While basic cooking skills are common to most past adolescence, those specifically recognized as cooks are generally more skilled than the average, and may have professional training. As part of an organization or business, cooks are expected to provide most if not all meals, regardless of who else might possess cooking skills.
Since most of the world consists of ocean, sea cooks (海のコック Umi no kokku?) that primarily serve aboard ships are highly prominent. In addition to standard duties, these cooks are expected to efficiently ration and use a ship's limited resources during voyages, and maintain nutrition for the entire crew. If the ship frequently explores new areas, they may also analyze and catalogue which plants and animals are safe to eat (particularly on the Grand Line, where even the most innocuous-seeming species can harbor deadly poison).
Given the general unpredictability of sea travel, experienced cooks tend to look down on those who waste or mistreat food, and are often reluctant to throw away any food materials that have not become genuinely, dangerously inedible.
A Head Chef (料理長 Ryōrichō?) is the leader of a group of chefs in a single establishment. They are in charge of the other cooks within the organization, having the highest authority within its kitchen. Known head chefs are Zeff of Baratie, Thatch of the fourth division of the Whitebeard Pirates, Cosette of the Germa Kingdom, the WCI 31 of Whole Cake Island and non-canonically Jessica of G-8. Head chefs normally have exceptional culinary skills which are far superior to the cooking skills of normal chefs, as shown when Zeff who is the founder and also the head chef of the famous sea restaurant Baratie, could personally cook one hundred meals for the Krieg Pirates and was able to train his student Sanji into an outstanding culinary master in his own right.
Large scale institutions with multiple kitchens can also have multiple head chefs, as seen with the WCI 31, thirty-one head chefs of Whole Cake Island.
An Executive Chef (総料理長 Sō Ryōrichō?) is a rank that may be assigned to a chef who oversees everything in cases where an organization has multiple head chefs. The only known executive chef in the series is Streusen of the Big Mom Pirates. Streusen was able to give precise commands to all his subordinate chefs of the Big Mom Pirates to prepare a gigantic wedding cake of brilliant culinary craftsmanship without personally making it.
A Sous Chef (副料理長 Fuku Ryōrichō?) is essentially the second-in-command of a group of chefs of a single establishment, under the Head Chef. Sanji was the sous chef of Baratie, under Zeff. Although Sanji tend to bicker with Zeff and the many other chefs there, which makes it hard for many to believe that he was ever connected to the restaurant, he greatly respects his colleagues there, a sentiment shared both ways. Trained by Zeff himself, Sanji proved himself to be a great chef, as he once intended to succeed Zeff as Head Chef of Baratie, although he wanted so more out of a duty of repaying Zeff for saving his life. Eventually, Sanji resigned from Baratie to join the Straw Hat Pirates, to pursue his and Zeff's dream of finding All Blue; he left on good terms with the restaurant, as the chefs there maintain a watch on Sanji's progress via newspapers, and Sanji became worried when Baratie was under the threat of Germa 66 and the Big Mom Pirates.
Other Specialties and Positions
There are other types of chefs, including those which choose to specialize in certain fields, examples being artisans and pâtissiers.
An artisan is one who is able to not only make delicious treats, but also arrange it in a certain way to make it pleasing to the eye, like a piece of art. Though aided by their Devil Fruit powers, Charlotte Perospero and Cracker both claim to be artisans in their field of candy and biscuits respectively.
As for pâtissier's, or pastry chefs, they specialize in making baked sweets, such as cakes. Charlotte Pudding claims to be a master in chocolate, while Charlotte Chiffon is specialized with cakes, specifically chiffon cakes.
Wanze is a chef who specialized in ramen, though his method of preparing it is considered disgusting by all, as he ingests flour and exudes it as noodles through his nose, which he cuts with his nose hair. None who see how he creates his dishes are willing to eat it, and along with his fighting style of using ramen and cooking utensils as fighting, Sanji saw Wanze's wasteful nature of food as unworthy of being a cook at all.
Hatchan's dream, alongside Kuroobi and Chew, was to open a takoyaki stand. After the arrest of the Arlong Pirates, Hatchan, being the sole escapee, was able to live up to this dream, becoming a chef specializing in takoyaki.
After the Syrup Village Arc, the Straw Hat Pirates met Johnny and Yosaku. Yosaku was sick from scurvy, so Nami instructed Usopp and Luffy to make soup to cure Yosaku. Because the crew had no cooking experience, and would have no hope of surviving on the Grand Line without one, Luffy decided to find a chef for his ship (despite initially wanting a musician).
