SINGAPORE – Amazon Prime Video’s latest reality series, Jinny’s Kitchen, will get viewers’ stomachs growling.
Actor Lee Seo-jin assumes the role of the CEO of a pop-up restaurant set up in Mexico, leading a four-man team. The team consists of actress Jung Yu-mi, the director of the restaurant and Park Seo-jun, the senior manager.
There are also two interns, who happen to be best friends off-screen – BTS’ V and actor Choi Woo-shik.
The 10-episode series is a sequel to Youn’s Kitchen (2017-2018), named after veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung. Lee starred in both seasons of the programme as the executive director and he now has his own eponymous series.
Lee’s management philosophy is very much profit-driven. He said in a highlight clip: “you run a restaurant in a capitalist world to make money”.
Yet, reality is often more cruel than imagined.
The restaurant, which mainly sells quick snacks like kimbap, a Korean dish made with cooked rice and various ingredients wrapped in seaweed and ramyeon, saw close to zero customers on its opening day.
“I felt down when there were no customers after working hard to prepare,” Park Seo-joon said in a Q&A video sent to the media.
The youngest member in the team, V, even enrolled into a Spanish language centre to learn the language. “I had the mindset of a hard-working intern and it was as if I was going for my debut again,” he said.
Even with the countless hurdles, the five-man team sparks great chemistry.
Lee, who speaks fluent English, led the team with Jung Yu-mi, whose main task is to prepare kimbap. Park Seo-joon is the man responsible for the taste of the food, so he even visited other restaurants to taste their food for reference.
The two interns, Choi Woo-shik and V, who mainly juggles behind-the-scenes work like handing out flyers and cleaning up the kitchen, are a humorous duo at times. V would request to take a vacation and Choi would disappear, according to CEO Lee.
To their relief, business soon ramped up and on the last day, patrons were streaming in and out of the restaurant.
You can watch Jinny’s Kitchen to find out what went down at the pop-up restaurant in Mexico.
Jinny’s Kitchen is airing on tvN in South Korea and it is available on Amazon Prime Video in other regions such as Singapore.