The Chefs must regain their honor to cook and leave Pucca in charge of the restaurant.
|Season 1, Episode 2B|
|Air date||September 25, 2006|
|Written by|| Su Moon (story)|
Jack Alvino (teleplay)
A Force of Won
House of Doom
"Chef Slump" is the second segment of the second episode of the Pucca television series. It first aired September 25, 2006.
It is an average day at the Goh-Rong Restaurant, but when Dada brings the empty servicing bowls back to the kitchen, the chefs find a single noodle remaining. Because a dish has gone unfinished, the chefs believe they have failed in their cooking skills and must go on a journey to reclaim their abilities and their honor. Pucca walks in the restaurant and holds a bowl out, asking for food, but her uncles tell her that she is now in charge of the restaurant while they leave on their journey. She cries as she watches them leave, but then realizes that she has a full room of hungry people to feed so she quickly (and forcibly) recruits Ching and Santa to help.
The chefs arrive at a temple in the windy mountains and, holding up their noodle of shame, beg the “great master chefs of old” to forgive their disgraceful cooking and allow them to enter in the hopes of regaining their honor. A booming voice gives them entry and they go inside.
Pucca assigns Santa to making the noodles while Ching is in charge of chopping vegetables. She immediately gets to work with her sword rather than a knife, but she quickly overdoes it and turns the veggies to a pile of dust to Pucca’s displeasure.
The chefs enter the Great Hall of Utensils where their first task is to regain control of the tools. Balancing across bamboo stalks amidst a floor of fire, Uncle Dumpling kicks several utensils off of a pan and the others catch them midair. Linguini must jump away when his own bamboo pole begins to break and Ho handles chopping a barrage of vegetables that are flung through the air. Soon, all three are balancing on poles while holding burning skillets which catch the vegetables. As Linguini and Ho say, “without balance, [they] have no talents.”
Pucca is doing her best to serve the many customers in the dining room (Dada is noticeably absent) and by the time she makes it back to the kitchen, the noodle girl is pooped. She isn’t happy to find that, instead of making noodles, Santa has used the dough to construct a small village and several snowmen-like people using dough and pretzel sticks.
As their second test, the chefs reach the Hall of Divine Flavors and are told to prepare the spread of ingredients for perfection as giant razorblades swing overhead. They charge through, dodging the blades and picking up vegetables and meat without being harmed. They must remain focused no matter what; they must “focus on taste, or [they]’re a disgrace.”
What few batches of noodles the Goh-Rong kitchen is able to make are not edible. One batch is a stinky soup that, when smelled, knocks out the customer; another batch hops out of the bowl and starts crawling away on its own. One customer is shocked to find Won has ended up amongst the noodles and rather than dine on a live chicken, pushes her bowl away just as the front doors burst open. A biker gang has arrived and their leader (who looks remarkably like Muji), warns the temporary cooks that their noodles had better be fast and good, with his bulldog growling in agreement. Pucca can only sigh in exhaustion.
The final test has arrived and in the Master Chef Coliseum, the voice (now revealed to be Master Soo with a megaphone) tells them they must prepare a feast in two minutes, but their cooking area resides on a floating rock in the center of a lava pit while a variety of projectiles rain down on them. The three immediately get to work, Linguini rolling out the dough, Ho heating the skillet, and Uncle Dumpling chopping vegetables. A volcano explodes and arrows and darts begin to fire at them, forcing the chefs to switch between performing their cooking arts and protecting each other from the dangers. The overhanging light begins giving way but they manage to finish the dish and jump clear before the dining area is completely destroyed, just making the two-minute time limit.
Master Soo warns them that severe punishment will follow if they have failed (though he is cut off by his maiden’s bad timing on the gong) before the chefs reveal their dish: a single shrimp atop seaweed with a small bit of sauce. Master Soo pops it in his mouth and after a moment of chewing, he declares their food incredible and that they may now return to feeding the masses.
Outside of the temple, the chefs congratulate their achievement by bowing to one another, only to be interrupted by the appearance of Mio. The ninja cat informs them through a translation of meows that Pucca is in the restaurant and things aren’t going well, prompting them to hurry back home.
Proper noodles are once again being served at the Goh-Rong and the first bowl goes to Pucca who happily enjoys the dish by discarding her chopsticks and digging in face-first. Beside her, Bruce is preparing to eat his own meal, but requests that Dada not remove his plate before he can finish eating as the busboy previously had. The chefs, now realizing the origin of that earlier leftover noodle, turn their anger towards Dada who begins to weep, realizing that he’s in big trouble.
Pucca ignores all of this drama and continues to eat bowl after bowl of noodles, glad to have everything back to normal.
Dumpling: A noodle left unfinished!
Ho: It's a disgrace.
Linguini: I shall never cook again.
Dumpling: Balance is the key!
Ho and Linguini: Without balance, we have no talent.
Master Soo: [to the chefs] You have succeeded. Go again to gloriously feed the masses.
Ho: What's that, Pucca's in the well?
Ho: Oh, Pucca's in the restaurant, and it's not going well.
Dumpling: Uh oh.
Ho: We had better get back.
Bruce: Dada's not gonna to take my plate again before I finish, like he did the last time, is he? Over.
Dumpling: [angrily] Dada took what?