24-episode drama "Sikgaek" is enjoying popularity, stimulating
the appetite of TV audience around the country. Based on Hur Young-man's
popular comic series of the same name, the film version of the series,
titled "Le Grand Chef," was also a huge hit when it was
released last year. In the drama, a culinary genius dreams of
becoming the best chef in the country. Korean Wave star Kim Rae-won
plays the leading role, Sung-chan, and Kwon Oh-jung plays his rival,
Bong-ju. A beautiful restaurant manager and a food magazine journalist,
played by actress Kim So-yun and Nam Sang-mi, form a love triangle,
raising the tension. While the film version focused more on the
fierce cooking competitions between two main characters, the drama
looks for the essence of Korean cuisine, showing Sung-chan scouring
the countryside to find the best cooking ingredients.
media interest in and out of the country is also being paid to the
drama. Unlike the TV show "Daejanggum," where a female
chef cooks for the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty, “Sikgaek”
shows more common Korean cuisine consumed in daily lives. Recent
episodes featured hanwoo, or Korean beef, competitions, introducing
how high-quality Korean cows are raised, slaughtered and cooked.
reason why good hanwoo is more expensive than imported beef is explained
in our drama. Because the producing process is seen in detail, I
hope the drama to be helpful for hanwoo consumption," Kim Rae-won
told reporters during a news conference.
Nam Sang-mi, who plays a feisty journalist in the drama, added, "The whole
experience, traveling around Korea, feels like a photo album."
Aired by local broadcaster SBS, the drama continues until the end of
By Lee Ji-yoon
Korea, August 2008