In case you haven’t heard ‘The Bear’ is an FX series Starring Jeremy Allen White with a super real portrayal of kitchen life.
Here’s the premise of the show streaming on Hulu … A young chef, played by Jeremey Allen White, goes from the fine dining world to his hometown in Chicago. He returns to run his family’s sandwich shop after a heart-breaking death in his family. It’s a grueling difference in realities of small business ownership, strong will, strained family relationships and not to mention a shock of two different culinary worlds!
This should come with a warning because it is intense, to say the least. For some of us, it may trigger some PTSD from our own past or current experiences. On the other hand, if you have anyone in your life that doesn’t seem to understand what you do or think restaurant life is glamorous. invite them over and pop some corn. For me, it was stressful like watching a train wreck. At the same time somehow validating for all I went through to get where I am today. I just couldn’t pull myself away and now I am eagerly awaiting more!
Running a successful kitchen requires discipline. You need to be on time, organized and a multi-tasking champion. After all we are playing with knives and fire. “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!” This is pure truth both literally and figuratively. The kitchen on an average night is about 130°F. It is a high-pressure environment where only the strongest will prevail.
There is that moment when you are buried in tickets that we have all experienced. 7 of 30 tickets are being prepared. The sound of the ticket machine seems to not pause. It feels like you can’t cook fast enough… Then, the moment happens when you have done it! All the orders are out. The adrenaline of digging out of the weeds kicks in. Then a high only a chef can understand happens. This series didn’t just show these moments that as a chef you feel every day. You were right there with Carmy in the kitchen, feeling the emotional energy at “the Original Beef of Chicagoland”.
In my opinion, it’s the first restaurant based movie/show that gives a realistic look at what it’s like inside the kitchen and in our minds.