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Celebrity trio’s food truck challenge in Thailand

By Hong Dam-young

  • Published : Mar 26, 2018 - 18:49
  • Updated : Mar 26, 2018 - 18:49

Yeo Jin-gu, Lee Min-woo and Hong Suk-chun to sell Thai food in Thailand

Spicy, aromatic and rich in taste and texture, phad tai and tom yang goong are definitely one of the most ubiquitous Thai dishes served in Thai restaurants in Korea.

While many of them are said to be cooked up in the most authentic way, tvN’s new variety show “Will This Do Well Locally?” asks, “Will Thai food cooked by Koreans capture hearts of Thai people?”

Riding on the ongoing trend of cooking reality shows, tvN’s new show will feature how a trio of TV celebrity and restaurateur Hong Suk-chun, actor Yeo Jin-gu and Lee Min-woo of K-pop boy band Shinhwa, transform into food truck entrepreneurs and sell Thai dishes on the streets of Thailand.

From left, Lee Min-woo, Hong Suk-chun and Yeo Jin-gu pose during a press conference for tvN’s new variety show “Will This Do Well Locally?” (CJ E&M)

The show is also a twist of “Youn’s Kitchen,” a popular tvN variety show where most recently celebrities ran a pop-up Korean restaurant in Tenerife, Spain. Hong and Yeo will take the role of a chef and an assistant chef, respectively, while Yeo will be tasked with driving and other chores.

Hong, a Korean entertainer who became a successful restaurateur running several restaurants in Itaewon, Seoul, including My Thai, said taking on the food truck business in Thailand was one of the most meaningful things in his life.

“I’ve been working in the food service industry for 15 years, and when I first heard of the idea of the show, as a businessman, I immediately started calculating gains and losses. I was also scared of the idea that if I make some mistakes in the show, it would directly impact my restaurant business in Itaewon,” said Hong during a press conference for the program held in Seoul on Monday.

“But I decided to star in the show as I wanted to renew my mind, go back to the old days when I passionately started this restaurant business. It was the time that I was made to think a lot. I bet food from my restaurants will taste better soon.”

Program director Lee Woo-hyung, who also attended the event, said that he chose Hong has he has insight into food. Lee was cast based on his longtime friendship with Hong, he added.

From left, Lee Min-woo, Hong Suk-chun and Yeo Jin-gu pose during a press conference for tvN’s new variety show “Will This Do Well Locally?” (CJ E&M)

Yeo, who makes the first ever appearance as a regular member in a variety show, said he decided to star in the show as he thought the experience would be valuable.

“I enjoy visiting famous restaurants. But while filming the show, I got to serve customers, which was very new to me. And I decided to say ‘I enjoyed your food’ whenever I go to restaurants,” he said. Lee Min-woo said that he has been enjoying cooking since middle school and has gained more interest in food since living alone.

All three of men are famous celebrities in Korea, but inside the food trucks, they are just vendors stripped off of glitz and fame. And director Lee said that he hadn’t expected the trio to be so committed to their new work.

“Now they joke and laugh about their time in Thailand. Actually, the three fully, seriously threw themselves into this food truck challenge, sleeping only four hours a day,” Lee said.

“Will This Do Well Locally?” is set to air at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

By Hong Dam-young (dyhong@heraldcorp.com)