All the Chef Cameos in 'The Bear' Season 3, In Chronological Order

Did you catch 'em all?

<p>Chuck Hodes / FX</p>

Chuck Hodes / FX

The Bear has become known for breaking the fourth wall. At times, the story feels entirely fictional — fictional chefs struggle to keep their fictional restaurant afloat. But the more the universe within The Bear expands, the more it begins to feel like a documentary.

In Season 3 especially, real-life chefs have become a source of inspiration for characters like Carmy and Sydney, demonstrating how it’s possible to create a sustainable, positive career in the restaurant industry while still being a great leader.

Related: This Season of 'The Bear' Reminds Me Why Working in Restaurants Can Be So Joyful

And yet, the chef cameos throughout Season 3’s 10 episodes get a little overwhelming at times, especially if you’re not well-versed in the modern hospitality industry’s major players. So whether you’re about to watch Season 3 for the first time and you want to know who to look out for, or you’ve just finished and aren’t sure if you caught them all, here’s your ultimate cheat sheet.

Daniel Boulud

The Bear Season 3 begins by taking us down a rather rocky memory road. Through an episode-long montage, “Tomorrow” gives us glimpses into the restaurants Carmy used to work at. Although the episode is non-linear, it’s hinted that New York City was perhaps the first place that Carmy lived outside of Chicago. “New York’s got everything,” he said to Natalie. We then see him walk through the doors of Daniel, 1998 Food & Wine Best New Chef Daniel Boulud’s eponymous restaurant. Wearing an old fashioned toque, Carmy follows along as Boulud patiently walks him through a dish — what we assume to be his iconic sea bass paupiettes.

<p>Roy Rochlin / Getty Images</p> Chef Daniel Boulud

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

Chef Daniel Boulud

Dave Beran

Episode 1’s montage later takes us back to Chicago, to the fictionalized version of chef Curtis Duffy’s real-life restaurant, Ever. But while the actual Ever opened in 2020, in The Bear universe, Ever is a Chicago institution known for shaping some of the country’s most famous and promising chefs including Carmy, Luca (portrayed by Will Poulter), and even 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef Dave Beran. Plating alongside Olivia Coleman’s character, Andrea Terry, fictional Ever’s owner and executive chef, we can assume that Beran was the restaurant’s chef de cuisine. Beran’s actual background is not too far off The Bear’s portrayal — he started his career in Chicago, becoming chef de cuisine at Alinea and executive chef at Next before moving to Los Angeles to open fine dining restaurants Dialogue and Pasjoli.

Adam Shapiro

Another devoted member of chef Andrea Terry’s team at Ever is Adam Shapiro, portrayed by an actor, writer, and director of the same name, Adam Shapiro. In Episode 1’s flashback, Shapiro enviously peers over at Carmy and Luca as they shell peas at double his own speed. In the present, Shapiro poaches Sydney, hoping she will leave The Bear to become chef de cuisine at his upcoming restaurant. The real Adam Shapiro might not be a restaurant chef, but he does own a food business of his own, Shappy Pretzel Co. According to his website, Shapiro developed his recipe for Philadelphia-style soft pretzels while homesick during the pandemic. Now, Shappy Pretzels are available for pick-up at their Los Angeles headquarters and delivery nationwide.

René Redzepi

Although Noma, the Michelin-starred restaurant, made an appearance in Season 2 during Marcus’ stage, “Tomorrow” is the first time we see chef/owner René Redzepi. In a brief moment, we watch as Redzepi analyzes a cork board full of dish photos. Carmy walks into the room to grab a hotel pan and makes eye contact with the world-famous chef, who gives him a kind nod. You can see more of Redzepi and his methodical cooking on the silver screen in the eight-part documentary series, Omnivore, premiering July 19 on Apple TV+.

<p>Thibault Savary / AFP / Getty Images</p> Chef René Redzepi of Noma

Thibault Savary / AFP / Getty Images

Chef René Redzepi of Noma

Dario Monni

In Episode 2, “Next,” viewers are reminded of Chicago’s rich, vivacious culture through yet another montage. The scene includes shots of many walks of lives — gazebo drivers, florists, firefighters and, of course, more of the chefs and restaurateurs that fuel the Chicago hospitality industry. One of which is Dario Monni, chef and owner of Tortello, an Italian restaurant in Chicago’s West Town. Known for his hand-made pasta, Monni can be seen prepping in his kitchen and giving the camera a wave.

