Balagog gro-Nolob, or more frequently known as The Gourmet in his books, is an Orsimer residing at the Nightgate Inn, southeast of Dawnstar. He is talked about by the innkeeper as being more refined than most other Orcs.
Festus Krex sends the Dragonborn to Understone Keep in search of Anton Virane, a friend of The Gourmet, author of Uncommon Taste. When intimidated, Anton reveals that Balagog is The Gourmet. He was scheduled to cook for Emperor Titus Mede II, when the event was canceled. Gaius Maro kept him in Skyrim in case plans changed.
The Dragonborn finds the Orc at Nightgate Inn and assassinates him to fill his place at Castle Dour and poison the Emperor with a jarrin root. To divert suspicion, the Dragonborn has to hide Balagog's corpse in or behind a wine barrel, behind some stacks of hay, under a bed, or dump it in a nearby lake.
"Whatever it is, I'm sure I can't be of help. I'm just here on... holiday."
- You've served your last meal... Gourmet. "Gourmet? Why I... Um... Oh dear. You're going to kill me now, aren't you?"
- Soon, the Emperor will die. Murdered, by the Gourmet. "What? The Emperor? But I... Oh. Oh, by the gods, no. No, you can't do this. You can't!"
- (Remain Silent) "Yes, well. Perhaps the proprietor of this establishment can assist you. Please, you're starting to... frighten me."
- "Yes, well. Perhaps someone else in the village can assist you? Please, you're starting to... frighten me."
- "I don't mean to be rude, friend, but I'm not feeling particularly sociable..."
- "I can't help you, friend. Talk to Hadring, the Innkeeper."
- "I value my privacy. So if you don't mind?"
- "Please, just let me be..." – During Recipe for Disaster
- If the Dragonborn meets Balbus and is carrying the Gourmet's Writ of Passage, they have an option of impersonating the Gourmet.
- Balagog serves Breton cuisine, despite being an Orc.
- Balagog reports crimes to the Reach, as opposed to the local area.
- Even after having been assassinated during the Dark Brotherhood questline, the residents of the Nightgate Inn will speak of him as if he is still alive.
- After being murdered, Balagog's dagger can be grabbed from the floor and dropped inside of the wine barrel. This is will mark the optional quest as complete.
- Sometimes when visiting him in the cellar of Nightgate Inn before the "Recipe for Disaster" quest, the game will freeze on the load screen or crash when attempting to exit the cellar. This only happens after performing an action on him such as pickpocket or talk.
- There is a bug when attempting to enter Nightgate Inn to get to Balagog. Upon entering the Inn, the loading screen will come up, but the Inn itself never loads. The game continuously "loads" but does nothing else. So far this problem only occurs when you are assigned an assassination contract, from the Dark Brotherhood, to kill Balagog. Any bugs or other problems with entering Nightgate Inn otherwise are currently unknown, and there is no known fix to this problem so far.