Bleach: Orihime is very fond of putting ingredients together in ways that stop the hearts of everyone listening to her recipes. As a result, very few people have ever had the courage to actually try her dishes. Those that do discover she's actually an excellent cook who makes the food, against the odds, taste wonderful, as confirmed both by Rangiku in the manga and the databooks. She eventually gets a part-time job in a bakery, and settles down for bakery products like bread and pastries. The anime, however, deviates from the manga solely for comedy purposes to create a Running Gag about Orihime's food being stomach-churning.
Taeko of Ai Yori Aoshi. Three words: "Strawberry jam curry." Or try her tomato-in-chocolate tempura.
Yamada Ayumi from Honey and Clover specializes in things like apple and mint curry.
Ranma ½: Akane Tendo is on the border between this and Lethal Chef. While she is generally impatient and unskilled, she also seems to consider written recipes "boring", or perhaps considers herself too good to need them, and so has a bad habit of discarding them to make things up as she goes along. The fact she doesn't pay attention to what she's using only makes things worse: intending to use white wine in curry, then finding out she added vinegar instead is the first example in the series. A similar goof happens during the "Mrs. Tendo's Recipe Book" storyline, where she goes to pour white wine over stir-fried carrots, but uses vegetable oil instead. And that's not even discussing things like adding horseradish, pineapple and mayonnaise to her vinegar curry, or making a batch of cookie dough containing watermelon, cherry, cinnamon and garlic. The tendency of Akane's cooking to be Lethal Chef pushed Up to Eleven has pretty much become Fanon thanks to many RanmaFan Fictions.
In the Negima!? anime, Takahata attempts to make "World Delicacy Noodles" by combining foods from all around the world into one bowl of ramen. It's very effective at rendering other characters unconscious.
Cecile Croomy from Code Geass is one of these, much to the dismay of anyone who tries to eat her food, especially her boss Lloyd and their subordinate Suzaku (who's too nice to say anything).
And Nina, too. That hot dog sauce... [shiver]
In the Duelist Kingdom Arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Jonouchi is able to cook after Mai supplies the food, and he actually cooks the candy bars along with everything else. (No-one complains, however.)
Kalinin of Full Metal Panic! cooked a borscht with ingredients such as cocoa powder and miso paste. He enjoys it since he's trying to recreate the cooking of his late wife out of nostalgia, but no one else does. There's also a subtle implication that his wife intentionally made the borscht bad to punish him for being married to the job and away so often. Kalinin doesn't notice.
An extreme case is presented in Misato Katsuragi of Evangelion (one of its occasional uses of comedy staples as a counterpoint to its main plot, which is one of the bleakest and darkest things ever animated). As an example, she makes a habit of mixing ramen with curry. She's often flanderized into a Lethal Chef in fanon, however.
How bad is it? In Girlfriend of Steel Rei, the stoic, heroic death seeker, isn't game enough to try it until she's seen that it's okay.
Rather horrifically deconstructed in Aeon Natum Engel: the reason Misato is such a horrible cook is because years before the start of the story, nerve damage from a nasty head injury pretty much robbed her of her senses of taste and smell...she has to spice her food to near-toxic levels to be able to enjoy it. She just hasn't learned to cook other people their own portions.
In canon, the reason is implied to be a combination of Misato's Hard-Drinking Party Girl nature, her general slobbishness, and, most of all, her reliance on buying only the cheapest instant food she can get and mixing it together in an imitation of finer cuisine. How well she cooks when she actually uses fresh ingredients is never shown.
From Lost Universe, Millie's cooking actually IS excellent: in spite of producing such horrible-sounding concoctions as bacon ice cream and raisin jerky pizza, everyone likes it if they try it. On the other hand she is something of a Lethal Chef... Due to obliterating the kitchen in fiery explosions every time she cooks, explosions which nonetheless leave the fruits of her labor unblemished.
The "Magical Cooking" one-shot of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Comic A la Carte official anthology book featured Vivio baking some cookies for Einhart. While she's normally a pretty decent chef, she kinda oversold her abilities, and now she felt that she had to bake something more impressive than usual. So she took an ordinary cookie recipe, added some powdered milk, filled it with caviar before baking it, smothered it with a bottle of brandy...
In Durarara!!, Dennis, the Chief Chef of Russian Sushi, sees to it that his restaurant delivers a rather...unique menu. While he's entirely capable of making normal, edible sushi, sometimes customers have to contend with strange concoctions.
Also Celty, who doesn't have a head and thus, a sense of taste. Her roommate Shinra tried to eat it... but he started crying.
Kyo's uncle and adoptive father Kazuma from Fruits Basket does this. He is also incapable of making tea without messing something up.
Baldroy in Black Butler would probably be a decent cook if he didn't think the goal of cooking was to destroy the food violently. The real reason he's on the Phantomhive household staff is because he's one hell of a gunner. The cooking part is mainly for looks.
While her successor, May, is a full-on Lethal Chef, Misty from Pokémon is better classified in this department. When Brock gets sick in one episode she take over cooking duties and tries to follow a recipe out of a book, but confuses salt for sugar, then overcorrects and eventually just tosses in anything she can think of. The only person able to eat the result is Jessie. Conversely, Misty did pretty well in brewing up a cure for stun spore during the Orange Islands, a trading card issued during the that time had her cooking stew, and it is also implied that during the 13 days that Misty and Ash were stuck in Viridian Forest (according to "Showdown at Pewter City") that Misty did the cooking before Brock joined (They were stranded for thirteen days in Viridian Forest, with no stores nearby, and given how Ash's very first day as a trainer went (one disaster after another), it's highly unlikely he would have known how to cook, and the only person travelling with him prior to Brock joining is Misty, so... yeah. And she'd have to be decent enough of a cook to last through the 13 days stuck in Viridian Forest). It could well be that she panicked in the face of cooking solo at an unexpected time.
