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Cooking Stories

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Cooking Stories are works of fiction or games that revolve around food and drink. The main characters are typically cooks, chefs or work in some sort of restaurant, bakery, bar, or other establishment dedicated to food. They might also be students studying to be in the food preparation business.

Cooking stories are often Slice of Life shows that have little in the way of action driven plot, but focus on daily life and characters. However, they can use plots similar to Sports Stories. For example, instead of Big Game or a Tournament Arc, they might have a cooking competition or have to prepare for the visit of an important VIP guest, a major food critic, or the health inspector.

Not to be confused with Cooking Show, though some cooking stories can still provide recipes and cooking tips that the audience can follow. Compare to Sports Stories and Music Stories. Generally involves lots of Food Porn and other Food Tropes. May have a Spin-Off Cookbook.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Addicted to Curry is about a curry restaurant and its ace cook.
  • Antique Bakery is a manga/anime which depicts the lives of four men who work in a small bakery.
  • Bambino is about a young, ambitious and hot-blooded Italian cuisine apprentice chef.
  • Bartender is a manga series that focuses on a genius bartender who uses his talents to ease the worries and soothe the souls of troubled customers.
  • Beauty and the Feast is about a 28-year-old widow who deals with her loneliness by cooking meals for a high school boy who lives next door.
  • Chūka Ichiban!, or Cooking Master Boy, is a manga/anime about a Chinese boy named Liu Mao Xing, who aspires to be a great chef like his mother. The story is set in a fictional Imperial China where cooking is taken seriously.
  • Cooking Papa is about a husband and father who happens to be really good at cooking and helps people out with this.
  • Dagashi Kashi
  • Delicious in Dungeon follows a group of adventures who decide to save money on supplies by cooking the various monsters they encounter while Dungeon Crawling into delicious, wholesome meals. This leads to whole lot of bizarre recipes that range from Giant Scorpion and Walking Mushroom Hotpot to Mandrake and Basalisk Omelette.
  • Fighting Foodons is about great chefs who turn their tasty meals into monsters that fight each other. Every bit as ridiculous as it sounds.
  • Food Wars! tells the story of a talented young chef who was sent by his father to the prestigious Totsuki cooking academy, and must survive in the school's extremely competitive environment to further polish his skills.
  • Gohan no Otomo is a Slice of Life with some cooking aspect, in which each chapter features various characters discovering the simple joy and comfort of having a good meal, especially with friends.
  • Gourmet Girl Graffiti is mainly about three middle school girls cooking and eating together.
  • Hell's Kitchen (2010) is about a demon who trains a high school student to become a great chef...but in exchange, the demon will eat his soul at the end of his life.
  • Iron Wok Jan is about an Arrogant Chinese Cooking Guy attempting to prove he's at the top of the Chinese cuisine game.
  • Isekai Cheat Survival Meshi is about a Supreme Chef high school student who dies and is reincarnated in a fantasy world. Instead of any high-stakes adventures, the story focuses on the meals he cooks, with the ingredients coming from monsters he hunts.
  • I Want Your Mother To Be With Me! is primarily a romance story, but the female protagonist works in her family's Chinese restaurant, and the male protagonist often helps out or eats there.
  • The Kajiki Chef: Divine Cuisine takes place in a world that has monsters called kajiki, which are said to be created to be eaten by the gods. The main character is a young chef who hunts them down in order to find one whose flesh can restore his friend's missing arm.
  • Kitchen Princess follows Najika Kazami, a cooking student who enrolls at Seika Academy to find her "flan prince", a mysterious boy who rescued her from drowning and fed her the flan in question, and who she believes to be a student at said school. Along the way, she meets several hot guys and cooks many delicious desserts.
  • Mister Ajikko, an '80s manga by Daisuke Terasawa, with its anime adaptation by Sunrise. It's about a wunderkind chef who competes with other cooks to determine who can make the most delicious versions of various dishes, both Japanese and Western. The anime nearly made it to the U.S., as it was pitched (unsuccessfully) to Food Network.
  • Mixed Vegetables is a manga about two students at a cooking school: the daughter of a pastry chef, who dreams of being a sushi chef, and the son of a sushi chef, who dreams of being a pastry chef. Each one separately comes up with the idea that if they could just marry into a family with a business in their favorite cuisine, they'd have an excuse to abandon their family cooking tradition for that of their spouse's family...
  • Nobunaga no Chef is about a modern-day chef who wakes up in the Sengoku Era with no memories aside from how to cook. Stories of his cooking skills eventually reach Oda Nobunaga, who recruits him to be his head chef.
  • Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy is a variation, since it's more about the eating part than the cooking. Written by the same mangaka as What Did You Eat Yesterday?, it follows a mangaka and her friends as they visit various restaurants in Tokyo.
  • Oishii Kankei aka A Delicious Relationship is a manga about a former rich girl becoming a chef.
  • Oishinbo has reporters investigating all sorts of food situations in their quest to find the ultimate menu.
  • Shinmai Shimai No Futari Gohan is the story of two girls who became sisters after their parents got married, they live alone and despite their different personalities are able to become close through the love of cooking/food.
  • Shitsuren Chocolatier: After his high school sweetheart breaks up with him, the son of a baker goes to France and learns to be a chocolatier. When he returns to Japan, he finds himself reconnecting with the same girl, despite her getting married to someone else.
  • Sweetness & Lightning tells the story of a teacher and his daughter getting cooking lessons from one of his students.
  • Today's Menu for the Emiya Family: A Fate/stay night Spin-Off where Shirou cooks dinner for the rest of the cast.
  • Toriko manages to combine this with shounen series tropes; it's set in a world were gathering rare ingredients is a Serious Business (and involves killing insanely powerful beasts for their meat or delving into jungles and caves for creatures that only appear very rarely and must be harvested with great skill).
  • Wagnaria!! takes place in a family restaurant.
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? revolves around a gay couple and the meals they prepare in their otherwise busy lives.
  • Yakitate!! Japan, has teenaged baker Kazuma Azuma, who dreams of creating a national bread for Japan.
  • Yumeiro Pâtissière is about junior-high student Amano Ichigo, who decides she wants to be a pâtissière and enrolls in the Japanese division of a French baking school.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix and the Banquet: Asterix must gather food specialties from all over Gaul for a banquet.
  • Seconds is about a chef trying to run her own restaurant.
  • Dollicious: Polish comic book about a family of seven sisters running a restaurant in a magical land where all the foods in the world live personified as little girls. A lot of stories focus on cooking or food (but not all of them).

