Illustrate What's on the Mind of a Chef

Illustrate What's on the Mind of a Chef

We're excited to announce that the folks behind “The Mind of a Chef” television series narrated by Anthony Bourdain are sponsoring our latest drawing challenge. "The Mind of a Chef" is a delicious mashup of cooking, travel, history, humor, art and science told through the mind's eye and palette of the featured chefs. This showcase challenge asks you to draw what's on the mind of a chef inside the plate on the template provided. What inspirations come to thought (at the cutting board)? What locations or songs sweep by the brain (while stirring a pot)? What memories and experiences flavor the dish?

From haute culinary cuisine to street markets - food is art. So, savor this drawing challenge, it’s all a matter of taste.

Illustrate the Mind of a Chef


Fun part of a chef daydreaming: cutting out your slice of home and seeing what flavors come out! That, or wondering how to eat the world.
Chinese dumpling molded into a catfish

By: Trisha Reed
5 Votes

Meals are better when you have someone to share it with.

By: Angeline Yang
6 Votes

Fridge Inspiration - Jannell Lo

By: Jannell Lo
47 Votes

A plate showing that cooking is just not about taste but there is science and art behind it. A good dish provokes all 5 senses and hence should be prepared by all five senses. The blue lines depict what lies underneath proteins. Inspiration: Magnus Nilsson, my hero!

By: Surambika Pradhan
19 Votes

Food is Life!

By: Lynne Cruz
7 Votes

Tuscany landscape

By: Anna Fernandez
16 Votes

Slices. A space of spaces...

By: Aneliya Barenska
11 Votes

By: Constance Current
14 Votes

I started drawing TV because I wanted to improve my portrait skills. I often watch a show several times waiting for a wonderful quote or pose or joyous moment. Mind of a Chef is absolutely my favorite show right now, as it is graphically innovative. The chef mind and the designer mind (mine) collide and take me to places that I'd never thought about before. Follow me @ohmydoodle on instagram. Use #idrawanddwatchtv to find my art.

By: Laura Stanke
9 Votes

By: Patricia Fronteira

I've played around with how a chef would construct a burger and decided to exaggerate this concept in a playful way and ignoring any real concepts. It was fun to doodle my little chefs building this burger.

By: Simbie Yau
31 Votes

This is what my husband ,who is a chef, thinks when he's cooking

By: mariola
7 Votes

By: Matthieu Coulon
6 Votes

There is an organized chaos going on in the mind of a chef. The chef must think on a global scale and consider what is going on in the world such as food trends, sustainability, history, seasonality, and flavor. In this doodle shows the world as a giant plate and in that world there is a cheeseburger jellyfish escaping a Michelin Star Fish with its Spaghetti tentacles. A chefs mind is always thinking about the time and deadlines. I don't think there is anything more in tune then a Chef's Mental Clock, because in the kitchen is seems like time is always the enemy, and to be a chef, it takes time.

By: Joshua
1 Votes

By: luke oliphant

By: Julia Dennis
4 Votes

This is an abstract of berry mousse dessert with the addition of strawberry sauce and a touch of sour cream ; ) . Real Fruit power .

By: Kasia Doszla
4 Votes

Food is Fuel. Let's Eat!

By: Kashmira Puranik
2 Votes

All these ingredients, they grew together in one veggie patch, so it is sort of make sense to put them all together in one dish. Plating is crucial, you want to put some ingredients were put in one spot to showcase their purity while some were scattered to sort or married each ingredients with each other which back to the concept that they grow on a same patch. Hand drawn and hand written with love and passion! :)

By: Ivandrian Gunawan
22 Votes

By: Thomas Schilb
28 Votes

Food is Art..Art is Food.

By: Kashu
6 Votes

Shrimp scampi over pasta!

By: Cathleen Bronsky
9 Votes

By: greg wolf
3 Votes 

time for a drink.

By: Alison Ross
5 Votes

By: maria jose montero
13 Votes

Hmm...Is there a chance to prepare a fishes dish? I mean fishes vs fish. A fishes dish with a mix of different fish cuisines in just a dish, a nice blend of fishes taste. SiennyLovesDrawing loves to eat fish, any cooking styles, hence would like to enjoy a fishes dish with a nice blend of different international cuisines & cooking styles :)

By: SiennyLovesDrawing
11 Votes

Cooking is passion, creativity and, yes, SCIENCE!

By: Mauro Toselli
18 Votes

By: Mako Fufu
35 Votes

Chilean Empanadas remind me of family.

