A jellyfish inside a beet!"
The Cordon Bleugh Chef is a "chef" who does know how to cook but seems to be willing to combine foods that should never be used in the same dish or, in the worst cases, even in the same universe. If the resulting dish doesn't cause an urge to purge with just the taste, finding out what was in it surely will. At the very least, many of those eating will comment that it tastes like something the dish has no right to be tasting like given its ingredients.
Some examples of disgusting dishes a Cordon Bleugh Chef might create include things like strawberry and liver pate cakes, lemon curd with ham and sardines, chocolate cod roe, parsnip brownies, fish fingers and custard, and endless other stomach-emptying recipes. Occasionally though, the combination actually turns out to taste pretty good.
Cordon Bleugh Chef is not about "chefs" who make food that either looks absolutely disgusting or is even harmful to the one unlucky enough to eat it; that's Lethal Chef. It also isn't when someone adjusts already-created food to make it more "appealing". That's Bizarre Taste in Food. Though it could make them into an Angry Chef, feeling like everyone else just can't appreciate "original works of art" like he can.
Compare Foreign Queasine: foreign dishes such as haggis, deep-fried tarantulas and casu marzunote which are fairly popular in their own country but would be thought of as too disgusting to try by many people in other countries. See I Ate WHAT?! for when people don't find out what it contains till it's eaten.
Compare and contrast Overcomplicated Menu Order that may or may not involve mixing two foods together and/or modifying it to oblivion like this trope, but coming from someone's order.
- Project A-ko: In the English dub, Shiiko (C-ko) notes learning from the Cordon Bleugh school.
- 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, settling down for bakery products like bread and pastries: the gang seems to like her bread well enough, and according to the novels she's good enough to be employed full-time. 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 that 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.
- 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.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Misato Katsuragi likes to mix TV-dinners together, such as combining ramen and curry.
- In the spin-off video game Girlfriend of Steel Rei, the stoic, heroic death seeker, isn't game enough to try it until she's seen that it's okay. Tasting it results in a Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame played for laughs. The only exception is PenPen who instantly passes out upon sampling it. 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 takes 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.
- Worth noticing that this is all added by the English dub. The original movie Bokura no War Game had Koushiro needing to pee because Taichi's mother served him too much (perfectly normal) Oolong tea.
- There's also Mimi's mom, who makes kimchi fried rice with strawberries and cream. Mimi doesn't mind at all and seems to take after her in Digimon Adventure tri. when she tops Sora's savory cooking with whipped cream and jelly beans. In spite of this, the epilogue to Digimon Adventure 02 shows that she became a celebrity chef.
- In 3-gatsu 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.
- Shokugeki no Soma
- 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. His father is much the same way, producing dishes which have made him a GOD in the culinary world... and a snake-based dish Soma describes as "legendarily bad." There was also a mention of the infamous sardines in strawberry jam. In both these cases, there is some justification, as both have cooking styles which rely heavily on "brute force"-experimentation to create new flavor combinations (rather than extrapolating from known recipes or using knowledge of food chemistry), so it's pretty inevitable some of their experiments would end like this. However, both father and son take a certain level of sadistic glee in watching people's reactions to their cordon bleugh experiments.
- Soma's classmate Alice is a devotee of molecular gastronomy, a real-life culinary movement that (as mentioned elsewhere on this page) uses science to (in essence) subvert this trope. Many of her dishes involve ingredients you wouldn't necessarily think really worked together until you tasted them...and then it snaps into place. A lot of her recipes seem to be specifically inspired by Heston Blumenthal (who, besides the strange combinations and application of new techniques, loves messing with people's expectations, a trait exhibited by Alice), whose cooking is listed later on this page.
- Is This a Zombie?'s Maelstrom's lunches look pretty good. And then the condiments come out..., an inversion would be Haruna's cooking, that even if it looks burned and inedible, in the case of egg cuisine, everything tastes delicious.
- 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.
- In Kuroko no Basuke, Riko Aida, Seirin's coach, often cooks delicious-looking meals for the team after a rough game... but much to the boys' chagrin, she not-so-sneakily adds in various vitamins, supplements, and protein powders to make them more nutritious.
- Ayumi from Charlotte seems to be a decent cook, judging from Yuu's reaction to the noodles she makes in Episode 5... The problem is, most of the time she puts pizza sauce in everything, from rice to French toast.
- Kino from Kino's Journey can get a little too creative with her dishes. Once, when invited by a country to cook some foreign cuisine, she created a "fried chicken" dish... which has chili peppers in equal volume to the actual chicken. Add in a healthy dose of vinegar, and it's no wonder the first guy who sampled it ended up fainting.
