By Robert Moran
If there’s any profession that doesn’t need further valorising, it’s chefs. Ever since Marco Pierre White appeared in White Heat (1990) with his dishevelled hair, a cigarette hanging off his lip and that sinister dead-eyed scowl (I’ve seen it in person, it’s not nice), the romance around the “rock star chef” has been unbearable.
Really, these are just guys that yell at teenagers and care too much about sea urchins. But they get a pass because they can whip up a delicious toastie and look cool in aprons? Fine, fair enough. Now, to prolong the thing, here’s The Bear.
Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto has the look, and it seems easy to emulate. Like all professions, there’s a uniform to it. It starts with a simple clean white t-shirt, regular fit so your biceps can breathe under the strain of cast-iron pans. Then you’ll need some wide-leg Dickies pants – black or navy blue, you’re not skating to a ska show.
Like Carmy, you can finish the look with a patchwork sherpa trucker jacket, made for those cold Chicago winters and that one August day in Sydney when it drops to, I dunno, 13 degrees. And, of course, chunky chef clogs: oil-resistant, anti-slip, and easy to clean when you have to hose down the kitchen at the end of your shift. I can’t believe people are wearing these for fun now, but here we are.
Unlike Cousin Richie’s sudden “I wear suits now” pivot at the end of season two, Carmy’s look remains utilitarian. This guy’s got chaos menus (and grieving) to do.
Still, he knows his stuff. There he is with a stack of vintage Levi’s denim stored in his home oven, or gifting his sous chef Syd her own Thom Browne-designed kitchen wear. He even gets wistful midway through season two, delving back into his teenage fashion dreams and recalling the fantasy pants he once designed in algebra class: “I had this idea for Dickies but cuffed and made with worsted wool. Very high level,” he explains.
Sounds interesting, but is this a show about a restaurant or Project Runway? Best he sticks to making seven fishes and mortadella mousse and, uh, yeah, serving those tasty fits.
Season two of The Bear is now streaming on Disney+.