    Film - Animated 
  • Bao: Pixar short in which a lonely Chinese-Canadian woman cooks bao (Chinese dumplings). One of them comes to life.
  • Ratatoing is a parody of Ratatouille.
  • Ratatouille: a rat named Rémy wants to become a chef. He allies with a talentless would-be chef at a famous restaurant to use their abilities together and bring their formerly great restaurant back to its former glory.
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    Film - Live-Action 
  • Big Night is about a pair of Italian brothers who own a restaurant and make a big feast for singer Louis Prima, which they believe will save them from having to close & go back to Italy.
  • Babette's Feast: Babette has worked for years without pay for a pair of sisters in an ultrareligious sect. (She first came as a political refugee, and they agreed to let her stay but had to work as their cook in exchange for room & board.) Then Babette wins the lottery; she decides to make a meal she wants to make for once, rather than the life-sustaining but extremely bland food the sisters insist on her making. The sisters and the others in the town agree to attend the feast, but all decide amongst themselves not to comment in any fashion on the meal. It tuns out that a) back in her home country she was an internationally famous chef, forced by circumstance to make nothing but gruel for the last 14 years and b) Babette spends the entire lottery winnings on the food for the feast.
  • Burnt: Adam Jones is a chef who destroyed his career with his drug use and diva behavior. He returns to London after cleaning himself up so that he can redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
  • La Cuisine au beurre: After 13 years in Austria including World War II, a French chef returns to his wife and his restaurant. But since his disappearance, his wife has started over with a chef from Normandy who's a specialist of cooking with butter when Fernand cooks only with oil.
  • Chef! (2014) has a celebrity chef (Jon Favreau), who, caught between his restaurant owner boss who wants him to stick to his tried-and-true favorites, and a food critic blogger who finds the same old thing mediocre, has a major meltdown that goes viral. He gets a shot at starting over running a food truck with his estranged son.
  • Chocolat: A French woman and her young daughter open up a chocolate shop in a small remote village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.
  • Eat Drink Man Woman: A master chef has lost his sense of taste, but still tries to connect with his alienated daughters through food.
  • The Founder: Biopic about the manager who turned McDonald's into a fast food empire.
  • The God Of Cookery is a Stephen Chow film that works martial arts into the culinary arts.
  • The Green Butchers: Two Danish butchers kill people and turn them into butchery delicacies that their customers come in droves to buy.
  • Julie & Julia: A culinary legend provides a frustrated office worker with a new recipe for life.
  • The film No Reservations (not to be confused with the TV show, which is a travel show about food).
    • And its German original, Bella Martha (Mostly Martha in its American release).
  • The Ramen Girl
  • Talia in the Kitchen: A teen sitcom about the title character and her family and friends helping out with her grandmother's restaurant.
  • Tampopo is a sketch comedy revolving around food. Its main narrative involves a pair of truck drivers who take it upon themselves to revitalize the eponymous character's failing ramen shop.
  • The Wing or the Thigh: A reviewer of French restaurants has troubles transmitting his trade to his son and fights against a fast food company.