- Log Horizon: Very nearly everyone. Due to a quirk of the game, any foods made using the system menu are completely bland and tasteless. You can add spices (which are considered "ingredients" and still have taste), but you just end up with a bland mush sprinkled with salt. Worse, trying to cook manually results in a disgusting, inedible goop... unless you have a cooking skill. Then, you can manually create proper meals that actually taste like the thing they're supposed to be. The cooking skill was originally pretty rare, but the Crescent Moon Alliance made a whole lot of money by reformatting themselves into a food service organization before anyone else figured out the secret.
- 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.
- Comic Joe DeRosa has a bit about how he can't stand high-end, trendy restaurants because of their zeal for blending hearty, savory dishes with sugary, dessert-like dressings and condiments.
- 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.
- Astérix being sold as a slave to the wrong family, tries to be this in The Laurel Wreath. Unfortunately for him the recipe appears to be a miraculous hangover cure, much to the joy of said family's son.
- 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.
- Scooby Apocalypse: In Issue #9, Shaggy made "spam, cheese, spinach an' anchovy omelets". Velma, who had just thrown up from learning what the Four planned to do with her scientific expertise, throws up again upon being offered one of Shaggy's omelets.
- In one strip, Jon can't figure out how to get the meatloaf inside the danish...
- In another, he made Garfield wienie gelatin. After Garfield ate it, he said his mouth liked it, but his stomach was still trying to make up its mind.
- In one strip Irma gives Garfield and Jon what looks like ice cream cones? It's actually scoops of mashed potatoes in cones.
- 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.
- In some early strips of For Better or for Worse, Elly makes casseroles that fit this trope, most notably a version of Shepherd's Pie made with sliced hot dogs. According to her, her mother Marian was even worse.
- 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.
- Advice and Trust: As her canon self, Misato likes mixing foods should not be mixed. In chapter 8 Asuka tells the last time Misato fed her "best curry" to Pen Pen, the penguin spent the rest of the night staring at the ceiling and barking.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: After Third Impact Misato is still a terrible cook who comes up with horrible recipes:
Misato: Oh, and since you just woke up you must be hungry. Why don't I —
Asuka: (widening her eyes) No, that's okay! I'll make breakfast!
Misato: Aw, but I had this neat idea for an experiment! All I need is some horseradish and some curry and —
- Thousand Shinji: Misato's cook looks, smells and tastes like some kind of toxic sludge.
Sighing, Shinji just shakes his head and tries to find something Misato hadnt smothered in the thick, sludge-like hot sauce she slathered all over her food. It seemed to be a combination of crystalline capsaicin dissolved in sulphuric acid with raw wasabi added in for flavour. Shinji was fairly certain the stuff could overload the taste buds of an Emperors Children space marine.
- In Children of an Elder God, never let Asuka cook. She likes being "creative" and mixing foods that were not meant to be mixed:
Misato woke up clutching her stomach, which was mildly nauseous, and wondering if Asuka had put LSD in the homemade pizza. I'm never letting Asuka make saurkraut pizza or whatever that was, ever again.
- Once More with Feeling: When Misato declares that shell cook him a huge welcome home meal, Shinji is not thrilled at the prospect of trying her meals again given her penchant for mixing foodstuff which should not be mixed.
"Oh great" Shinji managed to get out before swallowing. Oh God in heaven, not again, I can't go through that food again
- In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Ino winds up being this. She prepares a dish of pepper-pot soup (a Caribbean dish with ingredients such as pepper, beef, tapioca sauce, cinnamon, garlic, onion, thyme, basil, sugar and salt) and serves it to the gang...but the only ones who can manage to eat it are Choji and Kushina, the latter of whom gives Ino pointers on how she could improve the dish. Choji charitably says the soup "doesn't smell toxic," but Naruto, Sasuke and Shikamaru are far less forgiving, saying it "tastes like vomit."
- During a cooking competition in Harry Potter and the Lack of Lamb Sauce, Colin decides to use as many ingredients as he's allowed for the challengenote and makes a nineteen ingredient omelet including jam, figs, dates, and prunes. Unfortunately, all the different flavors clashed horribly.
- Another competitor tried to make a "Breakfast milkshake" out of ice cream, maple syrup, and donuts. The result is compared to drinking pure sugar though he is praised for his creativity.
- Akane in Ranma: Happenstance Gone Right is explained as always trying to fix her (frequent) mistakes while cooking by overcompensating. If she's supposed to add sugar to a dish but uses salt instead, Akane will simply add twice as much sugar rather than binning the whole thing and starting over.
- 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).
- Frenzy. Given the choice between wading through grim murder scenes and tasting his wife's experimental cuisine — pig's feet, fish head soup, etc. — Inspector Oxford always opts for the former.
- 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."
- In Mike Leigh's film Life Is Sweet, Aubrey, played by Timothy Spall, is this. He opens a restaurant where the dishes on the menu include Saveloy on a bed of Lychees, Liver in Lager and Pork Cyst.note
- In Uncle Buck, Buck makes eggs with onions in them, which the kids won't eat. (Subverted in a later scene, however, with Buck's AWESOME PANCAKES!!