In the Digimon Adventure movie, Taichi and Hikari's mom Yuuko has come up with such original dishes as spinach cookies, potato juice and beef jerky shakes. Somehow Izzy/Koushirou likes all of it. In the dub of the movie, she states "It's the first time I've used flour to make a cake", when Izzy asks if he's put in enough. It gets burnt in the microwave, anyway.
Izzy still gets sick from the cooking, which is no mean feat, considering an early episode established him as liking things such as mustard and jelly beans on eggs.
In Sangatsu No Lion, Hina's initial, unguided attempt at making bento for Takahashi results in a bad tasting meal, partially because of bad seasoning and partially because she mix-and-matches a lot of ingredients and sub-dishes in an overzealous attempt at making an extravagant meal.
Kitaoka Yume from Kanamemo is an apprentice at a local patisserie and adds sugar to absolutely everything she cooks, even if it's not supposed to be sweet. Other characters are not impressed, but Yume's desserts are actually very good.
Soma from Shokugeki No Soma is an absolute whiz in the kitchen, capable of turning even the most basic ingredients into dishes so good they're almost literally Better Than Sex. The flip side is his infamous squid tentacles with peanut butter, which makes the people who eat them feel violated.
In Cromartie High School, the Gorilla (who works at a Sushi bar) served his boss banana sushi. It had a deeper meaning, though.
In Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi eventually explains that her mother is this. Apparently for most of her childhood, she didn't understand why food that other people made (including cheap store bought lunches) tasted so good, until she spied a cookbook and realized her mother just completely ignored the recipe and did whatever she wanted. Part of the reason she became a Supreme Chef was so that her mother wouldn't cook anymore.
Gaston Lagaffe is sometimes this. One example of his culinary experiments was something like sardines with whipped cream.
His signature recipe, the strawberry cod, is apparently good but the cooking odors are obnoxious.
In Archie Comics the Lodge family chef (also named Gaston) absolutely loves when Jughead comes over, because then he can "experiment" with someone who will truly appreciate it.
Socker-Conny from Socker-Conny is one of these. The stews mentioned in the album contain "veal, lemon and everything else that was in the fridge", and "Kiwi fruit! Paté! Lingonberry jam and garlic salt! Mash, rice, juice, sweetbreads, onion, kalops (Swedish stew quite similar to Bouef Bourgnion) and raisins! "
In The Beano comic, The Bash Street Kids' cook, Olive, is notorious for having terrible cooking, including custard so thick you have to cut it with a knife.
Subverted in one Batman comic when Alfred and Batman were briefly stranded at a Swiss chalet. While Batman worked on sending out a call for pick-up, Alfred took stock of the provisions and cooked up a spinach fajita. Batman asked quizzically why, in Switzerland, Alfred hadn't used chocolate instead of spinach. Alfred replied that "A chocolate fajita would be barbarian." However, he later stared at his own portion of the spinach fajita with disfavor and said, "It may have been a mistake. Perhaps the chocolate could work."
In the Lucky Luke album "Dalton City", Averell takes up cooking and it turns out no one can find out what his dishes are actually supposed to be (though to his credit, most actually taste good). This culminates in him preparing the Jumping Out of a Cake trick, but the end product is concrete-hard.
Wheat Grass from My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #3 is a terrible chef, but she manages to disguise her disasters by passing them as "Health food". Rarity doesn't realize this until the very end of the story.
In Four Weddings and a Funeral, Matthew mentions his recently deceased lover Gareth's fondness for strange experimental cooking. "The recipe for Duck a la Banana, fortunately, goes with him to his grave."
Discworld: Rincewind becomes one of these when drunk, with such concoctions as "spaghetti custard" and "alcoholic runny-bread soup with vegetables and a pile of salt, cooked down until it could be spread on a sandwich" ("beer soup" just isn't descriptive enough). In short, he accidentally invents Vegemite.
The Igor in Unseen Academicals gives Mr. Nutt a tuna, spaghetti and jam sandwich. With sprinkles.
Not the case for Nabab Yeo, in Walter Moers' The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear. While he does combine flavours that probably shouldn't be mixed out of a belief that the more flavours in a meal the better, he's still considered a very good cook.
In Twilight Bella's mother is apparently this. To quote, "My mother was an imaginative cook, but her experiments weren't always edible."
Nozdryov's cook in Dead Souls, who has an egregious approach to cooking - he throws in everything that is standing around, it seems.
Septimus Heap has Zelda. All of her dishes are perfectly edible, if rather odd-sounding.
In the second BetsyTacy novel, the Power Trio (then 7) attempt to make Everything Pudding by mixing every single ingredient they can find in a saucepan.
Live Action TV
David Lister from Red Dwarf, due to being a total fetishist for spicy food, eats and drinks some of the most disgusting concoctions. His early morning pick-me-up of choice is chilled vindaloo sauce, he's been mentioned as having eaten kippers vindaloo for breakfast, he enjoys cornflakes with grated raw onion and tabasco sauce as toppings, and he's been mentioned eating "triple fried eggs with chili sauce and chutney" sandwiches. Rimmer has been seen eating the sandwich, admittedly, and apparently it's actually quite good.
