besides star Jeremy Allen White’s months of restaurant training, including Santa Monica’s PasjoliMuch of the realism that many have attributed to the television series “The Bear” is due to the culinary supervision of chefs Courtney Storer and Matty Matheson, who also played handyman Neil Fak on the show. The culinary producers devised dishes in front of the camera for the FX series on Hulu and also served as the inspiration and sounding board within the writers’ room.
For Storer, the on-screen representation of Italian meat would have to be perfect. The former Jon & Vinny chef grew up eating the sandwich with Christopher Storer, her brother and the show’s creator. It is an article that contains memories of celebrations, of game days, of family reunions. As a child, years before she took her first kitchen job at Sonny’s Express in Park Ridge, Ill., she would order a beef steak there and cut it up to last all day. For years after moving to Los Angeles, she wondered if she should open a meat shop herself, and if Angelenos would accept or even understand if she tried.
Then came “The Bear,” her brother’s longtime labor of love, and a time for her beloved beef to shine. To some, it would be his first introduction to one of Chicago’s greatest culinary exports.
She and Matheson created two versions for the show: one more traditional for a classic Chicago beef shop, depicting how Richie and the crew would originally do it, then another using Carmy’s haute cuisine techniques, which she would try to employ from now on. the first day. of her return. Carmy’s method incorporated more chef methods, such as browning the meat before grilling for added flavor and deglazing the pan with red wine.
“I really enjoyed making the meat with Matty because we don’t look back at the recipes,” says Storer. “We thought, ‘What would we like to eat?’ Or, ‘How would this chef who comes from fine dining come in and put a spin on something that’s done in a specific way all the time?’”
They shot the pilot at the iconic Mr. Beef in Orleans in Chicago, then built a working kitchen on a set in Los Angeles that recreated the space but gave them more room for the camera to more easily maneuver, all while recreating the cramped space. . , claustrophobic kitchen sensation, which increased the tension throughout the season. About 30% of Storer’s role was sharing his years of restaurant experience, helping the writers and actors make the show as realistic as possible to the chefs’ lived experiences. The other 70% of her role was cooking on set, preparing the food that would appear on screen, and every day there was a food shot. The smell, she says, was torture for the cast and crew, especially on the day he ordered braciole, a highly aromatic dish of steak rolled in tomato sauce that cooks all day.
They’d walk by and say, “We just want to know we can eat it.”
So how do you make proper Italian beef? Storer shared his recipe and gave us a demo in his kitchen (see video above). She says the recipe is very forgiving. She used beef in her demonstration, but she also used roasted top round or top sirloin. She suggests that you choose the cut of meat that best fits your budget. The bread, however, is a critical component. It should be soft American-style French bread, not crispy sourdough. Storer uses baguettes from the Chicago-founded Turano Baking Co., which is sometimes sold locally at Aldi supermarkets. We also found the Gonnella and Amoroso sandwich rolls, available from Smart & Final, to have a good consistency. As for the giardiniera, Storer makes hers using fennel bulbs in addition to the traditional carrot, celery and cauliflower, but she says whatever she finds at the local grocery store or deli will work just fine.
weather1 hour 30 minutes, plus several hours of cooling
returnsMakes 8 sandwiches
Find “The Bear” chefs and culinary producers Courtney Storer and Matty Matheson at the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl on Friday, September 23, demonstrating a recipe inspired by the series. Tickets are already available.