Pasta (MBC, 2010)
Release date: January 4, 2010 - March 9, 2010
"Pasta" is an unconventional love story that revolves around the kitchen of an Italian restaurant, La Sfera.
Seo Yoo-Kyung (Kong Hyo-Jin) started her career as a third-ranked kitchen assistant for three years at La Sfera and on the day she finally gets to become an Assistant Pasta chef, Executive Chef Totti is fired and a new chef takes his place. Chef Choi Hyun Wook (Lee Sun-Kyun) was trained in Italy and is one of the most talented chefs in Korea. He is out to reform the kitchen and fires all the female chefs after just one day. This seemed like a coincidence at first, but it turns out it was all planned from he beginning, because he clearly states that there is no place for a woman in 'his' kitchen. By contrast, he also wants to date Yoo-Kyung - outside of the kitchen.
The recurring theme of the cactus is a metaphoric picture that describes both Yoo-Kyung's journey to realize her culinary ambitions and the relationship that develops between Seo Yoo-Kyung and Chef Choi Hyun Wook. Full of both thorns and life, blooming only after much hardship, the parallels are unmistakable.
Also in the picture is an old rival, the beautiful and talented Oh Sae-Young (Lee Ha-Nui). Having known Chef Choi from culinary school in Italy, where she tampered with his ingredients to win the coveted first place in a cooking grand prix, her motives seem unclear and mildly sinister at first, evolving as the series goes on.
Kim San (Alex) is the mysterious "customer" who has secretly admired and loved Seo Yoo-Kyung for 3 years, never before revealing his true identity as La Sfera's real owner. His line "The customer is king," is a study in layered meaning, as well as how a line can be finely crafted with a minimum of words.
Lacking true villains, "Pasta" also has a dual-layered revenge plot running through it, as both manager Seol Jun-Seok (Lee Seong-min) and the Unnis (Ha Jae-Suk, Jeong Da-Hye, & Son Seon-Yun) conspire to get even with Chef Choi for the wrongs they think he has visited upon them. All agree Chef Choi should be fired, but the problem of how to make it happen is what drives the sub-plot along.
Comic relief is the role of Jeong Eun-Su (Choi Jae-Hwan), the lovable but slow-witted kitchen assistant whose late-night chance encounter in the kitchen makes for the oddest fulfillment of a fortune teller's prediction.
Online with English sub:
Lee Sun Gyun in the series.
Press conference 2009.12.28.
MBC Drama Awards 2010.12.30. - Best Couple: Gong Hyo Jin & Lee Sun Gyun