Like a gladiator about to meet his fate
I enter my arena, bow my head, and start to bake
— The Aquabats, "The Baker"
A certain stock kind of villain, the Evil Chef
is just that
. They're cooks who are deliberately evil, but it doesn'tt quite matter how exactly they're trying to achieve that goal, just that their primary role is as a chef/cook. They may or may not be using their cooking skills to attempt to defeat the heroes, or they may just have the chef characteristics as something completely unconnected to their evil plans. They usually come in one of two types, the French chef type with a very much pointy mustache and the 'school canteen chef'.
Not to be confused with Lethal Chef
, as characters listed on that page are not always evil, and nor are the characters listed here always actually bad at cooking. This is for evil/killer cooks that cause death and destruction, often by their cooking (and deliberately) while Lethal Chef
is for people who cannot cook that often accidentally cause various effects by just how bad their cooking is. They make great villains because they work with lots of different types of big knives
and various things easily converted to weapons (frying pans
, rolling pins
, meat tenderizers...).
Also has about a 50% chance of being a case of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
, in that many of these characters may not actually be shown to cook in the story. In stories
in which the main characters are animals, they of course run the risk of being edible; in this case the Evil Chef
is less nastily evil, since he's just doing his job, but is still very threatening.
Today's theme ingredient is... You! The heat will be on! May overlap with the Chef of Iron
, if the Evil Chef
fights his or her enemies using cooking implements as weapons or such like. Also see I Ate What?
, Stab The Salad
. Most rivals in a Cooking Duel
are merely an Opposing Sports Team
, who may not even be negatively characterized; but there can obviously be an incentive to make such a character into an actually evil enemy.
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Anime and Manga
- Shirota Masakage from Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, the episode villain from the 1st anime episode and chapters 4-6 of the manga.
- Since the main character in Chūka Ichiban! is a chef, it is logical to make all of his main enemies chefs as well. That, and the fact that it is a Cooking Duel series.
- A couple of actively evil chefs showed up in Iron Wok Jan, most notably
Jan Akiyama Go "Taoist Gogyo" Gyokai, who was actually trained as a culinary assassin.
- There was an evil (not to mention really gross) chef named Wanze in One Piece. Granted, he was mostly an excuse for crack, but he was threatening and he was a villain.
- Bianchi is an assassin from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! who intentionally uses her status as a Lethal Chef to full effect.
- Xellos from Slayers invokes this trope intentionally when he creates a soup "potent enough to kill a Gold Dragon with one bite."
- Monsieur Goan in the Kirby anime.
- The villains of Fighting Foodons.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Professor Kabayama is a rather good chef, but the ace monster in his deck is an evil one: a Fiend-Type Monster called Curry Majin Roux.
- Digitamamon and Vegiemon from Digimon Adventure. The former does a Heel-Face Turn in the sequel series, but remains a bit of a Jerk Ass.
- There is the aptly-named Hell's Chef of Gregory Horror Show, given his tendency to try to kill people for smoking (as it dulls taste buds) and for rejecting his food even if they're not hungry.
- Toriko, being solely about over muscled men finding, fighting and eating delicious food, is bound to have these on the villain's side.
- The heroine of Hack/Slash had one of these as her mom.
- There's also the minor villain Hibachi Devil, who looks like an evil chef, though is never shown doing anything related to cooking.
- Captain Underpants once fought cafeteria ladies who were aliens in disguise trying to turn the schoolchildren into zombies.
- Emeril Lagasse became one in a MAD parody of his Cooking Show, in an imagined novelization by Stephen King.
- The Batman Adventures #16 saw The Joker kidnap an aspiring cartoonist and force him to illustrate his exploits for a series of comic books. One of his capers involved infiltrating a banquet and (while "disguised" in a toque and a white smock) slipping paralytic Joker venom into the diners' soup. ("Poisonous? That would be the poison. It complements the cilantro nicely, don't you think?") The poison didn't actually kill anyone who took a slurp of the soup, but it did leave them compulsively grinning - and paralyzed long enough for Joker to saunter right up to all them and beat them senseless with a large mallet. (And, of course, Joker being who he is, he did this all For the Evulz - and in this case also for publicity.)
Films — Live-Action
- In the Pusher trilogy, Milo the Serbian druglord. He fancies himself a great cook, and tries to feed people his creations, but they're not very good. In fact, he accidentally gives all his thugs food poisoning in the third film, leaving him rather defenseless to a brewing gang war.
