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Angry Chef

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"You are COOKING? How DARE you cook in MY kitchen! Where do you get the gall to even attempt something so monumentally idiotic? I should have you drawn and quartered! I'll do it! I think the law is on my side! Larousse, draw and quarter this man - after you put him in the duck press to squeeze the fat out of his head!"
Skinner, Ratatouille

A restaurant kitchen can be a very volatile, high-stress environment — the perfect breeding ground for the Angry Chef. They are a demanding, hostile, perfectionist chef who is always angry and irate, and who has zero tolerance for their staff or customers deviating from their strict standards of what they think culinary perfection and/or managerial efficiency are in any way, shape or form. Typically European, but doesn't need to be; also often famous and renowned, with their behavior being tolerated because their food is that good. Might have a similarly angry, food-related Catchphrase like "Get out of my kitchen!" or "No soup for you!"

A Stock Character in medieval literature, where he was usually drunk most of the time as well. In this case, it was usually the result of having to work all the time in the nasty, hot kitchen. However, this stereotype just as easily shows up in a variety of modern works. The Angry Chef can be anyone from characters in Cooking Stories, judges or participants on Cooking Shows, or simply proprietors or employees of restaurants the characters visit for an episode. One variation is for a typically nice character turn out to be an absolute beast in the kitchen.


Compare Evil Chef, contrast Sweet Baker. May be a Mean Boss if he takes it out on his staff. See also French Cuisine Is Haughty.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


    open/close all folders 

  • Zhang Zi Yi once starred in a Visa ad where she is served a soup that is too salty for her, prompting the entire restaurant staff (especially the chef who feels very insulted) to gang up on her and resulting in a kungfu mayhem.note 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The floating restaurant Baratie in One Piece hires staff that have been kicked out of everywhere else, usually because they keep getting into fights. As a consequence it is filled to the brim with angry chefs. The frequent brawls within the restaurant are actually a customer attraction!
  • The aptly named Hell's Chef from Gregory Horror Show is something of a hothead, becoming enraged if someone criticises his cooking.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, the Chef at Mudka's Meat Hut angrily quits his job after taking various complaints from Kuzco and Yzma and leaving all of the work up to Kronk, thinking that he wanted a "special order" too.
    Kronk: Hey, pal, what's your policy on making special orders?
    Chef: Alright, buster, that's it! You want a special order, then you make it! I QUIT! You know, I try and I try, but there's just no respect for anyone with vision! That-That's it! There's just nothing I can do about it!
  • Chef Louis from Disney's The Little Mermaid is the palace chef to Prince Eric, and seems no worse than eccentric as he sings "Les Poissons" while preparing stuffed crab as an entree. However, once Sebastian the crab goes rogue, all of Louis' sanity goes out the window, and he embarks on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that obliterates the palace kitchen.
  • Ratatouille:
    • Skinner is a diminutive, bad-tempered head chef frequently shown barking orders to his employees.
    • Colette is a fierce, bad-tempered woman who wants to work her way up in the kitchen. Since the job is male-dominated, she believes she has to be twice as tough to get to the top. She eventually softens up to Linguini.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Deconstructed in Burnt, where despite his skill, Adam Jones's bad temper and drug problem tanks his mentor Jean-Luc's restaurant entirely. By the end, Adam realizes that while he thrived in the fast-paced, volatile environment of the kitchen until he didn't, he has to change the way he runs the kitchen.
  • In Sextette, Dan comes across the world summit's chef furious over all the foreign food he has to serve. Dan tries to cool his temper with a friendly chat but ends up whipping him into a murderous rage by offhandedly mentioning that he likes hamburger.
  • In Wet Hot American Summer, the camp cook, Gene Jenkinson, is incredibly short-tempered and constantly lashes out at his Beleaguered Assistant Gary. Justified in that he's a shell-shocked Vietnam Vet.
  • The McDonald Brothers in The Founder. While some of their grievances could be seen as legitimate, most of the time they act hostile and contrarian for no particular reason.

