‘4 Wheeled Restaurant’ heads to the United States

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‘4 Wheeled Restaurant’ heads to the United States

Cable network tvN’s reality cooking program “4 Wheeled Restaurant” heads to the United States for its third season, which premieres on Friday at 11 p.m. The cast of the season features chef Lee Yeon-bok, members of the boy band Shinhwa Eric and Lee Min-woo, entertainer Heo Kyeong-hwan and singer John Park. Eric and Park are new additions to the cast.

“We chose the cast based on certain standards,” said producer Lee Woo-hyong. “We wanted them to speak fluent English, have a knack for cooking and work well with others.”

Lee briefly mentioned the absence of singer Jung Joon-young, who was cast to be a part of the program. He left while the show was being filmed after he was summoned for questioning by police when he was charged with illegally shooting videos of himself having sex with women without their consent and sharing the files.

“There were some edits necessary and it took longer than expected, but despite the inconvenience, we did our best, and we are confident that viewers will enjoy the program.”

Luckily for them, Lee Min-woo was able to fill the vacancy without any problem. “Actually, [my appearance] was scheduled a month before the actual shooting,” he said. “Eric texted me so many times to come to the United States and help out, but I really couldn’t reply back because I was already on the plane.”

This season, the cast traveled to the United States for two weeks to serve “Korean Soul food” from their food truck under the guidance of chef Lee.

“I wonder how jajangmyeon will sell in the West,” the chef says in a clip shown at a press conference held on Tuesday, talking about the favorite black bean noodle dish. “Can jajangmyeon become globally popular?”

The chef considers the dish to be just as Korean as it is Chinese. After spending the second season of the show in China, Lee learned that jajangmyeon is seen as a Korean novelty dish there. Although the main menu items on the food truck are Chinese, the group spontaneously added Korean snacks and dishes to draw more customers.

For the chef, selling his food in a totally different culture was a new challenge that he was glad to take on.

“To see Americans enjoy our food boosted my confidence that the world is ready for Korean-style jajangmyeon,” Lee said. “As viewers will find out, our group’s chemistry and teamwork turned out to be flawless for the job.”

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]
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