"Corporal Kosti. Martin." Miles took a deep breath, laden with delectable aromas. "Do you think your mother would like a job?"
―Ma Kosti's discovery[src]

Ma Kosti was the mother of Corporal Kosti and Martin Kosti, and the Vorkosigan House chef, and was considered one of, if not the, best cooks in Vorbarr Sultana.

Hired by Miles VorkosiganEdit

"What are you paying her?... Double it, or you'll lose her after your first dinner party."
Ivan Vorpatril[src]

After Miles Vorkosigan was discharged forcibly from Imperial Security for the semi-botched rescue mission of Lieutenant Vorberg, he discovered her cooking talents when she had Martin deliver some homemade meals to her son who was in the employ of Vorkosigan House. Upon learning that she was suffering from empty nest syndrome, he offered her a job as the official cook.

Her reputation quickly spread as an excellent chef, and became a target of Alys Vorpatril and Miles' own mother, who toyed with the idea of transferring her son to Sergyar, to coerce her into emigrating to be close to him. Fortunately, Cordelia never made good on her threat, and Ma Kosti proved to be loyal to her liege lord.

Role in householdEdit

Ma Kosti had insinuated herself to the point of being a valued household member in her own right. She tried helping Miles woo Ekaterin Nile Vorkosigan by hinting that Miles needed a wife and serving her delectible pastries.

She also helped Mark Vorkosigan market his butter bugs by creating tasty dishes out of bug butter, including Maple Ambrosia, an alcoholic food that was frozen bug butter mixed with maple mead, among other ingredients. In return, she received corporate shares in the successful business.

She willingly played tutor to Tej Vorpatril and Rish while they were staying in Vorbarr Sultana; Rish proved particularly apt in her cooking lessons.


While Ma Kosti rarely spoke directly in the books, it is plain from other characters' descriptions and reactions to her that she was honest, forthright, no-nonsense, loyal, motherly, and headstrong. For example, she once threatened to leave Miles' employ when he ruined her dinner menu. She also showed genuine affection for Mark.


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