In Search of the Ultimate Korean Variety Show: Chef & My Fridge

We change gears this week and check out the entertaining and tantalizing cooking competition show Chef & My Fridge.  Come find out how it fared as we continue our search for the ultimate Korean variety show!

Our Quest:

This segment began when The Fangirls viewed the teaser for upcoming variety program Busted and realized that it has been a while since we have been openly invested in a variety show.  But where do we start in finding something new? This made us think there might be others out there who are just overwhelmed by how many options there are now.  Hence, the search for the ultimate variety program was created.  We hope you enjoy checking out these shows with us each week.  Be sure to suggest possible shows for us to watch in the comments and I promise we will eventually try to get to them all and share our thoughts.

Synopsis:  In each episode, two guests have their refrigerators brought to the filming studio. The hosts go through each refrigerator, with the hosts, chefs, and guests commenting on unusual or otherwise notable foods. The hosts will sometimes “help” the guests by throwing away ingredients that are expired. The cast members sometimes sample a dish in the refrigerator. Each guest has four of the eight chefs assigned to them, and each guest presents two categories of food that he or she would like cooked. Examples of categories include Western-style food or a seafood dish that the guest’s children would enjoy. Each of the four chefs choose the category they wish to compete in, with two chefs competing in each category.

The two competing chefs have 15 minutes to cook a dish using ingredients from the guest’s refrigerator. Some basic ingredients, like onions, are provided by the show. A host (Kim Sung-joo or Ahn Jung-hwan) will then sample the dishes in the middle of the cooking process and comment on their quality. Starting with the chef who finished cooking their dish first, each chef presents their dish to the guest and then to the remaining cast members. After commentary on the dishes, the guest selects the winner. (Wikipedia)

Kmuse:  I didn’t really know what to expect with this program.  I had seen it pimped on Netflix and heard that GD and Taeyang had guest starred but had never tried it until we started this segment.  I am so glad I gave it a try because it was so much fun.

Clkytta: I saw this on Netflix and thought I’d try it out. I’ve watched several segments and even my 10 year old enjoys it. Now, she’s watched the GD and Taeyang episodes about a dozen times, but we have watched other episodes and enjoyed them too.

Drama Geek: I don’t have much wiggle room in my drama watching schedule so variety shows are pretty low on the list. I’m glad that I watched GD and Taeyang’s episodes. Not only did I get to see the boys, it was really interesting watching the chefs cook.

Kdrama Jen: I love variety shows, so I was willing to give this a try. The premise is really interesting and I found myself wondering what might be in the refrigerators of top Korean stars.

Karie the Maknae: I’ve always loved cooking reality shows, even though I don’t have much time to watch them, so I figured this one would be right up my alley. The lack of Alton Brown DID NOT deter me! 😉


Kmuse: Within minutes of turning on Chef & My Fridge, my kids gathered around to watch with me.  It was the perfect mix of guest star banter, witty jokes at the various chefs, and delicious cooking.  I also loved the aspect of the show bringing in the literal fridges of our guest stars.  It was a fun twist and something you don’t see anywhere else.  A very unique hook.

Clkytta: I’m that friend who likes to look and see what you have to eat in your fridge when I come over. I will happily admit that I’m nosy and that it’s interesting to see what other people like or dislike eating. I love how the chefs rib each other and the guests. While it’s no Iron Chef, there is still a sense of nervousness and anticipation to see who will finish and if the guest will like it.

Drama Geek: So I didn’t really know what to expect, and the very beginning of the episode was a room full of guys ribbing the maknae about getting a girlfriend and how his life would never be the same. But I quickly became invested when Taeyang and GD came out. They were pretty relaxed and were very playful.  Plus, Taeyang dances when he likes the food, and GD belts out of few lines of If You, so I was entertained. By the middle of the first episode my youngest was hovering over my shoulder.

Kdrama Jen: It seems like I was the only one who watched alone! I enjoyed the banter and the cooking. It certainly made me hungry!

Karie the Maknae: Jen, we should have coordinated our schedules! Well, I watched the episode in bits and pieces while I was cooking. The banter was perfect, especially when they found pink rubber gloves in Taeyang’s fridge and called his mother about it. And the food looked exquisite. I didn’t blame Taeyang for downing the whole thing by himself.

Kmuse: The food all looked AMAZING.  Half the time it included ingredients that I don’t even enjoy and I still wanted to taste it.  If a truly talented cooking show is one that makes you want to eat things out of your comfort range than this show succeeded.

Clkytta: I can’t watch without having a snack. It also inspires me to cook more.

Drama Geek: The food looked SO GOOD. I really liked seeing the different techniques they used and honestly there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t try. I know Taeyang and GD probably have a lot more food than most idols would have, so I’d be curious to see what they do with a younger group member’s fridge.


Kmuse: A lot of the competitors are not huge named stars.  However, I think I was entertained enough by the chefs and the witty banter of the hosts that I can ignore this.

Clkytta: I’m going to go ahead and say that I think half the stuff in their fridges isn’t really something they eat normally. Some episodes are real and have stuff like kimchi and leftovers and then you have GD with all his exotic foods. He’s so busy how does he have time to eat all of that before it goes bad? So I have a feeling that some of that is there just for show.

Drama Geek: GD does live with his parents and I think they run a bed and breakfast type place so I can see him bringing home exotic food and them using it. The biggest con for me is that when I scrolled through the rest of the episodes on Netflix I wasn’t interested in any of the other guests except for Rain and Eric. They’re both older idol/actors and probably have real food in their refrigerator too. I know the show has had a lot of my favorites on it, and I’m wondering why none of them made the cut.

Kdrama Jen: Yup. I had the same list of drawbacks. It is a fun concept, but without stars that I really care about, this doesn’t really keep me invested.

Karie the Maknae: I had no beefs with the show (PUN TOTALLY INTENDED), but I only watched one episode. Like Drama Geek, I don’t have a ton of time to watch something other than dramas.

Would We Recommend?

Kmuse: I would highly recommend.  This is also one of those shows that can hook your non-Korean watching family members.  I will be watching more episodes with my kids in the upcoming weeks.

Clkytta: Yes, go watch it! It’s a show that the whole family can enjoy and it’s educational as you learn about foods you may not be familar with and how to cook them. I’ve upped my rice and ramen game since we started watching this show.

Drama Geek: If you like cooking shows, and are interesting is seeing chefs cook more Asian inspired dishes, then this might be a good show to watch.

Kdrama Jen: I would recommend this if there is a guest you have an interest in or if you enjoy cooking shows.

Karie the Maknae: I fully intend to get my kids to watch this with me the next time they’re fighting over the remote control. If they can’t decide, this momma will choose for them!

Current Ranking:

Kmuse: I had so much fun watching this with my family.  It was really highly ranked for me but still failed to overcome my love of Running Man the early years.

  1.  Running Man
  2. Chef In My Fridge
  3. It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets
  4. King of Masked Singer
  5.  Busted

Kdrama Jen: Hmm… This did not beat King of Masked Singer for me, but I prefer singing to cooking.

To check out our past variety reviews click HERE!  We will hopefully be releasing a new review weekly so if you have a favorite Korean (or Asian) variety program send us a note in the comments.  We will happily add it to our list.

Til next time,

The Fangirls – Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “In Search of the Ultimate Korean Variety Show: Chef & My Fridge

    • Yes! Although, I think that is in season 3 which is not up on Netflix yet. I have seen it on youtube though unsubbed.

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