|“||Hey, listen up everybody! I want you all to meet Nagoya! He's an old buddy of mine from way back when we were both students in cooking school!||”|
— Chef Kawasaki, in A Chow Challenge
Chef Nagoya is a wandering chef and old friend of Chef Kawasaki who appears in the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! episode A Chow Challenge. In this episode, he reunites with his old friend to ascertain his cooking skill, but later finds out that Kawasaki cheated to make himself appear to be a better chef than he was. To settle things, King Dedede and Escargoon host a cooking competition between the two in the hopes of driving Chef Kawasaki out of Cappy Town for good, but Nagoya soon discovers that Escargoon was sabotaging Kawasaki's dishes, and defends his friend from his duplicity.
Chef Nagoya is roughly the same size and shape as Chef Kawasaki, though he does not appear to be exactly the same species, as his face and hands differ slightly from Kawasaki's. Chef Nagoya wears a red and black robe with a green belt and black apron on the front, along with black shoes and a red cap which matches his outfit. His skin tone matches that of the Cappies, and he has bushy green-ish hair. Nagoya has a similar mouth to Kawasaki, though he also sports a pair of whiskers, making him somewhat resemble a cat. His eyes are usually closed, though they do open when he is disturbed by something.
|“||You really have made progress as a chef, Kawasaki! This is quite tasty!||”|
— Chef Nagoya, in A Chow Challenge
Chef Nagoya is an eccentric figure with a foreign way of speaking compared to the residents of Dream Land. He is generally upbeat and positive, though he becomes offended when he feels he has been tricked or deceived. In the Japanese version, Nagoya has a particular manner of speech, often ending his sentences with "mya" or "dagya", making him sound somewhat like a cat meowing. This particular speech pattern is commented on at length by the people of Pupupu Land and often imitated by Kirby.
Chef Nagoya once attended Chef Shiitake's cooking school along with Chef Kawasaki, where the two became fast friends. Unlike Kawasaki, however, Nagoya became a very skilled chef, as his cuisine is consistently able to enrapture the Dream Landers. Despite his skill, Nagoya was not able to establish his own restaurant, which becomes a point of contention between him and Kawasaki when he visits Cappy Town.
Role in A Chow Challenge
- Main article: A Chow Challenge
|“||Your crazy cuisine has won that little Star Warrior's heart and stomach! Kirby would never be happy eating my food! It's way too bland for his taste!||”|
— Chef Nagoya, in A Chow Challenge
Chef Nagoya appears in the episode A Chow Challenge, where he visits Chef Kawasaki to ascertain his old schoolmate and friend's cooking ability. In order to impress Nagoya, Chef Kawasaki enlists the help of Tiff to guide his cooking, ending up producing a better result than usual, though the Cappies still end up preferring Nagoya's food by far, which eventually blows Kawasaki's ruse. Nagoya becomes offended that Kawasaki had not actually improved his cooking, and yet owns a restaurant, which leads King Dedede and Escargoon to declare a contest between the two chefs to see who will claim the spot as Cappy Town's cook.
During the contest, Chef Nagoya prepares dishes that the judges find rapturous, while Chef Kawasaki's dishes strangely cause the judges to burst in flames over the spiciness. Nagoya soon learns that the reason for this is due to Escargoon sabotaging Kawasaki's dishes to ensure he will lose. Despite being declared the winner of the contest, Nagoya throws away the offer of the restaurant and exposes the rigging that occurs, then comforts Chef Kawasaki when he points out that Kirby enjoys Kawasaki's cooking more regardless. After the defeat of Ebifryer, Chef Nagoya leaves Dream Land on good terms with his friend.
- Chef Nagoya is named after the city of Nagoya in the Chūbu region of Japan. He also speaks the Nagoya dialect in the Japanese version; his cat-like speech is a parody of how the Nagoya dialect is often perceived by Japanese speakers to sound like a cat's meowing.
- In the Japanese version, Chef Nagoya's name is pronounced "Nyagoya", after his manner of speaking. Chef Kawasaki consistently gets this pronunciation wrong.