Chef Academy is the name of the fourth town in the Kitchen Scramble game. The game requires the player to make recipes and serve food to customers. It is a time-management game.
I’ve been posting quite a few blogs about Kitchen Scramble lately. There is a reason. I’ve noticed that the Kitchen Scramble app has been crashing a lot, and that there has been an increased emphasis on the ways players can spend real-world money on the game. I’m not sure how long it will be around.
Chef Academy is not only the name of the town, it’s also the name of a school. There is a little bit of a story line in Kitchen Scramble, but it doesn’t reveal everything. I’m going to guess that Chef Academy was built, and became so popular that an entire town grew around it.
At this point in the game, the player character, Pepper, has left Mozzaroma and driven her food truck to Chef Academy. This decision was made because Chef Crisp suggested it.
Pepper: It feels great to be back at the Chef Academy! This is where I learned to make everything from perfect potatoes to spectacular spaghetti.
Chef Crisp: And sure enough, your fans from Pittsburger, Waffleton, and Mozzaroma are on their way. And they look hungry!
This conversation is a clue to the player. Each of the previous towns has a set of recipes that the player must learn to create. When it’s time to move to the next town, new recipes, from a new category of food, must be learned.
In Chef Academy, the player gets customers who come from the previous towns, and who may ask for foods that were served in the town they are from. So, the player has to keep all those recipes in their head (or look them up in the cookbook).
Level 65 is the first level in Chef Academy. I got three stars.
I got three stars in Level 66.
I got three stars in Level 67.
Mechanic: Pepper, you won’t believe this, but I just enrolled in Pizza Cooking 101. You know, you should be an instructor at this place.
I find this amusing because in Mozzaroma, when the Mechanic shows up at the food truck – he always orders a pizza.
I got three stars in Level 68.
I got three stars in Level 69.
Chef Crisp: Pepper I’m thrilled! Enrollment is way up, thanks to your food truck being here. You’ve inspired so many people.
Pepper: Fantastic. Cooking fever is definitely contagious.
Chef Crisp: You know, a lot of students have been requesting YOU as an instructor. Let’s talk soon…
I got three stars in Level 70.
Chef Crisp: As you know, we have high standards for our faculty here. Even our Assistant Instructors must have real world experience with at least six different regional cuisines.
Pepper: Well, I’ve worked in three regions so far. As soon as I save up enough for travel expenses, I’d love to take the food truck somewhere else.
Up until this point, I assumed that each new part of Kitchen Scramble was a town. But, it turns out that each one is actually a region. Merriam-Webster defines region as: an administrative area, division, or district; especially: the basic administrative unit for local government in Scotland.
I thought that Pepper, and her food truck, were traveling across the country, that I imagined to be as big as the United States. She starts in Pittsburger, which sounds a lot like Pittsburgh. But, it turns out Pepper might actually be traveling in a much smaller area. She goes from one district to the next.
This probably explains how the customers from previous “towns” are able to follow Pepper wherever she goes. It also clarifies that Chef Academy is the name of a region, that focuses on the school, and has some residential areas.
Chef Crisp: Wonderful. I know you can do it.
It sounds like Chef Crisp is sort of, kind of, offering Pepper a job as an instructor at Chef Academy. But really, she’s mostly hinting at what qualifications they expect in an instructor. This is not actually a job offer.
As a person who is a former teacher… I can say from experience that this vague, sort of, not-quite-a-job-offer, is fairly common in education. Nobody wants to commit to anything, or give specific details about things like what the job pays, whether or not it includes insurance coverage, or the workload. Also, there are generally committees of people that have to all agree on hiring someone, and multiple interviews with the same candidate. It’s exhausting.
I got three stars in Level 71.
Part of the story line is presented as part of a tutorial. So far, there have been new recipes in each town (I’m just going to stick with calling these different areas towns), and more difficult ones are introduced as the player works through the levels.
In addition, every town (so far) has had at least one new piece of kitchen equipment added. Some have had new boosts added, which can help a player to get three stars.
Sometimes, a level will have a new challenge in gameplay. Like, it could be a timed level, or one where the level ends after a specific number of customers leave. Or, a level might require a player to serve a specific food to a certain amount of customers. Those levels are tough, because the game won’t always give you enough customers who order that food.
Chef Crisp: You look ready to tackle another challenge, Pepper!
The screenshot above is from Level 72. It shows what the inside of the food truck looks like at this point in the game. The ingredients on the shelves are all from Mozzaroma, but the food truck lacks other ingredients from that town and does not have a pizza oven.
Chef Crisp: And this time, the challenge is me!
Chef Crisp: I’ll accept any dish you cook up.
Chef Crisp has an asterisk over her head. Sometimes, Basil Graham (the food critic) shows up that way too. It means they will accept whatever food you give them. It’s a good way to get rid of the extra food you made that no one ordered, or to work your way towards serving enough of the required food in a specific level.
Chef Crisp: But! I’ll have one particular one in mind.
Uh, oh! It looks like Chef Crisp, who may one day be Pepper’s boss, is the type of boss that expects workers to read her mind.
Chef Crisp: If you guess correctly, expect a hefty tip!
Even worse, Chef Crisp wants to reward subordinates who are successful at reading her mind. Which means, employees who fail to be a mind reader aren’t going to be paid as well as the ones who are able to guess what Chef Crisp expects from them. Pepper probably should not take the job as an instructor at Chef Academy.
Chef Crisp: Give it a shot!
What players are supposed to get from this tutorial is that there is one recipe that Chef Crisp wants, and if you guess it, she will put down a pile of coins instead of just a few.
I took this screenshot at the start of Level 72. Chef Crisp was the first customer. Grandpa was the second customer to arrive. I decided to make Chef Crisp a salad.