Top Chef: Bacon ice cream. Which is then subverted by Richard Blais in the finale of Top Chef: Chicago. His bacon ice cream was generally very well-received. Blais himself would seem to fit the trope at first glance, but his food overall was often among the judges' favorites throughout the season.
Lampshaded earlier in the season by the judges' panel when Blaise served them smoked salmon with a white chocolate-wasabi sauce. One judge's comment to him (paraphrased) was "When you described the dish, my immediate reaction was 'White chocolate and wasabi? What were you thinking'?" In the final judging, though, every single judge deemed that dish far and away the best of the night.
Season 2 actually had a challenge to create a unique flavor of ice cream. Marcel decided to make a Bacon and Avocado ice cream. That dish was considered to be one of the worst dishes ever to be served on the show. From the same season, Sam mixed watermelon and bleu cheese with gnocchi, and Ilan made a chocolate ganache with chicken liver. Both these dishes... didn't go over so well with the judges either.
Note to Dale of season 4: Butterscotch is WAY too sweet to put on scallops. That dish was so bad that Dale got sent home despite another chef screwing up TWO dishes.
The a turkey battle. Offerings included turkey sashimi, which is this to American audience since it's not common to find any kind of poultry served uncooked, due to the risk of salmonella poisoning. On the other hand, poultry sashimi is permissible in Japan if the birds meet the inspectors' standards; some breeds (such as the poulet de Bresse and its North American derivative, the Blue Foot) are certified salmonella-free and prized in Japan for sashimi purposes (partly because of the salmonella thing, partly because the chicken is actually just that good). In the U.S., food handlers are required to serve poultry fully cooked, and not to allow the utensils used to cook it to come into contact with other food.
In the British series, The Vicar of Dibley, Letitia Cropley has a fondness for mixing revolting combinations of ingredients together such as parsnip brownies, tripe salad and cakes topped with strawberries and ketchup. Her reputation for disgusting recipes was so famous in Dibley, she was known as The Queen of Cordon Bleurgh, thus making her the Trope Namer.
This extended into other areas too. She once put pineapples in the church flower arrangements.
Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende has an old section called "Zettai ni Oishii" (Absolutely Delicious) Series. These are basically Iron Chef in reverse; they are provided with a food type as their end target (mochi, pizza, tempura, pasta, etc), but they have freedom in ingredients. Some efforts are laudable (as in Yamazaki's petit tomato tempura which ended up getting 2/10 simply because tomato can be very hot), while some fall squarely to this trope. For example, Endou's insistence on using Frisk, a very hot breath mint par Fisherman's Friend Extra Strong for his cooking, like Frisk Pizza or Frisk Tempura. Matsumoto settles on using very unusual ingredients, such as a whole tuna head for pizza, cake for flavored rice, and watermelon-and-milk-cream pasta. The ultimate example would be the toothpaste and mouthwash pasta. On a scale of 1 to 10 hearts and 1-2 skull marks, that one gets two full skeletons as a rating.
An inversion in the pasta episode is Hamada's Celeb Party pasta: Spaghetti with foie gras sautee, consomme soup, and ham salad inside a roasted chicken. All the contestants hated it so much it is given a full skeleton.
Neelix, the ship's cook on Star Trek: Voyager. He does prove on several occasions that he can cook food the crew likes (in one episode, he does a Rokeg blood pie for B'Elanna). But his habit of experimenting and unfamiliar ingredients results in many complaints and avoidance of the mess hall.
After giving up on nearly every other food combination following his completely altered taste buds, the Doctor in the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour" settles on the combination of fish fingers...and custard, which several sources state tastes quite good.
Food Network competition show Chopped occasionally throws bizarre ingredients together; sometimes a main challenge to the contestants is to avoid becoming a Cordon Bleugh Chef with the combinations they've been given. Possibly the most egregious was when the mystery box for a dessert contained hot dogs.
But because Food Network always has to out-do itself, the recent Halloween special, an episode wherein both the Appetizer and Entrée baskets contained a candy item, the Dessert basket gave us grasshoppers.
This could actually be considered a subversion, since it isn't actually their choice to combine the ingredients given, but use them effectively in a creative way. The chefs who lose either go way over the top with odd combinations, or try to make an ordinary dish and curiously "forget" to use one of the signature ingredients.
Barbra Jean from Reba is usually a good cook, but in one episode she takes the concept of healthy eating a tad too far by baking a sugar-free bran cake with cottage cheese as frosting. No one present is interested in devouring it.
Cliff Huxtable on an early episode of The Cosby Show is shown cooking exotic dishes for his family which taste great, but then he horrifies them by telling them the ingredients. Theo makes a peanut butter, mint jelly, liverwurst and onion sandwich, just so he can eat something with familiar ingredients.
Claire: What is it, chicken?
Claire: Well, it's not veal.
Cliff: No, no.
Cliff: Wrong! See, I was in bazaars, and I saw this jar had green sauce and I picked it up. You know, the International Gourmet? And it was "Sliced Turtle's Feet".
(Claire wipes her mouth, takes a drink of water & gets up from the table)
Cliff: You want some crackers? (Claire shakes her head no) Well, where you going?
Claire: I'm going upstairs. I'm gonna get some of Theo's sandwich.
Later in the ep, he makes them a stew flavored with cow tongue and shows it to them. Rudy nearly bolts.
