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The Big Taste Test

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The Big Taste Test
E11 Scene 24.png
Cook Kirby faces off against Popon inside Castle Dedede's dining hall.
First aired Japan December 15, 2001
NA October 19, 2002
Episode # 11
Copy Ability (Abilities) featured Cook
Monster(s) featured Popon
Character(s) featured Kirby, Chef Kawasaki, Escargoon, King Dedede
Episode order
Hail to the Chief Escargoon Squad
Episode order (US)
Hail to the Chief Kirby's Pet Peeve
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The Big Taste Test is the eleventh episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series. In this episode, King Dedede and Escargoon get word that the famous Chef Shiitake is coming to their castle to sample their food, so they hire one of the chef's pupils - Chef Kawasaki - to prepare a premium meal. Finding that Kawasaki is awful at cooking, however, they order a cookbook from Night Mare Enterprises and sabotage one of the pages to trick Kawasaki into cooking Kirby as a meal for Shiitake. Tiff and Tuff try to stop Kawasaki from carrying the meal out, but are pushed aside by the desperate chef, who wants to please his master. Once Shiitake has arrived, Chef Kawasaki brings in Kirby as a meal, but left him alive in the garnish. Before Shiitake can eat Kirby, Kawasaki realizes that he is an imposter, and the fake Shiitake transforms into the monster Popon. Using Kawasaki's frying pan, Kirby gains the Cook ability and uses it to fry Popon up, impressing King Dedede with his cooking.

This episode marks the first time that Chef Kawasaki has been in a starring role, and also marks the first appearance (albeit a fake one) of Chef Shiitake.


The following characters appear in this episode:

Cast of "The Big Taste Test"  
Character Selected quote Notes
Primary characters
"Ooh, popoy!"
"Please go away! I must finish Shiitake's dinner! My teacher has long searched for the ingredient Zebon, and Kirby's packed with the stuff! I must make the master proud of me!"
"Ugh! Only a world-famous food critic and author of the best-selling book "A Crock of Shiitake", AND host of his own infomercial!"
"Tasteless! Nasty! Awful! This stinks! This, too! Lousy! Putrid! Rancid! TREASOOOOON!! Kawa-yucky I oughta fry you up like a fritter!"
Secondary characters
"Go learn to cook! Take that filthy grease pot and get out! I'll handle Kirby!" This Chef Shiitake is an imposter, and is Popon in disguise. The real Chef Shiitake debuts in A Recipe for Disaster.
(no dialogue)
"Once you've tasted this wonton soup, you don't want anymore!"
"This is no chef! This is a monster sent by Night Mare Enterprises, and Dedede tricked Kawasaki into thinking Kirby was made of Zebon!"
*chuckles* "Just take a look at page 250."
"And it appears you haven't seen many other customers here, either."
"After everything he's done for Cappy Town, how could you cook Kirby?!"
(no dialogue)
"Now we know why you've been acting wacky! You brought Kirby here to cook him!"
(no dialogue)


Plot synopsis[edit]

King Dedede and Escargoon scold Chef Kawasaki for his awful cooking.

The episode begins at Castle Dedede, as Escargoon rushes in to give King Dedede the news that the world-famous Chef Shiitake is coming to Dream Land in order to survey its cuisine. Hearing this, King Dedede orders that Escargoon find a way to prepare an exquisite meal for the chef so that the castle will get a good review, but then the King gets an evil idea to cook up Escargoon as the meal. After a bit of resistance from his snail assistant, Dedede realizes he should get a professional chef instead. Meanwhile, at Chef Kawasaki's restaurant, Sir Ebrum and his family have come for dinner for the first time in years. After receiving their food, they remember why it had been so long, and complain openly to Chef Kawasaki about how bad the food is. After this berating, Tuff asks Chef Kawasaki about his frying pan, prompting Kawasaki to reminisce on his time in cooking school while Kirby happily gulps down all the food on the table. At that moment, King Dedede and Escargoon show up at the restaurant to recruit Kawasaki as the court chef for Castle Dedede, and the chef is in ecstatic disbelief.

The dream is shortly shattered at the castle, however, as none of Kawasaki's offerings please King Dedede. As Dedede and Escargoon berate the chef for his cooking, they reveal that Chef Shiitake is coming to the castle in an hour to sample the food, which causes Kawasaki to panic and run back into the kitchen. Out of options, King Dedede decides to call Night Mare Enterprises to send them something that will help. Instead of a monster, through the Monster Delivery System comes a cookbook written by Chef Shiitake. The Sales Guy points them to page 250, which is an entry regarding Zebon; a creature which Shiitake considers to be "the most delectable of all". Looking at the entry, King Dedede gets a devious idea. In the castle library, Chef Kawasaki is struggling to find a good recipe from the books on offer. While his head is down, Dedede and Escargoon plant Shiitake's book on the table and walk out of the room. After looking up again, Kawasaki sees the book and immediately opens it to the page on Zebon, showing that the book now displays an image of Kirby under the entry.

The main course of garnished "Zebon" is presented to Chef Shiitake.

