I'm looking for a short story by Isaac Asimov about someone who creates dishes not in the kitchen but by combining ingredients in his head.

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    Your description doesn't really match Good Taste. What makes you think it was an Asimov story? What made it science-fiction?
    – Ubik
    Apr 17, 2019 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


Could it be you're thinking of "Good Taste" (readable here)? It's the closest match I can think of, except that it's kind of the reverse of what you're asking about. It involves a chef using real ingredients rather than the simulated forms from a computer.

Chawker Minor returns from his 'Grand Tour', including a visit to Earth, to his home on Gammer, one of several artificial satellites orbiting the Moon. The introverted society of Gammer specialises in artificial computer-designed food flavourings much in demand in Earth, to the point of shunning "natural" food grown in "dirt", and Chawker is inspired to enter the annual competition for flavouring, using something new and radical.

Despite the disapproval of his parents and elder brother, Chawker Minor does design a new flavouring which wins the competition. Asked by the Grand Master, who can taste and analyse flavourings to the smallest detail, to explain his successful and intriguing entry, he reveals that he has not used artificial computer-designed molecules, but an actual raw ingredient, garlic, maintaining that no assemblage of molecules may duplicate the complexity of a living organism.

The Grand Master, and all Gammer society, are revolted by this breach of good taste. Chawker Minor is disavowed by all and exiled from his home.

My search query was isaac asimov story about a chef

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    Wow, that is a fast reply. Thanks, Fuzzy Boots. You may be correct, I read the story many years ago and may well remember it wrong. In any case, it's nice to read this story again. Thanks for your answer and the link. (Btw, are there more stories to be found on that site?)
    – Joost
    Apr 17, 2019 at 13:28
  • @Joost: It's a standalone site with just the story. If you think it is the correct answer, don't forget to accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 19, 2019 at 13:55

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