- 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.
- In the Amber Brown books, Amber Brown's favorite Amber-sitter, Brenda, is this. She once made Amber a meat loaf with a hard-boiled egg in it. Another time, she told Amber of her Velveeta whipped potatoes and spaghetti diablo, but fortunately they already had pizza on the way.
- In Coraline, the titular Coraline hates whenever her father tries out new recipes of his. As this includes a leek and potato stew with tarragon garnish and melted Gruyere cheese—a fairly conventional, even classic, combination, it may be that he simply isn't that good of a cook. Although she does like the pizza he makes.
- In Patrick McManus's humorous outdoor stories, he speaks on occasion of "Whatcha-Got Stew" which is concocted in hunting camps using whatever random ingredients which can be scrounged together at short notice. Just looking at the result isn't particularly safe, much less eating it.
- In the children's book The Tales of Doggie and Moggie by Josef Čapek, there's a chapter about making a birthday cake. They decide to put in everything that's good to eat, everything you like eating best of all, and all that will make the best cake you'll ever want. The final cake ends up containing sugar, salt, butter, Stilton cheese, bacon, a pickled cucumber, hazelnuts, bones, pepper, four mice, sausages, whipped cream, onion, chocolate and gravy. Yummy! While the cake cools on the windowsill, a big bad dog walks by and eats it, resulting in two weeks of stomach ache.
- Gangsta Granny: The granny puts cabbage in anything, including dessert.
- In the Sweet Valley High book Jessica's Cookie Disaster, Jessica's first attempt to replicate her accidental spilling of some extra ingredients into her cookie dough that resulted in unbelievably delicious cookies is adding pineapple flavoring and licorice extract to her dough. Not surprisingly, the cookies look and taste absolutely disgusting. Her other attempts at combining ingredients don't fare much better, and the actual combination that made the delicious cookies turns out to be a simple mixture of vanilla and almonds.
- 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
- The BBC series Back in Time for Dinner attempts to tell us about social history through food, with an ordinary family preparing and eating food typical of a given year in the 20th century. In keeping with social trends, this involved the mother doing most of the cooking. Bizarrely, though entertainingly, the producers chose to cast a family where the mother is, by her own reckoning as well as her family's, a terrible cook (truly, you have never seen anyone struggle with a simple tin opener the way she does!). And she doesn't get any better as the series progresses, either. The relief was obvious when they reached the 1980s and the progression in social trends allowed the father, who is a good cook, to take over preparing the meals. There was also considerable relief when the sequel Further Back in Time for Dinner furnished them with a maid to cook for them — unfortunately, this arrangement was only temporary, and the Cordon Bleugh Chef was soon back in charge.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
- In "Chocolate Milk", the hipster chocolate milk restaurant owner presents Jake and Terry with an ink-black concoction he calls "dark milk" that uses bitter chocolate to enhance the sourness of raw milk. Jake and Terry are not pleased.
Jake: That's the worst part about both of those things!
- In "Boyle's Hunch", Boyle is fond of eating takoyaki, a Japanese octopus fritter which Jake dismissingly refers to as a "fish doughnut". Later, Jake tries to approximate it by putting lox on a chocolate éclair.
- In "Chocolate Milk", the hipster chocolate milk restaurant owner presents Jake and Terry with an ink-black concoction he calls "dark milk" that uses bitter chocolate to enhance the sourness of raw milk. Jake and Terry are not pleased.
- Dawn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer has some questionable food choices, including anchovy and pineapple pizza.
- 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 Halloween special, an episode wherein both the Appetizer and Entrée baskets contained a candy item, the Dessert basket gave us grasshoppers.
- One episode involved ingredients chosen via anonymous people online, which resulted in contestants getting stuck with some truly weird ingredients: lime gelatin, cheese puffs, imitation crab, and durian fruit (an Indian fruit with a sweet custard-like flavor but a horrible, rotting-garbage odor).
- 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.
- 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 Cosby Show:
- Cliff Huxtable on an early episode 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 and 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.
- Cliff Huxtable on an early episode 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.
- 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.
- The whole idea then takes taken over the top with Cutthroat Kitchen. One of the most common of sabotages in the show is to be forced to make do with subpar ingredients while trying to avoid the trope and getting sent home as a result.
- Doctor Who:
- While this is more focused on the food and not the chef, on Satellite Five in "The Long Game", Rose hands Adam a slushie-type ice drink that is apparently beef-flavored.
- In "The Eleventh Hour", after giving up on nearly every other food combination following his completely altered taste buds, the Eleventh Doctor settles on fish fingers dipped in custard (which several sources state actually tastes quite good).
- 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.
- An accidental example on Friends. Because the pages of an English cookbook were stuck together Rachel ended up combining a trifle and a shepherd's pie. All her friends felt obliged to eat it anyway (except Phoebe who got out because she's a vegetarian); when out of her earshot, Ross commented, "It Tastes Like Feet!" Joey ended up liking it anyway. "Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Good."
