|A great chef must use everything at his disposal to create his cuisine. That is what I wanted to teach you!|
— Chef Shiitake in A Recipe for Disaster
Chef Shiitake is a guest character who first appeared in the anime series Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. He is a small round creature who is famous around the world for his culinary skill. He was once Chef Kawasaki's teacher, though his student does not live up well to his legacy.
Chef Shiitake has a body plan and size similar to Meta Knight, though he has a face similar to that of a beaver's. Shiitake is about 1/3 Chef Kawasaki's size and is tan in color. His feet are dark green with two toes, though he wears a pair of wooden sandals. On top of his head is a tall chef hat, which signifies him to be a master at his craft. Chef Shiitake has beady eyes and whiskers.
|Don't worry! No matter what happens, you already have someone who loves your cooking.|
— Chef Shiitake in A Recipe for Disaster
Shiitake is a gruff yet masterful chef and the number one food critic. He was Chef Kawasaki's teacher, though Shiitake ultimately failed to hone his student's cooking skills. He can be considered quite harsh in his mannerisms, as he does not hesitate to insult poor food quality or service, and berates anyone who shows a lack of skill in cooking. This attitude leads him to forcefully close Kawasaki's when its chef does not perform to his satisfaction. Despite this exterior, Chef Shiitake only truly cares about the culinary arts, and is not afraid to sacrifice his reputation if it means helping his students become better chefs.
One aspect of Shiitake that helps Chef Kawasaki determine the faker in The Big Taste Test is that while he may criticize prepared food, he will never insult the tools he uses or passes on to his students.
Role in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
The Big Taste Test
- Main article: The Big Taste Test
Chef Shiitake first appears in likeness in The Big Taste Test, though he is actually the monster Popon in disguise. He travels to Dream Land with the expressed motive of sampling the land's cuisine, but in reality, he is there to trick Chef Kawasaki into cooking and feeding him Kirby. To that end, Chef Kawasaki is invited to the castle, asked to prepare Zebon for his master, and given a doctored recipe book which depicts Kirby as a Zebon. Chef Kawasaki nearly goes through with this procedure, but finds himself unwilling at the last moment to allow Kirby to be eaten. He then finds out that the Shiitake imposter is a fake, and it reveals its true form.
A Recipe for Disaster
- Main article: A Recipe for Disaster
Chef Shiitake makes his first and only actual appearance in A Recipe for Disaster, though he is initially mistaken for another disguised Popon when he enters Cappy Town. He comes specifically to judge his former student Chef Kawasaki's cooking, and after finding him wanting, closes down his restaurant. He then starts a cooking show on Channel DDD in an effort to invite Chef Kawasaki to publicly prove his cooking skills. However, Tiff and Tuff come to believe that Shiitake is faking his cooking using a drug called Gijira Extract and Chef Kawasaki attempts to accuse his master of using it on set. Chef Shiitake initially goes along with the accusation and affirms it, but it is later revealed that he had not been using the extract, and had brought it for Chef Kawasaki to try and to teach him a lesson about cooking.
A Chow Challenge
- Main article: A Chow Challenge
In this episode, Chef Shiitake appears in a flashback that Chef Kawasaki has when reminiscing about his time at cooking school with Chef Nagoya. He has no dialogue in the flashback scene and only appears for a brief moment.
- Chef Shiitake would make a cameo appearance in Kirby Quest from Kirby Mass Attack as the opponent in Stage 27 in Chapter 3. Here, he has 400 HP and will grant a Maxim Tomato upon defeat, though he will leave if Kirby misses an attack.
- Chef Shiitake's Japanese name is based on Osaka, the eponymous city in Japan.
- He speaks the Osaka dialect in the Japanese dub.
- His emblem - which can be seen on his briefcase as well as the frying pan he gave Kawasaki - has the katakana オ (o).
- Chef Shiitake's English name is based on 椎茸 (shiitake), the eponymous mushroom.
Chef Shiitake judges Chef Kawasaki's cooking in A Recipe for Disaster.
Chef Shiitake preparing a stir fry in A Recipe for Disaster.
Chef Shiitake's cameo appearance in Kirby Quest
Names in other languages