Jerome "Chef" McElroy was a cartoon character on the Comedy Central series South Park who was voiced by soul singer Isaac Hayes. A cafeteria worker (as his nickname implies) at the local elementary school in the town of South Park, Colorado, Chef was generally portrayed as more level-headed than the other adult residents of the town. His guidance was often sought by the show's core group of child protagonists – Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick – as he was usually the only adult whom they consistently trusted. To an inadvertent fault, he would frequently give inappropriate advice, usually in the non sequitur form of a lascivious soul song.
Chef was inspired by Hayes and other popular soul singers of the 1970s, as well as an actual dining hall worker encountered by series co-creator Trey Parker while he attended the University of Colorado. Chef played a less prominent role as the series progressed beyond its earlier seasons, and the character was killed off at the beginning of the tenth season in "The Return of Chef" following the controversial departure of Hayes.