On 4 March 2011, Ji Chang Wook was invited by the management of the Ambassador Hotel in Seoul to put on a cooking demonstration for guests attending through a ticket lottery. You may recognize the venue as the “Camellia Hotel” used during filming of “Smile Donghae,” and that was the main reason their management decided to engage “Donghae” to help them with the Grand Opening of their King’s Buffet Restaurant. The event was covered by the usual news reporters, and here’s some photos of the fun!
Then it was time to partake of the Buffet Offerings! Two of the dishes Changwook “prepared” (with help from an army of minions working behind the scenes) were added to the menu that day in honour of his appearance:
After the event had ended and the last dish was washed, Changwook changed out of his chef’s whites and into a smart suit to sit for yet another round of interviews with the Korean press. At that time of the “Smile Donghae” airing, the ratings were consistently in the high 40% range and everyone wanted an interview NOW.
I am glad to report that the Ambassador Hotel is still in business, and I met up with friends on my 2013 trip there for drinks in their lounge. But seeing all those chefs run around made us wonder if somehow we may see Donghae himself come walking around the corner with Bongi, all the while being tailed by Saewa and berated by Dojin. It’s definitely a must-see whenever you are in Seoul!
And here’s a Y-Star news report on his cooking demonstration. Although not of Michelin-star standards, we can at least give him a pat on the back for managing to dish out something palatable.