Which actually qualifies more as a food dissonance/"Foreign Queasine"-type moment, since stewed beef tongue (using tongue that's been boiled and peeled, mind) is a common dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.
In an episode of Radio Enfer (the show that inspired Radio Active), Jean-LouDuval tries cooking after some advice from his mother and he messes up every recipes he tries. The main reason is that he often run out of ingredients (before he even starts) and tries to find similar-looking replacement ingredients like pieces of garlic for white chocolate chips and bacon for almonds (that's not even mentioning adding a cup of fertilizer to a shepherd pie to make it taste more farm-like)
Carl: (after tasting the garlic cookies) Congratulations, Jean-Lou. You've just invented the Bad Breath Cookies.
In an episode of Home Improvement, Tim and Al take part in a cooking contest on Tool Time to create an innovative new dish and Tim ends up making this kind of dish: caramel flounder with chocolate chip chutney.
One challenge on Cupcake Wars involved making cupcakes based around ingredients from the concession stand at Dodger Stadium. One chef's choice for her primary ingredient? Hot dogs. To the surprise of absolutely no one, she was the first one eliminated from that episode.
An accidental example on Friends. Because the pages of an English cookbook were stuck together Rachel ended up combining a trifle and a steak kidney pie. All her friends felt obliged to eat it anyway (except Phoebe who got out because she's a vegetarian). Joey ended up liking it anyway. 'Jam? good. Meat?. Good'.
On Hells Kitchen, some of the contestants signature dishes fall into this (Seth's rattatouile with honey), but one of the worst was "Matt's Exotic Tartar". All that needs to be said is that white chocolate was one of the ingredients and it was one of the few signature dishes that actually made Gordon Ramsay throw up.
Antonia also accomplished the infamous feat of making Ramsay vomit with her Mardi Gras Gumbo, only this time Gordon forced the other contestants to taste it as well and they all looked to be within an inch of throwing up themselves.
Also in challenges when chefs want to try something new, Ralph from season 1 tried a ribeye steak with white peaches.
Also one contestant suggested making "sushi pizza on a tortilla" for a challenge, fortunately that was shot down in a hurry.
One subversion was in Season 6 involved having to roll a dice with a letter on it and name an ingredient starting with that letter. The women's team ended up with a fantastic assortment of rabbit and appropriate condiments, while the guys got first got figs (the only thing Dave could think of) at which point the rest of the guys figured they were already boned and chose haddock, apples, tomatoes, angel hair pasta... and actually won the challenge. Granted, they were helped by the tomato and fig sauce that Kevin came up with actually tasting very good and Ariel accidentally screwing up the women's dish by adding a disgustingly overpowering garlic dressing, but the men were stunned by how well their dish worked, as was Chef Ramsay.
Max from Wizards of Waverly Place does this a lot, especially with sandwiches, as his parents own a sub shop. He eventually inherits the shop.
Making desserts with strange and non-sweet mandatory ingredients is part of the challenge of being a Sweet Genius, but most of the chefs make it work. If they don't... they are no Sweet Genius.
Wilder from The Latest Buzz. He makes his own salsa from marmalade and pepper.
On Full House, when Michelle joined the Bumblebee Girls, she tried to get her first merit badge in cooking, by combining things she liked. Her first attempt was "Chocolate pudding surprise"note The surprise was cheese Then she tried "tuna cream" (tuna and ice cream).
A later episode has Joey combining fish and pastry to make "flounder tarts."
Come Dine With Me: One british contestant was so deluded as to think her savoury trifle was a good idea: a classic English fruit, custard and cream trifle, only with the added ingredient of bacon. She came last.
The Food Network's Sandra Lee, in a roundabout way, could be the trope namer, as she actually did go through at least part of the Cordon Bleu course in the process of learning how to be one of the most terrifyingly awful chefs ever to get a long-running TV show.
Grandad from Only Fools and Horses, whose habit of utterly carbonizing anything he cooks leads to Del and Rodney eating out as often as possible. After Grandad dies it turns out that Del is actually a fairly competent (if rather limited) cook, but let Grandad handle the Trotters' cooking just so that he wouldn't feel useless.
Sid, he himself admits that his food is borderline inedible, and that most of his trade comes from a combination of low prices and a good location next to the Peckham market.
At the end of the 2 Broke Girls episode "And the Cronuts", Caroline and Max stumble upon the idea of combining cupcakes and ... French fries.note Fortunately it has not reared its head again. Yet.
Malcolm in the Middle one cold open features the family forced to eat Lois' "Leftover Parafait", which Malcolm describes as "Anything in the fridge that doesn't have living beings on top, cooked in casserole form". Then he points out that the bottom layer of this week's leftover parafait is last week's leftover parafait.
Frog à la Peche is a CD of avant-gardenote That's the polite term. electronic music by Charles Carpenter, written in the Bohlen-Pierce scale. Two of the tracks are named after the restaurant entries in Stand-Up Comedy below, and the cover has an illustration of the title menu item.
The Dutch singer Ome Henk suggests many queasy food combinations in his song "De Pindakaas is Op" (We're Out of Peanut Butter). Examples include fried egg with whipped cream and coconut, and tom pouce with garlic.
Jon can't figure out how to get the meatloaf inside the danish...
Andy from FoxTrot is a perfectly competent cook, but she constantly insists on making "healthy" dishes that always end up inedible.
Andy has actually lowered her family's expectations to the point that in one strip, Roger tastes the contents of a pot on the stove and gushes about how much better than her normal cooking it is, begging to know what he just tasted. It turns out to be grout for the cracks in the driveway-and also a ticket to the couch for Roger.
