| Hail to the Chef!
Hail to the Chef! (Japanese: ニューラとバリヤード！どっちのレストラン！？ Nyula and Barrierd! Whose Restaurant!?) is the 141st episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 415th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 1, 2005 and in the United States on June 3, 2006.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Chasing after a hungry Munchlax, Ash and his friends end up at Rhonda's, a restaurant run by a girl named Rhonda with Mr. Mime as its head chef. Team Rocket stumbles across another restaurant, Rhoda's, run by a girl named Rhoda with Sneasel as its head chef. Meowth quickly takes a disliking to Sneasel, but Jessie and James want it for Team Rocket.
Back at Rhonda's, Mr. Mime puts on a fantastic show for Ash and company, but the food is terrible. Over at Rhoda's, Sneasel's food looks terrible, but it tastes fantastic—except for Meowth's, because Sneasel purposely made him a horrible meal. The two start to fight, breaking through the restaurant wall and right into Rhonda's. Rhonda and Rhoda are actually twin sisters who split up the family restaurant; Rhoda accuses Rhonda, and they challenge each other to see who deserves to run the place.
Team Rocket coaches Sneasel while Brock advises Mr. Mime, and after a night's practice it's time to allez cuisine! Mr. Mime's presentation is great, but now Sneasel also puts on a show. It looks like a close battle until Team Rocket steals the chefs and Pikachu too! Team Rocket hops in their balloon to make a getaway, but Rhonda tells Mr. Mime to use Trick and Psychic. This frees all three Pokémon, who head home and send Team Rocket packing along the way.
Impressed, Rhoda leaves the restaurant to Rhonda. But Rhonda makes Rhoda co-manager and Sneasel the head chef; with everyone working together, the restaurant is now better than ever! And after a wonderful meal, Ash and his friends can happily continue on their way.
The episode begins with our heroes walking happily along a path in the middle of a forest. May is very excited about the Contest, which Ash says that she'll do great in. May talks about the exciting new challenges she will face in Kanto's Contest Halls, and a vision of Drew appears in her mind to remind her that she's not alone in her dream. Suddenly, Munchlax pops out of its Poké Ball and starts to smell the air. Obviously smelling something delicious, Munchlax starts to run off in search of the source of the smell. May tells Munchlax to slow down, and runs off after her Pokémon.
Munchlax isn't the only one hungry however, as we find Team Rocket slowly walking through the same forest, tired and starving. Jessie and James fall to the ground, and Jessie complains how much hard work it is tracking Ash and his friends. However, their attention is brought away from Ash as Jessie spots what appears to be a restaurant not far away. The three villains instantly run towards the building, excited at the thought of all the delicious food before Jessie stops them and reminds James and Meowth that they have no money. James and Meowth, unable to stop in time, slam straight into the restaurant’s door and fall dejectedly onto the floor. The door opens and a pretty girl greets them and invites them in, saying her name is Rhoda. Rhoda says that today is her restaurant's grand opening and all of the meals are free, to Team Rocket's delight.
Back to the heroes, we find Munchlax has found what it was looking for, and has stopped in front of what appears to be another restaurant. May blushes and says that she knows how Munchlax feels... she's hungry too. The doors open, and a girl and her Mr. Mime smile and welcome them in, saying her name is Rhonda. Max eyes the Mr. Mime with interest, and the girl explains that the Mr. Mime is the chef of the restaurant. The girl goes onto explains that they will not only get a good meal, but an amazing performance too as the Pokémon can cook with style. Brock, as usual, proclaims his love for the girl, who nervously smiles and tries to find a table for them. Brock then has a fantasy of them sitting alone together, with a delicious meal before Max interrupts.
While Ash and his friends have just found the Mr. Mime restaurant, Team Rocket is already inside and sitting down at the one they discovered. It seems that much like the one belonging to Rhonda, the chef is also a Pokémon. This time, a Sneasel. As they sit down, the girl mentions a Pokémon Contest, and Jessie's interest perks up. Meowth says that Jessie is interested in Contests too, and Rhoda instantly runs back, shocked at the talking Pokémon. Jessie explains that that was just their stomachs growling and tells Rhoda that she is a top coordinator. Rhoda instantly runs back over to the group, excited at meeting such a famous person. She suddenly remembers that she must get the menu, and runs off, apologizing. Over at the kitchen, the Pokémon chef, Sneasel, looks on snickering to itself. The group looks over, noticing the Sneasel for the first time. Meowth begins to talk again, and Jessie hits him, telling the cat to keep its mouth shut so as not to scare the girl off again, especially if they want free food. The Sneasel laughs again, this time at Meowth, and Meowth becomes angry at Sneasel and mocks it. The two Pokémon argue and insult each other, but are stopped when Rhoda comes back in with the menu. She explains that her Sneasel is an amazing cook, and Jessie and James become excited at the prospect of tasting some of it.
