Cooking has been a part of animation practically since its inception. All the way back in 1938, Snow White was baking up pies and displaying excellent knife skills to boot, even if she had birds to assist her. Since then, we've seen everything, from wise cafeteria cooks to rodents with excellent palates. Here are the nine best animated chefs from T.V. and movie history.
Chef Louis from The Little Mermaid
There are a lot of disturbing scenes from Disney’s 1989 classic, The Little Mermaid. While the movie’s most troubling moments tend to focus on Ursula, the kitchen scene featuring Sebastian and chef Louis is certainly right up there with the sea witch's. Sebastian gets a first hand look at how humans treat fish on land when Chef Louis prepares a number of fish for Prince Eric’s family. Eventually this scene mounts to the crazed chef chasing Sebastian around the kitchen and causing all sorts of havoc, but the real question here is, what is a French chef doing cooking for the Danish royal family in the first place?
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Remy from Ratatouille
In terms of actual culinary know-how, Remy from Ratatouille is hard to top. During the pivotal sequence in which he helps prepare the movie’s namesake dish, Remy displays great skill with a mandolin, excellent improvisation, beautiful plating and very precise sauce work. Additionally, he exhibits great command of the kitchen throughout the movie, all without the convenience of language.
Chef Lance Casteau from Archer
Leave it to Anthony Bourdain to truly nail the douchey modern chef persona in his role as chef Lance Casteau in Archer. While Archer and Cyril are working undercover in a restaurant kitchen, Bourdain’s chef Casteau compliments Archer’s knife skills and his A.B.B.A.B. (always be berating and belittling) abilities directed at the lowly Cyril.
Chef Tony from Lady and the Tramp
There are animated food scenes and then there’s the spaghetti and meatballs scene from Lady and the Tramp. The man behind that epic bowl of pasta, though, is none other than chef Tony of Tony’s Restaurant (solid work, Disney). There are, however, some peculiar things to point out about chef Tony. For instance, he essentially tells Lady that the Tramp–or Butch as they call him at Tony’s–is a player and brings each of his female dog friends to the same spot. Secondly, Tony thinks dogs can read and he claims to speak dog as well. Go home, chef Tony, sei ubriaco.
Chef Bouche from Beauty and the Beast
While he doesn’t receive a ton of screen-time in Beauty and the Beast, chef Bouche is tasked with the tough job of feeding the beast, along with the entire castle, all while existing as a stove. Granted, it’s hard to say if each of the transfigured characters ate anything during their time as inanimate objects, but chef Bouche appeared to be quite busy preparing fires and heating up Mrs. Potts when she was needed for tea. We’ll just leave it at that.
SpongeBob from SpongeBob SquarePants
Fast food cooks often get overlooked in the pantheon of chefs. However, SpongeBob’s krabby patty-making skills are not to be underestimated. Additionally, he’s very disciplined in the kitchen and good at repetitive tasks. Essentially, SpongeBob is the perfect short order cook and which of these other cooks and chefs can play their noses like flutes? Precisely.
Jerome “Chef” McElroy from South Park
Much like South Park as a whole, Jerome "Chef" McElroy evolved significantly from season to season before his character died in season 10 following issues between Isaac Hayes, who voiced Chef, and the show’s creators. Chef started off simply as the school cook from the boys’ cafeteria, but over time he became their go-to adult for advice, always greeting them with his signature, “Hello there, children.” While Chef always helped keep the boys enlightened and well-fed, it was his unique singing that truly set him apart from the rest of the crazed residents of South Park.
Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers
In many ways, the story of Bob Belcher of Bob's Burgers is one of the great animated food tragedies of our time. By all accounts Bob cooks the best food in his unnamed beach town, but will never find success thanks to the non-stop gimmicks and unlimited mozzarella sticks across the street at Jimmy Pesto's. You would think that in this day and age of Instagram and Swarm he'd be able to attrack more than two customers a day. But alas, Bob will continue to toil (and pun) in obscurity.
If you want to try making one of Bob's burgers yourself, have at it with the help of Binging with Babish.