Chef Crisp shows up more than once during Level 72. That’s not unusual. All the customers do that. It’s possible to have more than one identical customer at the counter at the same time. Chef Crisp is joined by the Fashionista, the Racecar Driver, and Grandma.
In Level 72, Chef Crisp wants Caesar Salad. There aren’t too many recipes that can be made from the ingredients in that level.
I got three stars in Level 72.
I think the reason why I took the above screenshot is because in Level 73, Chef Crisp wants a Fruit Cup.
I got three stars in Level 73.
Pepper: I’ve been earning some great tips here, but I’ll need to earn lots more before I can hit the road again.
Chef Crisp: Stay here as long as you like. People have been flocking to our campus ever since your food truck parked here!
This is what the food truck looked like in Level 74. Nobody knows what they want – but they all want it right now. Players are allowed to lose one, disgruntled, customer. But, when the second angry customer leaves – the level ends.
It took several tries before I was able to earn three stars in this level. I forgot to take a screenshot of that, probably because I was so happy to be done with Level 74 and able to move on to the next one. If you look at the screenshot at the top of this blog, you can see that I earned three stars.
The guy taking notes is Basil Graham, the food critic. The character wearing a suit is called the Politician. On days when I’m dissatisfied with whatever political thing is going in on the real-world, I serve that guy last!
I also forgot to take a screenshot that shows that I earned two stars in Level 75. No matter what I did, I was unable to earn the third star.
I earned three stars in Level 76. It was another level that ends shortly after you lose more than the allowed number of customers.
I also earned three stars in Level 77, but forgot to take a screenshot. Level 77 is the last level in the first half of Chef Academy. But, it doesn’t show up on the map until you scroll over to look at the second half of Chef Academy. I didn’t take a screenshot that shows I got three stars on Level 78 either, but you can see that I did by looking at the map at the end of this blog post.
I got three stars in Level 79.
Mother & Baby: Pepper, I’m so glad I followed your food truck to the Chef Academy.
The Kitchen Scramble Wiki identifies the character that is talking with Pepper as “Mother & Baby”. Most of the other characters are identified by what they do. There’s a student, a cop, a mechanic, a fashionista, a racecar driver, a food critic and a chef (among others). Some are white, some are black, some appear to have Indian heritage.
It bothers me that Kitchen Scramble decided to call this character “Mother & Baby” as if they are one entity. Players can see this is a woman, and players can see that she is carrying her baby in a sling. Players don’t need that spelled out for them as the character’s name.
Pepper has a name. Chef Crisp has a name. Basil Graham (the food critic) has a name. Why couldn’t Kitchen Scramble give this mom her own name, and give her baby a name? It would be way more interesting if Pepper was talking with Betty and Billy instead of “Mother & Baby”.
All complaints aside, Kitchen Scramble did do something unique with this character. When other characters heart level drops, they get angry. When “Mother & Baby’s” heart level drops, the baby starts wiggling and fussing and the mother looks stressed. It makes me want to get her food to her before I serve the angry customers.
There are two characters named Grandma and Grandpa, but I don’t see that as erasing their identities. There are plenty of people in the real world who have grandchildren and who want to be identified publicly as Grandma or Grandpa. In some cultures, those kinship terms are used to show respect for elders.
Mother & Baby: I’m taking a ‘Cooking with Kids’ class here, and now my kids love eating vegetables.
This is another example of the message that runs through Kitchen Scramble. There is a clear emphasis on fresh, healthy food. It leaves me wondering if the original funding for this game came from companies that sell produce.
This is the first time in Kitchen Scramble where we learn that Mother & Baby has more than the baby we see her carrying around. She has kids. Where are those kids? How many of them are there? I’m going to assume they are in daycare or school.
I got three stars on Level 80.
I was only able to get one star in Level 81. It was a difficult level, and I eventually decided to stop trying to earn more than one star.
I got three stars in Level 82.
I got three stars in Level 83.
Student: Pepper, you I love your potatoes, right? But let me tell you, there’s nothing sweeter than the sweet potato pie of Molassessippi.
The Student is providing players with a little bit of what to expect when the move on to the next town. In one of the previous towns, the Student ordered plenty of baked potatoes, and it’s nice to see that pulled into the storyline.
Pepper: Is that right? Well then, I know where I’m heading next…
I didn’t take a screenshot of how I did on Level 84. This is probably because I was only able to get two stars in that one.
Grandpa: I’ve been around a long time, but your omelets are the best I’ve ever had. I’ll follow your truck wherever you go.
Grandpa: Then pack your bags, because I’ll be heading out soon. I’ve got three more regional cuisines to learn.
I got three stars in Level 85.
I got three stars in Level 86.
I got three stars on Level 87.
I got three stars in Level 88.
Chef Crisp: People heard that you’re leaving soon, and they all want one more meal before you go. You’ll be busier than ever!
Pepper: I’m ready for it! I know these recipes so well, I could cook them blindfolded!
I got three stars in Level 89. It is the last level in Chef Academy.
Pepper: That was stupendous! Next stop: Molassessippi. But first, we’ll need some help from our friends to get the truck ready…
Pepper is referring to something called “Truck Maintenance”. Players had to receive some stuff from other players, and then wait a certain amount of real-time before they could move to the next town. I finished Chef Academy on February 23, 2017, and am not entirely sure if the mandatory wait is still part of the game.
I completed all three Chef Academy Location Goals. Players do not have to complete them in order to move on to the next town. But, completing them gives the player some rewards, and requires the player to do things they were going to have to do anyway.
This is what the second half of Chef Academy looked like after I had completed it.
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