  • Airborn: The recurring character Chef Vlad is notable for his short fuse: he's a genius chef, but is easily set off on angry rants when things don't go his way. His outbursts are fairly justified on occasion — in Skybreaker, the second novel, he's reintroduced while bodily throwing a waiter out of his kitchen after he caught the latter dipping his fingers in the food — but he's sometimes set off by more... questionable... matters — in Straclimber, he says he had to quit his job in a Parisian restaurant after he set the French president's tie on fire due to a disagreement regarding proper ways to make a glaze.
  • In the Fairy Tale Catskin, the cook is abusive to Catskin as a Scullery Maid, and even after she marries the young lord.
    "What! you dirty impudent slut," said the cook, "you go among all the fine lords and ladies with your filthy catskin? A fine figure you'd cut!" and with that she took a basin of water and dashed it into Catskin's face.
  • Exaggerated for laughs in the Saki short story The Chaplet with Chef Aristide Saucourt. When diners ignore his painstakingly researched and meticulously prepared masterpiece of haute cuisine in favour of the musical accompaniment, he goes berserk and drowns the violinist in a soup tureen.
  • Anatole of the Jeeves and Wooster books. He is a very good chef who is nonetheless temperamental and easily upset if he feels his food is not being appreciated.
  • Nina Tanleven: The Ghost Wore Gray features Dieter Schwartz, the short and hot-tempered cook at the Quackadoodle Inn, who treats his food “as an artist treats his paintings” and is furious when the man he asked to help inadvertently ruined a pot of cream sauce, to the extent of throwing knives at the man. He also flips out when dust gets in the air from Mr. Tanleven making a hole in the wall in his kitchen - sure, the space that was revealed as a result has historic value, but Dieter doesn’t care about that, he wants people to stay out of his kitchen while he’s trying to cook. Fortunately, he’s better-tempered around people who aren’t causing him trouble, like Nine and Chris.
  • In Oliver Twist, Oliver begs the cook for more gruel and he punishes him for it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mel Sharples from Alice is the owner/operator of Mel's Diner, a greasy-spoon truck stop grill in Phoenix, Arizona. Mel is the sole kitchen staff, with Bad Boss, Jerkass, and The Scrooge tendencies. Some of the show's humor focuses on Mel's cost-cutting measures.
  • Chef! has Garrett Blackstock. While talented, Blackstock is arrogant, tyrannical, and is often rude to employees, friends, and family members.
  • Angus Cook in Dead Like Me was the line cook at Der Waffle Haus who fell into tough times involving a pyramid scheme where he lost everything and leaving him a very unhappy man. He refused to bend over backwards to customer complaints about the food he prepared and passed this philosophy along to Rube who reaped him and subsequently took over in the kitchen. Incidentally, Angus stuck around to coach Rube in the kitchen passing on his philosophy that the cook shouldn't bow to the demands of the customer. When Rube caught on, only then did Angus pass on.
  • Subverted in The Good Place. Chef Patricia conforms to this stereotype by seemingly being abrasive, irritable, and a complete perfectionist — yet when Michael asks her to change the seating chart for an additional guest, she agrees immediately, because this being The Good Place, everything is working perfectly.
  • Hell's Kitchen: Celebrity chef host Gordon Ramsay has a Hair-Trigger Temper, is Drill Sergeant Nasty, and never holds back in calling out the contestants for their incompetence. However, this is a case of Tough Love, as the intent is to make them ready for and capable of actual professional kitchen work. It's also more or less a persona, as Ramsay's far more polite and friendly in other shows (especially when working with children).
  • "The Dirty Fork" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus had Mungo the chef (John Cleese) going after two customers with a butcher knife after they complained about said dirty cutlery. "No, Mungo! Not again!"
  • The Swedish Chef in The Muppets is known for his bad temper and constant tantrums aggravated by his Gratuitous Foreign Language
  • Samurai Gourmet: In the episode "The White-Haired Knight", Takeshi Kasumi goes to a yakitori restaurant with a grumpy chef. An American couple puts sauce on their yakiori, triggering the chef's temper.
  • Seinfeld's Yev Kassem, known as the Soup Nazi. He's a draconian soup chef who demands that all customers follow his precise orders to the letter — if they don't, he outright bans them from the place.
    Jerry: The guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure. He's secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi.
    Elaine: Why? What happens if you don't order right?
    Jerry: He yells and you don't get your soup.
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: When Chef Paolo quits the very day a famous food critic is coming to the Tipton, Cody steps up to become the new chef, while his friends and family become the staff. In the process, he spends the time shouting at them, insulting their cooking, and forcing them to work harder and harder. Fittingly, this episode was named Heck's Kitchen.
  • Played with in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, the prequel series to Wet Hot American Summer. At the beginning of the series, the camp cook, Jonas Jurgenson, is incredibly kind and mild-mannered, and is played by the same actor who played the angry chef in the original film. Turns out that Jonas just is an assumed identity of Gene Jenkinson, and once he is reminded of his past identity as Gene the Vietnam vet, he transforms back into the angry chef we remember from the original movie.
  • Roseanne Conner from the later seasons of Roseanne, when she is working at the Lanford Lunchbox diner. She is frequently snarky and sarcastic to the customers.
    Roseanne: Can I help you?
    Customer: Uh, yeah. Which is better, the tuna salad or the egg salad?
    Roseanne: Tuna salad... egg salad... chicken salad... turkey salad... shrimp salad. What difference does it make? It's all just different words for mayonnaise. Pick one.
  • Kitchen Nightmares has more than its fair share, albeit usually for good reason. If there's a trope about dysfunctional staff, or owners, or customers, it's there.
  • The character played by Lenny Henry in the TV sitcom Chef! - a grumpy temperamental would-be superchef with an exaggerated idea of his own importance, a martinet in his own kitchen, and with a very short tolerance for customers who thought they knew better.
  • Chef Sun Woo in Oh My Ghostess is harsh to his chefs even causing Bong Sun to cry and after a particularly icy, but not unjustified, berating caused her to quit. He does at least snap at customers if they try to blame his chefs for things that are out of their control and will take an employee to the back porch to finish yelling at them if he notices he's gaining an audience.

  • In Chrono Trigger, the Master of Cooks in the Guardia Castle in the Middle Ages has a rather nasty temper, and can often be seen quarreling with his brother, the Knight Commander. In the Present, a woman who is implied to be his descendant runs the kitchens, and her husband comments that the temper runs in the family.

  • There are a few contenders for this title among the cast of Gourmet Hound, which is largely made up of chefs and bakers, but Madeleine has the best claim so far. Hostile, touchy, aggressive, perfectionist, and workaholic, she alienates those around her and makes even her friends worry that she might work her kitchen staff (or herself!) to death.

    Western Animation 
  • Hotel Transylvania: The Series:
    • Quasimodo shows shades of being this in the episode "Breakfast at Lydia's", where he throws a tantrum and quits as head chef of the hotel when Mavis asks for a pinch of salt to go with her ghoulash.
    • Gerome also fits this trope as well, considering himself an "artiste" and refusing to make the same dish twice for this reason.
  • The Lunch Lady Ghost in Danny Phantom gets really ticked off when people change her menus.
  • Chef Hatchet from Total Drama. He's a Scary Black Man with a Hair-Trigger Temper who cooks inedible meals and spends most of his time terrorizing the other campers.


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