- 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 Then she tried "tuna cream" (tuna and ice cream).
- A later episode has Joey combining fish and pastry to make "flounder tarts".
- 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, consommé soup, and ham salad inside a roasted chicken. All the contestants hated it so much it is given a full skeleton.
- Hell's Kitchen:
- Some of the contestants signature dishes fall into this (Seth's ratatouille 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 a recurring challenge where the team members have to roll a giant dice with letters on the faces, name an ingredient that starts with that letter, and then prepare a dish using all the ingredients. The women's team ended up with a fantastic assortment of rabbit and appropriate ingredients, while the guys got figs first because it was the only "F" ingredient 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.
- 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.
- The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret : Alice is obsessed with molecular gastronomy and eventually opens a restaurant serving a wide variety of disgusting-sounding concoctions.
- The Japanese Iron Chef:
- The 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.
- Tuna sorbet. For the rest of the series, whenever a chef headed for the ice cream maker, the commentators would recall it, exclaiming "ice cream machine!" in mock horror. Iron Chef America also seems to have a mixed history with the machine. Alton would tend to call out when the ice cream maker was about to be used, especially when he wasn't sure what was going into it, because the results could be hit or miss. It's so infamous that the Chairman used it as one of his "surprises" in the season 4 finale of The Next Iron Chef (the theme happened to be "Pressure", and that machine heaped a lot of it in one swoop).
- Subverted with some crab ice cream, which the judges enjoyed. It was described as something along the lines of "sweet, with a hint of crab, not at all fishy, and surprisingly good!"
- Also subverted with beer sherbet in the US edition's Battle Oktoberfest (featuring Bavarian ingredients). The beer wasn't the surprising part, it was the caramelized bacon on top of the ice cream that threw people off. And yet the judges loved it.
- Cod soft roe ice cream. Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai was chastised by the entire tasting panel for it. He later proved he didn't learn his lesson by making trout ice cream on one of the US edition pilots. Ever since, whenever fish and ice cream get mentioned in the same segment, Alton will tend to quip things along the line of, "If that's fish ice cream, I'm leaving!" One time, Iron Chef Morimoto managed to convey his memory of that ice cream in one word: "HORROR!" But then, in the new Iron Chef Showdown, newest Iron Chef Stephanie Izard, challenged with yellowfin tuna, dared to make a tuna ice cream. For the first time, the trope got subverted as she pulled off a fish ice cream that actually worked.
- 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.
- Wilder from The Latest Buzz. He makes his own salsa from marmalade and pepper.
- In Malcolm in the Middle one cold open features the family forced to eat Lois' "leftover parfait", 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 parfait is last week's leftover parfait.
- Midsomer Murders: Downplayed with Joyce in that her food usually at least looks relatively normal. However, Happily Married though they are, Tom's attempts to discreetly avoid sampling her cooking or feign enjoyment when he has to eat it are a long-Running Gag. He eats out whenever he can get away with it.
- In one episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Trini made escargot brownies. (After Billy pointed out that escargots were snails, he and the other members of the team tossed them over their shoulders when she wasn't looking.)
- The "Teenage Caveman" episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured a host segment called "rainy day ipecacs". These included such delectable combinations as chocolate milk and pickle juice.
- 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.
- Our Miss Brooks features Connie Brooks' landlady, Mrs. Davis. The outlandish dishes she prepares for breakfast are an early series Running Gag. Davis is responsible for such concoctions as "Armenian pancakes" (soaked in sour goat's milk), "blubber burgers" (seal fat fried in whale oil), and pine cone cereal (self-explanatory). Her regular pancakes are tasty, but contain such odd ingredients as a teaspoon goose liver.
- This is, in part, Early Installment Weirdness. Like all great Cordon Bleugh Chefs, Mrs. Davis' cooking is beyond reproach when applied to conventional dishes. In the main, that's exactly what Davis does in later radio episodes and in the television series.
- Still, her passion for Cordon Bleugh never dies entirely. Her dreaded Pensacola popovers are guaranteed to sicken man or frog. She can make a soup so spicy it sends her pet cat Minerva flying over the backyard fence. Her limburger omelette frightens away birds. Her veal parmesan may be excellent, but isn't exactly appetizing when served at breakfast.
- In an episode of Radio Enfer (the show that inspired Radio Active), Jean-Lou Duval tries cooking after some advice from his mother and he messes up every recipe he tries. The main reason is that he often runs 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.
- 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.
- Dave 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. (Rimmer turned it into a metaphor about Lister himself: on paper it sounds utterly terrible, but people seem to like it.) The best part is Lister thinks he saw the recipe in a book on bacteriological warfare.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Time Squared", Riker invites a few officers over to his quarters for hand-made omelets, having taken up cooking as a hobby to pass the time. The results are (politely) declared inedible by all present... except for Worf, who shovels it down with gusto. Riker then proceeds to blame the ingredients. It's left to the viewer to decide whether he has a point or not, although it's noted the eggs were of alien origin.
