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Vancouver cooking school pays homage to The Bear with pop-up dinner

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is offering a five-course dinner in honour of FX series The Bear

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The Bear Pop-Up Dinner

When: July 10 & 11, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Blue Hat Bistro, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 101-1505 W. 2nd Ave., Vancouver
Tickets: $125 per person plus taxes at tickettailor.com

As The Bear heads into its third season, local fans of the streaming series can experience for themselves some of the mouth-watering dishes featured on the FX show.

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Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) is offering a five-course dinner that includes The Michael Cannoli, Sydney’s Raviolo, The Seven Fishes, a surprise inspired by a Season 3 dish, and a gateau Basque with ube and Saskatoon berries.

In the show, Jeremy Allen White is Carmen (Carmy) Berzatto, a James Beard Award-winning chef who returns to Chicago to run his deceased brother’s sandwich shop. The acclaimed series has racked up Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor (White) and Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress for Ebon Moss-Bacharach as Richie Jerimovich, Berzatto’s cousin, and Ayo Edebiri as chef Sydney Adamu.

Lian Cosby, head chef at Blue Hat Bakery-Café Bistro Events at PICA, says that she finds the show authentic.

“You can see that they’ve done a lot of research,” said Cosby, who has worked as a saucier at La Bastide in France and sous-chef at Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar, among other gigs.

“And it pulls at my heartstrings. I think that’s why it’s made such an impact on the industry and the cooks and the chefs in it.”

the bear FX series
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts pays tribute to the hit FX series The Bear with two pop-up dinners and two cooking classes. Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts photo

PICA hosted a Bear dinner in February with an entirely different menu. It was a great success, says PICA president and owner Sylvia Potvin.

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“We did two dinners,” she said. “The night before we did a Julia Child pop-up dinner. They’re fun to do and the students and the public love it.”

The Seven Fishes portion of the upcoming dinners — a Christmas tradition in Italian Catholic homes — will be a challenge, says Cosby.

“There are a lot of techniques, considering there are seven fishes and seven different cuissons. It’s something I’m familiar with growing up in a Catholic family. We’re going to showcase each creature of the sea probably in a more Provençal style but keeping with French tradition and technique.”

The dessert, the Ube Gateau Basque, is inspired by Kasama, the world’s first Michelin-starred Filipino restaurant. In Season 2, Sydney tours Chicago restaurants, including Kasama, for inspiration. Ube is a purple yam from the Philippines. Cosby says it’s her favourite episode.

“I was quite surprised when they had a Gateau Basque because when I used to work in France I ate a lot of that,” Cosby said. “And I grew up eating ube. I’m really excited to execute the dish.”

“And also ube has become a very hot food in the last the last year-and-a-half,” said Potvin. “I go to the natural foods expo in Anaheim and the purple food trend is big, especially ube. It’s huge in ice cream and bubble tea.”

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Along with The Bear dinners, PICA is hosting two cooking classes inspired by the show. In a less heated environment than chef Berzatto’s kitchen, participants will be instructed on the intricacies of an arugula, fennel and orange salad with Dijon vinaigrette, Mikey and Carmy’s Mom’s Chicken Piccata, Sydney’s Risotto Parmigiano, Margie’s Candies OTT Caramel Sundae and The Pink Drink. The Bear cooking classes are at PICA July 20 and 27.

“The Pink Drink alludes to Carmy and the stress that he faces in his personal and his professional life and the fact that he drinks Pepto Bismol,” said Potvin. “So we have a take on a pink drink. But it won’t taste like Pepto Bismol.”

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