In The Bear season 2’s episode 1, Sydney tells Uncle Jimmy that their restaurant will eventually get a star – here’s what she means when she refers to the culinary star system. Set in Chicago, The Bear season 2 picks where the first season left. Carmy and The Beef’s crew set out to open a new restaurant but feel anxious about all the variables they will have to overcome along the way. They also realize that to make their plan work, they will need a lot more money than they acquired from the tomato cans in The Bear season 1’s ending.

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Hence, their journey toward starting a new restaurant begins with an important business meeting with Uncle Jimmy. Instead of not telling him about Mikey’s hidden money, Carmy comes clean and leverages his truth to ask him for more. Carmy, Sydney, and Sugar also try making a plausible pitch to Jimmy to get him interested in investing in their new restaurant. When Jimmy raises his concerns surrounding the cutthroat competition in the restaurant trade, Sydney proudly says that they will earn a star. Here’s what she means and how it could affect The Bear’s business.

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What Stars Mean For Restaurants In The Culinary World

The Bear season 2: Sydney writing on pad in the kitchen

Sydney refers to the Michelin star system in The Bear Season 2, one of the most sophisticated culinary rating systems. Unlike most star-based rating systems, earning even one star in the Michelin system is a great accomplishment and a rare feat. That explains why Sydney feels excited about the prospect of earning even one star. While one star indicates that a restaurant is very good in its category, two stars imply that it has reached an excellent level of cooking that is worth a detour. Three stars, the highest rating in the Michelin system, only go to restaurants that create an exceptional gastronomic experience for visitors.

Only 142 restaurants in the entire world had earned three Michelin stars by 2022. As Sydney establishes in The Bear season 2, Michelin stars can mean a lot to restaurants because they primarily represent the quality of food served to customers. While parameters like ambiance, decor, and service quality can influence the ratings, they are not officially a part of the factors determining whether a restaurant deserves the stars. Since it is incredibly difficult to acquire the stars in the culinary world, even one star can add immense credibility to a restaurant business and help it gain more customers.

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How Restaurants Get Stars (Can The Bear Really Get Any?)

The Bear season 2 Richie suit ebon moss-bachrach

The Michelin rating system does not represent every part of the world, which means that if a restaurant is not located in the geographical zones the Michelin guide covers, it will not be eligible for the ratings. In the United States, only New York City, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, the East Bay and wine country, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas are covered in the guide. Since Carmy and Sydney’s The Bear restaurant is located in Chicago, it is eligible for the ratings. However, considering the meticulousness of the whole process of earning a star, The Bear will have to overcome many challenges to acquire it.

Michelin recruits inspectors to determine whether a restaurant is worthy of earning a star. These inspectors anonymously visit restaurants several times a day, during different hours, and even in varying seasons before they finalize their ratings. The judging criteria used by them include the quality of products, the restaurant’s mastery of flavors and cooking techniques, the chef’s personality in the cuisine, the cuisine’s value for money, and the consistency of food quality. If a restaurant ticks all the right boxes, it earns a star.

Considering how Carmy, Sydney, and Marcus put everything into their recipes and try to serve the best quality food to their customers, they have what it takes to earn their first star. Even when it comes to consistency, Sydney proves in The Bear season 2’s ending that regardless of how chaotic things may get in the kitchen, their customers will always leave satisfied. Maintaining the quality of products could be an issue if The Bear struggles to rake in enough profit margins. However, Sydney and the crew have the potential to make The Bear a profitable endeavor in The Bear season 3.

Why Sydney Wants A Star So Badly In The Bear Season 2

Carmy and Sydney in The Bear season 2

Sydney wants a star so badly in The Bear season 2 because it is one of the highest honors a restaurant can receive. It symbolizes excellence and adds a lot of heft to a chef’s reputation in the international culinary scene. Since Sydney works extremely hard inside and outside the kitchen to enhance the gastronomic experience of The Bear’s customers, the star can also be a validating testament to her hard work and resilience. Sydney also understands that once The Bear earns a star, she and her crew can leverage it to increase their business by marketing their Michelin-starred dining experience to high-class customers.

However, Sydney seems a little naive about what happens once a restaurant earns one star. A one-star rating on the Michelin scale puts immense pressure on a restaurant because it is reviewed again after 18 months. After the review, a restaurant can potentially maintain its star, gain another, or even lose if it falters in quality. The pressure to sustain the star can also significantly restrict a chef’s creativity in the kitchen. Carmy, who previously worked at a restaurant that retained its star, seems to understand this, and that is why he disapproves of the idea of getting recognized by the Michelin rating system in The Bear Season 2.


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