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Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle

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Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle

(Sik Gaek: Kimchi Jeon Jaeng)
Sponsored by: CinéAsie & Korean Film Council

Canadian Premiere

  • South Korea 2010
  • 119 min
  • 35mm
  • Korean with English subtitles



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Director: Baek Dong-hoon
Screenplay: Shin Dong-ik, from Heo Yeong-man
Cast: Jin Goo, Kim Jeong-eun, Wang Ji-hye, Choi Jong-won
Producers: Choi Joon-young, Kim Hong-sub, Choi Chang-won, Lee Sung-hun
Print Source: M-Line

Part of...

Korean Cinema   

Korean Cinema



Kimchi is commonly assumed to be a standardized side dish of spiced and seasoned Chinese cabbage, but in fact it comes in any number of varieties. In Korea, kimchi is part of the national and even regional identity, seeing as each district, each town and even each family devises its own unique recipe. One can only imagine the outcome when the Japanese Prime Minister expresses doubts as to the origins of the Korean national dish while sharing a meal with his Korean counterpart. Major conflicts have erupted over far less...

The president organizes a kimchi culinary contest where chefs from all over Korea compete against one another. Jang-eun, a chef who found fame in Japan, returns home for the challenge. Taking advantage of the occasion, she plans to sell the family house that used to serve as a restaurant. Jang-eun harbours an unrelenting animosity toward her country and the countless traditions she finds ridiculous and outdated. However, her half-brother Sung-chan, a fruit and vegetable vendor with the uncanny ability to detect the nutritional and medicinal virtues of any given food, is opposed to the idea. Recognizing the local folks’ attachment to the establishment in which his mother cooked her heart out, he offers Jang-eun a deal. He’ll challenge her at the kimchi tournament. If he wins, she hands over the deed.

Following the success of LE GRAND CHEF, which was all the rage at Fantasia 2008, it was simply a matter of time before another film based on the popular manhwa (Korean comic book) was brought to the screen. The wait is over. LE GRAND CHEF 2: KIMCHI BATTLE arrives with its bittersweet tragicomic recipe and countless gourmet dishes that will make your mouth water. It shares the first film’s quest-like structure with its magical objects, ingredients and alliances that propel the protagonist along, and it has the same capacity to summon tears out of nowhere. However, LE GRAND CHEF 2 is a bit more anchored in reality, and visually, more sober than its predecessor. It sharply illustrates the debate between modernity and tradition, an opposition aptly embodied in its well-crafted pair of main characters. With a tight script, first-class performances (including Kim Jeong-eun of FOREVER THE MOMENT and Jin Goo of MOTHER) and a delicious spread of delicacies LE GRAND CHEF 2: KIMCHI BATTLE has all the right ingredients for a dinner-and-movie date to remember!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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