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- "Greetings, Gentles! It is I, your culinary caretaker Ms. Gormaanda to once again guide your taste receptors on an ethereal journey."
Gormaanda was a female member of a four-armed species and a four-star-rated chef. Thrice the winner of the Orto Culinary Academy Award for Engorgable Excellence, she also authored the book Travels with Gormaanda: Cooking in the Core and wrote a cooking column for HoloNet News. She considered her recipes to be affordable and delicious, and in 22 BBY, when fresh ingredients were not readily available throughout the Galactic Republic, Gormaanda included in her column a recipe for Glowblue Noodles and Chav, a modular dish that could feature any one of a number of meats as its primary ingredient.
Gormaanda additionally recorded instructional cooking cassettes that were available in the galaxy as late as 1 ABY. She frequently prepared food in an energetic and animated fashion, and encouraged her viewers and readers to cook with similar fervor. She was also prone to tasting her cooking and squealing with delight; in a cassette demonstrating the preparation of a bantha surprise dish, Gormaanda's excitement led her to cook so rapidly that all four of her arms were required to perform the task. The cassette was viewed in 1 ABY by the Wookiee Mallatobuck, who, having only two arms, was unable to keep pace.
- "Don't forget to tip your FA droids while on Coruscant. They are programmed to blacklist the stingy."
- ―An excerpt from Travels with Gormaanda: Cooking in the Core
Gormaanda, a female member of a four-armed species, worked as a chef during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. During her lifetime, she traveled throughout the galaxy's Core Worlds on a cooking-related journey. One of the stops on her itinerary was the planet Coruscant, where she became familiar with the programmed tendency of FA-5 valet droids to blacklist non-tipping customers from their places of employment. Gormaanda wrote a book about her experiences entitled Travels with Gormaanda: Cooking in the Core. Prior to 22 BBY, she won the Orto Culinary Academy Award for Engorgable Excellence on three occasions, and by that year, she had become a four-star-rated chef.
Also by 22 BBY, Gormaanda authored "Gormaanda's Culinary Corner," a lifestyle column that appeared in HoloNet News newsfeeds throughout the Republic. When the availability of fresh ingredients in Republic space grew scarce due to the ongoing Separatist Crisis, she reacted by writing a column that detailed the preparation of Glowblue Noodles and Chav, a dish that could be prepared using any one of a wide variety of meats, or even with no meat at all. In addition to writing her HoloNet News column, Gormaanda recorded instructional cooking cassettes; one such cassette, featuring the chef preparing a bantha surprise dish, was viewed on the planet Kashyyyk in 1 ABY by the Wookiee Mallatobuck, who was preparing a feast for the Wookiee holiday Life Day.
Personality and traits
- "Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir. Come on, faster! All together now! Cooking can be fun!"
- ―Gormaanda, animatedly preparing a bantha surprise
As a four-star-rated chef, Gormaanda placed stock in the dining experience of her readers and viewers, and she shared recipes with them that she herself considered to be delicious. On at least one occasion, Gormaanda referred to herself as the "culinary caretaker" of her column's readers, and claimed that she would take their taste buds on an "ethereal journey." Gormaanda also cared for her fans' pocketbooks and frequently prepared dishes that were affordable for the economically meek. In Travels with Gormaanda: Cooking in the Core, she gave advice to her readers regarding how not to get blacklisted from Coruscanti eating establishments.
Gormaanda's recipes catered to many different types of beings—her Glowblue Noodles and Chav dish was suitable for both the omnivorous and for those whose metabolism rejected meat, and it accounted for varying degrees of consumer jaw size. Furthermore, its primary ingredient was modular, which Gormaanda believed would be beneficial to her readers while the Separatist Crisis plagued the Republic and wrought havoc upon comestible deliveries. Although her dishes were typically designed for a set number of consumers, Gormaanda acknowledged that different beings had differently sized "tummies."
Gormaanda prepared food in a very animated fashion and encouraged her readers to do the same. She frequently tasted her cooking and made positive remarks about it; she was also prone to uttering squeals of joy during meal preparation. In her bantha surprise cooking cassette, Gormaanda stirred, whipped, and beat the dish in a rhythmic and increasingly rapid fashion. She claimed that it was necessary to produce a precise and consistent final product, and that it contributed to a fun cooking experience. However, Gormaanda's own elation caused her speed to crescendo to the point that all four of her arms were required to stir, whip, beat, and taste the bantha surprise. While viewing the cassette, Mallatobuck—herself possessed of only two arms—grew frustrated at that point and turned the program off.
On her four-armed body, Gormaanda had grey hair, yellow eyes, and greyish-brown skin. Her hair was worn in two high buns and at times fell askew when she was cooking animatedly. Gormaanda's favored cooking apparel included a purple shirt covered with a white apron, as well as four white gloves. Ingredients were sometimes worn on a chain around her neck.
Behind the scenes
- "I suppose I'll just have to be content watching my old beat-up VHS copy of 'The Star Wars Holiday Special' knowing that Korman must have had a blast cooking with four arms as he screamed 'Stir, whip, stir, whip, beat, beat, stir!' We'll Miss You, Gormaanda!"
- ―Bonnie Burton, following the death of Harvey Korman
The character of Gormaanda first appeared in The Star Wars Holiday Special, a 1978 television variety show spin-off of the 1977 film Star Wars. The role was one of three played by actor Harvey Korman, and the Holiday Special's script refers to the character's lone scene as the "Harvey Korman kitchen segment;" it additionally calls Gormaanda "a female chef who enjoys her own cooking." Star Wars author Daniel Wallace has asserted that Korman's performance was a parody of Julia Child, a famous chef and television personality noted for her simultaneously instructional and entertaining cooking shows. Author Bonnie Burton has similarly called Gormaanda "the multi-armed Julia Child-in-outer-space," and multiple sources have dubbed her the "Julia Child of the Milky Way."
After its initial and thus far only airing, the Holiday Special was heavily panned. Gormaanda's scene has been noted by critics as being one of the program's especially bizarre segments. In 2010, an article published on Total Film magazine's website ranked Gormaanda in seventh place on its list of "30 stupidest [sic] Star Wars characters," attributing the character's scene in the Holiday Special as the driving force behind the ranking.
Contrarily, both Steve Binder, the Holiday Special's director, and SKot Kirkwood, administrator of the fan site Starwarsholidayspecial.com, have named Gormaanda's scene as one of their favorite parts of the program. Bonnie Burton has expressed her fondness for the character, citing Korman's performance as one of the primary reasons behind her love for the Holiday Special. Following Korman's death in 2008, both Burton and Heather McPherson, a food writer for the Orlando Sentinel, wrote sorrowful blog entries with titles indicating that "Gormaanda" would be missed.
Elsewhere in Star Wars canon, Gormaanda has appeared in "Gormaanda's Culinary Corner: Glowblue Noodles & Chav," an article written by Pablo Hidalgo and Paul Ens that was published online in Volume 531, Issue 50 of the HoloNet News website in 2002. In the article, an illustration of Gormaanda was drawn by artist Joe Corroney. The chef was also briefly referenced by Daniel Wallace in 2006's The New Essential Guide to Droids; in a series of endnotes that Wallace wrote for the guide, he incorrectly stated that Gormaanda was a six-armed being.
- The Star Wars Holiday Special (First appearance)
- Star Wars Galaxy Series 1 (Card: The Star Wars Holiday Special)
- "Galactic Bazaar"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 7
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- "I Have a Bad Feeling About This!"—Star Wars Insider 106