The Lowdown: Hot chef summer

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

The hot chef summer trend explained

Related tags The Bear TV Chefs Marco pierre white Nigella Lawson James Martin Thomas Straker

Dishy chefs including The Bear’s Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto and shirtless Swiss pastry chef Cedrik Lorenzen are steaming up our TV and phone screens this summer.

It has been boiling lately...
You misunderstand. We’re talking about the dishy chefs that have taken over our screens this summer. The chef that has got viewers the most worked up appears to be The Bear protagonist Carmen ‘Carmy’ Berzatto​ played by Jeremy Allen White but his new cast mate Will Poulter and chef Gabriel off of Emily In Paris are also causing something of a stir with their, err, stirring. 

I’m still not sure I understand
Let’s back up a bit. A few years ago someone - possibly rapper Megan Thee Stallion - coined the phrase hot girl summer. This has now been appropriated by commentators to describe the array of intense, generously-inked, tight T-shirt-clad cooking talent that are currently steaming up our TV and phone screens.  

Is it just fictional chefs that are making things hot in the kitchen? 
Nope. A number of real life cooks are part of the trend including social media stars like Thomas Straker of Notting Hill restaurant Straker’s, upper-body-clothing-averse Swiss pastry chef Cedrik Lorenzen and model and Eleven Madison Park alumnus Rōze Traore. And the hot chef trend isn’t solely for those with youth on their side. Just the other night Michel Roux Jr was declared ‘quite sexy’ by Miquita Oliver on Celebrity Gogglebox.

Oh là là! Can women be hot chefs too? 
It appears not. The lack of female representation has been highlighted by The Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley, who says that talented women in the (fictional) kitchen have been relegated to sidekick status.​ She takes the example of The Bear sous chef Sydney who is ‘beautiful, talented, funny and mostly ignored’. 

But haven’t chefs always been seen in this way?
That’s a fair point. White Heat-era Marco Pierre White was perhaps the ultimate chef sex symbol but honourable mentions should also go to double entendre expert Nigella Lawson and James Martin who - we understand - continues to get more than his fair share of saucy fan mail. But it does feel like we have entered a new era. Restaurants are cooler than ever and the stereotype of the red-faced, aggressively-alpha chef has largely fallen away creating space for a new breed of (usually) calm, quietly intense and - crucially, it appears - vulnerable cook, often with plenty of tattoos as well. One thing’s for sure, there’s never been a better time to be rattling the pots and pans on a professional basis. 

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