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Mitchell, South Dakota: Happy Chef (Gone)

Spoon-waving, joke-cracking mascot cook stood until Happy Chef closed in 2002, and he was hauled off to the city landfill.

Intersection of I-90 and SD 37/Burr Steet.

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Happy Chef

We're sorry to report that the corpulent, white aproned, Happy Chef will no longer be holding his spoon aloft. On May 6, 2002 the Happy Chef restaurant became an Ember's and the BIG gentle Chef was consigned to the city landfill. The shortsighted city officials prohibit removing anything from the dump and therefore a local landmark is forever lost (except for the feet/shoes of the Chef the we're lovingly saved and converted to useful and decorative outdoor planters). RIP Good Friend, We'll miss you!

[J. D. Taylor, 05/12/2002]

Happy Chef.

Happy Chef

While visiting the Corn Palace I stumbled upon a Happy Chef in Mitchell. I took his picture mostly because he makes a cameo appearance in RA's Wiener Fever Dream Tour and because he's a really big roadside sculpture. Something about the Happy Chef continued to haunt me upon my return home. What's with his bowlegged stance? And that crazed expression? Then it hit me; this is a statue of a crazed man who suffers from rickets, has beaten the kitchen staff at the local sanitarium, stolen a chef hat and spoon and is racing to freedom, arms pinwheeling in lunatic joy. Don't you agree?

[Greg Brown, 09/30/2001]

Yes, exactly what we were thinking.

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