s affair with the hotel’s general manager.

Poong lands at Hungry Wok, a ramshackle Chinese restaurant owned by a gangster named Doo Chil (Jang Hyuk) and stumbles upon a debt-loving, debt-loving heiress. jjajangmyeon named Dan Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won), who has been left by her husband. Determined to make it big, Poong takes over Hungry Wok and reforms the menu, creating mouth-watering dishes and putting his own spin on regular food, making Hungry Wok popular. Poong finds the perfect cheerleader in Sae Woo, who not only becomes her helper in the kitchen, but also gains a place in her heart. The chemistry between Poong and Sae Woo adds an extra spark.

Lee Junho, who has participated in cooking workshops from basic knife techniques to preparing ingredients to using the wok, is very convincing as Poong. He brings life to the kitchen. One word of warning: “Wok of Love” should not be watched on an empty stomach, as the Poong preparation of sweet and sour pork and jjajangmyeon it will only increase your appetite.

Start watching “Wok of Love”:


“Warm and Cozy”

A heartbroken Lee Jung Joo (Kang Sora) moves to Jeju Island to rebuild her life after losing her job and home and being dumped by her boyfriend. She meets the wealthy and easy-going Baek Gun Woo (Yoo Yeon Seok), owner of the Warm and Cozy restaurant. Gun Woo is a talented chef, but he is a chatterbox which makes Jung Joo mistrust him and his ways.

Gun Woo only cooks when he feels the need to. Yoo Yeon Seok admitted that he had worked on that aspect of his character, that he enjoys the process of cooking more than creating fancy dishes. As Jung Joo and Gun Woo’s personalities clash, her irritation at her immaturity and his lies provoke her, while he chafes at her complex nature. Also, the famous K-drama cliché of having a common past comes to the surface. Although the drama is sluggish at times and the exaggerated behavior of the characters could have been cut back a bit, the key character of Jeju Island will win you over with its picturesque beauty and charm. The series’ color palette is also vibrant and warm, reflective of the island setting, and one can imagine taking a walk along the shoreline and popping into Warm and Cozy for a bite to eat.

Start watching “Warm and Cozy”:


Degree of Love

An underrated drama, “Degree of Love” gently immerses you in the lives of its two leads, Lee Hyun Soo (Seo Hyun Jin) and Jung Sun (Yang Se Jong). Hyun Soo is a drama scriptwriter waiting for her big break, and Jung Sun is a French food chef who has attended culinary school in Paris. He opens the fancy Good Soup restaurant. They both meet and sparks fly, but each one goes their own way and they are predestined to meet again.

The tug of war between Hyun Soo’s pragmatic personality and Jung Sun’s more sensitive and passionate one is very well acted. Beyond the obvious romance, there are other subplots that weave together like a main course with various sides, each adding to the flavor of the series. And the chemistry between Seo Hyun Jin and Yang Se Jong adds the wow factor.

Start watching “Degree of Love”:


Oh My Ghostess

Imagine a buffet where you can try a little bit of everything: romance, a dash of revenge, a dash of comedy, and a dash of the supernatural. This is basically what you get with “Oh My Ghostess”.

Na Bong Sun (Park Bo Young) is a helper in the kitchen of superstar Chef Kang Sun Woo’s (Jo Jung Suk) Sun restaurant. Bong Sun is shy and although she aspires to be a chef, the only obstacle in her way are her ghosts: she can see them and they annoy her. Things get out of hand when virgin ghost Shin Soon Ae (Kim Seul Gi) possesses Bong Sun, whose personality undergoes a change from shy to bold and flirtatious. Arrogant chef Kang can’t resist Bong Sun’s charms, and things get hot in the kitchen. On the menu, apart from the many adventures and misadventures, the highlights were homemade cabbage porridge and Jo Jung Suk singing “Gimme a Chocolate”.

Start watching “Oh My Ghostess”:



Meet Chef Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Sun Kyun), the master chef who runs La Sfera, an Italian restaurant. He is a bit macho and territorial with his cooking, which means that he has little patience for the hard-working assistant pasta chef Seo Yoo Kyung (Gong Hyo Jin).

Hyun Wook decides to renovate his new workplace and fires all female staff, as he believes that women don’t belong in “his” kitchen and tend to complicate things. Hyun Wook has been scarred by the past and mistrusts women, but his best plans go awry. He sees the potential in Yoo Kyung and she realizes that despite her brusque nature, she has a lot to learn from him. As they say, a lot can happen in a pasta dish. Sparks fly and together they overcome kitchen politics and past heartbreaks to make their restaurant a success. “Pasta” is quite simple and straightforward, and the chemistry between Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Sun Kyun is pretty and uncomplicated.

sweet munchies

Here we find a bistro to heal the brokenhearted, calm the stressed and feed the weary. Chef Park Jin Sung’s (Jung Il Woo) hands work magic as he serves delicious food to his guests. Overwhelmed by debt, he decides to participate in a cooking show. But here comes the twist: he lies about his sexual orientation as Kim Ah Jin (Kang Ji Young) is looking for a gay chef. What follows is a comedy of errors, especially when fashion designer Kang Tae Wan (Lee Hak Joo) enters the picture.

“Sweet Munchies” will delight you with delicious dishes such as mouth-watering tofu stew and fried chicken. But the drama also sensitively addresses socio-cultural issues, such as the fight against sexism in the workplace or the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community. And a special shout out to Jung Il Woo, who brought out his inner chef and cooked everything by himself.

Start watching “Sweet Munchies”:


Mr Queen

Conceited and arrogant, this is Jang Bong Hwan (Choi Jin Hyuk), the attractive chef of the Blue House, the presidential residence. One day, fate hits him and Bong Hwan suffers a freak accident in which he travels back in time and becomes trapped in the body of Kim So Yong (Shin Hye Sun), a queen from the Joseon period. Now, trapped in a time eons away from his modern world, he’s trapped in a body of a different gender, and to make matters worse, his inquisitive nose leads him to stumble upon palace intrigue and uncover plenty of shady business. But as they say, once a chef, always a chef. Bong Hwan also known as So Yong spices up the royal kitchen by bringing flavors and aromas from the modern world, still unknown to the people of the palace. “Mr. Queen” is a fun series, sprinkled with humor, and Choi Jin Hyuk and Shin Hye Sun’s comedic timing never falters.

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Soompiers, which of these dramas is your favorite chef in? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Are they serving you? 7 K-Drama Master Chefs Who Own The Kitchen