By: Coca Cola Girl
7 Votes

How a chef imagines himself, when he is furry in the kitchen

By: Monika Yaneva
23 Votes

By: Carol McElroy
19 Votes

The chef imagines herself creating magic with her collection of ingredients and talents, while singing.

By: Chhavi Goenka
29 Votes

Yin Yang

By: FluffyMafi
36 Votes

Entering zen mode when cooking. When all the ingredients start to smell good.

By: gretzki
55 Votes

The things I'd like to think that chefs think about.

By: Masahana Kato
12 Votes

The Large Gear represents the

By: Andrew Warren
43 Votes

My 'mind of a chef' entry is depicting what is my idea of a chef would be imagining as a nightmare of a plate to have served up to a guest.

By: Terri Kelleher
22 Votes

Mind of a Chef x DA x A Clockwork

52 Votes

What is on the mind of a chef? I believe it is an assemblage of ideas and influences to create something new and possibly unheard of. Together with heaven iconography and and a puddle of natural textures, the Icee Whip puts the final touch on an otherworldly creation.

By: Rayna Kunzman
10 Votes

Spreading happiness one plate at a time

By: Arianne Z
21 Votes

always a sausage fest

By: cody russell
19 Votes

A chefs worst nightmare is being fed hostile foods with a brain hemorrhagolia the size of a grapefruit.

By: Mike Durkee
3 Votes

The concept of this plate was to focus on the world of Canarsie Brooklyn that inspired Chef Edward Lee. The plate shows the  imagery of the city he grew up with as well as highlights his close relationship with his mother and desire to make his family proud. The goal was to show all the different sights and sounds that Edward grew up in, food related or not, that eventually shaped his appreciation and love of culture and food.

By: Julia Wolinsky
18 Votes

My doodle was inspired by the idea when chefs marries new flavors together. Thought it could make for a fun little comic.

By: Willem Myburgh
5 Votes

but i told you vegan!

By: louise isbjørn
6 Votes

Inspiration- what's swirling through my mind...

By: Sarah Von Paul
5 Votes

The lovely Julia Child in ballpoint pen and crayon :)

By: jlbandeen
3 Votes

Pen lines, digital coloring

By: Villvin Gulbrandsrod
23 Votes

measuring cup chef

By: frank patter
5 Votes

By: Tantowi Iskandar
1 Votes

By: Chus Barrera
49 Votes

As a cook myself, My mind is always brainstorming trying to come up with creative dishes. Whenever I think of a dish I try to pull from different experiences and cooking techniques that I learned from traveling abroad and also throughout my years in culinary school. You could say my mind turns into an octopus pulling ideas and inspirations with its tentacles to form the ultimate dish.

By: Tracy Blijden
21 Votes

What`s cooking? Well, lot of things is going through my mind while cooking. Remember this and that. Did I do that? How about ...?

By: Nina Leth
13 Votes

To me, and it seems to many chefs ;), eggs are the best.
They fit well for every meal, for most type of cuisine. I eat and cook them nearly every day!

By: Renaud Vincent
2 Votes

Kitchen's are where fun is found, creativity is bubbling and laughter is all about. I find myself in the kitchen when I really need to cook up some happiness....and it's contagious!

By: Claire Wildish
13 Votes

Creativity, Care, Happiness, Control, Detail, Chaos

By: Troy Tipton
2 Votes

Peter Raymond Addison.   I love.

By: Peter Raymond Addison
65 Votes

My Mind of a Chef

4 Votes

The Mind of Chef inspired me to start following the work of all the great chefs of our time the last couple of years. It amazes me the preparation that goes into making a truly incredible meal - starting all the way to the health of the soil the vegetables grow in, to our own familial and cultural roots. Creativity, knowledge, and hard work combine to create a form of art that is not only beautiful, but also fundamentally necessary to our survival. These chefs are finding themselves at a pivotal point in time to take us back to how food should really be sourced and prepared, for our own health, as well as the health of the environment. Magnus Nilsson, Sean Brock, David Chang...they may not know it but they are inspiring the rest of us to consider the why and the how behind everything we eat for the first time in a long time, and this gives me hope for the generations that follow us.

By: Jacqueline Garris
18 Votes

When thinking about what's on the mind of a chef when cooking, I imagine them to be anticipating the happy faces of the people they are cooking for, enjoying their creations. When I am asked to cook (which is very rarely), I'm always palpitating at the stove hoping that whatever comes out pleases the crowd. I also think of my dad cooking our family meals and how it makes him happy to see his kids dig into the dishes with reckless abandon. So, for this doodling challenge, I illustrated a table of good people thoroughly enjoying their chef's preparations!

