Brace yourselves Foodies around the world, Netflix has just released a new Korean show about food and it’s called Chef & My fridge.
“The best chefs of Korea go head-to-head to create impromptu dishes that feature ingredients found inside the guest stars’ very own refrigerators.” Netflix
Chef & my Fridge
Chef and My Fridge is a Korean show released on Netflix the 30th of June and is available in 77 countries. The show, also known as Please take care of my refrigerator or 냉장고를 부탁해 | 프로그램 is originally broadcasted by JTBC, a South Korean nationwide general cable TV network. The show has been on air every Mondays at 21:30 (KST) since November 2014 in south Korea. Netflix has provided us with the Season 1 including 20 episodes.
The pitch is quite straightforward: ““The best chefs of Korea go head-to-head to create impromptu dishes that feature ingredients found inside the guest stars’ very own refrigerators.” .
The Format is between a Talk Show and a cooking test and each episode last from 50 minutes to an hour.
The Show: Charismatic Chefs and Idols
The casting for the show is very well rounded. You have a really dynamic pair of hosts and a charismatic tribe of eight chefs taking part in the show. You also have two guests, changing approximately every two episodes. The guests are really famous personnality in Korea, usually Singer, Tv personality, Actress or Idols.
The format of Chef and my Fridge is the following:
The two guests are welcomed in the show and their personal fridge is brought to the TV set. Then the two hosts of the show inspect the fridge of the guests and discuss ingredients and (the sometimes intriguing) other findings.
After some talking and teasing, the guests have to decide a theme for the cooking contest (basically what they wish to eat) and four of the eight Chefs are assigned to each of the guests for a double contest. The difficulty is that the chefs can only use the ingredients available in the guests’ fridge to cook.
The format is a 15 minutes one versus one cooking contest. The chefs have to use their cooking abilities, creativity and understanding of the Guest’s expectation to come up with the best dish possible. It is quite impressive to see what some of the chefs manage to cook in just 15 minutes! Especially taking into consideration that sometimes the ingredients available in the guest’s fridge are really challenging.
The guests then taste each of the dish prepared. The tasting is usually followed by a variety of sounds of extreme pleasure, delight and surprise from each guest. The guest then decide of the winner between the two chefs.
The winner is awarded a star and the goal for the eight Chefs is to collect as much stars as possible in order to be crowned king of the chefs.
Super entertaining hosts: Kim sung Joo and Jeong Hyeong-don
Mention special to the pair of really dynamic and entertaining hosts: Kim Sung-joo andJeong Hyeong-don. They are quite funny and manage to create a really good dynamic during the show with the participants and the chefs.
They drive the talks in a perfect tempo and harmony. They often tease the guests and destabilise them with really intimate questions (The prune and constipation story with the actress Kang Ye Won is a good example).
Kim Sung-joo and Jeong Hyeong-don are also really good at maintaining the competition between the Chefs and creating a bit of excitement around it.
What to expect?
After watching a few episodes, it is a big yes for me. I am very pleased with the show and the format. It has this feel-good vibe and atmosphere, even among the chefs, despite the competition, it is always friendly and joke-oriented (especially with the added emoticons, i was not expecting that on TV!).
The guests are also really playing their part; Always super excited and impressed by the food (Often overplayed when tasting the food, you tend to wonder if they have been eating nothing but plain instant ramen and Kimchi all there life, but it is done in good sport). The guests are good entertainers and manage to answer the dynamic created by the host in a very well manner (almost too well scripted sometimes).
The one hour format can be quite long, but the show is catchy and really entertaining so it runs pretty smoothly.
Also, one of the great thing about this show is the discovery of Korean Culture (and food). I personally really enjoy discovering a country through their local TV program (especially when it is about food!). Whe tend to have a lot of shows about Japanese food in Netflix so it is really good to finally have a Korean show available. Especially an institution such as Chef and my Fridge.
Overall Chef and my Fridge is a great first step in Korea’s TV Show & food, well done Netflix!
As usual, i would recommend you not to watch the show on an empty stomach. Even if the show is more focused on entertainment than purely food contest, you will surely end up hungry for Korean food at the end of each episode.