Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, our favorite tortured cooking prodigy from the award winning “The Bear” on FX, has no shortage of great lines leading us up through the first two seasons.
But it’s a seven minute monologue from an episode where he is in therapy that has led to Jeremy Alan White getting some much deserved accolades.
Here is the full monologue in print. Enjoy!
“My name is Carmen. My, um, my brother is an addict. My brother was an addict. And this morning, I, uh, sorry. I forgot. Before I came to Al anon, I was a cook. I mean, I’m still a cook. I’m just a different kind of cook, I guess. My brother and I, we would cook a lot together, especially when we were kids. That’s when we were closest. Food was always our common ground. We wanted to open a restaurant together, we had a name. We had a vibe. All of it. My brother could make you feel confident in yourself. You know, like when I was a kid. If I was nervous. I was scared. I wouldn’t want to do something. He’d always tell me to just face it. You know. Get it over with. He would always say (stupid). He would always say ‘let it rip’. He was loud. He was hilarious. And he had this amazing ability, he could walk into a room and he could take the temperature of it instantly, you know, he could dial it. And, I’m not built like that man.
I, um, I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. I had a stutter when I was younger. I was afraid to speak half of the time. And I got *hitty grades because I couldn’t pay attention in school. I didn’t get into college. I didn’t have any girlfriends. I don’t think I’m funny.
I always thought my brother was my best friend. Like we just knew everything about each other. Except everybody thought he was their best friend. You know? He was that magnetic. And um, I didn’t know my brother was using drugs. What does that say? As we got older, I realized I didn’t know anything about him, really. He stopped letting me into the restaurant a couple of years ago. He just cut me off cold. And that hurt, you know?
And I think that flipped a switch in me where I was like, Ok, *uck you. Watch this. And because we had this connection through food, and he had made me feel so rejected and lame, and *hitty, and uncool, I made this plan where I was going to go and work in all the best restaurants in the world. You know? Like I’m going to go and work in real kitchens. Like *uck mom and dad’s piece of *hit, right? And it sounds ridiculous, you know, me saying that now. But that, that’s what I did. And I got the *hit kicked out of me. And I separated herbs and I shucked oysters and clams and uni. And I cut myself. And I got garlic,and onions, and peppers in my fingernails and in my eyes. And my skin was dry and oily at the same time. I had callouses on my fingers from the knives and my stomach was fucked. And it was everything.
And a couple of years later, this funny thing happened, which is like for the first time in my life, I started to find this station for myself. And I was fast. I wasn’t afraid. And it was clear. And I felt okay. You know? I knew which vegetables went together. Proteins, temperatures, sauces, all of that *hit. And when somebody knew came into the restaurant to stage, I’d look at them like they were competition. Like I’m going to smoke this *other *fucker. I felt like I could speak through the food. Like I could communicate through creativity. And that kind of confidence. You know? Like I was finally, good at something. That was so new and so exciting. And I just wanted him to know that and *uck, I just wanted him to be like “good job”.
And the more he wouldn’t respond and the more our relationship kind of strained, the deeper into this I went and the better I got. And the more people I cut out, the quieter my life got. And the routine of the kitchen was so consistent and exacting, and busy, and hard and alive, and I lost track of time. And he died. And he left me his restaurant.
And over the past couple of months, I’ve been trying to fix it because it was in rough shape. And I think its very clear that me trying to fix the restaurant, was me trying to fix whatever happened to my brother. And I don’t know, maybe fix the whole family because it has and does mean a lot to people. It means a lot to me.
I just don’t know if it ever meant anything to him.
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