As Monkey D. Luffy has proven, the lack of a proper cook during seafaring trips can have a disastrous effect: while their cook Sanji was absent, Luffy tried to cook for the retrieval team in lieu of Nami's tendency to charge everyone for her cooking, only for his lack of culinary skills to set the kitchen on fire and create something completely inedible, and his poor rationing skills wasted an entire week's of supplies, thus causing them to starve during their trip.
There are certain cooks who specialize in only one type of food, making it the focal point of their respective establishments: Hatchan runs a takoyaki stand, Wanze specializes in ramen (in a rather disgusting method of preparation), and Charlotte Pudding is a chocolatier for her cafe.
Upon arriving at the Baratie, the ocean-going restaurant, Luffy met a man named Sanji, who was the assistant head-chef of the restaurant. There he also met the restaurant's owner, Zeff, along with two partners named Carne and Patty. Luffy was impressed with Sanji's compassion towards Gin and tries to get him to be his crew's chef, but Sanji refuses multiple times. After the battle with Don Krieg resolves, the cooks at the Baratie all pretend Sanji's cooking is bad so that he will leave and go with Luffy. Sanji eventually does, on good terms with his colleagues, citing his dream of finding the All Blue.
After infiltrating the Sea Train traveling from Water 7 to Enies Lobby, Sanji encounters the CP7 agent Wanze in the train's kitchen compartment. Wanze, also a chef, incorporates food into his style of fighting, Ramen Kenpo. Sanji's victory over Wanze is the first and only time the cook has made an exception in his policy of fighting with his legs alone, using knives to carve through Wanze's ramen suits.
Just before arriving at Sabaody Archipelago, the Straw Hats encounter Hachi for the first time since Arlong Park. After the mermaid Camie requested help in rescuing Hachi, the crew initially refused because of his role in terrorizing Nami's home village, Cocoyashi Village. The crew ultimately decide to help after being directed by Nami, although it is implied that Luffy was greatly influenced by the famous reputation of Hachi's takoyaki.
After the crew's separation by Bartholomew Kuma, Sanji is sent to Momoiro Island, the location of the Kamabakka Queendom. After the return of Emporio Ivankov to the Queendom, Sanji learns about the country's Attack Cuisine, which actively nourishes and strengthens the human body. In order to obtain the recipes, Sanji accepts Ivankov's challenge to win them off the Queendom's cooks, the 99 Masters of Newkama Kenpo.
After learning of Sanji's arranged marriage to Big Mom's 35th daughter, Charlotte Pudding, the crew arrive at the island of chocolate, Cacao Island, in their quest to retrieve Sanji. After landing, Luffy and Chopper immediately devour an entire café, which almost leads them to be arrested. They are eventually saved by the intervention of Pudding herself, who turns out to be the café's owner. Pudding invites the crew for tea inside another of her cafés, where she discovers their identities. After a brief discussion (including Pudding's revelation that she had already met Sanji, and that he had taught her a few things about making sweets), the crew parts with Pudding on good terms, and she promises to help them reunite with Sanji.
Later, in the Germa Kingdom, the Vinsmoke Family are dining in the throne room of their castle when a confrontation breaks out between Sanji and his elder brother, Vinsmoke Niji. Niji calls out head chef Cosette, who apologizes for serving Niji food which was not to his liking, but Sanji defends her from his brother's further attacks. Sanji then compliments Cosette's cooking, which shocks her and leaves her in tears.
After the Straw Hats initiate their escape from Totto Land, Big Mom ends up falling into her crazed eating disorder, demanding a wedding cake. She is directed at the Straw Hats, which prompts Pudding, Charlotte Chiffon, and Sanji to go ahead of the fleeing crew to make it in order to stop Big Mom.
Arriving to Cacao Island, Pudding, Chiffon, and Sanji join forces with Buche and the rest of the WCI31, a group consisting of Whole Cake Island's head chefs, to make a replacement wedding cake. Sanji made it clear that he refuses to add traps such as poison or explosives into the mix despite Capone Bege's attempt to use such methods to assassinate Big Mom.
- Foods and Beverages: The items prepared and served by cooks.
- Bars, Restaurants, and Cafes: Establishments that rely primarily (or even entirely) on cooks' services.
- All Blue: A legendary ocean that contains every species of fish in the world, spoken of (though generally disbelieved) among sea cooks.
- Long John Silver, main antagonist of Treasure Island and arguably the most famous pirate in (English-language) fiction, was introduced as the cook of the story's focal crew. In fact, The Sea Cook was the novel's originally-planned title.