Jeff has three special features that make him recognizable. One of them is his wooden leg, which consists of a dark piece of wood and a black metal stump. Also, his huge chef’s hat stands out, as well as his wide moustache. Zeff has fair skin and blond hair. He has a rather grim expression on his face, as well as a chin beard. Furthermore, he wears a purple and orange striped shirt, with a white jacket over it. Besides the dark brown pants, he wears a black shoe on his foot. A blue scarf hangs around his neck at all times.
Jeff is quite hot-headed and constantly gets into little arguments with Sanji whenever their opinions diverge, which happens quite often. Also, he and Sanji have the same dream, which is to find the All Blue. For this reason, the former pirate, who captured a ship at the time, rescued young Sanji from the sinking ship. Moreover, he freaks out if there is even the slightest scratch on his ship. After his experiences on the rock, Zeff has a great respect for hunger, and serves anyone who comes to his ship totally famished.
|„||Have you ever had a really bad time?|
Have you ever been near the end from hunger and thirst?
Do you know how terrible it is..,
to lose everything you need to survive on the high seas?
Do you know how hard it is to go without food and water?
|-Jeff to the Baratié’s cooks after they insulted Sanji.|
Jeff also had a decisive influence on Sanji during his childhood, because he saw himself as his parent. He was the one who taught Sanji not to do violence to women and to treat them with respect. Because the kitchen of the Baratié is very violent, Zeff always refused to employ women in his restaurant. As a child, the chef beat this attitude into Sanji and threatened him if he ever broke this ironclad rule.
Skills and Strength
Many years ago, Zeff was captain of his own pirate gang, the Cook Pirates, with whom he sailed the Grand Line one year. He was, and still is, a master of kicks, as is Sanji, who copied his fighting technique from his idol. He is rightly nicknamed “Redfoot Jeff”, as the blood of his enemies was on his leg after he defeated them. Despite his age, he is lightning fast and kicked Luffy in the face at full speed as he damaged his roof. In doing so, he was so fast that Luffy couldn’t even anticipate the kick. He was also a good cook even during his time as a pirate, cooking for his crew in addition to his captaincy duties.
Zeff’s time as a pirate
Quite some time ago, Zeff was a pirate, who was also known as “Redfoot Jeff”. He was captain of his own pirate gang, the Cook Pirates. With this he was on the Grand Line for about a year, where he earned his nickname. Later, after leaving the Grand Line, during a storm they boarded the passenger ship Orbit, on which Sanji, then ten years old, was employed as a cook. However, the pirate noticed that the young Sanji had the same dream as him, to find the legendary All Blue. For this reason, he rescued the boy and tried to bring him to safety. A large wave washed them onto a rock, where they became stranded.
Jeff and Sanji stranded on a rock
Each of them had a small bag of provisions. Due to the nature of the rock, it was also impossible for them to go to shore and catch fish. This portion should normally be enough for five days. Another sack was washed up, three times the size of Sanji’s. The latter was thinking of a larger provision at this point and complained about his, comparatively, tiny portion. Eventually, the two each sat down on opposite sides of the rock, on the lookout for a ship that might rescue them. Days passed, but there was no ship in sight. On the 25th day on the island, Sanji’s supplies were running out. From then on, 45 more days passed in which he ate nothing, until finally, on the 70th day, he decided to kill Zeff and steal his provisions.
He struggled to the other side of the island where Zeff still sat, his bulging sack beside him. To get to the loot, Sanji slit open the sack. He found that what came out of the sack was not food or anything to drink, but oodles of treasure! Sanji had to admit to himself that he had gotten all the food from Zeff and asked him in utter confusion how the latter survived. As Sanji walked around this, he discovered that Zeff had been feeding on his own leg! (This is where the manga version differs from the anime version, in which Zeff lost his leg during Sanji’s rescue and hadn’t eaten anything on the island). Following this, Zeff told Sanji that he had rescued him because they both have a dream of finding the All Blue.
