The Bear was one of the highly acclaimed comedy dramas of last year because, for the first time, this show broke the rules of how a comedy should be presented. There is comedy in chaos, impatience, and anger, and all of this is well executed thanks to some excellent writing done by Christopher Storer, Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Karen Joseph Adcock, Joanna Calo, Catherine Schetina, Rene Gube and Stacy Osei-Kuffour. It looks like the writer’s room must have been as chaotic as the theme of the show, but thankfully, this is not a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Do you see the irony of that idiom?
Sydney Adamu is a young graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who joins Carmy’s restaurant. She is someone who not just looks up to Carmy but also to the establishment because this restaurant happens to be her father’s favorite place to eat. Sydney is considered elite amongst the rest of the staff, who had previously worked only with Michael, Carmy’s now-deceased brother, because her sense of preparing and presenting food is the opposite of what they have been trained to do. Sydney, just like Carmy, comes with formal training and wants to bring a change in the way things are done in this restaurant. The staff is respectful of Carmy because of his relationship with Michael, but they do not show the same reverence towards Sydney because she is the new one trying to break the status quo.
This is normal behavior projected by the team because the old order at any establishment would have difficulty giving up on their methods. Sydney is the new wave they are afraid of, who would bring in changes that Carmy might be okay with. The team was not entirely okay with Carmy making too many changes but they could not show much resistance because at the end of the day Carmy is their boss. The team would have to adapt to his ways of working only because they do not want to lose their jobs. Sydney, on the other hand, is not trying to take power from them, but she is also unable to explain her role in the kitchen because she is new, and diplomacy is not her forte. Even though Carmy can understand that Sydney is in sync with his vision for the restaurant, she is unable to convey the same to the team.
Somehow the team was having inhibitions about Carmy trying to bring some systematic changes to the restaurant, but they could project their dissidence only towards Sydney for implementing them. I’m not sure why that happened. It may be because some of them would be jealous of her having such in-depth knowledge of cooking while the rest of them had to work for years to get an understanding of how dishes must be prepared and served. The friction usually comes from Tina, who is not ready to pass the baton to Sydney.
Sydney is a young woman who has just entered the real world of running a kitchen and is taking the resistance in stride. This is all about learning on the job, and as a rookie, she cannot be on edge all the time as the environment in the kitchen under Carmy is volatile and chaotic as it is. It is interesting to see how Sydney tries to grow as an individual in a space that is trying hard to resist major modifications, and the authenticity of the restaurant remains.
For a while, the young woman was unable to understand the reason for the opposition from the old guard. She later learns from Richie that Michael died by suicide and left the restaurant for Carmy to run because he has experience running a kitchen. Mikey was in debt, and Carmy is now on the path to not just making this restaurant the most sought-after place in the city but also clearing the debt slowly and steadily.
This is the reason why Sydney helps him revamp the menu as well because she envisions a change as the only way to push this eatery to become a place that serves authentic food with a twist. Baby steps would lead to forming a solid menu that would help Carmy as well. Sydney also tries to put her own dishes on the menu. This is a way to showcase her talent as a sous-chef, but Carmy says she is not ready yet. She is young, and keen to have people remember her dishes. A small win from such a delicious dish could help her gain some confidence in herself, and Carmy would also be impressed with her work. Sydney, just like any other newbie, is eager to prove her worth because she’s only going to climb upwards from here and does not plan to slow down.
Sydney offered the restaurant reviewer a risotto dish she made as a thank you, which was mentioned in the rave reviews that the place got. Though she is happy with this news, Carmy is not because she took this decision without keeping him in the loop. The matters in the kitchen escalate when the preorder system in the kitchen malfunctions because of Sydney, and the entire lunch run ends in absolute madness. Sydney resigns because now she cannot take the toll of the work being piled on her, and she also feels guilty for the machine breaking down. Another reason she leaves is because she feels Carmy will end up blaming her for a lot of things that she is not responsible for. Sydney was done working with Carmy at that point, and maybe she realized one should not work with people one admires the most.
Sydney took the bold step of resigning even though the risotto she served impressed the reviewers and put the restaurant on the map, and Carmy cannot deny her this victory. The man, who is deep in the sorrow of losing his brother and is on the brink of losing the restaurant, apologizes to Sydney over text and offers her tips to improve her dish, which is how the conversation should have gone between the two initially. Carmy getting in touch with Sydney would also mean he is acknowledging her role in making the kitchen a much better place than it was when he began working with ‘the Original Beef of Chicagoland,’ and he would need her now that he has enough capital to revamp the place. It would be interesting to watch the role Sydney would play in rebuilding the menu and what she could bring to the table as a sous-chef for Carmy. Hopefully, there will not be an outburst like in the first season, and Sydney will find a foothold in this place, which would be a dream come true for her.