Carmy’s Army

We order up six courses from our favorite fictional chefs

Published January 13, 2024

Fans of The Bear were not surprised when the series won a bunch of Golden Globes, including Best Comedy Series, Best Actor in a Comedy Series (for actor Jeremy Allen White), and Best Actress in a Comedy Series (for rising star Ayo Edebiri). 

A brilliantly written drama with a comedic flair, The Bear highlights the trials and tribulations of chef Carmy Berzatto, his family, various restaurant staff members, and the one thing that brings them all together—good food. In every episode, the plot gets driven forward by gorgeous close-up shots of food prep, cooking, and just lip-smacking plates of food. 

Inspired by the Berzattos and The Bear, we’ve come up with a list of on-screen chefs and cooks with signature dishes that have tantalized our taste buds, made us think (or dream) about food, and left us feeling either nostalgic or hungry, depending on the day. Bon appetit!

Remy in Ratatouille 

Remy, the idealistic rat with the culinary dream – and star of history’s greatest film with a one-word title – expresses himself through the food he makes, whether it’s a meal made of foraged mushrooms and gourmet cheese tossed in the garbage, a delicate omelet, or a soup (using Linguini) that wows even the most mean-hearted and demanding Chef Skinner. His cooking skills and resourcefulness are obvious. But if we had to choose one dish for Remy’s little rat hands to make for us: why, we’ll take the ratatouille, of course. 

The Swedish Chef

Of course, the one Muppet who has real hands instead of puppet gloves is the one who needs his hands for cooking! Speaking in Swedish-sounding gibberish, and sporting a white chef’s toque, bushy eyebrows and mustache, and a signature pink bowtie, the chef’s energetic kitchen antics animate recipe explainer videos including the escaping spaghetti and ping pong ball eggs. But we would especially love to fling kitchen tools around with Swedish chef when he makes his meatballs, slinging them up to Statler and Waldorf in the balcony with a tennis racket! Bork bork bork indeed.

The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld

Yev Kasem appears in only one full episode of Seinfeld, but he will forever be remembered for his soup and his “No soup for you!” catchphrase. Jerry successfully gets a crab bisque, George gets a turkey chili (only to have it taken from him when he asks for bread); alas, unruly Elaine never gets her Mulligatawny. As for us? We would pull a “Newman” and order a steaming bowl of the Soup Nazi’s “Jambalaya!”. 

Monica Gellar from Friends

From day 1, we know that the quirky and obsessive Monica works as a chef. Many storylines that revolve around her food—making things like her special mac and cheese, industrial quantities of jam, Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies, and quiche for her mother’s event. But, if we had to choose one of Monica’s recipes to try, it would be one inspired by the iconic Friendsgiving episodes—Monica’s plump 19-lb golden turkey—and we would eat it Joey-style—wearing stretchy maternity pants to devour every last bite in one evening. 

Artie Bucco from The Sopranos

We can’t “fuhgeddaboudit”—the food moments in the Sopranos were culinary classics. Artie Bucco, co-owner and head chef of Nuovo Vesuvio, a local Italian restaurant in New Jersey, and fav dining spot of the Tony Soprano and his thugs, was known for the delicious array of Italian dishes he would cook up for “the boss”: lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and veal parmesan. Sign up up for the ultimate Italian-American comfort food: baked ziti

Sookie St. James from Gilmore Girls 

Chef, provider of sweet treats, and BFF: Sookie appeared on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, bringing a food focus to the show. On-screen she was shown making jalapeño-chipotle mac and cheese, rocky road cookies, a hot house tomato salad and Rory’s favorites—cheese puffs—among many other dishes. Sookie’s one standout culinary dish? Her risotto, which she served to a restaurant critic with a wine pairing (at the front door of his house, no less) and the one that allegedly kept her mother alive for three more years on her deathbed. That must have been some goooood risotto.