Free Character Writing Prompts #41: Chefs and Cooks
Soups on with these free character writing prompts focusing on those food creating chefs and cooks. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a little bit addicted to the Food Network. I'm especially intrigued by the show "Chopped" which features four chefs from different backgrounds competing against each other to cook the best food possible. I think that we rarely think of who puts our food together and how much training and love has gone into it. I love when I'm able to catch a glimpse of the food preparation specialists working at the back of a diner, cafeteria or restaurant because you can see how focused these people are on creating you a gastronomical delight. A cook or chef as a protagonist in your story may be just want you need to delight your readers' palette.
Free Character Writing Prompts #41: Chefs and Cooks
1. As an executive chef at one of the highest-rated restaurants in the country, he had a reputation as being brilliant, bold and kind of a dick. If one of his chefs created something below his standards, he was quick to yell and it took the owner to restrain him from firing the victim on the spot. He wanted nothing more than to make every customer obsessed with the food, especially when it came to French and Italian cuisine which he specialized in. His temper hampered his ability to connect well with people, but he didn't need people, he thought to himself, he had food. How did he become so proficient at cooking and what are his life goals?
2. He had grown up a world traveler, like a seed hitched on the pant leg of his parents who seemed to read their passports more often than they read to him as a youth. As a result of his frequent travels, he experienced the foods of many different cultures, giving him an opportunity to pick and choose the aspects he enjoyed the most. He went to culinary school and used the knowledge of rare spices and techniques to rise up the ranks to become a well-known New York chef. What other aspects of these cultures has he picked up to use in his life?
3. She was a pastry chef at a vegan bakery and loved creating the most beautiful displays of sugar and dough she could think up. She had come from a rough family life with several different foster families taking care of her. It was there that she learned about cooking and realized it was her calling. She loved the look on people's faces when she brought them something they enjoyed and it was this look that made her feel much more validated than her family life ever could. Her work was featured in many different local publications and she's even had several celebrity clients. What would the members of her family think of her accomplishments?
4. When her doctor told her that she would need to be much healthier to live past the next decade, she took up cooking healthy foods. She never expected a change in diet would lead her to being one of the top healthy chefs in the region. She had always been the kind of person to take on a project head on and in its entirety and her attempts at being healthy started with classes and a part-time job and ended with her writing a book and owning her own health food restaurant. She even took up running and started running 5Ks with her friends to look the part of a healthy chef. What are some dishes she prepares in her restaurant and how has her life changed since becoming healthier?
5. He was anything but ordinary in his race as a half-Cuban, half-Irish mix and as a result, his cooking was anything but ordinary. He loved pulling multiple cultures into one dish and he even started a restaurant called "The Coin" where every dish had at least two sides to it. His parents had always hammered home the point of never forgetting where you came from and he stuck to it with every aspect of the restaurant. Even the decor smacked of both Ireland and Cuba at the same time. Unsurprisingly, in his relationships, he was drawn to those of multiple races and wondered what it'd be like if he had a child who started his own four culture cuisine dining facility. What other aspects of his life combine his multiple cultures?
6. He was one of the most well-known pastry chefs in the entire world. His specialty was desserts that didn't hit the normal taste buds, concentrating on savory and bitter flavors and making them absolutely delectable. His fame from his pastries earned him a chain of dessert shops and even a hit television show. Even though he craved and created bitter flavors, he was one of the sweetest people you'd ever meet. He always added energy to every room he entered, in part because he was so grateful for everything that he'd experienced so far in life. What would filming an episode of his television show be like and where did his sweetness come from?
7. She was large and in charge and everybody at her restaurant knew it. She had catapulted to fame in the last decade on her "butter first, ask questions later" style of cooking and her restaurants were wildly successful as a result. In a world where healthy was becoming a more prevalent choice, fat and food lovers rejoiced at her recipes and her menu in which health consciousness was thrown out the window. She had lived her life by the maxim that "life is too short" and she wanted everybody who tried her food to feel like he or she was getting a real treat. What are some other ways in which she is "old school" in her sensibilities?
8. Her life had been a series of difficult decisions. Her family had wanted her to go into medical school and by becoming a chef, she knew she would disappoint them. When she realized the love of her life was keeping her away from her love of cooking, she had to let him go to follow her dreams. She never had a difficult decision picking what to cook, however, as she had an uncanny sense for what her family and customers would want and it showed. She was willing and able to use whatever ingredients she had in her kitchen to create something unique and delectable. This creativity was something she felt she would never have realized in her medical career or with her practical-minded love. She felt guilty for these choices she'd made, but she never felt anything but joy when she was cooking. Will her parents ever forgive her for her decision and what will her future hold as a cook?
9. He loved to cook, bake and create, the only problem was that he was no good at it. Sure, he could follow a recipe and make sure that a meal turned out exactly as it was supposed to. That's what he did all day long at the local grocery store. When he returned home, however, his family was frequently disappointed at his attempts to "invent" new recipes. They often turned out disastrously, but it brought him true joy. He felt like a sort of maestro for a symphony orchestra when he was making a meal, and despite his family's protestations, he continued to try out wild and crazy concoctions at least three times a week. They began to secretly order pizza while he was at work. What are some of the dishes he's put together for them and will he ever become more successful with his creations?
10. She couldn't believe that her life had come to this. After all, she'd gone to school in the hopes of becoming some amazing sous chef at a fancy steakhouse or something. Her talent wasn't supposed to be used to cook for hundreds of little snot-nosed kids every day. She was tasked with creating appetizing and healthy meals for the elementary school she went to as a child. She'd always wanted to move away and see where her talent would take her, but it just didn't seem to be in the cards. She did, however, enjoy when the kids came back for seconds, as it gave her a sort of validation. What kept her back from her dreams of moving to a big city and become a town-renowned chef?
Did you enjoy these character writing prompts? Keep an eye out for the book 1,000 Character Writing Prompts in late 2011.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.