|“||Welcome to Hell. Now, recreate the soup. Take as much time as you need. All week if you must.||„|
|~ Chef Skinner mocking Linguini.|
|“||You might think you are a chef, but you are still only a rat.||„|
|~ Chef Skinner to Remy after capturing him.|
|“||WHO COOKED THE RATATOUILLE?! I DEMAND TO KNOW!||„|
|~ Chef Skinner's last lines in the film before being thrown in the refrigerator along with the health inspector (although they are both released during the end of the film).|
Chef Skinner is the main antagonist of Pixar's 8th full-length animated feature film Ratatouille. He is the former sous-chef under the restaurant Gusteau's and the former employer of Linguini.
Chef Skinner is shown to be very cunning, greedy, deceiving, manipulative and villainous. When he discovers Remy is the brains behind Linguini's tasty recipes, he decides to capture Remy and force him to create his frozen foods for him. Skinner is also bent on claiming the restaurant as his when Auguste Gusteau had no heir.
Despite his nature, Skinner takes his job as a chef seriously. For example, despite Linguini disobeying him, he gave him a chance to prove his worth and kept him on after he thought that his soup was excellent. He further displays this by becoming upset with Linguini for possibly serving a substandard meal; proving that he is somewhat passionate about his job despite selling out with frozen food. Also, when marketing his frozen food, he made sure that Gusteau looked like he did in real life, even telling the person designing it to show some respect.
Skinner was sous-chef under Gusteau but became the head chef after his death. In Gusteau's will, it was stated that Skinner would inherit Gusteau's business interests if no heir appeared within two years after the latter's death. Skinner did not hold Gusteau's ideals in the highest regard and was more interested in personal profit from his line of Chef Gusteau Frozen Foods. This line comprised of several different foreign foods like chicken, haggis, burritos, ribs, and corn dogs to appease oversea markets, with Gusteau as its image to woo buyers.
Skinner later hires Alfredo Linguini to work at the restaurant as the plongeur (garbage boy) when he learns that Linguini's mother Renata, with whom Gusteau was close, requested that Linguini get the job before her recent death. He is shocked when Linguini makes a soup that night that impresses a food critic that just happened to be at the restaurant, although it was Remy who cooked it in secret. Suspicious, Skinner reluctantly agrees not to fire Linguini and forces him to make the soup again, believing that it is all a fluke.
After Linguini and Remy team up, they successfully recreate the soup and impress Skinner. However, they become rivals when Skinner learns that Linguini is Gusteau's biological son, and is determined to keep Linguini from discovering this fact. He becomes even more determined when he sees Linguini making contact with Remy on numerous occasions, suspecting that Linguini is scheming something bad in the restaurant.
He loses the restaurant to Linguini when it comes out that Linguini is the son of the dead chief, as Remy discovered the paternity test results that Skinner tried to steal and gave it to Linguini so that he may assume his rightful place as owner. Linguini later cancels the frozen food line altogether, as it was smearing Gusteau's image.
Skinner spies on Linguini and eventually discovers that Remy is the real cook. In order to get revenge on both of them, he captures Remy and intends on forcing him to create a new line of frozen foods, while attending the restaurant in disguise to see Linguini fail miserably and endure another scathing review from the famed critic Anton Ego. Fortunately, Remy escapes and had his swarm of rats to help Linguini serve the dishes without attracting any attention from the customers.
To Skinner's great amusement, Linguini served him and Ego a simple dish of ratatouille but is surprised when Ego likes it. After Skinner tries his dish and finds its taste irresistible as well, he races to the kitchen to find that Remy and his colony of rats cooked the dish. The rats are then forced to bind him with the ropes and gags him with duct tape. He is then thrown in the refrigerator along with the health inspector who has been bound and gagged as well.
Despite the restaurant getting a high-star review from Ego for Remy's delicious recipe, the rats were forced to let Skinner and the health inspector loose, since they cannot keep them cooped up forever. This allows Skinner and the health inspector to report the rat infestation to the health department, causing the restaurant to be closed and Ego losing his job and his credibility as a critic. Despite the restaurant being closed down, Linguini and Remy manage to open a new successful bistro called La Ratatouille to serve for both humans and rats alike with the help from Colette and Ego (who now works as a business investor). Upon hearing of Linguini and Remy's newfound success, Skinner finally leaves them alone, knowing that it is not worth the trouble.
- Skinner's name is a nod to the late behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, who was famous for his experiments with rats.
- Skinner's behavior, diminutive size, and body language are loosely based on the late Louis de Funès.
- Skinner's line: "Welcome to Hell", could be a reference to Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, where Ramsay said "Welcome to Hell" a few times.
- Skinner using a footstool to get up to a stove references to an old emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, who to this day is mocked for being short for his age.
- Skinner is one of the four main Pixar villains to succeed in his plans, with the other three being Chick Hicks from Cars, Ernesto de la Cruz from Coco (despite his plan being foiled), and Gabby Gabby from Toy Story 4 (despite turning good at the end).
- In the video game adaptation of the film, his fate is different from the movie. Instead of being locked into the refrigerator and being released shortly thereafter to close down the restaurant, Skinner is accidentally crushed by the chandelier while chasing Remy throughout the restaurant, furious by the food's delicacy he made for Anton Ego. The restaurant is still exposed for a rat infestation though, but Remy decides to open up the new La Ratatouille restaurant with the help of Linguini. Skinner is last shown watching in anger finding out Linguini opening-up the new La Ratatouille restaurant, with Remy as its head chef.
- Despite closing down Gusteau's in both the movie and the video game, Skinner is still Remy's adversary, as he appears as a boss in the PSP version of Ratatouille: The Video Game, which takes place after the events of the film.
- His real age is presumably unknown, but the actor providing his voice was around 75 years old at the time. However, Skinner would likely be in his mid 60s.
- Even though he is the main antagonist, he has only around 16 minutes of screen-time.
- Skinner is Ian Holm's fifth voice role.