The recent FX series “The Bear” has shone a bright light on the true-life aspects of restaurant and hospitality, rather than the fantasy of the glamourous industry that we often see portrayed in fiction or on shows like MasterChef.
This got us thinking about who are the most famous, or perhaps infamous, chefs from TV, books and movies, so here are a few to get started.
Carmen Berzatto – The Bear
Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) is the star of this gritty drama about a former Michelin restaurant chef returning to run the family diner in Chicago. The show is a tense drama, but many consider the genius of the show is that it illustrates many elements of the real side of hospitality life.
Artie Bucco – The Sopranos
Artie (John Ventimiglia) was a childhood friend of Tony Soprano, and his Italian restaurant Vesuvio became a venue for the mob’s “business meetings”. Despite all the hungry ‘wise guys’ devouring his pasta, Artie struggled with debt, so borrowed money from his old buddy. Bad idea. Tony burned the place down in an insurance scam, rebuilding it as Nuovo Vesuvio.
Remy the Rat – Ratatouille
Remy was the rat that dreamed of being one of the great French chefs. Remy’s delicious dishes even impressed Paris’s toughest food critic, Anton Ego – climaxing in the title dish. The movie Ratatouille is something of a love letter to food and the art of cooking. Remy’s passion and dedication to his craft goes to show that greatness can come from anywhere or anyone.
Carl Casper – Chef
Chef Carl, when at the top of his game, falls foul of a restaurant critic which destroys both his business and personal life. He starts to rebuild both his life and love of food, by starting a food truck and embarking on a working trip across the US.
Swedish Chef – The Muppets
The mock Swedish, semi-comprehensible, gibberish speaking favourite, regularly featured in the Muppets throughout the years. The sketches typically degenerate into a slapstick finale, and he often winds up in pitched battle with his ingredients, dropping utensils and knives with a great clatter, before shouting ‘Bork Bork Bork’. He’d be a nightmare to work with but remain one of our personal favourites.
The Soup Nazi – Seinfeld
The Soup Nazi featured in a single episode of the long running hit comedy, Seinfeld, but he remains one of the best and most memorable characters in the show. The character was inspired by real-life soup vendor Al Yeganeh, dubbed the “Terrorist” by local residents. When Seinfeld and his crew tried to lunch at his 55th Street restaurant after the episode aired, life imitated art and Yeganeh refused their order, yelling “No soup for you!”
If you have a favourite fictional chef let us know in the comments and we may have a follow up with readers favourites…