Filipino comic Pugad Baboy has Mang Dagul who works at a hotel as a chef and tries to cook "exotic" dishes for his clients and his family.
An Italian radio sketch comedy show known as "610" (a punny titlenote spelling 610 in Italian results in "Sei Uno Zero", which - if translated in English outside of its numerical meaning - turns out to mean "You're a zero") makes fun of this kind of guy with one of its sketches, "Il tempio del gusto" ("The temple of taste"), that is, a fictional convention where cooks create new kinds of recipes. So, they act as if there's a reporter there, and we get to hear the latter while he enthusiastically tries the most conceptually nauseating "creation" ever conceived...and then we get to hear his inevitable disgusted reaction. By the end of the sketch, when the reporter is finished spitting up (or throwing up, depending on what he ate), usually the hosts of the show ask him if he spit up, and the reporter, rather than admitting his disgust, he first comes up with some kind of excuse, then he thanks the chef, and finally - without caring about the hosts asking for explanation - greets them too.
British comedian Peter Cook played a fictional character, Arthur Streeb-Greebling, the proprietor of "The Frog and Peach" restaurant featuring two specialty items: "Frog à la Peche" and "Peche à la Frog" — nauseating and positively revolting, respectively.
For all that he's The Ace, Flynn Scifo in Tales of Vesperia is revealed as one in the cooking competition sidequest. Yuri notes that he's great when he sticks to the recipe, but his sense of taste is so terrible that when he modifies a recipe, he ruins it.
Raine Sage from Tales of Symphonia. She wouldn't be the worst chef in the game if not for her nasty habit of experimenting with cooking. For example: everyone makes sweet cake; chocolate, vanilla, carrot, it's always sweet. So Raine decides to be a pioneer and bake a spicy cakenote There are, in fact, such things as "spice cakes". They are not, however, supposed to be "spicy" in the same manner as, say, curry. Or how about lemon rice cooked inside a lemon, and topped with garam masala?
El Fuerte is the fighting chef in Street Fighter IV who tried to combine chanko nabe and borscht together to create the ultimate dish. It's pretty good at turning faces blue.
He does it again by putting a whole carrot, a whole fish, fishbones, a rotten tomato, aojiru (kale juice, which is rich in nutrients but bitter to taste) and baker's chocolate in chili soup. (Chocolate goes well with chilli and/or pepper... but as dark chocolate'')
It's implied in some sources (like the UDON comics) that the problem with El Fuerte is that his technical skill is at least average (he is seen working in a restaurant, after all), but he does fine only and IF only he sticks to the recipe itself AND when he's making Mexican food. Shit goes down the toilet when he experiments, and since that's almost everything we see him do...
Pretty much all the girls in Persona 4 are this, in addition to being Lethal Chefs. When making a list of ingredients for curry, Yukiko and Chie include such things as radishes, kimchi, chocolate, and yogurt . Later, Rise uses foie gras in an omelette. The main character can also be this if the player selects the wrong options when making lunch.
The main problem with Yukiko and Chie's ingredient choices is that they seem to have gotten the wrong end of the stick. Chocolate and yoghurt are both perfectly reasonable ingredients in a curry... but they should be plain yoghurt and dark cooking chocolate (90%+ cocoa). However they decided to use fruit yoghurt and mint chocolate.
Rise, meanwhile, seems to be okay on ingredients, but makes her food way too spicy, at one point producing something that knocks poor Yukiko out in one mouthful.
Even the protagonist has the option to be this if the player chooses the wrong options while cooking. You have the option to spray cologne on creme caramel, of all things.
In Portal, the Logic Core knows how to make a lovely-looking Cake out of such everyday ingredients as coconut-pecan frosting, semi-sweet chocolate chips, granulated sugar, fiberglass surface resins, rhubarb (on fire), fish-shaped volatile organic compounds, and sediment-shaped sediment.
Although it's never mentioned in the games, the manga of Kingdom Hearts depicts Aerith as one, infamous for adding things like salt to lemonade and milk to soda. Salted lemonade is actually fairly common in real life, since this both quenches thirst and restores salt loss from sweating (at Renaissance Fairs, they affectionately call it "dragon piss"), but soda with milk...
Aurica of Ar tonelico makes decent healing items with food such as "BBQ Soda" and a surprisingly good purple dish in Cross Edge... even if none of the ingredients they had available could make purple.
In the second game, Jacquli's cooking includes both powerful healing items and attack items, but none of them are exactly according to the recipe. For instance, her first is a rather tasty-looking sushi roll that is a useful healing item straight to endgame. The recipe was for cake.
In the MOTHER series, there's an item called Strawberry Tofu, which was meant as a joke on bad combinations of food. Well, someone literally made it and Itoi tried it and it does not work well. There's a video on YouTube of someone suffering while trying to eat it.
Since Americans would be much less likely to show revulsion from it (particularly if familiar with tofu-based vegan ice cream), Nintendo translated the item as "trout ice cream" in EarthBound. Hilarious in Hindsight for fans of the game that later went on to watch Iron Chef.
Contrary to what you might expect, Kyouko actually can cook in Eien no Aselia. It just looks like an absolute horrible catastrophe waiting to happen. Helion did not help in that respect despite her best efforts. Read: Put flowers into the mouths of fish or turning things purple.
A major part of Kingdom of Loathing is combining items into edible foods. Sometimes the combinations are obvious, like putting sausage on a pizza, but some of the combinations are things that are only going to be found by trial and error, like combining batgut with spices to make bat haggis. And yes, in-universe, that is a good food (or at least a decent one).