Back with Ash and friends, we find them sitting inside Rhonda's restaurant waiting for the performance to start. The curtains are pulled back and the group looks on in wonder at all the cooking equipment. Rhonda tells Mr. Mime to start, and the Psychic Pokémon does so, using its Psychic abilities to cook, stir, and chop the ingredients.
Sneasel has already finished cooking its meal however, which seems to consist of a simple meat dish with sauce. Team Rocket look on, a little underwhelmed having been told that Sneasel was an amazing chef. James tries a little, and he starts to blush and marvel at how delicious the food actually is. Jessie tries some too, and agrees, with her eyes becoming large and sparkly. Meowth, seeing that Jessie and James seem to like it, tries some. He doesn't have the same reaction however, and finds the food disgusting. As they finish their first meal, Rhoda brings some more food, this time meatballs. Jessie and James try some, and once again find the food delicious. Meowth dumps his meatballs down his throat all in one bite, but is forced to drink all of his water as he finds the food alarmingly hot. Suspecting that some trickery is afoot, he steals one of Jessie's meatballs and eats it. Expecting it to taste horrible, he's shocked to find how delicious it is. Meowth instantly becomes angry however, as he realizes that Sneasel must have made his food nasty on purpose.
Unlike Sneasel's rather plain-looking food, the meal that Mr. Mime has cooked up looks delicious and extremely edible. The group looks on, amazed at such an appealing meal. The group digs in as soon as their dishes are served, but instantly fall back in their chairs. Even Munchlax, who would eat nearly anything, falls over in dismay. It seems that while the food looks delicious, it actually tastes disgusting. Rhonda apologizes, and just at that moment, Meowth comes crashing through the wall followed by Sneasel. The two Pokémon are fighting, and Rhoda desperately tells Sneasel to stop, but to no avail. Sneasel jumps past her, knocking her over and into Brock's arms who mistakes her for Rhonda. The real Rhonda then runs up, wondering what her sister is doing here, and Brock looks at the two twins confused before Rhoda explains that she and Rhonda are twin sisters. It seems that the two restaurants are part of the same building, but are separated by a wall. Jessie and James walk through the hole in the wall, and the two groups are shocked to see each other. Rhoda then walks over to the meal that Rhonda's Mr. Mime created and remarks that it looks good, but doesn't taste good. She tells her sister that her Pokémon focuses way too much on putting on a show instead of making the food taste right. The two sisters argue over whether presentation or taste is most important in preparing food. Meowth then steps in and suggests a cooking competition.
That night, we find Team Rocket speaking with Rhoda. She explains to them that while the food her Sneasel prepares is delicious, it has problems with making it look so and worries that it cannot put on the same performance as her sister's Mr. Mime can. Jessie and James wonder if they could help, and Rhoda excitedly says that with the help of a Top Coordinator such as Jessie, she cannot fail. Jessie smugly says that she will help, and James looks on, confused at his partner's sudden sense of good will. Jessie, sensing this, whispers in his ear that they can use this as an excuse to stick around and find a way to steal Sneasel, Mr. Mime, and Pikachu.
Meanwhile, Ash and friends are talking to Rhonda, who explains that she has the opposite of her sister's problem. While her Pokémon can make food look delicious, Mr. Mime has problems actually making it taste good. She begs Brock to help her improve Mr. Mime's cooking ability, and Brock says that he understands and will help as much as he can. Rhonda thanks him, and they instantly get to work. A little later, Mr. Mime is preparing some stew under Brock's supervision. Mr. Mime, who up until that point had been stirring the meal by itself, tries to use its Psychic power to add flavoring. Brock stops it however, explaining that it must rely on its own cooking ability, and master the art by itself without help from its Psychic powers. After all, it's trying to improve its cooking ability, not put on a performance.
