Why 'Yes, Chef!' Was Important To The Bear's Culinary Team

FX's "The Bear" was a massive hit when it was released back in June, 2022. Not only was it popular amongst people who've never been in a commercial kitchen, but amongst those who worked in the industry as they felt it realistically depicted back-of-house operations. The show received an 8.5 rating on IMDb, and it felt so real that many people were curious to know if the main protagonist, Carmen (Jeremy Allen White), was based on a real character

According to People, the show reflects some of writer Christopher Storer family history, but you may be surprised to hear that the only personal cooking experience Storer had in a kitchen was in his own home, per the Los Angeles Times. However, his sister, Courtney Storer, is a former chef and served as the show's culinary producer. It is because of her that the show has such an authentic feel. In fact, she chose to use elements from her real-life experience, which included everyone calling out 'yes, chef!' when they received instructions. 

All kitchen staff are important

In the majority of larger restaurant kitchens, there is usually a hierarchy. From the head chef or chef de cuisine, who oversees the kitchen's operations, to the junior who does all the vegetable prep, every kitchen role is integral to the end result of getting a quality meal out to a customer. Courtney Storer highlighted this point by further stating to People, "Everybody's job is integral. So, 'Yes Chef' is kind of stating everybody's important. You're just as important as I am."

Chef Nick Fisell supported Storer's point when he told a Taste of Harmony, "When you work in a kitchen, it's a meritocracy. It doesn't matter where you come from; it matters whether you can do the job." For similar reasons, Courtney Storer opted for the moniker 'chef' to be used by, and for, all kitchen staff in "The Bear". Storer continued by adding, "The reason that I think it's helpful is it's non-binary. Anyone can be called chef."