- Pamela Voorhees of the original Friday the 13th (1980) was the cook of Camp Crystal Lake. Her villainy was in no way related to her cooking though, but involved knifing, axing, and occasionally arrowing people to death in revenge for her son, who drowned in Crystal Lake because the counselors who were supposed to be watching him were getting it on instead.
- The slasher film The Cook, where there's something a little off about the new foreign chef hired to work at a sorority house.
- Swelter from the Gormenghast novels (and TV mini-series).
- Long John Silver was the ship's cook in Treasure Island, as well as the Disney space-and-steam Treasure Planet.
- Faquarl from The Bartimaeus Trilogy can transform into any shape he chooses, but is inexplicably fond of taking the form of a meat-cleaver wielding chef. Bartimaeus recalls that he's been doing this since they met in Babylon, circa 700 BC. It has something to do with all the sharp objects just lying around in kitchens.
- Harry Kressing's novel The Cook features the mysterious Conrad, who uses his cooking skills to win over and then control his victims.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has the ghost story of the Rat Cook of the Nightfort, who chopped up a visiting prince and fed him to his father in a pie. For breaking Sacred Hospitality, the gods turned him into a giant albino rat who eats his young.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an evil cafeteria lady; Buffy has to foil her plan to poison everyone.
- The Frenchman in Good Eats may qualify for this.
- Seinfeld's Soup Nazi? Well, not so much evil as oppressive to customers...
- Also, in "The Pie", the man who George competes with for the suit is revealed to be a chef at the end, and attempts to poison him with a piece of pie.
- Shockeye, from the Doctor Who serial "The Two Doctors". He's obsessed with finding out what things taste like, up to and including human beings, and "tenderises" one of the Doctor's companions - ignoring all the screaming as being completely irrelevant.
- An episode of the mini-series Shakespeare Re Told starred James McAvoy as a chef named Joe Macbeth.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Mrs. Lovett encourages Sweeney Todd's Roaring Rampage of Revenge for humanitarian purposes.
- The Cat from HONK neatly fits this trope, as, throughout the musical, he is trying to eat the main character, and, in the 1998 recording, was portrayed by Clive Rowe with a thick French accent.
- The Cook—also called Peter Lamb (but, like most characters in the play, mostly subject to Everyone Calls Him Barkeep) in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children is rather like this—fat, lecherous, fairly amoral and insensitive to his disturbed stepdaughter. Doesn't seem to put the women off, for some reason...
- The card game Yu-Gi-Oh! has an old card called The Bistro Butcher, a Fiend-Type monster that seems to be this. (It's Japanese name is "Devil Chef".)
- Plenty in the Mario series, but Chef Torte from Super Mario RPG comes to mind. He fights in a boss battle and (unknowingly) creates a giant spellcasting wedding cake.
- Large Fry in Wario Land, a giant Cheep Cheep who happens to be one of the occasional Flunky Bosses who happen to be quite strong on their own (which is extremely annoying, since he never stops calling down his buddies. Ever).
- Wildcat in Breath of Fire II is not only an evil chef, he's also That One Boss.
- Chef Kawasaki was one of these in the Kirby games, but not so much in the anime.
- The Tales Series has the Wonder Chef who is good and will teach the party recipes (effects vary by game, but are usually along the lines of post-battle healing), but Tales of Symphonia had a short sidequest involving the Wonder Chef's arch-nemesis- the evil Dark Chef.
- Chrono Cross has a literal Hell's Cook as one of the many characters you can get to join you. You fight his Super Powered Evil Side before his Heel-Face Turn.
- You have to defeat one of these in the game Alone In The Dark 2.
- One of the chapter previews for Disgaea: Hour of Darkness mentions that Etna must resist "the dark side of cooking"
- In Makai Kingdom, "Chefs" were a character class, with weaponized frying pans and cooking powers.
- Gourmand, one of the playable characters in Power Stone 2. For whatever reason, his Super Mode involves donning a dinosaur/dragon costume that allows him to breathe fire.
- Kingdom of Loathing has a few Evil Chef monsters, such as the Knob Goblin Master Chef, the War Frat Grill Sergeant, and the War Hippy Baker.