The Avatar of Jarlsberg path allows you to make consummate foods using Jarlsberg's Cosmic Kitchen, which are pretty much described as the platonic ideal of their respective foods. Jarlsberg's cocktail-making abilities, on the other hand, are far more limited and pretty much an alcoholic version of this trope, leading to combinations like sauerkraut and lager or rum and nacho cheese.
Three items in particular come to mind: white chocolate and tomato pizza, chorizo brownies, and tomato daiquiris (a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka). The first two only come into being when a chef-in-the-box explodes; the latter, when a bartender-in-a-box explodes. Eating enough of the first and drinking enough of the last get you trophies.
Do tomato, tuna and soy sauce pancake sandwiches sound good to you? No? They sound good to Hatsune in Kara no Shoujo. And they're surprisingly edible.
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has Selan experimenting a new dish for her husband, deep fried jelly in olive oil, which sends Maxim into wondering if it's edible.
A sidequest in Solatorobo has Red collecting ingredients for a big stew. You're told to pick whatever you think looks good, and at one point you have the option of putting a poisonous barnacle into the pot. If you do, it turns the whole thing purple (and then a bunch of other weird colours), but it smells delicious and turns out to be fantastic, so much so you get a bonus!
With the "Survival" skill in Fallout: New Vegas, you can concoct food from such lovely ingredients as mutant flies, mutant ants, mutant goats, and whatever 200-year-old TV dinners you can find. Not only that, but in the DLC Dead Money, you can get a recipe for a "Sierra Madre Martini", made from mixing mashed-up potato chips with toxic residue in a tin can. Bottoms up!
Possibly Professor E. Gadd from Luigi's Mansion. After Luigi captures Bogmire, the second boss, he offers to make dinner, saying he'll make his "old family recipe", pickled dandelions with barnacles in a diesel marinade. (Of course, we never see it or Luigi's reaction... Maybe it tastes better than it sounds...)
Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo is technically an okay chef. According to Lilly, however, she likes to experiment once in a while, and whenever that happens...
Dead Rising 2 and its Expansion PackOff The Record allow Chuck and Frank to blend pairs of consumable items into a blender and see what sort of mixed drink pops out. They clearly know at least what they're doing with it, since they're already familiar with mixing drinks from the word go. Reasonable combinations usually give useful benefits: for instance, an apple plus a melon equals an Energizer, which is effectively an Invincibility Power-Up as well as full health. However, experimenting by throwing together some positively repulsive combinations gives you the dreaded Randomizer, which heals for a modest amount but also causes Chuck or Frank to puke uncontrollably for 30 seconds, as well as fumble whatever item they're holding and drop it. Sure, it might occasionally give you the effect of one of the other drinks, but anyone who jams a raw fish and an ice cream sundae into a blender deserves what they get.
Edea in Bravely Default. It's implied that she's actually a pretty good cook, but she has a huuge sweet tooth, so most of the stuff she makes has enough sugar to give you diabetes.
Homestar Runner has so many mixed-up foods, ranging from reasonably edible to downright disgusting/dangerous, that its respective wiki has a whole page dedicated to them.
Checomal, the main character from Restaurante Macoatl is one of these, he can cook fine but tends to experiment (and cut corners) a lot.
Crystal, the local bartender from Sluggy Freelance, does this with mixed drinks. One of her creations is the "Cheeseburger Margarita."
In thisxkcd the protagonist uses genetic algorithm on food.
One sub-arc in the Credomar arc of Schlock Mercenary featured Schlock and Ebbirnoth's adventures in 31st-century human cuisine (which, by that point, has stagnated to the point that they've resorted to combining things in ways that should never have been). The crowning moment for this comes with smutto, a combination of huitlacoche or "corn smut" and natto, which overlaps with Lethal Chef because man was never meant to eat corn smut (diseased corn) or natto (fermented soybeans) in the first placenote And yet if one ventures onto Youtube and searches for smutto, a video can be found by 'Cooking with the Old Wolf' of a fellow who actually dared eat the inedible, and pronounced it to not be wretched.
While not a Cordon Bleugh ingredient combination (by virtue of having only one ingredient), the Chupaqueso is another Schlock example of Cordon Bleugh cooking techniques. Literally 'cheese sucker', this Mexican... ish... dish is most accurately described as 'melted cheese wrapped in fried cheese, garnished with cheese'. It should be noted that Howard Taylor makes these at home.
In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the Doc's mom, Mitzi, is an otherwise excellent cook, but she has a peculiar specialty in her pickled beets, which are apparently too vile to choke down even when they aren't poisoned as part of Training from Hell.
Sombulus has a cursed cook who's lost her ability to bake sensible things ever since she entered a cursed clocktower. Mmmm, slugs.
Many "Gross Foods" on Neopets are combinations of food that should not be combined, like "Bacon and Eggs Ice Cream", "Hot Dog Flavoured Yoghurt" and "Mashed Potatoes with Strawberry Sauce". The rest include things that shouldn't be in food at all, like slime, snot, dung and maggots. Your pet will also comment on how horrible it tastes if you feed these foods to them.
