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Graham Atkinson
Atkinson
Atkinson (right) and his cook Leslie (left).

Japanese Name

グレイアム・アトキンソン

Romanized Name

Gureiamu Atokinson

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Mr. Atkinson (アトキンソン様 Atokinson-sama)


Master (旦那様 Danna-sama)


Gourmet (美食家 Bishokuka)

Debut

Chapter 1 (light novel 1)

Voice actor

N/A

Status

Alive

Graham Atkinson is a reputed gourmet who’s after the best cooking in the world. He invited Hugh and Dalian to a dinner party in order to obtain the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking and find the ultimate culinary experience. Leslie is the head chef of his mansion. He is present in the Gastronomy Worship story.

Background[]

Newspapers report about Mr. Atkinson’s cuisine. Several healthy people, including members of the House of Lords, try to hire his chef Leslie. Everyone knows about the gourmet, even at the capital. Mr. Atkinson grew his fortune in his youth, negotiating futures contracts related to cereal grains. It’s said that his monthly dinner parties contributed to the development of his company. He continues to invite guests for dinner even after retirement, for business reasons. His famous recipes are not his creations as it’s believed, but his chef’s. His dishes receive negative criticism for sometimes requiring endangered animals and plants. There’s a rumor that human bones were found in the garbage of his kitchen. However, he’s untouchable due to his influential position. Mr. Atkinson knows about the Labyrinth Library, the Biblioprincess and her former and current key-keeper.

Thirteen years before the main events of the Gastronomy Worship story, Mr. Atkinson fired his chef, since he had used slightly injured ingredients to cook. The chef couldn’t satisfy his master. The former died soon after. The gourmet employed the chef’s daughter, Leslie. He became attracted by her cooking skills. He didn’t know, however, that she was the owner of the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking. At first, Leslie planned to poison Mr. Atkinson as revenge for her father’s fate. Later, she would aim to serve him with the best cooking in the world.

His land has crops of the highest quality and a thick forest with abundant fauna. The hunting ground offers pheasants, rabbits and wild boars. A middle-aged man wearing an expensive coat drives a high-class carriage drawn by two horses, allowing Leslie, the head chef of the Atkinson’s mansion, to shop for the best ingredients. The cart’s loading platform can hold many products such as vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and cheese, all to be used for Mr. Atkinson’s meal. The kitchen at his mansion is the perfect environment for cooks, where they can use any ingredients, regardless of rarity. It’s a large area, the ground paved with stone tiles, with many servants, including kitchen and scullery maids. The huge mansion, built a long time ago, is located on a hill, with a view over the lush forest. Mr. Atkinson’s monthly dinner parties are conducted in a great hall inside his mansion. Through the window of his study, one can see a huge forest and wheat fields at the back of the mansion. The study has comfortable seats in the center and bookshelves on both sides, filled to the ceiling with rare books. Literature available is not only about gourmet, but also about natural history and physics. He also has access to many tools to exercise. Instead of a desk, he has a dining table.[1]

Personality[]

Gourmet food is what he most value. It’s his greatest pleasure in life. He treats the kitchen staff very well, providing the perfect environment and the best, rarest ingredients. He lives in the countryside only to have access to the best raw materials. He doesn’t allow storage of food. Everything used for his meal must be fresh. He gathers knowledge in order to improve his gastronomy experiences. For instance, he cares about his health and reads to make his brain consume more calories. After all, food tastes better when one’s hungry. He also exercises to increase his basal metabolism and, consequently, the quantity of food he needs to consume. He keeps a balanced diet, never eating too much, nor getting too hungry. The man proudly flexes his muscles. According to Leslie, he doesn’t accept food prepared by subordinate cooks. Mr. Atkinson was attracted to Leslie’s cooking skills when he hired her. The demanding gourmet fired her father after he used slightly injured ingredients.

