Set in Chicago, the series follows professional chef Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) who inherits his brother's restaurant after his death by suicide, and tries to bring the eatery back from the brink of collapse.
FX's kitchen drama may have only premiered last year, but with so many shows and films demanding our attention some viewers may have forgotten what took place in its first season.
Here is everything you need to remember from The Bear S1.
The Bear recap: The story so far
The drama opens by setting up its initial premise: Carmy arrives in Chicago to take over his brother Mikey's (Jon Bernthal) restaurant The Original Beef, a failing sandwich joint that his sibling all but run into the ground before his death and is $300,000 in debt to their uncle Cicero (Oliver Platt)
Carmy's arrival is not a welcome one to the staff: Manager Richard "Richie" Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), chefs Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) and Ebraheim (Edwin Lee Gibson), and pastry chef Marcus (Lionel Boyce) all resist his changes and vision for the restaurant, preferring to keep things as they were.
In order to help give the restaurant a boost, Carmy hires talented young chef Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) and she too finds it a challenge to assert her dominance over the kitchen.
Sydney has lots of new ideas for the kitchen and The Beef's menu, and Carmy is all for experimenting to reinvent the place but it has to be perfect, and he challenges her to be better. This stems from his own experiences in fine dining restaurants, where he was constantly bullied for not being good enough.
Read more: The Bear: Inside Sydney’s Food Tour and Season 2’s Love Letter to Chicago (The Hollywood Reporter, 8-min read)
In order to understand why his brother took his own life Carmy visits AI-Anon, a space which helps him to better understand his own fragile mental health.
As Carmy and Sydney make plans for The Beef, Richie, Tina and Ebraheim struggle with the new world order but Marcus embraces the challenge of becoming a better pastry chef but his determination to get ahead fast leads to a fuse being blown at the restaurant and stopping everything in the kitchen working.
It is also revealed that Richie sold cocaine in order to keep the business afloat during the pandemic, but Carmy makes him promise to never do that again, and he agrees.
Sydney is able to help The Beef avoid a crisis by creating an outdoor sandwich service using a makeshift barbecue, but as things begin to pick up at The Beef now that Carmy and Sydney are at the wheel tensions rise in the kitchen.
The young chef wants to add a risotto dish on the menu, but Carmy doesn't think it's right and tells her to go back to the drawing board. Rather than waste the meal, Sydney gives it to a customer who turns out to be a food critic that was moved by her kind gesture and gives The Beef a favourable review.
Their success seems all but assured until Sydney realises she left the pre-order option open for The Beef's to-go sandwich orders, and when the team are faced with countless orders and a busy lunch service everything goes to pot.
Read more: The Bear Writer Claims ‘Evil’ Streamers Want Writers to Be ‘Homeless’ (IndieWire, 3-min read)
The staff begin to buckle under the pressure, Sydney accidentally stabs Richie and Carmy lets his anger out on her for the overwhelming situation they are in. Sydney decides to quit because of Carmy's attitude and so does Marcus.
In the tense finale, the remaining staff cater a bachelor party but things go wrong when a fight breaks out and Richie becomes involved, he is charged with aggravated assault. Realising he can't do things on his own, Carmy apologises to Marcus who returns to the restaurant.
After becoming lost in his head and failing to put out a kitchen fire, Richie decides to give Carmy a letter from his brother who also wrote about a spaghetti recipe that referred to the tomato tins that are meant to be used.
When Carmy checks the cans he discovers that his brother actually hid money in all of them, thus saving the restaurant from its financial woes... for now.
Deciding to make amends, Carmy also apologises to Sydney who agrees to return, and he also makes preparations to close the restaurant.
He puts a sign on The Beef's door declaring that the restaurant is closed and will reopen with a new name: The Bear.
The Bear season one and two are available to watch on Disney+ now.
Watch the trailer for The Bear season two