As Brock explains that to Mr. Mime, Jessie is doing the same for Sneasel. Having prepared a huge block of ice, she tells the Pokémon to make a sculpture out of it. Sneasel does so, slashing at the block of ice with its claws to make an ice sculpture of itself. James remarks that it's rather small however (smaller than a salt shaker even), as they need magnifying glasses to see it.
Back with Brock and Mr. Mime, Brock tells Mr. Mime to taste the stew to check if it needs any extra flavoring. Team Rocket however, are putting ridiculous makeup on Sneasel and getting it to try on lots of different, stylish clothes.
The two Pokémon work throughout the night, perfecting their techniques.
The next day, the competition begins, with Brock and Meowth acting as referees and Ash, May, Max, Jessie and James acting as the tasters. Brock explains that the object of the Contest is to not only make a delicious meal, but to also put on a performance. He tells the two Pokémon to start, and they rush off to their respective food piles and start cooking. Jessie and James wish Sneasel luck, and Meowth does the same for Mr. Mime, but is stopped by Brock who tells him that he must remain neutral. The two groups look on amazed at the two Pokémon, who both seem to have perfected the things that the other could do.
The Contest soon gets into full flow, but is stopped when a black whip grabs hold of Sneasel, Pikachu, and Mr. Mime. It's Team Rocket, back to their old tricks. The three Pokémon are thrown into small cages and the two villains laugh. They start their motto, but stop in the middle as they wait for Meowth to do his line. Jessie, angry that their performance was stopped, whips Meowth over and asks it why he didn't do his line. Meowth says that he was confused as to why they were helping Sneasel, and James tells him that that was just a ruse to get close to Pikachu. They continue and finish their motto, with Meowth's spirit and confidence restored. Rhoda asks what they are doing, and Jessie explains that this was their plan all along. Rhonda tells Team Rocket to give back her and her sister's Pokémon, but Team Rocket ignore them and jump out of the window into a balloon waiting for them. Ash, frustrated, tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. The attack is useless however, as the cage is electricity-proof. May then sends out Combusken and Brock sends out Mudkip to use a combination of Fire Spin and Water Gun, but Jessie laughs as the attacks cannot reach them. Jessie starts to mock them, twirling the key around her finger while James cries happily. Back on the ground, Rhonda tells her sister to let her handle the situation, and shouts to Mr. Mime to get the key with Trick. Mr. Mime's ladle ends up twirling around Jessie's finger for a moment before it smacks her in the head. Grinning, Max explains that Trick switches an opponent's tools with your own. Mr. Mime then uses Psychic on the key to open the whole cage, and the three Pokémon jump out, but not before Sneasel slices the balloon with its claws, which sends Team Rocket blasting off again.
The three Pokémon land safely, and their Trainers run over to them happily. Rhoda tells her sister that she is grateful to her and content with handing full control of their father's restaurant over to Rhonda. Rhoda apologizes to Sneasel, and tells her sister to do her best. As Rhoda walks off, Rhonda looks on sadly, and calls out to her twin sister. Rhonda says that there's no need for her to leave; they can run the restaurant together, as a team.
The episode ends with the group sitting inside the now-combined restaurant, where Sneasel and Mr. Mime are happily working together to create a meal for the whole group to enjoy.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- When Team Rocket is in their balloon after capturing the three Pokémon, the song that Jessie sings to mock the people on the ground is to the tune of the series ending theme, Pokémon Counting Song.
- Exciting Pokémon Relay was used in the cooking competition scenes.
- Nearly a week before this episode's U.S. debut, Weavile and Mime Jr.'s names were released. They happen to be the evolved form and pre-evolved form of the two main Pokémon in this episode.
- The episode's title is a pun of the name of the presidential anthem of the United States, "Hail to the Chief".
- This is the second time that Meowth has been worried about being replaced by a Sneasel.
- The ending credits list Jessie's Seviper and James's Cacnea as being in the episode, when in fact they never appeared.
- In one scene during the motto, James's hair is not completely drawn and colored.
- In one shot, Ash and company are wondering when Mr. Mime's show will begin and they will be served food, even though food is already on the table. The food disappears in the next shot.
In other languages
|Dutch||Voor het keukenblok!|
|European French||Un combat de chefs|
|German||Duell am Herd!|
|Italian||Gara di cucina|
|Brazilian Portuguese||Salve o Chefe!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Vivan los chefs!|
|Spain||Felicitaciones al chef|
|Swedish||Länge leve kocken!|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|