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< Skyrim: People
Location Radiant
Race Nord Gender Male
Level Radiant (1-25) Class Warrior
RefID N/A BaseID 000B5D42
Other Information
Health 35-489
Magicka 25
Stamina 70-246
Primary Skills One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor
Morality No Crime Aggression Unaggressive
Voice Type MaleYoungEager
Respawns Yes

Balbus is a Nord warrior who can be encountered wandering randomly around Skyrim, gathering ingredients for the Gourmet.

He wears some farm clothes, along with a pair of hide bracers and a pair of hide boots. He carries a copy of Uncommon Taste, his fork, some gold, and a lockpick, as well as the ingredients he is supposed to give you. He wields a leveled dagger in combat.


Balbus will occasionally comment:

"You know, I've heard the Gourmet is in Skyrim right now."

When you initiate conversation with him for the first time, you may greet him, and he'll explain what he's doing:

"I'm collecting ingredients to bring to the Gourmet. He'll think my tastes so refined when I offer them to him. You have heard of the Gourmet?"

You will now have three dialogue choices, the first two are always available, but the third option is only available if you have completed Recipe for Disaster and possess the Gourmet's Writ of Passage.

"I have."
"Then you know that Gourmet [sic] keeps his identity a secret. I'm hoping to discover who he is, so I can tell him how he changed my life. For all I know, the Gourmet is a woman!"
"Never heard of him."
"You've not heard of the Gourmet? Author of "Uncommon Taste"? He's a wizard with a spatula. Well, not an actual wizard, but his recipes are legendary."
"I am the Gourmet!" (Show Writ of Passage)
"Oh my! You? It is an honor! Your food has opened my eyes to the wonders this world can hold. I've cooked every dish in your book, and I must say your brilliance is inspiring. My technique doesn't even approach yours...but whose would?"

The third option will cause Balbus to continue:

"Allow me to give you this, the fork I used the first time I tasted one of your dishes. Oh, and these ingredients I've been collecting for you. I've risked life and limb so that you may create another masterpiece. Make sure to think of me when you use them!"

He will give you his fork, a daedra heart, a spider egg, and some troll fat.

If the third option has been selected, when leaving him, he may say:

"I can't believe I just met the Gourmet!"


  • After your first encounter with him, Balbus may stay where he is for the rest of your game. As this position will normally be a typical location for random encounters, he may be killed if you trigger another encounter at that spot.
    • ¬† The Unofficial Skyrim Patch, version 2.0.4, addresses this issue. He will now unload properly after leaving the area.
    • PC users can prevent his death by using the console to set his essential flag, so random creatures can't kill him.