"Never trust a skinny chef."This is when a character that is involved with preparing food in some way, such as a cook or restaurant owner, is shown to be fatter than other characters. Despite their association with food, this character is rarely shown to be a Big Eater, and very well might not be one, but their size gives the implication that they are. The trope may have originated from the known fact that in order to be a good chef, you must keep tasting your food to make sure it's going well as well as the obvious cooking food often for practice. This usually implies subsequently eating said food, which is what gave rise to the old saying that is this trope's quote. This character is often a Supreme Chef, the Team Chef, or both. This trope covers everything from haute cuisine gourmet chefs to Burger Fool fry cooks; in the latter case, it might overlap with Service Sector Stereotypes.
— An old saying
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast cereal debuted with three chefs baking the stuff: a tall dark-haired baker, a nondescript baker of stocky build, and a short, rotund, balding baker. Later stages of the campaign have mothballed the first two characters, leaving only Wendell, the roundest of the original three, as the cereal's mascot.
- In Bleach, the Royal Guard Kirio Hikifune Invokes this: she needs to bulk up enormously to prepare her signature banquets of potent Power-Up Food, because the process drains a tremendous amount of her spiritual energy.
- Satsuki Yotsuba of Mahou Sensei Negima! is a member of the cooking club, helps manage a restaurant, and her pactio title even translates to "fabulous cook". She's also noticeably chubbier than the rest of her classmates.
- Gusteau was one of the most renowned chefs in France while he was alive. He had a sizable waistline, and he founded the restaurant where much of the story transpires.
- Linguini seems to think that a food critic ought to be fat or at least average weight, if this quote is meant to be taken seriously:
Ego: You're slow for someone in the fast lane.
Linguini: And you're thin for someone who likes food.
- Subverted with the protagonists. Linguini is a skinny chef... But he is also terrible at cooking. Remmy is a rather slim rat but is a Supreme Chef. His fat brother has no interest in fine cuisine (like most rats) and will eat anything. Most of the side characters are skinny or muscular but are pretty decent chefs, though nowhere on Gusteau's level.
- The unnamed Baker that Anastasia falls for in Cinderella II: Dreams Come True is a large Gentle Giant.
- In the film version of The Hobbit, Bombur, the fattest dwarf, is portrayed as the Team Chef of the Company.
- Nero Wolfe is an overweight gourmet as well as a Brilliant, but Lazy detective, thanks in part to his refusal to leave his apartment except under dire circumstances.
- In The Wheel of Time, the head cook at the White Tower is remarkably obese, although she spends most of her time menacing her subordinates with a wooden spoon and is never seen actually eating. Though she's initially presented as a Fat Bastard, she later saves several major characters' lives at great personal risk.
- Swelter, the Evil Chef in Gormenghast, is described as being grossly overweight.
- In Ranger's Apprentice, Chef Chubb, himself an example, takes the fact that his new apprentice, Jenny, is overweight as a sign that she's an avid food lover and will make a proper chef, all while lampshading the trope.
- The House episode "Que Sera Sera" plays this for drama with George, a morbidly obese gourmand, who clashes with House over his intention to keep doing what he loves and leave the health side of things to fate. Ironically, his medical condition wasn't caused by his weight, but by a freak case of terminal lung cancer.
- DI Crabbe of Pie in the Sky is a portly restauranteur who solves crimes.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: The Tipton's head chef Paolo is this; in one episode, Cody tries to help him go on a diet during their hotels Health and Fitness Week.
- In Changeling: The Lost, Carlos Garcál is an accomplished South Beach chef and tidily rotund — or rather, the Fetch left in his place when the True Fae kidnapped him is. The real Carlos is now a Changeling known as the Glutton, a bloated, atavistic cannibal who is unrecognizable as a human... but is still a very good chef.
- Amadeus opens with Salieri introducing us to his staff including a portly older man who is his personal cook. A few minutes later the Flashback to the beginning of the story occurs and the chef appears again, this time as a svelte young man.
- Harvest Moon:
- Elli from Harvest Moon 64 is a baker and is meant to be larger than the other bachelorettes, though it's not obvious at all (but then again she wears baggy clothes, however Harvest Moon: Back to Nature retooled her as a nurse without changing her design or making any references to her weight). She has some Weight Woe related envy of Popuri, as Popuri can eat sweets without gaining weight. Her father figure and love interest Jeff, who she works for and is also a baker, likes Elli the way she is and has some implications of being a Chubby Chaser at that.
- The Gourmet is a reoccuring character in the games. He is by far the fattest character and is a vaguely human looking gonk. The Gourmet comes around for food festivals in order to judge foods in contests. Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness introduced Pierre, who looks like the Gourmet but subverts this trope as he's skinny and very short.
- Ellen's unnamed mother in Harvest Moon is the local baker and is presented as a large, slightly gonky woman.
- Vesta from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is based on Ellen's mother in terms of design. She's a tall, large woman who runs the local vegetable farm along with her younger brother Marlin and Celia (who are both thin).
- Rune Factory:
- Eunice from Rune Factory Frontier is the first (and thus far only) obviously overweight bachelorette in either the Harvest Moon or Rune Factory series (which is a spinoff of Harvest Moon). She enjoys cooking and the protagonist's cooking will automatically raise her LP's each day. Eunice will ask you if you prefer skinny girls or not, and will go on a diet if you say you do, however it's possible to marry her as is.
- Eunice's father Turner works at the local inn and is a big guy himself.
- The Gourmet Fairy Edith Up from Rayman Origins rules over a sweets themed world and is bigger than the other fairies.
- The protagonist of BurgerTime, Peter Pepper, is an acrofatic burger chef.
- The bartender in Tapper is a portly man.
- Teruteru Hanamura from Super Dangan Ronpa 2 is the "Super High School Level Cook", meaning he's only in high school but already an incredible chef. He's overweight but there are no implications of him being a Big Eater, especially noticeable with there being not one but two big eaters in the main cast that aren't him, which are Akane and Imposter Byakuya.
- Heinrich von Sugarbottom is The Villain in the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Chocolate Chips." Heinrich is a very corpulent fellow wearing lederhosen and speaking with a generic German accent who seeks to monopolize the chocolate industry by hoarding cacao trees. He also seeks to recreate the formula for chocolate according to "the Mayans who perfected it." Which clearly requires a goodly amount of taste-testing.
- Jerome "Chef" McElroy from South Park is a chubby cafeteria worker (as his nickname implies) at the local elementary school in the town of South Park, Colorado, Chef is generally portrayed as more level-headed than the other adult residents of the town, and sympathetic to the kids.
- Theodore is the chubby one of the Big, Thin, Short Trio from Alvin and the Chipmunks. In various incarnations he's shown a knack for baking (often to go with him being In Touch with His Feminine Side) and likes to eat.