Imagine getting full access to the kitchen of one of Korea’s most well-known chefs, cooking beside him, and being showered by praise after he tasted your dishes. Thanks to Delicious Rendezvous, Roh Jisun did not need to imagine.
Led by the chef, businessman, and entertainer Baek Jong Won, the show revolves around preparing various dishes using an ingredient of low demand, looking to later sell the specialty and promote the struggling local producers. Gyuri and Jisun were invited to help with the task throughout three episodes, joining a notable cast that was completed by Kim Dongjung, Yang Sehyung, Yoo Byungjae, and none other than Kim Heechul, fromis_9’s eternal teacher.
On their way to the shooting site, before any cooking was done, Gyuri and Jisun revealed their kind hearts only moments after being introduced to the cast. Knowing the food marathon ahead of them, the girls brought digestive medicine to all participants of the show, adding a sweet, personal handwritten note to each bottle. The gesture touched Heechul to the point of choking up.
By the time the cast arrived at the filming location, the main ingredients for the three episodes had already been revealed: Korean sandlance and red crab. Starting with a sandlance soup, Baek Jong Won led the cooking of the first plate himself, leaving Jisun the job of fangirling over seeing the chef she always admired working from up close.
It did not take long, however, until the girls also got their hands busy. After enjoying the hearty meal, they would go head to head in a competition to win chef Baek Jong Won’s limited edition knife. Gyuri, paired up with Yang Sehyung, had the difficult task of facing Jisun, who would cook beside Yoo Byungjae.
Thankfully for Gyul, the playing field was leveled since the hosts had to come up with their recipes beforehand, leaving to fromis_9 only the duty of helping execute their plans. Gyuri’s job was not easy, however. As she struggled in the kitchen, Jisun’s mastery of the knife impressed the cast one by one; a snippet of what was to come in the following episodes.
Gyuri’s honesty was her biggest weapon. Showing great chemistry with Sehyung, even the staff members could not resist laughing at the faces she made whenever she tried his cooking. “This is really not it,” she blurted while wearing an almost desperate expression.
In the end, Gyuri’s remarks and Sehyung’s perseverance were enough to beat the experience of Jisun and Byungjae. After blindly tasting their dishes, Baek Jong Won declared the win of the first duo, awarding each of them a limited edition knife.
As the sun goes down, Baek’s Midnight Diner opens; a section of the show where Baek Jong Won cooks for the hosts and guests to enjoy as they sit around the counter in a bar-like setup. Before you know it, the chef prepares the next dish with the help of Gyuri, who, once again guided by sincerity, says the job of skewing the fish doesn’t appear as hard as the hosts are making it to be, trying it herself to great success.
After they all enjoy Jong Won’s cooking, Heechul asks if there is anything Jisun would like to make. As she mentions seeing certain ingredients she has used a lot in her culinary adventures, chef Baek invites her to use his kitchen, giving Jisun full permission to cook the group’s next dish by herself using any ingredient of her choice. For the first time ever in the show’s segment, a guest had completely taken over the chef’s spot.
Jisun displayed skill with the knife, but more importantly, knowledge. When cooking stir-fried pork with sweet pepper (Baek Jong Won’s own recipe), she explained the reasoning behind each step she took, such as the importance of adding the meat first when preparing the dish. According to fromis_9’s chef, the pork would have its flavor enhanced thanks to the Maillard reaction, the chemical reaction that causes the meat, as well as other food, to form a browned crust once heated. Her explanation prompted Baek Jong Won to further share knowledge on the topic, leaving everyone astounded by Jisun’s expertise.
From the way she cooks the meat to details, such as frying the soy sauce instead of boiling it, Jisun shows prowess and is constantly praised by the chef. Beyond following a good recipe, she knows exactly when and why each ingredient needs to be added, and she is so confident in her skills that all of it is done without taking a single bite. When the cast, salivating, finally gets to taste her dish, nothing but praise ensues.
If Baek Jong Won is involved, the cooking never stops. This time assisted by Jisun, who already seems familiar with the kitchen, the chef starts to make the last recipe of the night, chicken gizzard. As he is about to add a new ingredient, Jong Won freezes. When asked why he paused, the chef explains he got caught doubting himself after trying to copy Jisun, who did not need to taste-test her dish before serving it and impressing everyone. At least for that night, it was Baek Jong Won who wanted to be a little more like Jisun.
At the start of the second day of filming, the girls get up early to prepare red crab ramen with their teacher Heechul, who is in charge of the kitchen. Although he is the one supposed to be leading, Jisun starts cooking a portion of the breakfast on her own, and even helps Heechul out by remembering how to proceed with his own recipe. In no time, the fromis_9 member has her part ready, once again being praised for her technique by Baek Jong Won.
The last section of the show consisted of selling the audience the processed red crab meat that was also used on previous dishes. To promote the product, the cast would cook and entertain the viewers on an hour-long livestream broadcasted on Naver Shopping Live. This event happened in November of 2020, a month before the episodes aired on television.
Aiming to retain the viewers’ attention, this time Gyuri was asked not to frown, showing, instead, positive reactions she practiced before going live. Following the same train of thought, Heechul suggested that the girls of fromis_9 danced to “Feel Good” whenever they tried a new plate served by the chef; guaranteed entertainment.
Starting the livestream, the always-trustworthy assistant Jisun would not let Baek Jong Won forget any details that needed to be shared with the spectators. As the chef hurriedly explained his thoughts due to the time limit, Jisun would remind him of important tips and information, such as saying the crab meat needed all the water removed after defrosting, affirming the food was safe to be given to babies, and stating the microwave was a nice alternative for those who did not have an air fryer available.
Even with the time pressure of the livestream, where entertainment and efficiency needed to be balanced to prepare five different dishes in less than one hour, Jisun took it in stride. Among flovers, saying Jisun is a composed and skilled cook is like bringing sand to the beach. Beyond the fandom, however, her culinary expertise remained a hidden talent until she featured on Delicious Rendezvous.
From the first moment Gyuri and Jisun appeared on screen, viewers and hosts alike were captivated by their pure hearts, variety sense, and skills. But beyond that, flovers will always remember Delicious Rendezvous as the show where Jisun met one of her biggest idols, made us proud, and turned Baek’s Midnight Diner into Roh’s Playground.