Cooking Stories

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Cooking Stories are works of fiction or games that revolve around food and drink. The main characters are cooks, chefs or work in some sort of restaurant, bakery, bar, or other establishment dedicated to food. They might also be students studying to be in the food preparation business. Cooking stories are often Slice of Life shows that have little in the way of action driven plot, but focus on daily life and characters. However, they can use plots similar to Sports Stories. For example, instead of Big Game or a Tournament Arc, they might have a cooking competition, or preparing for the visit of an important VIP guest, a major food critic, or the health inspector.

Not to be confused with Cooking Show. Compare to Sports Stories and Music Stories. Generally involves lots of Food Porn and other Food Tropes.

Examples of Cooking Stories include:

Anime and Manga

  • Addicted To Curry is about a curry restaurant and its ace cook.
  • Antique Bakery is a manga/anime which depicts the lives of four men who work in a small bakery.
  • Bambino is about a young, ambitious and hot-blooded Italian cuisine apprentice chef.
  • Bartender is a manga series that focuses on a genius bartender who uses his talents to ease the worries and soothe the souls of troubled customers.
  • Chuuka Ichiban, or Cooking Master Boy, is a manga/anime about a Chinese boy named Liu Mao Xing, who aspires to be a great chef like his mother. The story is set in a fictional Imperial China where cooking is taken seriously.
  • Cooking Papa is about a husband and father who happens to be really good at cooking and helps people out with this.
  • Iron Wok Jan is about an Arrogant Chinese Cooking Guy attempting to prove he's at the top of the Chinese cuisine game.
  • Kitchen Princess follows Najika Kazami, a cooking student who enrolls at Seika Academy to find her "flan prince", a mysterious boy who rescued her from drowning and fed her the flan in question, and who she believes to be a student at said school. Along the way she meets several hot guys and cooks many delicious desserts.
  • Mixed Vegetables is a manga about two students at a cooking school: the daughter of a pastry chef, who dreams of being a sushi chef, and the son of a sushi chef, who dreams of being a pasty chef. Each one separately comes up with the idea that if they could just marry into a family with a business in their favorite cuisine, they'd have an excuse to abandon their family cooking tradition for that of their spouse's family....
  • Oishinbo has reporters investigating all sorts of food situations in their quest to find the ultimate menu.
  • Oishii Kankei aka A Delicious Relationship is a manga about a former rich girl becoming a chef.
  • Toriko manages to combine this with Shounen series tropes; it's set in a world were gathering rare ingredients is a Serious Business (and involves killing insanely powerful beasts for their meat or delving into jungles and caves for creatures that only appear very rarely and must be harvested with great skill).
  • Yakitate!! Japan, has teenaged baker Kazuma Azuma, who dreams of creating a national bread for Japan.
  • Yumeiro Patissiere is about junior-high student Amano Ichigo, who decides she wants to be a pâtissière and enrolls in the Japanese division of a French baking school.


  • Big Night is about a pair of Italian brothers own a restaurant and make a big feast for singer Louis Prima, which they believe will save them from having to close and go back to Italy.
  • Babette's Feast: Babette has worked for years without pay for a pair of sisters in an ultrareligious sect. (She first came as a political refugee, and they agreed to let her stay but had to work as their cook in exchange for room & board.) Then Babette wins the lottery; she decides to make a meal she wants to make for once, rather than the life-sustaining but extremely bland food the sisters insist on her making. The sisters and the others in the town agree to attend the feast, but all decide amongst themselves not to comment in any fashion on the meal. It turns out that a) back in her home country she was an internaionally famous chef, forced by circumstance to make nothing but gruel for the last 14 years and b) Babette spends the entire lottery winnings on the food for the feast.
  • Eat Drink Man Woman
  • The God of Cookery is a Stephen Chow film that works martial arts into the culinary arts.
  • The film No Reservations (not to be confused with the TV show, which is a travel show about food).
    • And its German original, Bella Martha (Mostly Martha in its American release).
  • Tampopo is a sketch comedy revolving around food. It's main narrative involves a pair of truck drivers who take it upon themselves to revitalize the eponymous character's failing ramen shop.


  • Like Water for Chocolate is a 1989 Mexican novel that chronicles the story of Tita, a fifteen year-old growing up during the Mexican Revolution with her mother, Mama Elena, her older sisters Gertrudis and Rosaura, the cook Nacha and maid Chencha on a ranch in Piedras Negras.
  • Slaves of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater is about a competition to determine the best fast-food chef in the universe.

Live Action TV

  • Good Eats is a partial example, in that it is a Cooking Show that often employs a narrative Framing Device hold the theme together.
  • Two Broke Girls. Not only do the main characters work as waitresses at a diner, they are also trying to raise money to run their own bakery.
  • Alice takes place mainly at Mel's Diner.

Tabletop Game

  • Intergalactic Cooking Challenge, which can be summarized as "Iron Chef in Space: the RPG."

Video Game

  • Cooking Mama is a game series by Majesco on Nintendo's systems in which you are a cook in the titular Mama's kitchen.

Web Original

Western Animation