“Everyone gathers around the campfire, their mouths watering at the tasty smells emanating from the boiling pot. Gordon sits patiently, stirring the stew until it is bubbling with perfection. It doesn’t matter how many dragons attack in the next few minutes; no one will notice until they’ve eaten every last drop!”—The Dragon Slayers, at meal time.
Is it possible to hone your cooking skills as an adventurer whose life is spent on the road? In D&D, anything is possible, even eating well in a spooky cave. Let’s get cooking with the Chef feat.
What is Chef 5e?
The text for the feat from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything reads: Time spent mastering the culinary arts has paid off, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Constitution or Wisdom score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- You gain proficiency with cook’s utensils if you don’t already have them.
- As part of a short rest, you can cook special food, provided you have ingredients and cooking utensils on hand. You can prepare enough food for a number of creatures equal to 4 + your proficiency bonus. At the end of the short rest, any creature who eats the food and spends one or more Hit Dice to regain hit points regains an extra 1d8 hit points.
- With one hour of work or when you finish a long rest, you can cook a number of treats equal to your proficiency bonus. These special treats last 8 hours after being made. A creature can use a bonus action to eat one of those treats to gain temporary hit points equal to your proficiency bonus.
How Does Chef Work?
Chef works in a few excellent ways. For one thing, your character gains two separate but related cooking abilities: refreshing the party during a short rest and nourishing the party after a long rest. For parties who frequently take short rests to heal up with Hit Dice, Chef is a valuable feat as the party can regain extra hit points. Note that these are not temporary hit points, so someone can’t gain them in addition to their normal hit point maximum.
Chef also allows a character to prepare various snacks to be enjoyed throughout the day. The snacks only take a bonus action to eat, which means if you distribute them to party members before a fight, they can even snack during combat for a few temporary hit points.
GameCows Tip: Temporary hit points don’t stack. If someone eats a treat and gains 4 temporary HP on their turn, they have to wait until they’ve lost those HP before gaining more from another snack, spell, or magical effect.
Is Chef Good?
Recently introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Chef is one of the newer feats in 5e and has taken player feedback into account to improve aspects where the older feats are lacking. These recent feats give a +1 bonus to an Ability Score of your choice in addition to the features specific to the feat.
For Chef, that Ability Score bonus rescues it from being a so-so feat to one of the better options. Wisdom and Constitution are essential Ability Scores for many classes, and plenty of builds can spare an ASI to improve one of those scores and gain a few ways to give members of your party temporary hit points.
We recommend waiting until at least level 5 (when your Proficiency Bonus is +3) to take this feat so that your treats give a significant number of temporary hit points.
Which Classes Make the Most of Chef?
As noted above, the characters who benefit the most from this feat need to increase their Wisdom or Constitution scores. However, any character can benefit from a Constitution score increase. So, who could make the most of Chef?
Typically, Clerics would do best with Chef because they have one primary Ability Score (Wisdom) and can wear medium or heavy armor. Since their ACs are usually higher, they don’t need to worry about putting ASI points into Dexterity like many other classes and can take this feat.
Remember that the special treats are limited and only confer a few temporary hit points. You don’t want those conflicting with another feat like Inspiring Leader or a spell like Armor of Agathys that gives more.