- 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) provided he has the ingredients and sticks to the recipe. However, between his love of experimental cooking and Voyager's erratic access to ingredients (some of which are previously unheard of and/or edible In Name Only), the result is complaints and avoidance of the mess hall more often than not.
- 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.
- 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 Blais 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.
- 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.
Letitia: Nibble, vicar? It's chocolate spread.
Geraldine: Chocolate? You promise? Alright, then. Mm. Very unusual taste.
Letitia: Well, I put a bit of taramasalata in there as well.
- 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.
- Worst Cooks in America is about finding 14 to 16 of these and putting them through culinary boot camp to become better cooks.
- Frog à la Peche is a CD of avant-gardenote 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.
- Bill Harley's song "Pizza Shake" is, as the name would suggest, about one such questionable culinary experiment. Then it veers into Lethal Chef when the kids in the background scenes suggest adding lipstick and nail polish to the shake....
- "It Makes a Fellow Proud To Be a Soldier" by Tom Lehrer contains a verse about this trope.
- An Italian radio sketch comedy show known as "610" (a punny titlenote ) 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.
- Tales of Destiny 2: Harold is one deliberately, as she can cook food for herself with no trouble (though she fails at lab safety and makes her food in beakers and flasks) but when cooking for others she can't resist adding something she's trying to test out on humans, often making everyone sick.
- 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 . Or how about lemon rice cooked inside a lemon, and topped with garam masala?
- She can, however, cook spaghetti.
- 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. (Although this last one isn't that unusual — chocolate, especially dark chocolate, goes very well when added to chili. Mexican chocolate is meant to be spicy and bitter.)
- 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...
- General rule of thumb of the Persona series — the more feminine the woman, the less edible their food is.
- Fuuka's Social Link requires a high Courage to begin because the food is so awful the PC won't go near it otherwise.
- 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.
- Naoto is the only girl who avoids being this. She does make the effort to read instructions, but it's implied she doesn't like to cook anyway.
- Nanako became one as the girl's proxy because of the girls in Golden as a result of numerous suggestions from Yukiko, Chie and Yukiko (Naoto tried to stop them but was unable to). Among other things, she was told to include wheatgrass, fish sausage, bacon, iced coffee, bell peppers, vinegar, and fermented squid. Her chocolate was so bad that it came out looking like a Slime Persona. Oh, and eating a single bite struck the PC with Fear and incapacitated him until the following morning.
- 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, Jacqui'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.
- 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 (Bloatfly sliders), mutant ants (Fire ant fricassée), mutant goats (Bighorner steaks), 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 junk food with toxic residue in a rusty tin can. Bottoms up!note
- Fallout 4's Far Harbor add-on includes mutant seafood recipes such as Fried Fog Crawler, Poached Angler, and Gulper Slurry. Crafting one of these earns you the "Just Add Salt Water" achievement.
- Deadly Premonition gives us The Sinner's Sandwich, supposedly only eaten by the guilty. Or by people who legitimately enjoy it.
- 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...)
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the quests for the Dark Brotherhood involves impersonating a famous chef known as the Gourmet, in order to put poison in the Emperor's food. Rather than cooking the meal yourself, you are giving instructions to the Emperor's personal chef. For each step, you are given several choices for what to tell her to put in, the poison being the only one that actually matters. Possible ingredients include vampire dust, a giant's toe, and a gold coin. The plan doesn't even work, as it's not really the Emperor.
- Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and its Expansion Pack Off The Record allow all 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.note
- 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.
- Ōkami introduces us to an Oni chef, who sends the disguised protagonist out to fetch various monster bits to make an appetizer for his boss. Upon making the dish, the chef declares that it is the perfect appetizer because anything else will taste excellent in comparison.
- The "Gas-Tronomy" quest in Archie: Riverdale Rescue involves sending Jughead to eat Betty's latest concoction — which includes custard, spinach, pickles and hot butterscotch.
- Cook-Off may or may not have elements of this trope. Depending on which main dish and seasoning you choose from the numbered menus, you could end up with either perfectly normal food or something like sesame ice cream or mayonnaise cookies.
- In Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, here's a tip when it comes to Kyoko Kuremi's coffee: Stay away. She puts some odd things such as oyster sauce, yogurt, sea urchins and mayonnaise in her coffee, and forces the Protagonist and Arata into tasting them. Oddly enough, this is how you discover Alphamon's been possessing her — he put mayo in his coffee to inform the kids who he really was. In fact, it's mostly his fault the Kyoko you meet is like this. When you meet her in the epilogue, she's receptive to the idea but thinks it's odd.