Although he offers a dinner party, he doesn’t eat with his guests. He doesn’t like how they keep talking during the meal. The recipes offered at his party have lower qualities, otherwise the amateurs wouldn’t understand the taste. Mr. Atkinson believes that, for a person to savor the best food, the body must present an equivalent quality. According to him, a fat person or a smoker are unable to appreciate the best cooking. He seeks the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking to savor the best cooking in the world before his death, regardless of the Phantom Book value. He becomes irritated when Hugh hesitates in giving it to him, and broken-hearted when he learns that the Phantom Book was in Leslie’s possession.[1]

Appearance[]

Graham Atkinson seems to be over 50. He’s a short man with a well-built body, with the physique of an active soldier.[1]

Plot[]

Hugh and Dalian are riding to Mr. Atkinson’s mansion as guests. When the car breaks, they take a lift on a carriage. Coincidentally, Leslie, Atkinson’s servant, was also heading to the mansion. Inside the vehicle, Leslie talks about her master. She went after the finest ingredients for her master’s meal. The precooking for tonight’s dinner party was already done. The gourmet usually eats by himself. Everything presented to him must be as fresh as possible. Mr. Atkinson once dismissed someone for using slightly injured ingredients. His cuisine is featured in newspapers and coveted by the wealthiest people, who try to hire his chef. However, the chef’s only purpose is to serve the most delicious dishes to Mr. Atkinson. The latter provides the best environment and ingredients for cooks, including raw materials from his own land.

Inside the mansion, Hugh and Dalian see many influential people having a conversation, everyone proud for having an invitation. According to Hugh, Mr. Atkinson built his fortune by negotiating grain future contracts. Now, even retired, he continued to arrange his famous dinner parties every month. A young man affirms that the recipes prepared were splendid. It’s said that the dinner parties are the reason for Mr. Atkinson’s success.

Hugh and Dalian had been invited to Mr. Atkinson’s study. There, the man identifies Hugh as inheritor of the Labyrinth Library and Wesley’s grandson. The gourmet tells the butler to prepare some tea for them. Mr. Atkinson shares part of his knowledge about how to improve a gastronomy experience. Everything he does in life is to make food more delicious. He collected books of different fields. He reads in order to burn calories, he trains his muscles to increase his basal metabolism, he takes care of his health, he follows a balanced diet to not eat too much, nor feel too hungry. All methods to better appreciate gourmet food. He believes that only a high-quality body can properly savor a high-quality food. That’s why he doesn’t eat with his guests. They won’t stop talking during the holy time. They aren’t health enough to value the finest dishes. The dinner party is only business-related. The cooks wouldn’t give their best while preparing it. If they did, people wouldn't be able to understand the complex tastes.

Hugh asks why Mr. Atkinson has invited them. The gourmet wishes to taste the perfect cuisine before dying. For that, he wants to borrow the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking. He becomes irritated and offers money when Hugh hesitates. According to Hugh, the Phantom Book is already in someone’s possession, as described in Wesley’s diary. Mr. Atkinson sinks in his seat, frustrated. He deduces that the head chef of the mansion has the Phantom Book, the one he hired thirteen years ago. The chef is the responsible for the famous recipes attributed to Mr. Atkinson. However, even with such a power, the devastated gourmet never tasted the ultimate cooking. Before Hugh and Dalian head to the kitchen, Mr. Atkinson asks about their purpose. Dalian informs that the return date for the Phantom Book is tonight.

At the great hall, the guests were savoring the main dishes. Hugh heard rumors about Mr. Atkinson using endangered species in his recipes, including human parts. However, no one questions the influential gourmet. At the kitchen, Leslie identifies herself as Mr. Atkinson’s head chef and the owner of the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking. The Phantom Book had allowed her to be hired by the gourmet. Leslie wants to serve the best cooking for her master. She locks Hugh and Dalian inside her underground room before heading to Mr. Atkinson’s study.

Later, Hugh and Dalian find Mr. Atkinson in a state of bliss, tasting the main dish prepared by Leslie. It’s a freshly cooked and sliced meat, covered by specially made sauce. The head chef was acting like a waitress, filling his plate as requested. Leslie explains that her father’s was the former chef who was dismissed for using slightly injured ingredients. She planned to get revenge, poisoning Mr. Atkinson, but the gourmet would never accept her cooking. In time, she agreed that firing an incompetent cook was the right decision. Leslie’s role in life was giving Mr. Atkinson the ultimate gastronomy experience. She learnt how to cook animals while preventing them from feeling pain. This way, the taste and texture are improved. If raw materials feel pleasure during cook, the taste will be even better. For humans, tasting gourmet food is one of the most enjoyable experiences. Therefore, at such moment, the human brain is the best ingredient in the world. That’s why Leslie was opening Mr. Atkinson’s skull and slicing part of his brain. The gourmet had a smile on his face, savoring the bizarre meal.[1]

Trivia[]

  • In Dalian Days, Dalian tells the story about a gourmet who lived in an old castle and ate his own brain.[2]
Atkinson Castle

Atkinson's castle, as depicted in Dalian Days.