By: Sandra Chiu
17 Votes

By: kasia gala
11 Votes

When you catch your fish by the hook ,
Twist your leg while you cook.

The flavours will flow onto your plate,
That's whats on the Mind of a Chef ,Mate!

By: Anushree Tendolkar
10 Votes

By: Fernanda de la Mora
12 Votes

By: kendra concannon
4 Votes

The mind of a chef has to be clear and simple - just like a tiny green pea.

By: Justė
13 Votes

For me, the mind of a chef is like that of a young child with uninhibited creative courage who can finger paint with the six tastes (Sweet, Salt, Astringent, Pungent, Bitter and Sour) to create something new, something intricate, something delicate and something truly memorable. \r\n\r\nIn this hand drawn work, the patterns are a visual interpretation of food ingredients, representing each of the six tastes.

By: Meena Murugappan
45 Votes

By: Lauren wright
2 Votes

By: Federico
20 Votes

Love the sketch books, keep drawing, and let me know if you all are looking for more graphic designers XD


By: Michael F Slayton
5 Votes

Don't touch your food.

By: Jeff Dowdy
6 Votes

What really runs in the mind of a chef when they think of a particular cuisine?

By: Sneha Ashok
37 Votes

Every chef I've seen draws upon flavors, memories, and moments from their childhood. Dino nuggets, fries, peas & carrots, and cookies are foods many of us remember fondly (or maybe not so fondly) as kid food.

By: Keiko Takamura
21 Votes

I always sketch/illustrate my plates before executing them. I was a tattoo apprentice for a short time, and have always been interested in old school and traditional style art. The simplicity of 3-4 colors and very rudimentary simple lines is something that I still apply to my plates today. Though the flavors may be complex, I still strive for simplicity and easily identifiable hints of nostalgia in my dishes. Thank you for the opportunity to share my artistic and culinary passions, as they are completely intertwined in my life. The direct dish this correlates to is on my Instagram: @forageandfir

By: Jordan Slocum
31 Votes

My favorite chef makes amazing fishes and is inspired by it in all its forms.

By: MC Marquis
23 Votes

By: Petya Konstantinova
57 Votes

Mr. Octopus :)
P.S: every chef dreams to have 4 hands , I guess

By: Vitalina Lytvyn
23 Votes

By: Alice Stevens
9 Votes

I've been a cook for ten years, and my personal goal was to deliver an experience reminiscent of those childhood moments we all love.

By: Serena Stelitano
14 Votes


  1. This is so much fun! I love to draw, and cook!! my 2 passions in life! this is a great site, glad my friend showed it to me!-cheers!

  2. :-( It won't let me upload my jpg no matter how small I make it.

  3. I can´t upload either! :(

  4. The Submission guideline says 25th Jan 2016,11am EST, but the current status shows 1d 23 hr 46 min..which is true?

  5. Anushree Tendolkar, Looks like they extended the deadline!

  6. @To all: Due to some folks having technical difficulties with uploads, we've extended the deadline to Wednesday, January 27 at 12pm EST (Noon).

  7. @To all: If by some reason you are having further issues during the next few days, please feel free to use the contact form to notify us. Some things that might help: (1) Make sure the image is saved as a .jpg (not .jpeg); (2) Double check file size - it should be 2MB or less; (3) If you have the ability to save the jpg as RGB (instead of CMYK), use that setting. Good luck!

  8. yay! cool thank you :)

  9. @anushree - no problem. Sorry for the issues everyone! :)

  10. Awesome idea! Can't wait to see all the delicious doodles.

  11. should extend a little more!

  12. should extend a little more!

  13. Who's hungry?

  14. I am disappointed I found this site at 2:30PM! Here is a link to what I would have submitted...

  15. I don't even know how to upload an image?

  16. How do you vote?

  17. All the best

  18. Congrats all. What fun & tasty submissions!

  19. Congrats to all!

  20. Great drawings everyone!

  21. Awesome works!! I want to see the winers!!! :)

  22. Great work !

  23. Great work guys. Congrats

  24. Nice job everyone!

  25. Good luck

  26. Good luck, everyone! I enjoyed voting; so many wonderful interpretations of the theme and so much talent! Bravo!

  27. Great job guys! :D

  28. When do they announce the winner?

  29. Congrats Judy Wong!

  30. Hurray, thanks you guys! \o/ haha...uh...what happens now?

  31. Congrats Judy!

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