Hunger (2023) ending explained: Does Aoy make it as a top chef?

Hunger (2023) is a drama film revolving around Aoy, a young cook who enters the cut-throat world of fine dining and learns firsthand how demanding it can be. The film is streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Chef Paul runs a highly exclusive table team called ‘Hunger’ that caters to only the most elite class of people. He offers a unique experience for those who always remain hungry.

Aoy is a simple yet talented cook who works at her family restaurant in a modest part of Bangkok. One day, a junior sous chef named Tone invites Aoy to try out for Hunger because he believes she’s too good to make stir-fry.

She looks up Chef Paul online and is enamored by what he’s offering so she goes in for her trial. She competes against another chef who is a culinary school graduate in a challenge set by Chef Paul.

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He tells them to make fried rice and they each produce their own version of the dish. Chef Paul doesn’t taste either but he takes in the smell of Aoy’s dish and orders the other chef to leave.

With Aoy a part of the team, Tone introduces her to the rest of the team and what their roles are. She is brought in to replace the fry cook and her first task is to slice and perfectly cook a piece of Wagyu beef.

She struggles to get it right and Chef Paul tells her to leave if she doesn’t think she can handle it. Aoy stays in the kitchen the whole day trying to perfect the technique and by the next day, she’s able to serve a brilliantly cooked slice of meat.

At her first event, Aoy comes across Mr. Tos, a restaurateur who has made constant attempts to sponsor Chef Paul with no luck. He gives her his business card after watching her excel in front of the crowd.

Despite a good first outing, Aoy is relegated to the kitchen helper after that and when Chef Paul challenges her to prove herself, she ends up cutting a finger while chopping.

She meets up with Tone and he teaches her the special techniques of the kitchen and the way Chef Paul prefers his food to be prepared. They have a fun time together and eventually kiss.

One day, Chef Paul accuses one of the team members of being a thief who has stolen some meat from the pantry. The disgruntled chef responsible claims that he’s been there for many years and deserved to have some good food once in a while.

Chef Paul fires him and then tells everyone else that for their next assignment, Aoy will be the lead chef while his sous chef, Dang, will stand in for her and the chef that was fired.

The meal is almost ruined when Chef Paul realizes that their soup broth had shrimp in it and one of the patrons was deadly allergic to it. He makes a new broth and afterward investigates who made the mistake.

When it turns out to be Dang, he accuses his second of being jealous and trying to ruin his career. Dang grabs a knife and stabs Chef Paul in a moment of rage before running away.

Chef Paul is taken to the hospital and Aoy brings him some noodles, a family recipe passed down generations. She asks him what drove him to become a chef and he talks about his impoverished childhood and the will to make rich people seek him out which served as inspiration.

Once he recovers, he takes his team on an assignment in the forest where the customer shoots down an endangered hornbill for them to cook. Aoy doesn’t want to be involved in something illegal and quits.

She visits Mr. Tos who is opening up his own restaurant with her as the face of it. She builds her craft with a new team around her and gradually makes a name for herself. She asks Tone to join her but he’s too proud to work under her and refuses.

Mr. Tos tells Aoy that she’s been doing well but she’s going to be facing her biggest challenge after being requested for a prominent socialite’s birthday party.

She is visited by Chef Paul and he gets into her head by stating that there was so much more he wanted to teach her. He adds that he’s been invited to cook at the socialite’s party as well.

Aoy had earlier spoke to her younger brother who had asked her to come back because they miss her and their restaurant might not survive without her.

Hunger (2023) ending explained in detail:

What happens at the party?

Aoy begins setting up her station at the party which is right across from Chef Paul’s station. The guest of honor approaches her asking for Chef Paul and she points her in that direction.

Aoy had also asked Mr. Tos to help Tone somehow as he had also started his own restaurant but it wasn’t doing too well. Tone shows up at the party to cheer her on thanks to Mr. Tos.

Her team starts first and the crowd is pleasantly impressed. Chef Paul goes next with an extravagant display and pulls the crowd to his side of the hall.

Aoy isn’t done yet and she decides to make her family noodle dish which mesmerizes everyone but Chef Paul once again grabs their attention with a simple soup.

What happens to Chef Paul?

Chef Paul walks up to Aoy and tells her that no matter how good her food is or how much effort she puts into it, she will not be able to surpass him because he has already made a name for himself.

As he’s gloating, a couple of police officers show up and tell him that they need to take him to the station for questioning. Right then, everyone in the crowd gets a video taken of Chef Paul cooking the hornbill for his client.

He claims that he will get away with this and everyone will keep coming back to him to cook exotic meals because that’s how rich people are and they will always be hungry.

What does Aoy decide?

Mr. Tos reveals that the video was all through his and Tone’s efforts. This was the only thing Tone could offer that was valuable enough for Mr. Tos’s help.

He tells Aoy that it’s going to be her era going forward now that Chef Paul is gone. She’ll have to make some changes, especially with her appearance but Mr. Tos has all of that covered.

He then lets it slip that Aoy wasn’t specifically requested to come and it was her benefactor who pulled some strings. Aoy gets fed up with all the pressure and leaves.

She goes back to her family and tells them that she’s going to cook at her family restaurant and make that the place to be.

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