- With a sufficiently deranged player and/or sufficiently large dose of Alternate Character Interpretation, the Pastamancer and Sauceror classes could fall under this trope as well.
- One of the more annoying monsters in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles were the Tonberry Chefs of Moschet Manor, which were... well, Tonberries dressed like chefs and using gutting knives as weapons.
- The aptly-named multi-part RuneScape quest "Recipe for Disaster" involves the PC accidentally freeing an evil food-based magician known as the Culinaromancer.
- The knife-throwing chefs in the Medal of Honor series.
- In Command & Conquer: Renegade, the player will sometimes be attacked in Nod bases by flamethrower-wielding chefs.
- Yodai "Now we're BOILING!" Higashizawa of The World Ends with You.
- The main villain of Octodad is a sushi chef who's the only one to realize that the protagonist is an octopus masquerading as a human and for some reason is hell-bent on destroying him.
- The Dead Rising series features two evil chefs: Larry Chiang from the first game, and Antoine Thomas from the second game. Larry intends to turn an injured Carlito Keyes into mincemeat, and Antoine is attempting (and, it is heavily implied, has even succeeded) to turn survivors into "the perfect dish".
- Umami of Ōkamiden is Orochi's head chef. At least until Charity was kidnapped and forced into the job. Instead of hatching a plan to help her escape and reclaim her position as head chef, she finds it more beneficial to cook her.
- The Black Dragon Group from Suikoden II. Their leader Jinkai plans to use the Moon Bird Recipe for some sort of world domination plan through cooking. Though by the end of the Cook-Off minigames, he got better and was implied to have mended his ways.
- The Baby Dragon Chefs from Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends.
- In Dexters Laboratory, Dexter grows a beard to become rugged, and is believed to be his hero Action Hank. He later teams up with Action Hank to fight beard-themed villains, one of which is a chef with a beard that acts like a blade.
- Lunch Lady Ghost in Danny Phantom.
- Grandma Stuffums from Codename: Kids Next Door (who attacked with waves of living food such as liver and vegetables.)
- Louie (the seafood chef who sings "Le Poisson" from The Little Mermaid) is only evil insofar as aquatic animals are concerned. In context, that's evil enough. For bonus evil, he even has a twirly mustache.
- A similar chef can be seen for a few seconds (although in shadow) in the earlier animated Disney film The Aristocats during the scene where Duchess, Thomas O'Malley, the kittens, and the Gabble sisters run into Uncle Waldo.
- Skinner from Ratatouille isn't exactly dangerous, but he is greedy and sneaky and has an abysmal sense of business ethics.
- A Halloween special of The Simpsons had Lunchlady Doris become one of these when the faculty took to cooking the students.
- There is also a story where Homer becomes a food critic, and the other critics tell him he gives too many good reviews so he starts insulting everyone's food (not just restaurants, but Marge, too). This makes the restaurant owners angry and a bunch of them get together to kill him with a poisoned eclair at a food fair. Most of the restaurant owners aren't normally seen in villain roles, but the French chef who appears (and is the main person behind the poisoned eclair) probably counts.
- Chef from South Park became one in his last appearance.
- Chef Hatchet from Total Drama Island is probably better known as a Lethal Chef but he certainly gets a lot of enjoyment out of tormenting the campers.
- The Purple Pieman of Strawberry Shortcake.
- Sizzlor! Who subjected Invader Zim to torturous servitude in the bowels of the planet Foodcourtia.
- The Breadmaster in The Tick, along with his sidekick Buttery Pat, had a recipe for evil.
- Titanium Chef and Oleander from Sushi Pack. Titanium Chef even has an evil recipe book.
- The Butcher and Chuck the Evil Sandwich Man from WordGirl.
- Piecemeal from The Secret Saturdays is a criminally insane chef.
- In Medieval times cooks were considered naturally inclined towards evil. Good cooks lured a soul into pleasures of gluttony, while bad cooks corrupted the body. Furthermore, kitchens were often depicted as images of Hell, where master chef ruled as the head devil while his assistants butchered innocent animals and roasted them on spits. As such, cooks were often stereotyped as cruel, slow-witted gluttons and brutes.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Pe TA) tends to portray any chef who cooks with meat in this manner. Just take a look at their “Cooking mama” thanksgiving game.
- Let's be honest: as kids, most of us thought the cafeteria staff at school were either this or Lethal Chefs.