- Sunless Sea: Justified in the Bandaged Poissonier's case, as his experimentation is extremely necessary. It's the only way he could get that good with the ingredients he's using, which are commonly fugu-levels of deadly if improperly done, and the proper way to make them tends to be terribly obscure and/or difficult. His kitchen looks like an alchemical laboratory precisely because he needs to try everything for every last new ingredient before he can find a proper way to do it. He will usually eat his mistakes himself (it's okay, he's already dead), thankfully, but even the good dishes can be eerie, if still tasty. This is also what will happen if you demand non-fish ingredients; he doesn't like doing that, but will at least try.
- The edutainment game Hello Kitty Big Fun Deluxe had interactive stories as one of the activities, including one where Hello Kitty makes a stew and invites a friend over for dinner, potentially making you a cordon bleugh chef, since you can add any four ingredients to the stew, ranging from meat, veggies and spices to silverware. No matter what ingredients you chose, the friend will praise your concoction as long as everything is edible. If you put anything else, the stew is described at tasting "awful" or "strange".
- In a game that encourages experimentation, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild allows Link to be a cordon bleugh chef with the game's cooking system. Mixing blatantly incompatible materials (such as bugs or monster parts) with any other food items produces Dubious Food, while cooking only clearly inedible objects like ore or firewood produces Rock-Hard Food. They don't recover much health, and poor Link's eating animations for these items have him forcing himself to eat the Dubious Food and struggling to eat the Rock-Hard Food.
- This seems to be at least part of Setsuna's problem in Fire Emblem Fates, since she mentions to Azama that she normally tries to combine many different kinds of food in an attempt to please everyone. The resulting dishes usually end up pleasing no one.
- In CLANNAD, Sanae Furukawa is always baking bizarre kinds of bread. Unfortunately, she just happens to be extremely sensitive about it, and runs out of the store crying when her work is insulted. The first time it happened, Tomoya did so without knowing what would happen, and every other time, her own husband, Akio, does it, leaving him to run after her with the bread in his mouth shouting "I LOVE IT!" It becomes a Running Gag in the anime. Apart from her bread, she's actually a good cook.
- 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...
- 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.
- In Ikemen Sengoku, Mitsunari has enough of a reputation for this that the main character dreads having to eat a rice ball he personally chose the filling for in one story event. The filling turns out to be a mixture of red-bean paste and strawberries which, while tasty in a daifuku mochi, is not so tasty when combined with the salted vinegar rice shell of a rice ball.
- 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.
- The children's video Do You Like Broccoli Ice Cream and its sequel, Do You Like Spaghetti Yogurt are all about this trope. Both follow the same formula: We see a child's face as an unknown adult sings
Singer: Do you like [Food A]? Yes I do! Yes I do!
[Child nods enthusiastically]
Singer: Do you like [Food B]? Yes I do! Yes I do!
[Child licks his or her lips]
Singer: Do you like [Food A] [Food B]? No! Yucky!
'[Child makes a disgusted face]
- 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 this xkcd 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 .
- 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.
- Ch'vorthq is a good cook, he just overapplies his prosthetic whisk hand in about the same way that being trapped in the Earth's core would overapply heat and pressure. At one point in "Broken Wind" he serves up an entire breakfast -- bananas, apples, bacon and fried eggs -- as a smoothie, stating proudly that the emulsion is so fine you almost don't need to digest it.
- Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff: today i put.....JELLY on this hot◊ god
- 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.
- Namco from Consolers likes making ice cream in various flavors, but certain of his flavors are somewhat... strange, like curry, snake or horse.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent gives us the unfortunate Team Mom that is Mikkel Madsen. His hot meals tend to run towards the "bland, boring, horribly watery fish stew/soup/whatever" school of not-again. Mind you, this isn't by choice: he's working with a severly limited larder which he didn't select. Tins of tuna, oatmeal and carrots predominate. Possibly with tallow candle back-up. Don't ask; don't tell. Also, it's not his fault if other team members dump, say, a whole, undressed squirrel into the pot behind his back. They can't afford to waste even one furry disaster, so...
- LoadingReadyRun has the Iron Stomach challenge which crosses this with Masochist's Meal. One notable challenge was the Banana Onion Juice.
- 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.
- Epic Meal Time is about a bunch of trained chefs doing this for Testosterone Poisoning. The results are highly caloric and fatty (with extra bacon).
- Ever wanted to celebrate sports with anything in your kitchen? (or not even that!)
- 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 ones that suggest the weirdest combinations. 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, evaporated milk and ketchup. They it find to be "gross", claiming that those ingredients should never be mixed together.
- Chicken Mousse, which is essentially roast chicken-flavored ice cream with the added bonus of being made with gelatin as well. They claim 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 apparently smelled good, but they claim it tasted terrible.
- Heinz Carnival Cream is ketchup-flavored ice cream. And it is, shockingly, not the only recipe Heinz has ever released suggesting you combine ketchup and ice cream. Their verdict was that it was actually delicious (but note that it probably helped that they could barely taste the ketchup).
