The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Tale of Despereaux can help.
The head chef at the castle, Cook is a strict, difficult woman who’s known for her amazing soup recipes and her hatred of mice. She believes firmly in the healing and community-building power of soup, so she’s devastated when King Phillip outlaws soup following Queen Rosemary’s death. When it comes to those working under her, Cook demands perfection and obedience—and she’s willing to hit her subordinates if they can’t perform. When the Princess Pea goes missing, Cook defies the law and makes soup to comfort herself. She also rethinks her hatred of mice and shares some of her soup with Despereaux.

Cook Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by Cook or refer to Cook. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
).
Chapter 39 Quotes

“It will be all right,” said Louise.

Cook brought the hem of her apron up to wipe at her tears. “It won’t,” she said. “It won’t be all right ever again. They’ve taken our little darling away. There ain’t nothing left to live for without the princess.”

Despereaux was amazed to have exactly what was in his heart spoken aloud by such a ferocious, mouse-hating woman as Cook.

Related Characters: Louise (speaker), Cook (speaker), Despereaux Tilling, The Princess Pea, Chiaroscuro “Roscuro”
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 45 Quotes

Cook smiled. “See?” she said. “There ain’t a body, be it mouse or man, that ain’t made better by a little soup.”

Related Symbols: Soup
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

Cook Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character Cook appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...soup more than anything, aside from the Princess Pea and King Phillip. For this reason, Cook serves soup at every meal and goes to great lengths to craft soups that are... (full context)
Chapter 30
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...Mig’s inability to perform any task to Louise’s satisfaction, Louise sends Mig to work for Cook in the kitchen. Mig makes horrible mistakes there too, such as scrubbing the floor with... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Shouting, Cook gives Mig her instructions: take the tray to the dungeon, wait for the old man... (full context)
Chapter 32
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...tray back to Mig. Mig says she must now take the tray back upstairs to Cook and repeats all her instructions to Gregory. Gregory asks if Cook warned her to beware... (full context)
Chapter 34
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...to the light.” Now, Mig enters the kitchen with the tray and loudly announces to Cook that she’s back from the dungeons. Cook shouts that Mig must clear the tray, and... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...off Despereaux’s tail. Despereaux races away from the pain, scurrying just like a mouse should. Cook scolds Mig for just getting the tail and approaches the girl, prepared to hit her. (full context)
Chapter 38
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...King Phillip dreams that the queen is a bird who keeps calling his name, while Cook dreams that she lost the recipe for the queen’s favorite soup. Despereaux is asleep not... (full context)
Chapter 39
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...on what Roscuro and Miggery Sow had done.” Despereaux wakes up to hear Louise and Cook shouting: they don’t know what happened to “her,” and Gregory is dead. Despereaux peeks around... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Louise reaches out to comfort Cook, but Cook slaps her hand away and says nothing will ever be right again. There’s... (full context)
Chapter 43
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...so Despereaux continues on and notices too late that there’s a light in the kitchen. Cook is there, stirring soup on the stove. She’s smiling, and the steam in the candlelight... (full context)
Chapter 44
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Cook asks who’s there again, but Despereaux stays quiet. To herself, Cook says she’s just afraid... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Again, Cook whirls around and asks who’s there. Despereaux hides behind the spool of thread as Cook... (full context)
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...afraid that he can’t move. He sits on the kitchen floor and cries. He expected Cook to kill him, but instead, she laughed—and it’s surprising how much that hurts. (full context)
Chapter 45
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
After stirring the soup, Cook turns back to Despereaux and tells him this is the only time he’ll pass through... (full context)
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Cook asks how the soup is, and Despereaux says it’s perfect. Smiling, Cook says that soup... (full context)
Chapter 46
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...his heart is filled with love for the Pea and his stomach is full of Cook’s soup. So, he begins to work the spool of thread down the stairs. To “make... (full context)
Chapter 51
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...soup. The Pea promises that if he leads them out of the dungeon, she’ll ask Cook to make soup and Roscuro can eat it in the banquet hall. (full context)