Joyce Chiu

In the same Chicago sequence, we see Joyce Chiu, second-generation owner of the Chinese bakery, Chiu Quon. We as viewers are able to observe as the bakers prep dumplings before handing Chiu a tray of freshly baked egg buns. Now with two locations, Chiu Quon has garnered a city-wide reputation for their incredible Hong Kong-style pastries and dim sum since 1986, when Quon’s parents opened the bakery.

Jonathan Zaragoza

One of the next restaurants we see in the beginning of Episode 3 is Birreria Zaragoza, where we can observe chef/owner Jonathan Zaragoza pressing tortillas and cooking meat for his birria tacos. According to Birreria Zaragoza’s Instagram, Jonathan can deeply relate to Carmy’s story. He too began his culinary career in his family’s restaurant (his father opened Birreria Zaragoza in 2002), honed his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants, then returned to incorporate the techniques he learned along the way. Birreria Zaragoza is also a favorite restaurant among The Bear cast members — both Jeremy Allen White and Matty Matheson stopped by while filming Seasons 3 and 4.

Christopher Zucchero

Reviving his character, Chi-Chi, Christopher Zucchero is the real-life owner of Mr. Beef, the Italian beef shop that inspired The Bear. Chi-Chi begins the season as Carmy’s meat and produce guy, bringing in boxes of microgreens that are “so expensive” and convincing Carmy to reopen The Original Beef window at The Bear. By Episode 7, he steps in to help Ebraheim run the to-go sandwich window efficiently. Zucchero’s real job is not too far off from his fictional one — his father opened Mr. Beef in 1979, and his family has been churning out sandwiches packed with roast beef, jus, and giardiniera ever since. Mr. Beef is a Chicago staple, just like The Original Beef.

Related: Eat Like a Cast Member From 'The Bear' at These 12 Chicago Restaurants

Paulie James

In Episode 6, “Napkins,” we’re introduced to Chi-Chi’s right-hand man, Chuckie, a longtime employee at The Original Beef. Like Zucchero, the actor who portrays Chuckie, Paulie James, is a real-life sandwich-maker. James owns Uncle Paulie’s Deli, a hip yet classic Italian sandwich shop with three locations in Los Angeles and one in Las Vegas. The subs might be slightly different from what you might find at The Original Beef — it’s unlikely Carmy and the gang will be making classic Italian or turkey pesto sandwiches any time soon — but there is one with hot roast beef and brown gravy on the menu, aptly named The Carmine.

Thomas Keller

Season 3’s final episode, “Forever,” has the most chef cameos we’ve ever seen on The Bear, and it all starts with a heavy hitter: James Beard award winner and 1988 Food & Wine Best New Chef Thomas Keller. In another flashback, we’re able to witness an intimate moment between Keller and Carmy during his first day at fine dining institution, The French Laundry. Keller helps Carmy prepare a roast chicken for family meal and casually gives some invaluable life advice. “Come in every single day and just try to do a little better than the day before,” Keller says. “You’ll leave this restaurant with education, training, skills, and a path forward.”

<p>Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images</p> 1998 Food & Wine Best New Chef Thomas Keller

Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images

1998 Food & Wine Best New Chef Thomas Keller

Grant Achatz

Later in Episode 10, Carmy, Sydney, and Richie attend a star-studded dinner to honor the legacy of the fictionalized version of Ever. The first real-life chef that we see in attendance is 2002 Food & Wine Best New Chef Grant Achatz, owner of the Alinea Group. Luca chats with Achatz about his edible helium balloons, lavender pillows, and black truffles explosion — three menu staples at his three Michelin-starred, experimental Chicago restaurant, Alinea.

