Backpacker Chef | Cooking on Business Trips with Baek Jong-Won
After my craze (and disappointment) on Delicious Rendezvous (K-Show where cast members cook and promote local products), I was ecstatic when I discovered a more adventurous cooking-reality-travel program of Baek Jong-Won. Serving food or catering on ‘business trips’, our cast members goes through different challenges as requested by clients. From mountains, islands and the sea, Backpacker Chef is a cooking program which has taken us to many places in South Korea on another level! The show has served civilians, athletes and the army, young kids and the elders, and even animals too!
Disclaimer: This is not a review post but more on a highlights recap.
OVERVIEW OF BACKPACKER CHEF:
Baek Jong-Won, along with Oh-Dae Hwan, Ahn Bo-Hyun (Woong of Yumi’s Cells) and DinDin, our ‘Backpacker Chefs‘ carry their customized backpacks with ingredients and tools on their ‘business trips’. The backpacker chefs received different challenges per week as requested by clients and the task is to serve the enough food within the given time frame.
Limited cooking time and ingredients on challenging environment (and kitchens), it’s definitely cooking under pressure. With 20 episodes done and waiting for news of second season, let’s go to the highlights of the Backpacker Chef!
Where do I even start when almost everything is a highlight? Each and every episode has its unique way of capturing my attention and/or surprising me. So maybe let me start with Kim Dong-Jun’s cameo appearance on Episode 5? I screamed loud enough when he came out!!! And like how Baek Jong Won got teary-eyed, me too. I did NOT, in any way, expect Dong-Jun serving in 1st Infantry Division much less the idea that he will be able to appear on the show! Oh and btw, this episode holds the highest rating of the show (Dong-Jun is the key maybe?).
While the other episodes’ ratings aren’t as high as Episode 5 (where Dong-Jun appeared), it isn’t to say it’s not good enough either. In fact, I loved each and every episode that I really forgot to take screenshots (as often as I should) since I am so engrossed in watching. Instead, let me share the overview of each episode (clients and food) to entice you!
- 1st Episode – Fast food order for students part of a wrestling club
- 2nd Episode – Vegetarian meal in Wolmyeon-am (cast members hiked their way up to the temple too!)
- 3rd Episode – Multi-national food for crew in the meteorological ship of Korea Meteorological Administration
- 4th Episode – Dinner for Pocheon Military Base and even lunchbox for soldiers trainin in the mountain (delivered by drone!)
- 5th Episode – Dinner for 1st Infantry Division
- 6th Episode – Pork dishes for Haenyeo divers
- 7th Episode – Healthy course meals for Jeju United FC
- 8th & 9th Episode – Drill Instructors and soldiers of KATUSA in Camp Humphreys
- 10th Episode – Cool summer dinner for trainees at Firefighter’s Academy
- 11th Episode – Low-sugar/salt lunch for children in a day care center
- 12th Episode – Hot Meal for Zookeepers and Snacks for Elephants
- 13th Episode – High-protein/calorie/fat lunch for prison guards
- 14th Episode – Cheat day meals for athletic students of Busan Sports High School
- 15th Episode – Fusion Food for sailors of ROKS Hansando
- 16th Episode – MZ food for female elders at Shinpoong-ri Painting School
- 17th Episode – Western, Chinese, and Japanese food for students at Chef High School
- 18th Episode – Superfood for staff members of National Cancer Hospital
- 19th Episode – College food for students of Armed Forces Nursing Academy
- 20th Episode – Camping food for themselves as a healing trip
The show is an absolutely nice watch especially when they highlight the client’s profile which is quite a range of diversity. The clients are another reason to watch as you will learn from them and what role they play.
HIGHLIGHTS – BONUS SECTION: AHN BO-HYUN
Apart from Ahn Bo-Hyun’s handsome face and masculine built (gosh he’s so hot), we’ve seen another side of him… his passion in camping and his romantic details when decorating and serving food. As I see myself from him, I can’t help but fall for him even more. I’m sure it’s not only me.
We’ve seen the clients from the show (students, athletes, civilians and even young men from army) fall for him and his charms too. Who’ll forget the episode when they served food at his alma mater on Episode 14? Apart from the food they served, he bought ice cream sticks from his own money as his treat! How sweet is that?
Last but not the least is his dad jokes. I’m a sucker of dad jokes and Ahn Bo-Hyun delivering it (though not very often) in a silly way is just so adorable!
HIGHLIGHTS – BONUS SECTION: FABRI AS GUEST
While there are other guests who appeared on the show, Fabri is the most frequent guest and made a mark on me. He’s such an angel and despite Baek Jong-Won teasing him slow since Fabri is used to fine dining, he doesn’t get offended or at least that’s how I see it.
It’s my first time to hear his name to be honest but he definitely made a mark on me the more I watched him on screen. Fabri is an Italian chef with a Michelin Star restaurant in Italy and now creating content in YouTube as well. He’s handsome, a well-mannered and capable chef, helpful and he’s fluent in Korean! If that doesn’t interest you, I don’t know what will 😛
Backpacker Chef is an entertaining show with a balance of cooking, travel, and reality. The cooking portion is not so elaborate (unlike in Delicious Rendezvous) but you get the idea of how it’s made. We’ve traveled with the backpacker chefs around unusual locations in South Korea as well. A Buddhist temple in the mountain, military bases, ships, schools, day care center, zoo, prison, and even up to a hospital!
- Personal Rating Score: 10 out of 10
- Target Audience: Foodie, Travelers and fans of Baek Jong-Won!
- Will I recommend this: YES!
Despite me getting tensed whenever the backpacker chefs are having a hard time, Backpacker Show is a solid infotainment kind of show you wouldn’t want to miss. With a healing camping trip on the last episode (Episode 20), Backpacker Chef didn’t disappoint and I badly needed a Season 2!