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Welcome to Hell. Now, recreate the soup. Take as much time as you need. All week if you must.
~ Chef Skinner mocking Linguini.
(SNICKERING) You might think you are a chef but you are still only a rat.
~ Chef Skinner to Remy after capturing him.

Chef Skinner (also known as Skinner) is the main antagonist of Pixar's 8th full-length animated feature film, Ratatouille.

He is the former sous-chef under the restaurant Gusteau's and the former boss of Linguini.

He was voiced by Ian Holm.

Personality

Chef Skinner is shown to be very cunning, greedy, deceiving, manipulative, and villainous in nature. When he discovers Remy is the brains behind Linguini's tasty recipes, he decides to capture Remy and force him to create his own frozen foods for him. Skinner is also bent on claiming the restaurant as his when Auguste Gusteau had no heir.

Ratatouille

Skinner was sous-chef under Gusteau but became the head chef after Gusteau's death. In Gusteau's will, it was stated that Skinner would inherit Gusteau's business interests if no heir appeared within two years after the latter's death. Skinner evidently did not hold Gusteau's ideals in the highest regard, and was more interested in personal profit from his line of Chef Gusteau Frozen Foods. This line comprised of several different foreign foods like chicken, haggis, burritos, ribs, and corn dogs in order to appease oversea markets, with Gusteau as its image to woo buyers.

Skinner reluctantly hires Alfredo Linguini to work at the restaurant as the plongeur (garbage boy) when he learns that Linguini's mother Renata, with whom Gusteau was close, requested that Linguini get the job prior to her recent death. He is shocked when Linguini makes a soup that night that impresses a food critic that just happened to be at the restaurant, although it was Remy who cooked it in secret. Suspicious, Skinner forces Linguini to make it again, believing it is all a fluke.

After Linguini and Remy team up, they successfully recreate the soup and impress Skinner. However, they become rivals when Skinner learns that Linguini is Gusteau's biological son, and is determined to keep Linguini from discovering this fact. He becomes even more determined when he sees Linguini making contact with Remy on numerous occasions, suspecting that Linguini is scheming something bad in the restaurant.

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He loses the restaurant to Linguini when it comes out that Linguini is the son of the dead chef, as Remy discovered the paternity test results that Skinner tried to steal and gave it to Linguini so that he may assume his rightful place as owner. Linguini later cancels the frozen food line altogether, as it was smearing Gusteau's image.

Skinner spies on Linguini and eventually discovers that Remy is the real cook. To get revenge on both of them, he captures Remy and intends on forcing him to create a new line of frozen foods, while attending the restaurant in disguise to see Linguini fail miserably and endure another scathing review from the famed critic Anton Ego. Fortunately, Remy escapes and had his swarm of rats to help Linguini serve the dishes without attracting any attention from the customers.

To Skinner's amusement, Linguini served him and Ego a simple dish of ratatouille, but is surprised when Ego actually likes it. After Skinner tries his own dish and finds its taste irresistible as well, he races to the kitchen to find that Remy and his colony of rats cooked the dish. The rats are then forced to bind him with the ropes and gags him with duct tape. He is then thrown in the refrigerator along with the health inspector who has been bound and gagged as well.

Despite the restaurant getting a high-star review from Ego for Remy's delicious recipe, the rats were forced to let Skinner and the health inspector loose, since they can't keep them cooped up forever. This allows Skinner and the health inspector to report the rat infestation to the health department, causing the restaurant to be closed and Ego losing his job and his credibility as a critic. Despite the restaurant being closed down, Linguini and Remy manage to open a new successful restaurant to serve for both humans and rats alike (with the help from Colette and Ego (who has a new job as a small business investor)), and Skinner finally leaves them alone, knowing that it is not worth the trouble.

Trivia

  • Skinner's name is a nod to behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, famous for his experiments with rats.
  • Skinner's behavior, diminutive size, and body language are loosely based on Louis de Funès.
  • Skinner's line: "Welcome to Hell", could be a reference to Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, where Ramsay said, "Welcome to Hell," a few times.
  • Skinner using a footstool to get up to a stove references to an old emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, who to this day is mocked for being short for his age.

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