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You'll receive this quest from Astrid in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary at the conclusion of the quest
The Cure for Madness
With Cicero out of the way, Astrid will announce that it's time to take on Amaund Motierre's final assassination contract before the Emperor. She'll tell you that your target is a chef known as the Gourmet, and that you'll need to kill him and replace him before he can prepare a banquet for the Emperor. However, adding difficulty to the contract is the fact that nobody knows who the Gourmet is. Astrid will then direct you to Festus Krex (also in the sanctuary), who has been working on this problem.
Festus will tell you that he recently acquired a signed copy of
, the Gourmet's famous cookbook, and that the passage inside refers to Anton Virane as "my old and dear friend." Festus will then deduce that Virane, the cook at Understone Keep in Markarth, must know who the Gourmet is, and he'll order you to question him -- thoroughly -- and then kill him. And then of course you'll need to kill the Gourmet as well. Festus will also recommend that you hide the Gourmet's body to prevent anybody from figuring out what's going on.
You'll find Virane in the kitchen on the western side of Understone Keep. At first he'll refuse to answer your questions, but then once he's learned that you're with the Dark Brotherhood, he'll cave in and reveal that the Gourmet is an orc named Balagog gro-Nolob, and that he's staying at the Nightgate Inn, which is located roughly midway between Whiterun and Winterhold. The easiest way to kill Virane is to wait until night when he's sleeping alone in the kitchen, and then finish him off with a sneak attack.
At the Nightgate Inn, you'll usually find Balagog at the dock (during the afternoon) or in the cellar (the rest of the time). In both places he'll be alone, so you shouldn't have any trouble killing him. To hide his body, you'll need to drag it (by targeting it and holding down the E key on the PC) to someplace out of the way. If Balagog was on the dock, then dragging his body into the water will work. If Balagog was in the cellar, then dragging it behind the bales of hay or into the big barrel by the ladder will work. Regardless, be sure to loot the
Gourmet's Writ of Passage
from Balagog's corpse before leaving
Note: Inside the Gourmet's room in the basement, you'll find the book
Legend of Krately House
, which will increase your Sneak skill by 1.
When you return to Festus, he'll reward you with some gold depending on your level and how many objectives you completed. If you also hid Balagog's body, then he'll add in a