HARD RELATE: AXN’s show about millennials who can’t cook feels like a personal attack (and we’re all here for it)

Published September 23, 2022, 1:28 PM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

In the first two episodes of Millennium Cooking Philippines, creative freelancer Michelle Yu and actor Raphael Robes must cook the Korean traditional dish, wolgwa-chae. Chef Lily MIn, an instructor at the Korean Cultural Center and the mind behind Lily Lab Authentic K Food, is thankfully there to teach them how… but the catch is that she teaches them strictly in Korean. Will our kitchen-clueless contestants bridge the language barrier and come up with an edible – and hopefully, delicious – dish? Find out!

When there’s just so much to do, why spend time preparing meals when you can just order them from a restaurant, right? For many millennials, the kitchen is uncharted territory and cooking is just a different language altogether.

The Wolgwa-chae Challenge

That’s certainly the case for Michelle “M” Yu and Raphael “Rap” Robes – figuratively and quite literally – as they listened and watched Chef Lily demonstrate how to cook wolgwa-chae, a Korean stir-fry vegetable dish similar to japchae but with sticky rice cakes instead of noodles.

“It was certainly distracting – I’m trying to understand what Chef Lily is saying but at the same time since I can’t understand, I’m just trying to watch what she’s doing,” Rap shares.

“There were times when I just completely zoned out,” admits M.

After the demonstration and taste test, Matteo Guidicelli, host of Millennium Cooking Philippines and a restaurateur himself, dishes out the criteria for judging: 40 percent for execution, 20 percent for plating, and 40 percent for taste.

After that, it was off to the kitchen.

Epic Fails

When asked about her worst kitchen fail, M says, “Since I don’t cook, I often use the microwave. My worst kitchen fail was when I microwaved my dinner and I… forgot to remove the foil.”

On Millennium Cooking Philippines, M immediately made her first blunder when she mistook sugar for salt when seasoning her dish. Try taste-testing next time, M!

M’s biggest fail, however, was undercooking the beef and vegetables. With only five minutes left, M found herself rushing to cook the rice cakes, the beef, and the egg, and work on the plating all at the same time. In the end, Chef Lily and Matteo were unable to taste the meat and zucchini, which were supposed to be the highlights of the dish.

As for Rap, his epic fail came when he added too much water to the glutinous rice flour while making rice cakes, making it unsalvageable to include in the final plating. TBH, it looked like he was making slime.

“I am a negative six,” Rap says when asked how he rates himself in the kitchen. It is also worth noting that he almost cut himself with the knife Chef Lily was using, literally while she was using it. How does that even happen?!

Winning Moments

Despite serving his dish sans the rice cakes, Rap was able to impress Chef Lily and Matteo with the way his beef and vegetables were cooked.

“I think he has a talent for cooking. He was very creative but he didn’t follow the basic rules of cooking wolgwa-chae,” Chef Lily said. Plus points for innovation, Rap!

M, on the other hand, pulled off a miracle when Chef Lily liked the way her dish was seasoned despite the salt-sugar swap mishap. On top of that, she was able to cook Korean pancakes successfully.

“She paid close attention to the process and tried so hard to follow the steps. In that aspect, she did a great job,” Chef Lily comments.

What to expect in the next episode

In the end, it all boiled down to the taste of the dish. As much as M followed the instructions and was able to complete the dish – sans the undercooked meat – it was Rap who emerged victorious in the first challenge. He will be moving on to the final cook-off, where the winner takes home Php 25,000 in cash, Php 75,000 worth of home furnishings from IKEA, and a one-of-a-kind Millennium Cooking Philippines trophy.

Motovlogger Katrice Kierulf and corporate executive Sonnie Guerrero are next on the roster of daring millennials ready to show off their cooking skills – or lack thereof.

Catch Millennium Cooking Philippines on AXN

Millennium Cooking Philippines is presented by IKEA and airs every Friday at 8:20 PM (PHT) on AXN (Cignal Ch 121, SKYcable HD Ch 247, SKYcable SD Ch 49, GSAT Ch 57, and various provincial cable operators nationwide), the leading English-language general entertainment channel. Full episodes are also uploaded on the AXN Asia YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/AXNAsia) an hour after the TV broadcast. The sixth and final episode, airing on Oct. 14, 2022, will announce the first-ever winner of Millennium Cooking Philippines.

Watch the first two episodes on YouTube:

Episode 1: youtu.be/1lbghtikARc

Episode 2: youtu.be/oKOHjUjQLfE

Learn more about the show and the cast