- Keeping the balloon as a symbol of freedom is a thumbs up as well as the children's party idea.
- He enjoyed the idea of the children's party. It could be slightly different by making the chef a caterer for the party where he greatly dislikes one of the children and wants to destroy his balloon.
- The chef could also be a villain in a castle hiding away from all that is good and keeps being followed/berated by a balloon.
- A balloon is sent out to capture people (Much like the TV series 'The Prisoner'), the Chef is its next target and many chases and narrow escapes would ensue.
- Use the balloon as a trigger for childhood memory. A good memory could trigger hope and energy where the bad could lead to either the balloon being the villain or the way the hero learns new strength.
- A floating castle made entirely of balloons! Yes, it's ridiculous, but a fun idea nonetheless.
My final idea is actually different to these as it focusses on more of a fairy-tale narrative, but this ideas generation was great and I definitely want to keep the balloon as a symbol of hope and freedom for the characters.
Onwards to my rough type-up of the story :D