The Mid-Century Menu is a website that tests recipes from the 1930's to the 1960's, and many, many of them dip into this trope. Recipes from the Depression (where utilizing every scrap of food was important) and recipes from the advent of home refrigeration (when non-dessert gelatin was in vogue) tend to be some of the worst offenders. There are also "sponsored" cookbooks put out by food companies that suggest you use their product in everything. Some of the most notable include:
Tuna "Pizza", made from biscuit dough, canned tuna, Parmesan cheese... and condensed milk and ketchup. It's exactly as horrible as it sounds.
Chicken Mousse, which is essentially roast chicken-flavored ice cream with the added bonus of being made with gelatin as well. It's not a bad selection of seasonings for roast chicken, but not something to be served up whipped and chilled.
Live Pate en Masque, which is essentially a liver and green bean Jell-O mold covered in buttermilk. It came from a diet cookbook, presumably put there with the mindset that the more revolting you make the food, the less of it you'll want to eat.
And for sheer volume of incomprehensible ingredient combinations, there's the Yule Sandwich Log. It includes such mouthwatering ideas for sandwich filling as cheese, lemon, and shrimp and pickles and peanut butter. Combined with this are more "normal" ideas such as eggs 'n' bacon and pineapple-avocado filling... but then it's all piled on the same sandwich and covered with cranberry-flavored cream cheese. It turns out to be bizarrely edible, but so repulsive on a conceptual level it's hard to get past.
Courage the Cowardly Dog: Muriel is an excellent cook, but she tends to add "a wee dash of vinegar" to everything, including candy, PB&J, and dog food.
From Arthur: "Arthur's dad is actually fairly good at it [cooking], when he doesn't experiment." Oddly enough, he actually is a professional chef and he does it for a living, but he tries experimenting at home so much that we mostly hear of the gross stuff, including "experiments" that look bad enough to make you sick, and there's a song devoted to his abominations in the Musical Episode. When he makes something good it becomes the centerpiece of an entire episode.
Arthur's grandmother (who is Arthur's dad's mother) is usually this as well, and only Buster, who has an iron-clad stomach, would eat the cookies she made for the bake sale. Perhaps Mr. Reed learned to cook early on because of this.
Buster himself seems like a subversion of this trope, as he actively creates weird combinations of food, but due to his aforementioned ironclad stomach, actually enjoys it and never seems to understand why others don't.
Shaggy and Scooby Doo, but only because they love food like this, if they had to cook for someone else they would probably spare them from eating something like chocolate covered eggplant burgers. (with hot sauce!)
Velma: Yech! His stomach must be made of scrap iron!
Shaggy: Can I help it if my first toy was a garbage disposal?
In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Something Smells", SpongeBob makes a sundae out of available ingredients: ketchup, onions, and peanuts growing on the window sill of his bathroom (as well as the dirt that came with). The resulting concoction gives him epic bad breath.
In G.I. Joe, there's Gung-Ho's Cajun-style gumbo. According to Recondo, one time he made it, the Joes used it for Skystriker fuel.
On Ben 10, Grandpa Max's survival-skill recipes and other exotic dishes make his grandkids regard him this way, with aspects of Foreign Queasine mixed in.
In the Family Guy episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein", Peter invites his new Jewish friend Max Weinstein for dinner. However, when Max sees that Lois has made marshmallow and fish casserole, he tries to politely tell her he can't eat it. Luckily for him, she assumes it's because it's not kosher, and, after a long sideways look at the "dish", Max agrees.
There's also "The King is Dead" when Lois makes Peter "french toast," actually a pile of mismatched foods including an entire fish, to show him how changing something too much can make it unrecognizable and bad.
In the first Ninja Turtles cartoon, Michelangelo was infamous for ordering and making pizzas with bizarre and improbable combinations of toppings.
Similar to Michelangelo above Jimmy Neutron's friend Carl Wheezer, when they're using Jimmy's perfect slumber party machine to make a pizza, states that he eats his pizza with clams, peanut butter, and hot fudge ("Don't knock it till you try it.").
The Powerpuff Girls episode "Reeking Havoc": Last time Professor Utonium concocted his chili for a chili cook-off, the Hazmat units had to be called in and cordon off the home.
In an episode of As Told by Ginger, Carl develops an interest in cooking, and creates dishes like "Feet Loaf" (regular meatloaf cut into foot shapes), "Mac-n-Sneeze" (macaroni and cheese), and "Potatoes Au Rotten" (potatoes au gratin). They're popular with both his family and the kids at school, and he and Hoodsie sell the food to their classmates from a refurbished hot dog stand, until the school cafeteria cook, Chef Bob (primarily motivated by jealousy) has the health department close them down.
Berk from The Trap Door - Justified since he's cooking for an Eldritch Abomination. In one episode, a monster who eats the Thing's breakfast ends up getting served up instead. The Thing likes it.
Grammy from Adventures of the Gummi Bears. She thinks things like oatmeal and broccoli muffins and stew made with stinkweed are perfectly sensible.
In one episode of Gasp, Gasp attempts to create a unique new cupcake flavour in order to win a new stove in a competition. His attempts include chocolate and fish flake, and apricot jam and liver.
Gran from Dogstar. Her 'traditional' recipe for hotdogs involves snail glue and tripe.
Downplayed with Chef Gusteau in Ratatouille: his recipe for Sweetbread a la Gusteau proves him to be this kind of experimental chef - sweetbread cooked in a seaweed salt crust with cuttlefish tentacle, dog rose puree, geoduck egg, dried white fungus, anchovy licorice sauce, veal stomach, etc - but he admitted it was a disaster and never actually served it (despite keeping the recipe written down).
The cooks in the short Food Network show Worst Cooks in America were this at the start.
