Replacing Chef Chico is one of those consistent shows that don’t change your life or even highly entertain you, but they are well-written, consistent, and a nice way to pass a few hours. It may have ranked higher in our estimation if the food had looked delicious through the screen, but the impact was lacking. Overall, this was a decent watch, and this is the summary and ending of Replacing Chef Chico Season 1.
How does Ella become the Head Chef?
Ella is the Sous Chef to Chico, who is the Head Chef of Hain. He runs his kitchen like a tyrant with an explosive temper, and he is also oddly possessive of his knife, which he doesn’t allow anybody to touch. Hain is a restaurant that tailors its food according to the preferences of the guests and their stories, including the event that they are celebrating. This is what makes Hain unique, but it is also holding them back because the limited innovation means that the business is surviving due to the former customers. Chico’s family is the owner of Hain, and they sent a consultant, Raymond, to help out with the business. Sadly, Chico is too adamant to listen to anyone.
Chico and Ella have feelings for each other, though they can’t confess because the former has a girlfriend. However, one day, Chico ends up making his move, and Ella tells him that she will accept him if he breaks up with his girlfriend. But before Chico can do that, he gets into an accident and is in a coma. That means that someone has to take over the position of Head Chef in the interim, and the obvious choice is Ella since she is the Sous Chef. But Ella is full of self-doubt, and there are other, more ambitious contenders waiting to downplay her, the primary one being Carlon, who is the one with the most experience there. Ella initially struggles, especially when one of the first guests she handles ends up very unhappy with the food they serve. But the man’s wife tells Ella that her husband, who was previously a famed chef himself, is taking these things so personally because he is unable to let go of the fact that his Alzheimer’s will probably not let him cook again.
Ella understands the delicacy of the situation and remakes the dish they had asked for. This time, the food is perfect, and it allows the couple to talk their hearts out, which also repairs their relationship. Ella has worked her magic, but it isn’t until the next day that she starts gaining more confidence in herself. Ella and Carlon are competing for the position, and the latter is already acting as if he is the boss. But that day, he refuses to make his signature dish because a particular ingredient is missing. Ella asks him to adjust somehow because the reputation of the restaurant is at stake, but Carlon doesn’t care. Therefore, Ella makes the dish, and it is a success. That proves to everyone and herself that she is capable of acting as a team player and keeping her cool in times of stress, which ends up earning her the position of Head Chef. There is still some friction, with people unable to see her as their leader, but Ella makes it clear to them that this is unfair and, for the time being, they have to accept this change.
How is Ella as a leader?
Ella proves to be a far more composed leader than Chico ever was. If there was ever a change in the reservation, Chico used to lose his mind, whereas Ella handled the situation with ease and grace. She personally talks to all the guests and adds that extra flourish and love to their dishes that Chico never bothered with. It is worth mentioning that she gets along well with the other employees as well. Also, she and Raymond are getting closer with time. Ella had found that Chico had a fiancé, not a girlfriend, and he never broke up with her. That meant that whatever he was trying to do was never sincere. Therefore, she allows her feelings for him to change and eventually tells Raymond that she likes him, though that is the exact moment that Chico comes back to take charge of the restaurant.
Why does Ella leave Hain?
Chico instantly notices that his employees have started holding Ella in greater regard than they do him. He is also antsy about not finding his special knife, and for once, Ella replies back to him that she should be able to work regardless of it. Chico is uncomfortable with a lot of the changes that Ella has brought in, from the layout to the menu, and he also doesn’t like that they have to hold a wedding in the restaurant, even though it ends up being a beautiful and memorable event. The real falling out between Ella and Chico is over an article. Chico had misjudged someone to be a food critic, and he thought that they were going to get a bad review in the paper. However, the real critic had been served by Ella unknowingly, and she gave a glowing review praising Ella. That did not sit well with Chico, and he insulted Ella, causing her to walk away from the restaurant.
Does Ella stay back at Hain?
Without Ella, the kitchen is a mess. Chico hates admitting that he needs her, and the rest of the staff are also missing her and say that they would have left if it wasn’t for the money. Meanwhile, Chico has a talk with his mother, who encourages him to think about the restaurant and not just himself. One of the reasons Chico was always so on edge was because he wanted to prove his success to his parents. But his mother tells him that he should not do that anymore because they love him more than they need such proof. Chico also understands that he is not as good a leader as Ella was, and if he wants to protect the livelihood of the employees, he has to take a step back.
Chico goes to meet Ella and apologizes for his behavior. He also asks her to come back as the Head Chef of the restaurant and promises not to get in her way. That is a lot for Ella to deal with, who is considering going to Singapore with Raymond. He has gotten the opportunity of a lifetime there, and he was given the choice to choose his own Head Chef, and he chose Ella. But now Ella has something else to consider. She goes back to the restaurant for a day and is set to leave for Singapore, but seeing her among them, Raymond realizes the dilemma she is in. At the end of the day, he tells her that she has the choice and is allowed to make the decision that her heart wants. Ella said that Hain was her comfort zone, but it has been proven that it went beyond that, and Ella loved the place with all her heart. For Ella’s last meal, the guests aren’t as happy, and Ella realizes that it was because her heart was torn while making that. Like she said, ‘love is a necessary cliche, and she wasn’t able to give it to her all that day. Ella realizes that if she went to Singapore, this would repeat as her heart was in Hain. Therefore, at the end of Replacing Chef Chico, Ella decides not to go to Singapore and chooses to come back to Hain to work as the Head Chef like she always wanted to.
In our opinion, Replacing Chef Chico‘s ending should have been different. Ella should have gone to Singapore and grown her own brand. Instead, she chose to stay back in Hain because, in so many ways, Ella had still not grown beyond her self-doubts. We hope the girl is able to get over them sometime soon.