Netflix’s Hunger Ending, Explained: Does Aoy Defeat Chef Paul?

Netflix’s ‘Hunger’ is a Thai thriller drama movie directed by Sitisiri Mongkolsiri. It tells the story of Aoy, a young woman from a modest background who enters the world of fine dining and cooking. As Aoy works with the ruthless and dedicated Chef Paul, she hones her culinary skills and desires to become someone special. However, challenges lay plenty in her path, and Aoy is forced to confront them while contemplating the cost and sacrifices at which success comes in the cutthroat culinary world. Therefore, viewers must wonder whether Aoy succeeds in the culinary world at the end of ‘Hunger.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Hunger Plot Synopsis

‘Hunger’ follows Aoy, a young woman who is a cook at her family’s Pad See Ew (Thai stir-fried noodles) shop. Aoy has two younger siblings and an old father. She runs the noodle shop to support her family and pay for her younger sister’s education. Meanwhile, Paul Taylor is a celebrity chef who runs “Hunger,” a team of elite chefs that caters to the wealthy and influential folks in Thailand. One day, Tone, who works for Chef Paul, visits Aoy’s noodle shop and recognizes her skill. He invites Aoy for a tryout at Hunger. After demonstrating her frying skills, Aoy is selected as a replacement for a recently fired team member.

During her first assignment under Chef Paul, Aoy struggles to fry pork and receives an ultimatum from her boss. However, Aoy spends the night in the kitchen and perfects the dish, earning her place among the elite chefs. At a catering event, the wealthy guests applaud Aoy when she pan-fries pork for them. A business magnet named Mr. Tos gives Aoy his card and asks her to contact him if she needs help. Later, Chef Paul insults Aoy as she is only good at frying and does not possess other cooking skills.

Meanwhile, Aoy and Tone grow close. Tone helps Apy hone her cooking skills, and she starts becoming a better chef. One day, one of Chef Paul’s team members is fired for stealing expensive ingredients from the kitchen. A few days later, Chef Paul fires Dang, the most experienced Chef on his team. However, Dang stabs Chef Paul in the stomach before leaving, and the latter is hospitalized. Aoy visits Chef Paul at the hospital and learns about his mantra. Chef Paul explains that to be a good chef, one must be hungry for success and needs to channel their hunger.

Chef Paul’s team accompanies a wealthy client on one of his hunting trips. The client hunts down an exotic bird and wants Chef Paul to cook it for him. However, Aoy is against cooking the bird as it belongs to an endangered species, and it is illegal to hunt it. However, Chef Paul berates Aoy for her moral righteousness and argues that one has to compromise on their morals to become successful. As a result, Aoy realizes that Chef Paul has become blind in his hunger for success. As a result, Aoy quits her job but does not give up on her quest to become a famous chef.

Later, Aoy seeks help from Mr. Tos, who invests in her and helps Aoy start her own fine-dining restaurant, Flame. However, Aoy is faced with several challenges in proving her capability as a chef who can challenge the dominance and popularity of Chef Paul. Moreover, Aoy becomes distant from her family and Tone. She and Tone break up after the latter becomes jealous of Aoy’s rapid rise to the top of the culinary scene in the city. Nonetheless, Aoy constantly feels anxious and becomes paranoid in her quest for perfection. As Aoy slowly starts becoming like Chef Paul, she is visited by her former master, who reveals they will be facing off at the birthday party of a wealthy socialite.

Hunger Ending: Does Aoy Defeat Chef Paul?

During the film’s climax, Aoy learns that she will be cooking at the birthday party of a wealthy socialite. Mr. Tos believes the event will help them take Flame to new heights. However, Aoy learns that she has not received the catering contract on her merit. Instead, she will face off against her former master, Chef Paul, at the party. While cooking at the party, Aoy showcases her personality and talent among the wealthiest people in the city. However, Chef Paul’s experience quickly outdoes all of Aoy’s good work. As a result, Aoy realizes that she cannot win the contest by following Chef Paul’s teachings. Instead, Aoy returns to basics and cooks “Crybaby Noodles,” her family’s recipe.

While the story behind the dish and its taste win the guest’s hearts, Chef Paul again swings things in his favor. However, Chef Paul is arrested by the police after a video of him cooking illegal meat goes viral. Mr. Tos reveals that Tone shared the video with him in exchange for funding for his own restaurant. Ultimately, Chef Paul is defeated and faces the consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, Aoy is disappointed as she did not win the contest because of her skills. Instead, Mr. Tos and Tone’s machinations highlight their hunger and greed.

The duo’s actions are morally corrupt, similar to Chef Paul’s actions. Hence, Aoy cannot prove that her skills and dedication to them matter more than external factors and manipulation. The clash between Aoy and Chef Paul is ideological, as the former master and apprentice have completely different approaches to cooking. While his hunger for success defines Chef Paul, Aoy is defined by her family values and morality. Despite Paul’s loss, the ending implies that Aoy is destined for failure in the cutthroat culinary world because her ideals will always hold her back.

Why Did Aoy Quit Flame?

In the film’s final moments, Aoy quits Flame after learning of Mr. Tos and Tone’s machinations. The duo’s actions help Aoy realize that they have been consumed by their desire to succeed and are willing to go to any extent to ensure they achieve their goals. In the process, their hunger turns into greed, breaking all moral obligations. As a result, Aoy quits Flame since she does not want to get consumed by greed like Chef Paul, Mr. Tos, and Tone. Moreover, Aoy also gives up her family life and the other small things in life she enjoys for professional success. However, she realizes that her family matters to her and returns home.

In the end, Aoy gives up on her dream of becoming a reputed fine-dining Chef. Instead, she reconnects with her family and decides to run her family’s noodle shop. Throughout her journey, Aoy realizes she always possessed the attributes required to give her family a better life. However, she got blindsided because of the razzle-dazzle of the new world she stepped into. Ultimately, Aoy returns to her humble roots as a jaded but more skilled and experienced cook. Thus, she decides to restart her family’s noodle shop and wants to grow the business with her newfound expertise. Moreover, Aoy is clearly motivated by her love for her family and cooking. Hence, it is safe to say that she will no longer be miserable and will spread joy through her food, as she always intended.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Hunger Filmed?