Fans of The Bear devoured season two of the popular FX show when it dropped June 22, and cookbook fanatics are already dissecting the books that set designer Eric Frankel selected for the new episodes. Both Food & Wine and cookbook newsletter Stained Page News looked into the situation recently; Stained Page News broke down the cookbooks by episode and received the full list of books, as provided by Frankel. Meanwhile, Food & Wine writers Kat Kinsman and Chandra Ram looked at the cookbooks on the whole, both reasoning out some of the inclusions and puzzling over other things — including the chaotic filing system in the back office of the restaurant.
Eater SF dived deep into Carmy Berzatto’s cookbook collection last year, but this new season saw a return of some of last season’s books — which makes sense, no reason to throw them out — along with a few new additions. Season two included a hefty number of restaurant cookbooks and authors from the Bay Area, fitting since the French Laundry is one of the two high-profile restaurants where Carmy has previously worked (the other being Noma in Copenhagen).
The new additions include some diversification of authors and cuisines, as Ken Concepcion, owner of Los Angeles-based cookbook shop Now Serving, first suggested. Locally, Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho is among the new selections; but broadly, Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jemima Code and Jubilee, as well as Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor’s Vibration Cooking, were also added among the scenes and shelves of books in The Bear.
Other new local cookbooks added to the cookbook collection in The Bear include Brown Sugar Kitchen by Tanya Holland, Black Food by Bryant Terry, and as Eater SF mentioned elsewhere, Diasporican by Illyanna Maisonet.
Here’s the full list of cookbooks from Bay Area chefs and restaurants featured in Season 2 of The Bear, in alphabetical order:
- Benu by Corey Lee
- Black Food by Bryant Terry
- Bouchon Bakery by Sebastien Rouxel
- Brown Sugar Kitchen by Tanya Holland
- Coi by Daniel Patterson with Peter Meehan
- Cooking by Hand: A Cookbook by Paul Bertolli
- Diasporican by Illyanna Maisonet
- The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
- Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho
- The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking by Barbara Tropp
- A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow
- Rich Table by Sarah and Evan Rich with Carolyn Alburger
- SPQR by Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino with Kate Leahy
- Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt
- Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson
- Toothache Magazine issues 2-10, editor Nick Muncy
- The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers