I have been following Home for 2 seasons — and in case you are puzzled with the disparate titles, Channel M calls it Home Food Rescue, other streaming online sites give the literal translation Mr Baek: The Homemade Food Master. Same same, but different.
Juz like the format.
In Home 1, Sohn Ho-joon had to leave halfway cos of his filming schedule and Baro replaces him. But not long after, Baro leaves too with Park Jung-chul, and Song Jae-rim + Yoon-bak replace them. Despite the constant change in the (younger) cast, the structure of Home remains the same. Send in 4 Hallyu stars totally clueless about cooking, and let Chef Baek “whip” them into shape. Home 1 ends with a battle between the students, with 3 rounds of competition including having to prepare meals dictated by Chef Baek and self-created. Family members (or close friends) are invited as guests with Chef Baek playing judge. (eh, he’s a really nice judge on Home, quite lenient as compared to his judging other cooking shows)
Similarly, Home 2 retraces the format. 4 new guests are invited: Actors Kim Guk-jin, Lee Jong-hyuk, Comedian Jang Dong-min and Singer Jung Joon-young. And as usual, they are given a test before appearing on the programme proper. Like Home 1, the 4 are expected to cook something to present to Chef Baek (and to amuse us with their inabilities). The theme for the test in Home 2 is “eggs”.
Other than Kim Guk-jin (who didn’t manage to cook anything cos his mum was hospitalized), the other 3 sorta “did” something. Lee Jong-hyuk decides on braised spicy chicken (where’s the egg you say?)…it’s braised spicy chicken with 2 hard boiled eggs (which unfortunately are mainly gobbled down by his 2 growing sons). I’d say his style of cooking…is expedient. Jong-hyuk basically dumps every ingredient he remembers in a spicy braised chicken dish into a pot a water and boils them — sans washing, peeling and cleaning. Yep. Chef Baek (when he receives the unmarked dish in the night) has one comment: It stinks. (pwahahah) That’s what happen when you boil garbage in a pot.
Jang Dong-min tries to impress with a fried rice dish. Since he is single and lives with his mum, his kitchen is fairly well stocked with traditional Korean ingredients — including black bean rice (which is rather difficult to prepare, and probably only mothers of the older generation still bother to do it from scratch). Everything goes well — until he decides to add salted octopus to his fried rice. And forgets to stir it in properly. The egg? A fried one on top of the rice. Dong-min cups a rice bowl over the egg sitting in the frying pan with the rice…and yells for his mum to help him remove the (very hot) bowl later. (tsktsk) Chef Baek’s comment on the fried rice: the salted octopus was unnecessary. (lol)
However, the one person whom Chef Baek is wary of is young rocker Jung Joon-young. Seems like not only is Joon-young a talented and widely travelled songwriter (plus he speaks good English), cos of his years of staying alone in Seoul (almost a decade), he has developed an interest in cooking and blogging about what he cooks. His kitchen is the only one that shows constant use, even the frying pan (which Chef Baek’s eagle eyes pick up on) is stained with usage. Plus, he has stocks of non-Korean cooking oils, condiments, etc varying from countries like Spain, England, the States and Italy. He decides to do something really simple — battered egg rice pancakes, with ketchup on the side. Although Chef Baek (after the taste test) feels that something is “lacking” (he is politely trying not to say the pancakes are bland), he nonetheless picks up on the interesting oil used in frying the pancakes — cold pressed olive oil from Italy.
Like all Home series, we start off with a food theme for the day. Ep1 is kimchi bukkeombap (in English: kimchi fried rice). The cast try their hands on cooking the dish first, based on their previous knowledge — of eating it, at least. Typically, the results range from meh to downright disgusting. 😛 The master then re-prepares the dish in various styles (normal kimchi fried rice, sausage kimchi fried rice and tuna kimchi fried rice), and adds in useful tips along the way as a teaching aid (not juz for the clueless students, but also for some clueless audience).
Finally, everyone sits down to enjoy the dishes prepared by Chef Baek. (i suppose other than poor Chef Baek, no one is interested in tasting the guests’ creations)