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TV chef comes to a head with ‘weak-willed’ restaurant owner

Chef Baek Jong Won’s hit reality show “Alley Restaurant” gave viewers some TV gold moments on Wednesday night after a pizza restaurant owner continued to disappoint the chef with his poor cooking skills and customer service.

Restaurant owner Hwang Ho-jun surprised a group of tasters again when he went over to their table and asked them whether they wanted the rest of their order because they seemed “full.”

“Are you still going to eat?” Hwang asked the tasters, who then answered in disbelief, “Are you not serving us (one more dish)?”


The tasters, who were there to judge Hwang’s food, had been promised several dishes but Hwang abruptly came out of the kitchen to tell them that he thought they did not need to taste more dishes, as they had not finished their food.

Wednesday’s episode featuring Hwang was a ratings success, drawing in 10.4 percent viewership, up 0.9 percentage points from last week, according to Nielsen Korea.

Others were heard saying his food was too salty, with some wanting to leave the venue to go to another place for lunch.


After an air of awkwardness was felt, Hwang served plates of Jambalaya, a Spanish-influenced American dish. But he soon managed to upset the tasters again as he poured all the leftovers into one bowl while cleaning the table.

Hwang was in for a rude awakening when Baek was brought in to inspect his kitchen. The chef discovered that Hwang did not even stir when cooking noodles.


Baek also told the troubled restaurant owner that Hwang appears to have “no will to run a restaurant” and is not desperate enough to be on the show. He said his show could not save people who are impossible, suggesting Hwang give up.

The show has faced criticism in recent weeks after some guests including Hwang appeared not up to the task in terms of attitude, depriving other restaurant owners in actual need of opportunities.

Some Twitter users were quick to seize onto the chyron from Wednesday’s episode informing viewers that the tasters were treated to a meal at a different restaurant.

One top tweet read, “‘Alley Restaurant’ is hilarious,” while another user said the ending was heartwarming.

By Yim Hyun-su (