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The Fork On The Floor Explained


After my colleagues and I spoke all about “The Bear” season 3 on an episode of the /Film Daily podcast, we received an email from one of our listeners pointing out that in the 2015 movie “Burnt,” starring Bradley Cooper — a film that’s referenced in “The Bear” season 3 — a fork laying on the ground is a sign that a Michelin judge is dining at the restaurant. According to that movie, Michelin judges would put a fork on the ground as a test to evaluate how attentive the staff is.

Since “Burnt” was released, that practice has been disputed. “No, they don’t drop a fork or a knife on the floor,” Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis told a Washington news outlet called WTOP back in 2016. But if the appearance of a Bradley Cooper photo in “The Bear” season 3 finale indicates that “The Bear” and “Burnt” actually take place in the same fictional universe, as some have speculated, perhaps there’s some truth to it in this scenario. We know Richie and the staff were not able to spot the all-important Chicago Tribune reviewer when that person visited the restaurant, so it stands to reason that they could have missed a Michelin judge as well.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that fork on the floor wasn’t just a random detail Richie happened to notice, which hinted that the restaurant may be getting a little sloppy when it comes to service. Let’s say it really was a Michelin judge coming to visit The Bear. That would be an incredibly important moment for Carmy and the staff — and it could be a major part of how the next season plays out.

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