They decided to open a floating restaurant if they survived. 15 more days later, they were rescued by a large passenger ship and together they started a floating restaurant in the East Blue: the Baratié. On this one itself, the two had a strange relationship. While it is thought that they had a deep connection due to the events they shared, the two often argued and insulted each other incessantly. Sanji called Zeff “old bag” (“kusojijii” in the original “kuso” = “shit”, “jijii” = “old man”) and the latter called him “milksop” or “little guy” (literally “little eggplant” in the original). They also found fault with each other’s cooking skills.
Jeff and Luffy – The Roof of the Baratié
After Fullbody tried to shoot down the The Going Merry with a naval ship, Luffy managed to deflect the cannonball from its target after all. However, the bullet’s new target was the roof of the Baratié, on which it caused great damage. Zeff was angry about this and sent for Luffy.
The chef offered him to compensate for the damage by working for him for a year without pay. Luffy, of course, didn’t agree to this, wanting to work for him for a week at most. Zeff demanded either a year’s work or one of his legs.
|„||It’s gonna be an expensive medical bill,|
and repairing the ship won’t be cheap either,
That may all be well, but I have no money.
You expect me to believe that, friend?
All right, if you can’t give me the money..,
you’ll just have to work off the damages.
All right, I guess I have no choice.
You’ll have to slave for me for a year without pay.
|-Jeff negotiated with Luffy over his debt.|
When Luffy refused both, the cook attacked the pirate. During the fight, he kicked Luffy through the ceiling to the lower floor, where Sanji was just squaring off with Fullbody. In the process, the chef ended up kicking Sanji for attacking guests, as well as the humiliated Fullbody so that he would finally leave.
As it turned out, Luffy was relegated to working as a dishwasher, where he broke almost every plate, however. After the cooks at the Baratié noticed this, they kicked him out to take orders from the customers. After Luffy made Sanji an offer for him to start as a Cook in his gang, Zeff agreed to it as well. He wanted Sanji to travel with him so he could fulfill his dream of finding the All Blue, since Sanji was still young. Sanji, however, wanted to stay at the Baratié until Zeff died. This caused the two chefs to clash again and argue about their views.
Don war reaches the Baratié
After Sanji prepared a meal for the half-starved Gin, the latter asked to help his captain as well. Two days later he reached the Baratié with his badly battered ship. Sanji prepared some food for him as well. Instead of thanking him, Creek wanted to capture the Baratié and claim it as his new ship. He first demanded that his crew and he be fed. Sanji took the orders, however he was prevented from carrying them out by the other cooks, who feared Creek and his gang. When Creek countered the enraged Patty for attacking him, Zeff threw a sack of food at his feet, to the amazement of the other cooks. He then recognized Creek as the grandline loser, whereupon Creek recognized the cook as “Redfoot Zeff.”
Creek now demanded his log book, but Zeff would not hand it over, as it was his only relic of the past time on the Grand Line. When he went to get it, Creek told about his former failure on the Grand Line and revealed his plans, which pissed Luffy off. Creek asked all the passengers of the Baratié to leave so he could take over the ship. Before doing so, he took the meals Zeff had cooked for him on the grounds that hunger was a real pain. Finally, when Gin talked about the sinking of Creek’s armada, Zeff recognized the attacker as Falcon’s Eye. As Creek’s pirates were about to leave for the Grand Line again, their ship was split down the middle, which of course astonished everyone present. Realizing that Hawkeye was behind it, the pirates asked him why he was chasing them from the Grand Line. The swordsman responded that he had been bored. Zoro then challenged Hawkeye to a duel, which he clearly lost. Zeff cheered Zoro up by saying that at least he was able to impress Falcon’s Eye.
Don Krieg attacks the Baratié
After Hawkeye disappeared again, Don Krieg and his crew got ready to attack the Baratié, which he planned to use to conquer the Grand Line, since no one would suspect a pirate ship behind a restaurant. Luffy then asked Zeff if he could pay off his debt if he drove off the pirates. Zeff agreed to this solution. With that, Luffy and the chefs of the baratié fought Creek’s crew. Mackerel Head #1 was unable to stop Creek, he was flung by him onto the baratié, but was kicked away by Sanji at the last second. Zeff stood in front of the baratié and fended off some cannonballs with his wooden leg. He was convinced that he could defeat someone like Perle Iron Shield even with one foot.