    Light Novels 
  • Campfire Cooking In Another World With My Absurd Skill: The story follows a salaryman who is thrown into another world by accident. Stranded, his only special skill is to conjure a supermarket site from where he can buy things, and with that and his amazing cooking skills, he prepares dishes so good that super-powerful monsters agree to follow and protect him as long as he keeps them fed.
  • Cooking With Wild Game: An apprentice chef gets Trapped in Another World and decides to revolutionize the cuisine there.
  • Restaurant to Another World: A restaurant in Tokyo secretly has a portal to another world that opens on Saturdays, allowing a wide array of fantastic races to visit and sample the restaurant's food.

    Literature 
  • The The Bliss Bakery trilogy is about the adventures of a family who bakes magical cakes and cookies.
  • Bone In The Throat, a novel by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain about a young man trying to make it as a chef on his own talents despite every single mobbed up relative wanting to either take advantage of him, or make it easy for him.
  • Julia's Kitchen: A girl copes with the deaths of her mother and sister by reviving her mother's titular baking business.
  • Like Water for Chocolate is a 1989 Mexican novel that chronicles the story of Tita, a fifteen year-old growing up during The Mexican Revolution with her mother, Mama Elena, her older sisters Gertrudis and Rosaura, the cook Nacha and maid Chencha on a ranch in Piedras Negras.
  • Sam & Samantha Book Series: Every story in this series is about food getting either tampered with in some way or being made disgusting.
  • Slaves Of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater is about a competition to determine the best fast-food chef in the universe.

    Live Action TV 
  • 2 Broke Girls. Not only do the main characters work as waitresses at a diner, they are also trying to raise money to run their own bakery.
  • Alice takes place mainly at Mel's Diner.
  • Chef!
  • Chef wa Meitantei
  • Good Eats is a partial example, in that it is a Cooking Show that often employs a narrative Framing Device to hold the theme together.
  • Itaewon Class is about a young ex-con's struggles to run a successful restaurant, Dan Bam, as part of a revenge plot. While the story focuses more on the business drama side than on the food, the relationships between Dan Bam's employees get significant focus as do some of the food aspects.
  • Kitchen Confidential
  • Midnight Diner is about the "Master" of the titular diner, who cooks anything his customers request provided he has the ingredients. Each episode focuses on a different dish.
  • My Lovely Sam-soon is a Korean drama about a young pastry chef and her boss, faking a relationship.
  • Pie in the Sky: When his plans to retire are foiled by his superior, Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe is left still solving crimes for the police force while still cooking at his restuarant Pie in the Sky.
  • Posh Nosh
  • There is a Russian sitcom titled Kukhnya (AKA The Kitchen), setting in a French restaurant (named Claude Monet) on Moscow.
  • Samurai Gourmet is more about the eating side of things.
  • Whites is a low-key British comedy show set in the kitchen of a country house hotel.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Intergalactic Cooking Challenge, which can be summarized as "Iron Chef in Space: the RPG."

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • BIGTOP BURGER is a series of shorts about a clown-themed food truck and their rivals, a zombie-themed food truck.
  • Café World is a Flash-based game on Facebook.
  • Gourmet Hound, a webcomic about a young woman with an amazing sense of smell + taste tracking down former chefs of her favorite restaurant to discover who it was that cooked the "perfect taste" she's missing.
  • The Katering Show, a parody of cooking shows.

    Western Animation 

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