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Chubby Chef

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Anyone can cook, and this man has eaten all of it.

"Never trust a skinny chef."
— An old saying

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 impression that they are one. Expect plenty of overlap with Big Fun, with the Chubby Chef often being a jovial and friendly fellow who takes great pride in feeding their guests, but not always.

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 of food often for practice (moreover, fancy cuisine involves cream sauces, garlic butter, etc). 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.


    open/close all folders 

  • 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.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993): The waitress and chef at the diner in Gotham's Widow Creek neighborhood where Stephanie takes Tim for comfort food when she's upset are both noticeably plump.
  • Junior Braves of the Apocalypse: Kong is noticeably larger than the other members of Tribe 976, and is skilled enough in the kitchen to have been assigned the role of cook.

    Fan Works 
  • In Change of Heart, the Royal Koopa Family's professional chef Cookoopa is described as a "fat, but cheerful koopa".
  • Carter from Total Drama Legacy is the fattest contestant on the show, as well as the best cook out of all of them. In fact, his dream is to own a bakery.

    Films — Animation 
  • The unnamed Baker that Anastasia falls for in Cinderella II: Dreams Come True is a large Gentle Giant.
  • Chef Louis of The Little Mermaid is a French Jerk who's creepily passionate about cooking seafood. He's also the fattest character besides Ursula.
  • Ratatouille:
    • Auguste 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. Rémy is a rather slim rat but is a Supreme Chef. His fat brother Emile 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film version of The Hobbit, Bombur, the fattest dwarf, is portrayed as the Team Chef of the Company.

  • Nero Wolfe's title character 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 and is hinted to engage in the odd spot of cannibalism. His bulk also hides surprising Stout Strength.
  • 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.
  • Discworld:
    • Witches Abroad has Mrs. Pleasant, a minor character who happens to work as a cook in the royal kitchens of Genua (and is also an ally of voodoo witch Mrs. Googol). Because of Lady Lilith's laws demanding the people of Genua confirm to the stereotypes of fairy tale stock characters, Mrs. Pleasant is glad she's naturally stout and good-natured.
    • All Jolson, a restaurant-owner and recurring minor character, got his nickname because he loves his own cooking so much that passersby who see him keep saying they can't believe that massively-fat body is all Jolson.
    He combined in one body – and there was plenty of room left over – Ankh-Morpork’s best chef and its keenest eater, a circumstance made in mashed potato heaven.
    • Unseen Academicals has Glenda Sugarbean, whose ex-boyfriend unromantically calls her a fat girl who makes a good pie. The latter is an understatement, as her culinary feats impress even wizards. The former is a source of some well-hidden insecurity, especially where her slim, famously beautiful childhood friend Juliet is concerned.
    • Lancre folk wisdom points out that while a woman becomes less attractive with age, cooking tends to improve, so the fathers of young men encourage their sons to look for potential wives better at cooking than kissing.
  • Invoked by Faquarl in The Bartimaeus Trilogy. He's a spirit whose true form (while bound on Earth) is some kind of tentacled monster, but his preferred human disguise is a portly cook. Besides being unassuming, hanging around in kitchens means he has dozens of sharp objects in easy reach.
  • The Tough Guide To Fantasy Land discusses the trope and its inverse as fantasy stereotypes. As a rule, fat cooks can be trusted to be kind beneath the yelling, while thin cooks are unpleasant through and through.
  • Food Of The Gods by Cassandra Khaw references this when Demeter observes that Rupert is unusually thin for a cook. The Inversion is justified in that his boss is a ghoul; while he's contractually obligated To Serve Man, he has no personal interest in the food he makes.
  • Anansi Boys: At the end, Spider becomes a chef and gains a fair bit of weight. According to the book, "He's fatter than he used to be, though not as fat as he'll wind up if he keeps tasting everything he cooks."

    Live-Action TV 
  • The House episode "Que Será Será" plays this for drama with 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 retired police officer turned restauranteur who solves crimes.` Averted by sous-chef Steven, who's much younger and relatively skinny thanks to having Just Got Out of Jail for burglary in the pilot episode.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: The Tipton's head chef Paolo is this; in one episode, after Paolo claims that he learned of having nearly fatally high cholesterolnote  from his blood test, Cody tries to help him go on a diet during their hotel's Health and Fitness Week.

    Tabletop Games 

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Story of Seasons:
    • 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 (she wears baggy clothes, however Harvest Moon: Back to Nature retooled her as a presumably-slim nurse without changing her design). 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 Story of Seasons 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • Trainers in the "Cook" Trainer Class are always this.
    • Swirlix from Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is the Team Chef for the Expedition Society, and also the one who gets scolded by the others for eating all their food supplies.
    • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Katy runs a bakery and Kofu is a chef. Both of them are on the bigger side.
  • The protagonist of BurgerTime, Peter Pepper, is an acrofatic burger chef.
  • The bartender in Tapper is a portly man.
  • Crisbee from Bug Fables is a fat, friendly carpenter bee and one of the game's three chefs. He's noteworthy for being the only chubby one: Fry is incredibly buff, while Kut is fairly thin.
  • Gus from Stardew Valley is a portly fellow and both an excellent bartender and a master chef.
  • Unlike her buff apprentice, the Grammeowster Chef from Monster Hunter: World is very plump and soft-looking. Since she happens to be an adorable cat with the mannerisms of a sassy grandmother, her bulk only serves to make her look even more warm and inviting as she serves the player her delicious stews before a big hunt.
  • Peppino Spaghetti, the protagonist of Pizza Tower, is fairly pudgy but that doesn't stop him from being insanely fast and bulldozing through everything in his way.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Fenlin is a chubby Hylian woman who is the team chef for the branch of the Zonai Survey Team operating just outside of the Gerudo region.
  • Galaxy Angel: The Elsior's chef, Ume Miyazawa, is a middle-aged lady who manages the ship's cafeteria. She's also the oldest member of the crew and acts as a sort of Team Mom.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair:
    • Teruteru Hanamura 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. This is 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.
    • Teruteru's mother, who Teruteru strongly resembles, applies also for this trope from the brief moment that she is shown. She owns a diner and taught Teruteru all that he knows.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Crafty has Pepper, a cephalopod mutant who is an accomplished chef. Unlike most examples of the trope, her gluttony is a very prominent trait, and she has an expansive waistline to match.

    Western Animation 
  • Mrs. Beakley in DuckTales (1987), victim of the occasional fat or weight joke through the series (In "Too Much of a Gold Thing", she dislodges one of the giant two-ton sun-coins when she steps atop it!). Although she's officially the nanny, she shares cooking duties with butler Duckworth. In "Scrooge's Last Adventure", Scrooge asks her if he had ever complimented her on her cooking:
    Mrs. Beakley: Not exactly. You said the way I look I must enjoy my cooking!
  • 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.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Marinette's uncle Wang Cheng, a world-renowned chef, and André Glacier, a famous ice-cream vendor, are both on the rotund side.