After Perle Eisenschild, who had been fighting Sanji, was knocked out by Creek for setting the baratié on fire, Gin attacked Zeff, breaking off his wooden leg and holding a gun to his head. By doing so, the “devilish one” warned Sanji not to force him to kill the cook. In truth, he just wanted everyone to leave the ship.
The fin of the Baratié continued to be on fire, Creek’s crew had failed to put out the fire. Luffy, who had been a spectator until now, destroyed the burning fin with a gum-gum bomb, which did not please the chefs. Sanji was also upset with the straw hat boy. Now, when Perle Iron Shield tried to kill Sanji and Luffy, Gin jumped up and rammed his tonfas into the pit of Perle’s stomach, knocking Perle out. Earlier, he had refused the order to kill Zeff, causing him to leave the gang, and Creek attacked him with a poison gas bomb. Meanwhile, Zeff was impressed with Luffy’s stamina and will to fight, and advised Sanji to memorize his kind. He eventually encourages the straw-hatted boy that no amount of armor will help against his will, either.
Sanji’s farewell to the Baratié
When Luffy woke up after the fight against Don Krieg, he asked Sanji to be part of his team. However, Sanji declined, as he wanted to continue cooking at the Baratié. Zeff, however, made it clear to him that he had his life ahead of him, and that he should go with Luffy if he wanted to find the All Blue. Using a trick, Zeff and the other cooks finally tried to get Sanji to join Luffy: After Patty and Carne cooked a soup, everyone gathered in the canteen. When everyone had tasted it, Patty asked who had made the soup. When Sanji responded delightedly at the demand, all the cooks threw the plate on the floor, reporting that the soup was inedible. When Sanji had gotten angry, Zeff slapped him for not comparing himself to him. After Sanji stormed out of the canteen, Luffy asked what was wrong with the soup, he would have liked it. Then Zeff explained to Luffy about his plan to have everyone pretend the soup didn’t taste good, and asked him if he didn’t want to take Sanji with him.
Luffy refused, saying that while he would like to take Sanji, he didn’t want to do that himself. But Sanji, who was sitting outside the door of the canteen, asked the straw-hatted pirate for a lift. The latter of course accepted immediately. In the end, Zeff called out to him and wished him luck on his journey. Then tears came to Sanji’s eyes, he turned to Zeff and fell to his knees in front of him, thanking him for everything Zeff had taught him. With that, the Straw Hat Pirates said their goodbyes, which now had one more member on board.
|„||You must be determined,|
and trust in yourselves,
and you will find him.the fabled All Blue!
|-Jeff in thought to the departing Sanji.|
The wanted posters go around the world
After the Straw Hat Pirates had defeated Enie’s Lobby and attacked the World Government, new wanted posters of the pirates were issued, each with a bounty on their heads, and as they went around the world, the news reached the Baratié as well. Zeff read the current events from the newspaper and finally presented Sanji’s new profile to all the cooks of the Baratié, which was of course laughed at by the cooks, since it was only a bad drawing. Nevertheless, all the cooks were happy that such a notorious pirate was once a cook in their restaurant.
Two years later
Two years later, the Baratié underwent renovations and the seaside restaurant was enlarged. Finally, one day, Zeff was pleased to read the newspaper with the news of the return of the Straw Hat Pirates, and so was his protégé Sanji. Later, as Sanji’s new wanted poster made the rounds, Zeff pondered why he was the only one of the Straw Hats only to be captured alive.
This secret was later clarified and was related to Sanji’s family, the Vinsmokes, who were able to force Sanji to marry Big Mom’s daughter, Pudding, as they threatened to take away what was most important to him otherwise – Zeff and the Baratié. But the chef of the seaside restaurant didn’t get any of this, and after the Straw Hats managed to escape from Totto Land and the danger was averted, Zeff got a visit from a rude and impatient gang of pirates. Contrary to Patty and Carne’s opinion, he prepared a meal for the hungry pirates.
- Jeff may not only have been on the first half of the Grand Line, but also in the New World. This is supported by the fact that he refers to the Grand Line as a “paradise” – as we later learn, this wording is only chosen by pirates who experience its cruelty in the New World and mourn the first half of this sea.
- His favorite food is chicken wings.