Wylie Dufresne

2001 Food & Wine Best New Chef Wylie Dufresne also makes an appearance in Episode 10, giving Carmy some support for quitting cigarettes. Dufresne’s background in fine dining and molecular gastronomy would make him an excellent mentor for Carmy. Today, Dufresne owns Stretch Pizza — and this week, he’s offering a special pie inspired by The Bear with shaved beef, spicy giardiniera, and provolone.

Kevin Boehm

Although Kevin Boehm isn’t exactly a chef, the restaurateur and co-owner of Boka Restaurant Group has earned his place as one of the most well-respected faces of the Chicago hospitality industry. On The Bear, he commiserates with Carmy on the toll that working in restaurants can take on you. “You know, I’ve been an adrenaline junkie my whole life, but that shit does not come for free,” Boehm says. “I don’t think I want to pay with my sanity anymore.”

Lucas Trahan

Although we never get a cameo from Ever’s real owner, Curtis Duffy, it was a pleasant surprise to spot the restaurant’s chef de cuisine, Lucas Trahan, plating dishes alongside the fictional chefs, Terry and Shapiro. Trahan has worked at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant since its 2020 opening — first as it pastry chef, then as its CDC in 2023.

Related: Meet the Brother-Sister Duo Behind 'The Bear'

Anna Posey

Later in Episode 10, many of the chefs, including Carmy and Sydney, sit down for dinner, experiencing their last (and for Sydney, first) meal at Ever while talking shop. The group starts to laugh about the first dish they ever placed on a restaurant menu. “It was awful,” says Anna Posey, pastry chef and co-owner of the Chicago restaurant, Elske. “Now my desserts are so scaled back and I think this dessert had like 12 elements on it.”

Christina Tosi

The James Beard award-winning pastry chef and founder of Milk Bar, Christina Tosi, also holds a seat at the iconic table, where she shares the story of her developing the recipe for cornbread ice cream while working for Wylie Dufresne who, ironically, is sitting right behind her. “He ran me through the gamut,” she says. “It’s why I became obsessed with ice cream.” She later discusses the damage that having a bad boss can do to you, often dooming you to repeat their bad behavior later on, which happens to be a central theme of The Bear.

<p>Mike Coppola / Getty Images</p> Milk Bar owner and Pastry Chef Christina Tosi

Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Milk Bar owner and Pastry Chef Christina Tosi

Malcolm Livingston II

Pastry chef Malcolm Livingston II, founder of the frozen treat brand August Novelties, shared an anecdote about one of his great bosses, Alex Stupak. Rather than shooting down the first dish Livingston created for him, Stupak validated him, posting it on Twitter and saying, “Innovation still exists.” Livingston, like Tosi, worked at wd~50 and shared the most important lesson Dufresne ever taught him: “Don’t leave in the middle of service to get a haircut.”

<p>Michael Buckner / Variety / Getty Images</p> Pastry Chef Malcolm Livingston II

Michael Buckner / Variety / Getty Images

Pastry Chef Malcolm Livingston II

Rosio Sanchez

Rosio Sanchez is another chef that can relate to Carmy’s story. She was the head pastry chef at Noma, preparing high-end desserts with Redzepi, and decided to leave in order to open a taco stand inspired by her mother, Hija de Sanchez. Sanchez now has four locations of Hija de Sanchez across Denmark, plus a high-end Mexican restaurant, Sanchez, in Copenhagen. At the table in Episode 10, she talks about how much she loves to cook. “It was always about making something with my hands — making something amazing that I’m proud of — and having somebody else enjoy it,” she says.

Genie Kwon

2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Genie Kwon, a co-owner of Filipino restaurant and bakery Kasama in Chicago, is another guest at the Ever dinner. She adds that she sometimes feels like an imposter in a group of chefs — that she might not love to cook as much as her peers, but that she loves being able to bring joy to others with her food. “That was the thing I got addicted to,” she says. “I think that I seek approval out of people every single day.”

Related: Tim Flores and Genie Kwon's Chicago City Guide

Will Guidara

Not only is the former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park a co-producer of The Bear, he also makes a guest appearance in Season 3's last episode. At dinner, restaurateur Will Guidara talks about how much he adored the “controlled chaos” and “orchestrated frenzy” of the restaurant industry. And isn’t that exactly what The Bear is, after all?

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