- And for sheer volume of incomprehensible ingredient combinations, there's the Yule Sandwich Log. It's a combination of several sandwich fillings all in the same sandwich. The fillings include "pimento cheese-shrimp," "deviled ham-peanut butter," (which includes dill pickles) "egg-bacon" and "avocado-pineapple". The sandwich is then covered with a cranberry-flavored cream cheese frosting. Despite their initial shock after seeing the recipe and the way some of the mixtures ended up looking in the bowls during the preparation, their verdict was that the sandwich was good overall. They particularly liked the frosting and the egg salad filling, and they found the pimento-cheese shrimp filling to be alright. They found the ham-peanut butter filling to be "gross", but claimed that it was less so when having it in a bite with something else.
- Similar to the above, the blog ''Den Bruna Maten (The Brown Food) explores food from the late sixties — early seventies, when exotic ingredients like pineapple started appearing in Swedish supermarkets, but no-one really knew how to use them. The main things that can be taken away is that combinations of pork products and cheese are hard to mess up.
- Of all people the Nostalgia Critic did this once when he created "A Christmas Story 2 Eggnog" as a huge Take That!: a single drop of classical eggnog, a chicken drumstick (used for uneeded slapstick beforehand), a pack of vegan hot dogs (because this can't contain any meat whatsoever), a single star fruit that probably aged past its time (because it's cheap and available) watering everything down as much as possible, blending until it becomes a creamy liquid, put into a festive mug and garnish with a lit cigarette. They taste this onscreen. With predictable results.
- This Cracked article, writer Loryn Stone tried 6 of these recipes from various tv-shows. In order: Moon Waffles from The Simpsons, Breakfast Spaghetti from Elf, The Seven-Layer Salad from How I Met Your Mother, Milk Steak With Jelly Beans from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Peanut Butter And Clam Pizza from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), and Rachel's English Trifle from Friends.
- React had one in a regular People Vs. Food episode, where five random pizza toppings were combined (the most edible: ham/alfredo sauce/egg/marshmallows/raspberries and goldfish candy/onion/peanut butter/pickles/tuna), and downright unsavory ones in the Challenge Chalices: ice cream with sardines, tartar and barbecue sauce! Gross smoothies (i.e. milk, guacamole, hot sauce and pickles)! Sour and spicy drinks! Turning already spicy noodles into a Fire-Breathing Diner!
- TFS At The Table: Grammy the sea hag is all about experimenting with Secret Ingredients — and she doesn't really seem to care if they're considered edible or not. Dishes seen on-screen include "chicken" (actually seagull) soup, pufferfish pie (poison included), Abyssal crab omelette (shells and all), and tomato soup with mandrake (still screaming, which even she found kind of unsettling) and Healing Potion (with bits of broken glass from the bottle), and she has been known to cook sentient beings like tabaxi. Whenever the players eat her food they're required to make a Constitution save...however, it's subverted because if they do make their saves, the food tastes pretty good and confers some kind of in-game bonus (like the pufferfish pie giving an Armor Class bonus), while failing just produces some comedic effect but no actual penalty (the pufferfish poison numbing their mouths for a few mintues).
- 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. The success rate varies, she actually has several vinegar based foods that have won a local award, though Courage tends to be the guinea pig and usually retches.
- 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. Read 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.
- Scooby-Doo: 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?
- Velma was reacting to Shaggy's idea of eating chocolate-covered hot dogs (episode "A Clue For Scooby-Doo").
- SpongeBob SquarePants is great at making Krabby Patties, but his other cooking can be more suspect. In the episode "Something Smells", he makes a sundae out of available ingredients when he was lacking normal ones: ketchup, onions, and peanuts growing on the window sill of his bathroom (as well as the dirt they came with). The resulting concoction gives him epic bad breath. Then there's "Patty Hype", where, while his idea for Pretty Patties wasn't bad taste wise, somehow manages to turn folks into various colors.
- Tito in Rocket Power has a habit of flavoring almost any food he cooks with pineapple, even popcorn.
- In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, 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.
Don't eat anything he gives you.
- He' s this even to aliens. When Ben (not knowing that it was Max there) goes to his main base in the Null Void, what does Max's assistant advise him?
- 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.
- Kitty Pryde from X-Men: Evolution, while an otherwise passable cook, is this with her attempts at baking.
- In the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, Michelangelo was infamous for ordering and making pizzas with bizarre and improbable combinations of toppings. James Rolfe and his friends tried eating them, and found most of them to be disgusting.
- In the 2012 cartoon, his attempts at cooking early on in the series are a pizza milkshake (a "pishake") like the Bill Harley example above and pizza noodle stew. The former looks as unappetizing as it sounds, but Leatherhead genuinely liked the latter.
- 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").