Out in the castle courtyard, Kirby is playing a game of ball with the kids, when Chef Kawasaki appears to ask Kirby for his "help" in the kitchen. Kirby agrees to go with him, but the kids start to get suspicious at the chef's strange tone and phrasing, while King Dedede and Escargoon look on from the distance and gloat about their plan. In the kitchen, Chef Kawasaki begins his work by suggesting to Kirby that his pot of boiling water is a "nice hot bath" and that he should get in. Tiff and Tuff sneak up to the kitchen door and peer inside as this happens, though surprisingly, Kirby seems unharmed by the boiling water. Kawasaki then offers to give Kirby a "massage" by kneading him like dough and then lathering him in salt. Completely oblivious to the chef's intentions, Kirby relaxes and falls asleep on the table. From here, Kawasaki prepares to slaughter Kirby using a stiff whack with a wooden club, but just before he can carry the deed out, Tiff and Tuff run in to stop him. They berate Kawasaki for wanting to cook Kirby, and remind him of what Kirby has done for the town, but Kawasaki's strong desire to please his master Shiitake gets the better of him and he throws the kids out.

Popon comes back down breaded and fried to perfection.

Up on the castle's main deck, King Dedede and Escargoon welcome Chef Shiitake as he flies in on a helicopter. They set up the table for him in the dining hall and serve him the first course, which he violently spits out in disgust, but admits was "not bad". Back at the kitchen, Meta Knight slices the door away to let the kids get inside, but find they are too late, as Kawasaki is gone and Kirby is nowhere to be seen. As the kids run out through a secret hatch that Kawasaki must have used, Meta Knight finds the cookbook and discovers the trick, peeling the Kirby sticker off the Zebon page, then discovers who had sent the book. Back in the dining hall, Chef Kawasaki brings out the main course on a massive covered platter. The lid is removed to reveal Kirby in a pan and garnish. As it turns out, Kawasaki could not bring himself to kill Kirby, and he wakes up. Despite this, Shiitake prepares to take a bite out of Kirby anyway, but Kawasaki comes to his senses and stops Shiitake, knocking Kirby off the table. Chef Shiitake berates Kawasaki for this, insulting his frying pan in the process. Though receding in fear at first, Kawasaki soon snaps out of it, knowing that the frying pan in question was a gift from Shiitake, and the real chef would never have insulted it. He concludes that his "master" is actually an imposter, and Meta Knight confirms this by revealing Dedede's trick.

At this, the imposter Shiitake gives up the act and transforms into his true form, a towering green blob monster called Popon. Popon then starts attacking everyone in the castle by tossing globs of its body which create pools of boiling hot liquid where they strike. Thinking quickly, Chef Kawasaki tosses Kirby his frying pan and Kirby eats it, transforming into Cook Kirby. After battling Popon for a bit, Chef Kawasaki and Meta Knight intervene by dousing Popon in flour, then Kirby runs in and catches Popon with a massive frying pan. Popon and the frying pan get tossed all the way into space and toward the Sun. After the frying pan comes crashing back down into the castle, the group finds the monster has been fried to perfection. King Dedede approaches the fried Popon and takes a bite. Finding it tasty, he decides to appoint Kirby as the court chef in place of Kawasaki. The episode ends as Chef Kawasaki hits the floor in disbelief again, and Kirby admires his new badge.

Differences between versions[edit]

  • The scene where King Dedede appoints Chef Kawasaki as the court chef is paced more slowly in the Japanese version.
  • In the Japanese version, Chef Shiitake's book is titled "The Terrific Gourmet Food Material Encyclopedia", instead of "Encyclopedia of Food". The reason for the title change is unclear, since the Japanese version also has the title written in English.
    • Additionally, the page regarding Zebon has a legible English description in the Japanese version, but it is replaced with illegible dashes in the international versions, likely because the original description was written in broken English.
  • A short scene where King Dedede is pouring a glass of wine for Chef Shiitake is cut from the 4Kids version.
  • In the Japanese version the publisher of the cook book reads as "Nightmare Press" rather than Night Mare Enterprises.
  • In the Japanese version, Kirby is clearly shown breathing while asleep in the garnish, instead of being motionless in the international versions. This change was likely made to increase the tension.

Dialogue differences[edit]

  • In the Japanese version, King Dedede simply repeats the word "不味い" ("mazui", which can be translated as "awful") instead of using different words for each of Kawasaki's dishes.
  • In the Japanese version, King Dedede threatens to make Escargoon an ingredient again instead of demanding he fetch good ingredients.
  • In the Japanese version, Popon still speaks after transforming, though it mostly just repeats its own name.


  • This is the first episode to not feature a single Cappy.
  • In the opening of this episode, King Dedede is wearing a pair of sunglasses with the lenses shaped like his emblem from the video games. This symbol is also present on the badge he gives to Chef Kawasaki.
  • King Dedede is shown to be able to read fluently in this episode, which contradicts later episodes where it is shown he is illiterate.
  • This episode marks the first time in the series that King Dedede has been kind to Kirby and given him something that wasn't a trap; in this case, giving him the role of court chef (though this does not carry into future episodes).


Removed scene[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 宮廷シェフ・カワサキ
Kyūtei Shefu Kawasaki
Court Chef Kawasaki
Chinese 宮廷御廚川崎
Gōngtíng Yùchú Chuānqí
Imperial Court Chef Kawasaki
German Kochen mit Kirby Cooking with Kirby
Brazilian Portuguese O Grande Teste de Sabor The Big Taste Test