  • A futures contract, practiced by Graham Atkinson, is a standardized legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The first futures contracts were negotiated for agricultural commodities.[3]
  • Graham mentions that he reads only to increase his hunger and make food taste better.[1] In fact, when the body is at rest, the brain uses up a startling 20% to 25% of the body's overall energy. The brain is the most energy-expensive organ in the body, and yet it makes up only 2% of the body's weight. The brain uses more energy when a person has a difficult mental task, but the increment is not substantial.[5]
    • He says that food tastes better when you're hungry.[1] Actually, it's suggested that hunger increases the ability to taste, by increasing the sensitivity of the taste receptors of the tongue, or by changing the way a taste stimuli is perceived. Palate is also influenced by body mass, health and consumption of alcohol and drugs.[6]
  • Graham has a hunting ground with pheasants.[1] These birds are native to Asia, but were introduced into much of Europe by the Romans, possibly arriving in the United Kingdom with the Normans in the 11th century. Largely forgotten and locally extinct up until the 19th century, they became a popular gamebird once again and are extensively reared by gamekeepers.[7]
    • Boars were hunted to extinction in Britain around the beginning of the 17th century. Back in the mid-1970s, a few farmers in southern England began importing wild boar from eastern Europe to farm for meat. In 2012, there were between 500 and 1,000 wild boars in the United Kingdom.[8]
  • A sketch of Atkinson and Leslie is seen in one of the color illustrations of the light novel volume 1.[9]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novelChapter 1, volume 1.
  2. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian Dalian Days manga, Chapter 9.
  3. Futures contract.(2020, February 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:22, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Futures_contract&oldid=943074278
  4. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novelChapter 3, volume 1.
  5. Emma Bryce. How Many Calories Can the Brain Burn by Thinking? (2019, November 9). In Live Science. Retrieved 10:52, April 4, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/burn-calories-brain.html
  6. Yuriy P Zverev. Effects of caloric deprivation and satiety on sensitivity of the gustatory system. (2004, February 23). In BMC Neuroscience 5. Retrieved 11:05, April 4, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC368433/
  7. Pheasant. In The Wildlife Trusts. Retrieved 10:28, April 4, 2020, from https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/birds/grouse-partridges-pheasant-and-quail/pheasant
  8. Bella Bathurst. Here comes trouble: the return of the wild boar to Britain. (2012, March 4). In The Guardian. Retrieved 10:36, April 4, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/mar/04/trouble-return-wild-boar-britain
  9. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 1.
Characters

Biblioprincesses

Dalian - Flamberge - Rasiel

Key-keepers

Hugh Anthony Disward - Hal Kamhout - Professor

Recurring characters

The Girl in the Bookshelf - Wesley Disward - Kamilla Sauer Keynes - Jessica Elphinstone - Shura Irmania - Armand Jeremiah - The Perennial Wisdom's Owner - Oliver Grosseteste - Mithril - Hugh's mother - Hugh's father - Natalia - Hal's beloved - Miss Roedean

Creatures and machines

Atlantic Rim - Automaton - Beast of Ashwell - Book of Royal Power - Branches of Relationship - Broken Wings - Dantalian - Dead Book - Ghost train - Golem - Guignols - Guillemot - Heath - House-elf - Kasuruhau - Logbook - Loge's giant - Musical automaton - Pioneer Plant - The Harlequinade's creatures - Ras Alhague monster - Scarlet Robe - Sea devils - Steam Giant - The Queen of the Night - W Machine - Winged women - Wooden dolls - Zombies

Dalian Days

Priscilla Riley - Cecil Patreina - Margaret Manschwell

Others

Male Characters - Female Characters
Phantom Book Users - Deceased Characters
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