As I wrote about previously, cooking and male chefs are all the rage in Korea right now. This not only translates to celebrity chefs but also to the increase of male chefs as characters in K-dramas. There are chefs that you wish would cook for you, chefs you would want to date, but what about chefs you would want to work for? Here’s a list, rated out of 5 stars. (Don’t worry; I took romance into the equation as well.)
Lee Sun Kyun was one of the first K-drama chefs in the drama “Pasta.” He was fierce, scary, sometimes cruel, and in the end romantic, responsible, and very manly. However, he only gets three stars because he’s obviously a workaholic and an extremely scary chef to work under. You see him make you work until you can’t feel your hands, and if you get stuck in the freezer, he chastises you for turning the heat up and ruining the food. He also yells loudly a lot, so if you can’t work under high pressure, he’s definitely not the chef to work under. However, if you open up his heart, he is caring, thoughtful, and romantic. So three stars, right in the middle.
Honorable Mention: Choi Jin Hyuk
Song Jae Rim portrayed a star chef in the drama “Surplus Princess.” Although he turned out to not be the main male character, he still shined brightly as an attractive, kind, basically perfect love interest and chef. He takes you to delicious restaurants so you can eat and tell him your opinions. He also holds cooking classes, seriously considers your recipes despite being a super famous chef, and when he smiles that cheeky smile at you, it’s game over.
Namgoong Min was a famous chef in the drama “The Girl Who Sees Smells.” This comes with a SLIGHT SPOILER… but Namgoong Min gets one star for obvious reasons. He’s attractive, polite, and a great cook – plus he seems to be fantastic to his staff – but you never know if you might be his next target.
Yoo Yeon Seok played a chef for a small restaurant on Jeju Island for “Warm and Cozy.” He would have been 5 out of 5 perfect, if it wasn’t for a few things. Don’t get me wrong; he’s good looking, talented, adorable, and extremely caring. On the other hand, he’s a little irresponsible, growing up in a rich household and all. Sometimes, he uproots and leaves behind his entire life sporadically. Plus, he knows he’s attractive enough to play around with the girls in his life a little, even the ones that work for him, and I just don’t dig that.
In the recently popular drama “Oh My Ghost,” Jo Jung Suk has also been portraying a famous chef. Maybe it’s my recent obsession, but my favorite K-drama chef has to be this guy. First of all, he provides a place to sleep for his staff when they get kicked out of their housing. He also takes them to the hospital when he figures something is wrong. He forgives wrongdoings easily, as proven by a couple situations with a couple of his staff. He gives private lessons. He also takes his staff to eat delicious food and learn from it. I really wanted to give him five stars, but bias aside, from the standpoint of working for him, his constant yelling and scolding, plus his erratic decisions, forced me to take points off. So I took just a half star off.
The webdrama “I Order You” has produced another K-drama chef in TVXQ‘s Yunho. Confession time for this article: I have not watched “I Order You” yet. But, episode one starts out with him cooking for the girl, so that’s major points right there. Plus, he’s obviously attractive. Finally, from the clips I watched, it looked like he treated his staff extremely well and even took the time to teach them little things after tasting each of the food they have made. Who knows what he’ll do wrong in the future episodes, but for now, he’s 5-star material.
These are all the K-drama chefs I would consider working for, although I wouldn’t actually work for all of them. And some of them, I would just want to know (and date) outside of the kitchen. They clearly each have their own charm. So, which K-drama chef would you want to work for?