"The Bear" on Hulu

I thought it was worth watching. Great cast. Reminded me a bit of Pig in the way it mixed some very realistic depictions of a restaurant kitchen with ridiculously preposterous nonsense about the restaurant industry in general (see the last link below for some examples). Though nothing quite as preposterous as an underground after-hours fight club for chefs.

The sets quite closely copy this place:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/mr-beef-chicago-5

I binged it one night waiting for mother wolf reservations to go live. I enjoyed it

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Substack link

A lot of the restaurant takes just get worse from here imo

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My favorite gaffe was Sydney suggesting that they increase dinner revenues by serving RISOTTO!

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:joy: i was explaining to a friend that exact thing

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Julia Moskin didn’t notice any off notes except the crazy mashed potatoes technique.

Found the pilot script on this site I like. It’s an actual script (not a transcript) but NOT the shooting script and it doesn’t have a date or draft number.

I haven’t compared the script side by side with the produced pilot but it’s significantly different than the actual pilot including:

  • Some character changes (eg, I think Tina is Tito in the script)

  • Pretty significant dialog changes- some may have ended up on the editing room floor but other parts seem rewritten

  • There’s a scene in the script not in the pilot that seems like it was repurposed for a different episode. It tickled me that they capitalized “DELI” in the script- generally speaking that’s a signal to props to make sure it’s included and apparently that was critical enough to them to include in completely different episode. As someone that spent even a little time in a restaurant I did like that and other details they specifically wanted included:
    image

There are a lot more changes both small (eg, minor plot points) and large (eg, seemingly important character beats) and some other interesting tidbits. It’s not at all uncommon for even a polished pilot script to have these differences and makes for a fun read.

It reminds me of old Justified scripts (also an FX show) where even shooting scripts could be significantly different than what appeared on screen. Given the blocking, chaotic dialog, etc. I wonder if they take a similar approach to how Justified could deviate from the script based on how the writers, actors and director feel at any given moment. Very difficult to achieve if so.

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Just in case you didn’t already know, the culinary producer on The Bear is Courney Storer. Sister to The Bear creator, Christopher Storer. You’ve probably also eaten her food since she was the CDC at Jon & Vinny’s for a very long time. Having worked in the same circles, she’s super kind and hard working to a fault.

Biggest gaffe I noticed was when they received an onslaught of online orders, the tickets would not be printed on a thermal printer. Kitchen chits are always printed on an impact printer so you can have duplicates and they are not ruined by heat. Ask any line cook and the sound they hear in the their nightmares is the high-pitched screech of those printers. I wonder if there was a discussion on what type of printer and perhaps the standard would be too distracting.

Also, why not risotto?
Rice is cheap and stock is made from scraps. Doesn’t need nearly as much attention as most people think. Pick-up doesn’t take too much time as long as it’s kept warm.
Edit: I got it wrong here. Most restaurants don’t keep it warm. It’s spread on a sheetpan to cool then portioned and kept in a lowboy. I was thinking of a Venetian restaurant I had seen years ago that kept a big pot of fish stock on the their stove for their risotto. This edit came after Robert’s post in response.
I still think risotto is an economical choice considering the cost of ingredients.

Shortcut-compromised restaurant “risotto,” sure, but that doesn’t fit the fine-dining ambition of the character, or the critic’s rave.

I ended up watching the whole playlist with Courtney Storer and Matty Matheson on his channel. Not sure I learned much culinarily but it was entertaining. Matheson’s normally such an agent of chaos I can’t even finish his videos but Storer just pulled it back from the brink for me.

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Toast uses thermal printers

Definitely a possibility!
Not a serious gaffe then.

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The cost is labor. Making real risotto takes a lot of attention. To do it right in a restaurant you need a dedicated risotto station, which is very rare in the US.

You can use shortcuts such as parboiling the rice, but the quality goes down and you’re not likely to wow a critic who’s had the real thing.

I agree with you. Lots of labor.
But, I would say that applies to a lot of dishes. “Doing it right” will always take a ton of labor and doubly so for most dishes that utilize less expensive ingredients since they tend to take extra time to get the most potential.

I can’t think of another dish that needs that much attention for that long a time. You need to stir regularly and add simmering broth in small amounts every few minutes.

People say polenta needs constant stirring, but that’s just folklore.

I want to watch it :slight_smile:

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