- Billy of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has several instances of this, such as in a dream where he makes an extremely caustic batch of cookie dough out of assorted junk food (he doesn't bake it because he's not allowed to use the oven anymore).
- 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.
- Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. She's actually a pretty good cook for the most part, but she's capable of veering into this territory when she gets overly creative. The strawberry cinnamon cilantro cupcakes, in particular, were so bad that Pinkie herself could barely stomach them.
- 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 flavor in order to win a new stove in a competition. His attempts include chocolate and fish flake, and apricot jam and liver.
- Cap'n Turbot of PAW Patrol makes a variety of seafood dishes that fail to appeal to others besides himself (and sometimes Wally). Considering these dishes include things like sickly green "jellyfish jam" and a fish-shaped cake that was actually made from fish products, one can understand why.
- Gran from Dogstar. Her 'traditional' recipe for hotdogs involves snail glue and tripe.
- Clarence once made a caustic-looking casserole out of random ingredients in his kitchen in the episode "Dollar Hunt". Surprisingly, his mother and her book club ended up liking it.
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's Wolfgang Puke, a side character from the episode "Sonic Gets Trashed", was designed by Robotnik to be his own personal chef... but somehow the wiring in his head got crossed. This even leads to Tails throwing up.
Wolfgang: My latest triumph! Rotten eggs and Mmmmaggot Surprise!
- The Simpsons: In "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield", Mr. Burns bakes a cake as a welcoming gift for Homer and his family into the country club. Smithers eats some and is less than enthralled.
Burns: I pickled the figs myself.
- The Dick Tracy Show episode "Cooked Crooks" has Joe Jitsu disguised as a renowned French chef in order to fool Stooge Viller and Mumbles, who have been offered $5000 to steal a valuable recipe from the chef. Joe's recipe calls for such ingredients as antelope hooves, bees' knees, and a secret ingredient (which turns out to be gunpowder, much to the villains' dismay).
- Sally Bollywood: In "Call My Lawyer", Sally's entry in the class baking contest was a yellow curry and pepper cake. Dowee's was a haggis cake, consisting of sheep's stomach stuffed with Christmas pudding.
- The cooks in the short Food Network show Worst Cooks in America were this at the start. In the first round of one season, one of said cooks made spaghetti with a sauce made from tomatoes and....M&M's.
- To its detractors, some of the more experimental manifestations of 1980s fancy restaurant cooking fell into this. Lobster with vanilla sauce, anyone?
- Notably, the food in American Psycho tends to sound like this.
- 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.)
- 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 Impossibly Delicious Food; 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. (Since about 2012, however, he's deemphasised the wacky experimentation and "molecular" recipes and focussed on producing traditional high-quality traditional British food, emphasising the things that make traditional British cookery good—no, you didn't read that wrongnote —with his modern, science-based modifications and twists—like his famous triple-cooked chips—to guarantee good results).
- Try watching the Feast series, the historical ones are both Foreign Queasine and Impossibly Delicious Food in one package.
- 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).note 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.
- 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, took a while to announce, generating speculation they might follow the same path—both feature red as their main color and neither has a particularly appetizing mascot, at least not for ice cream.note ) The flavors were eventually settled as a cherry/chocolate/brandy flavor for Rutgers (drawing on the scarlet), while Maryland got a chocolate/toffee flavor (because of the alliteration between "toffee" and "terrapin," but also hinting at "turtles"—chocolate-and-toffee-covered pecans, which the Dairy Store couldn't used because the term is trademarked).
- 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.)
- When Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman was on Iron Chef America, the Battle he faced Michael Symon in had Chocolate and Chillis as the theme ingredients (meaning BOTH had to be used together in a dish; it could be either sweet or savory, though, no all one-or-the-other). Though mixing chocolate and chillis is an old tradition in Central America and Mexico going back to pre-Columbian times. Chilli-flavored chocolate remains fairly common in these parts and is recognized in the US as "Mexican" chocolate. Even the famed Tabasco brand came out with a chocolate bar spiced with their famous sauce because of the increasing Hispanic interest.
- Namja Town, an indoor theme park ran by Namco, has one ice cream store selling... rather strange ice cream flavors How about curry, garlic, squid or horse ice cream?
- Fascist poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was fond of serving gastronomic delights such as salami soaked in coffee and eau de cologne.
- At Fur-Eh! 2018, this was done deliberately. As part of a charity drive, one event had convention goers bid on the opportunity to add a topping to the entire pizza, whereupon Con Chair Thallanor eat a slice, then the convention-goers would bid on what topping was added next. Each subsequent topping was added to the entirety of what was left, then Thallanor would eat a slice, rinse and repeat. The toppings were, in order: salsa, fuzzy peach candies, pear slices, spinach puree, corned beef, and mayonnaise and tuna (the last two were added simultaneously to the last slice). The disgust was clear on Thallanor's face from the third slice onwards. There was a garbage pail beside him just in case he got sick. To his credit, he didn't.