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I don’t care what sort of gang you run with, or what kind of reprobates you are. You’ve got solid skills as a cook and bartender, and I’ll vouch for those. Besides, you were the only duo with a bartender that I could think of.

–Gregoire to Jon and Fang, 1931 The Grand Punk Railroad: Express/Epilogue II

Gregoire (グレゴワール Guregowāru) is a chef who once cooked for a circus troupe and later served as Head Chef aboard the Flying Pussyfoot.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Gregoire is middle-aged, sporting short salt-and-pepper hair and a cropped beard as well as a vertical scar slashed down his right eye. Aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, he wears a white chef's uniform and hat.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Gregoire considers cuisine his top priority in life. Such is his dedication that he will remain by his post no matter what, such as the time (according to rumor) he remained by his pan despite a gas explosion right next to him. Though he normally speaks gruffly – his voice having been described as like that of a bear's – he does speak cordially to the passengers on the Flying Pussyfoot. However, he does so to irresponsibly inform them to act independently with the goal of ensuring their survival no matter what.

He places greater importance on a person's skill than their background or deeds, even if they are a criminal by trade.

Chronology[edit | edit source]

1910s-1920s[edit | edit source]

Gregoire cooks for a circus troupe for several years, whose members include the eccentric-looking ringmaster, the animal trainer Parrot, the self-proclaimed vampire Doubs Hewley, Cookie the bear, a boxing girl, and the young newcomer Claire Stanfield. During one memorable incident in 1920, Claire visits Gregoire for cooking wine with which he can treat a bite wound he received from Cookie.

In the mid-1920s, the circus has a major run-in with a large, hostile gang and its members scatter. By the time Claire and the ringmaster 'take down' the gang, there is almost no one left.

With the circus broken up, Gregoire finds work as the head chef for the Flying Pussyfoot. He and Claire reconnect either in or prior to 1927, and he helps Claire secure work as a train conductor thanks to his insider position.

1930s[edit | edit source]

On December 30, 1931, Gregoire and other railway staff prepare for the departure of the Flying Pussyfoot from Chicago's Union Station that upcoming evening. Gregoire's subordinates include several assistant chefs (including Fang Lin-Shan) and a bartender by the name of Jon Panel, and their cuisine repertoire varies from French and Chinese dishes to the Creole specialty jambalaya. The first few hours of the journey pass without incident, and by sunset the dining car is filled with passengers from all three classes.

The relaxed atmosphere vanishes when three different factions hijack the dining car at the same time: three Lemures from First Class, Vicky the White Suit in the middle of the car, and a ragged man from Third Class. Nick flees the scene and Vicky wounds one of the Lemures before being shot dead; not long after, the White Suits' leader Ladd Russo arrives and kills one of the Lemures, lets the wounded Lemur go free, and boxes the remaining Lemur to death. Gregoire continues calmly stirring his stew throughout the ruckus.

A tense silence fills the car once Ladd leaves, but soon enough some of the passengers begin complaining to and making demands of the kitchen staff. Jon and Fang retreat into the kitchen as first-class passenger Turner insults them with xenophobic and racist slurs, demanding a refund for his ticket. Fellow passengers Isaac & Miria shove money at him to cover the ticket fee, proclaiming that he is no longer a customer as a result and should therefore leave the premises.

With Isaac and Miria's money and wishes heard loud and clear, Gregoire roars out an order for Jon and Fang to evict Turner from the car. Jon and Fang manhandle Turner out through the rear door and toward Second Class, after which Gregoire's ferocious voice abruptly becomes gentlemanly; he assures the passengers that they will be refunded their train fares will be refunded upon arrival, in addition to receiving 'commensurate reparations' for the ordeal they have gone through. Finally, in a moment of irresponsibility, he requests that they all "think and act independently, with the goal of reaching New York alive."

By the time Jon and Fang return, they find that the assistant cooks have already carried the corpses out of the dining car. Isaac and Miria enthusiastically sing Gregoire's praises to them both.

Gregoire remains in the kitchen throughout the rest of the journey and subsequent police investigation. He summons Jon and Fang into the dining car once the police withdraw, staying in the kitchen to stir his stew while they converse in low voices at the bar. Having listened quietly to their conversation, Gregoire informs them that they, him, and the rest of the train personnel have all been fired as part of a massive cover-up orchestrated by the railroad company.

Jon and Fang wonder why Gregoire only had them stay back and not the rest of the staff, and Gregoire explains that he is acquainted with a wealthy family by the name of Genoard who are presently looking for a cook and bartender. He plans to badger the owner of the family's main store into rehiring him, and in the process recommend them for the open positions. Ultimately, he could not care less about whatever gang work they are involved in; all that matters is that he has personally witnessed their skills, and will willingly vouch for said skills.

He instructs them to introduce themselves to the family in New York come tomorrow (January 01), and then announces that his stew is finished. Jon and Fang cheerfully agree to take it off his hands, and it is only then that he clarifies that it is enough stew to "feed a hundred people." After he thanks them for taking a load off his mind, he warns them that he will make bouillon out of their hands should there be any leftovers.

The pot is so large and heavy that Jon and Fang have to recruit Donny to carry it back to the rest of Jacuzzi's Gang.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Gregoire's illustrated debut came with DS Dengeki Bunkou ADV: Baccano!, and Shinta Fujimoto's Twitter doodle of him and Claire reflects his game design.
    • Gregoire also features prominently in the game's off-the-wall fourth ending Brave of Death, in which he claims to have been a former member of the elite fighter group "Money Dragon" who have "clandestinely affected history for centuries." He treats Jacuzzi Splot via acupuncture so that Jacuzzi may save Nice Holystone from the group's clutches.
  • His name was alternatively written as 'Gregwall' alongside Gregoire prior to Yen Press' writing it as the latter.
  • In 1927, Claire claims to Firo Prochainezo that Gregoire could "twist manhole covers like wringing out a sponge."
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