To its detractors, some of the more experimental manifestations of 1980s fancy restaurant cooking fell into this. Lobster with vanilla sauce, anyone?
To properly understand what was fashionable in the 80s, one must read the Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. While nothing in it is particularly nasty or even unappetizing, the food in American Psycho and related media is essentially warped riffs on that. (Their New Basics Cookbook, written just before the two parted ways, is sort of an alternate universe Joy of Cooking based on everything odd and off-kilter about 80s cuisine.)
On Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, a couple of the many interesting dishes Ramsey encountered at one failing restaurant were chocolate covered prawns, and chicken with banana filling.
One of the hottest terms in cuisine for the past 10 years or so has been molecular gastronomy which uses science to figure out combinations of flavors that would taste good, no matter how weird they sound, often using some pretty cool gadgets to do it. Some of its more notable exponents are:
Heston Blumenthal—living proof that both Englishmen and Jews are perfectly capable of being great chefs—has a reputation for experimental cooking, although as with a number of other examples on this page the results are often less Cordon Bleugh and more Crazy Awesome; besides molecular gastronomy's focus on the science of why things taste good (and thus why, for instance, bacon ice cream would actually work—he also made a well-received version), Blumenthal is also very interested in psychology and messing with people's expectations. Here's a good article about him.
When Heston Blumenthal guested on Terry Wogan's Radio 2 breakfast show in late 2008, he made a dessert (pudding) that looked exactly like a pork pie but was made with ice cream and other traditonal dessert ingredients, a pot of "mustard" that was actually a sweet fruit puree (to drizzle alongside the faux "pork pie"), and "boiled eggs" that were made from white chocolate and other similar ingredents. Crowning Food Moment of Awesome, anyone? (Sir Terry raved on about the food and it caused not a fair amount of drooling from the audience.)
Ferran Adria—based in Barcelona—is another molecular gastronomist (gastronomer?), and also very good at making odd combinations of ingredients work as a dish: his restaurant, elBulli was consistently ranked as the best in the world for several years running (nevertheless, it closed in 2011, as it had somehow managed to operate at a loss since 2000). Adria thinks of his style as deconstructivist. The Kellogg's paella (Rice Krispies, shrimp heads, and vanilla flavoured mashed potatoes) is a good example of what he does.
Grant Achatz—raised in Michigan, but based in Chicago—is one of the Young Guns of this school of this cuisine despite having trained under the relatively traditional Thomas Keller. He particularly likes foams—one of Adria's innovations—and also playing around with the basic format of the restaurant (e.g.—his second restaurant, Next, doesn't take reservations but rather sells prepaid tickets for a set menu). He also endured a case of tongue cancer that briefly messed up his sense of taste—although he was pretty odd before that, his creations since then have been, if possible, even weirder.
Students, by reputation, tend to either be this or junk food addicts. While not as common as the stereotype would have it, most graduates remember one such person.
Chefs in general run into this sooner or later in their careers. Part of being a chef is experimenting with ingredients to attempt to come up with a new dish. And not every chef gets it right the first time, every time. They also generally have the sense of testing it on a small scale before larger testing or unveiling at their restaurants, of course. Pretty much every one has at least one horror story along these lines. Whether they'll tell them is another question entirely.
To professional chefs and foodies, anyone who uses any kind of pre-packaged ingredients in their cooking.
Michigan State University's on-campus Dairy Store has a tradition of maintaining a flavor for each member of the Big Ten Conference (including hated rivals Michigan). When the University of Nebraska joined, the store had to come up with a new flavor; because Nebraska is the Cornhuskers, they decided to make the flavor with sweet corn and butter, including whole grains of corn. The reaction in East Lansing was puzzlement when the flavor was announced, and then general approval when it was released. (The flavors for Rutgers University and the University of Maryland, joining in 2014, have not yet been announced, but it's possible they might follow the same path—both feature red as their main color and neither has a particularly appetizingmascot.)
The pirate Blackbeard was famous for mixing gunpowder into his rum, either because it actually tasted good, or to make himself look more badass.
Not that he's the only one, mixing gunpowder with alcoholic drinks (specially brandy or plain wine) once was pretty common among military grunts.
It probably has something to do with the rather sour taste of gunpowder vs. the sweet wine. (Same reason port & lemon was popular.)
Experiments of this variety occasionally turn out to be really, really good. The cold foie gras and ice cream experiment comes to mind.
Hot pepper jelly. It's like grape jelly, except with peppers instead of grapes. You wouldn't think something as hot and/or sour as peppers would do well in something sticky and sweet like jelly, but it's delicious and fairly popular in various places.
Bacon ice cream is now rather popular at fairs and other major social events. It actually tastes like pecans... until the aftertaste kicks in.
Chocolate and chillis has become a fairly popular combination in recent years. They have been used in gourmet chocolate bars as well as cakes in some restaurants. The Mayans (who invented chocolate) used to combine these ingredients all the time, but it seems strange to the western world. The combination works well with dark chocolate in particular, because of the contrast between the sweet and the spicy.
Black magic cake/thunder cake is chocolate cake made with a heaping side order of condensed tomato soup (or, in some versions, tomato paste). It's actually quite delicious. (And tends to taste more like chocolate than tomatoes, though the tomato does add a little something extra.)
Mid-Century Menu recreates quirky classic recipes of the 20th Century. Sometimes they work against all odds, like Pickle and Pineapple Salad. And then sometimes you get Liver Pate En Masque: "I actually don’t think there are enough swear words in the world for this one."