Summer TV season is upon us (rejoice!) and there are a number of new series to look forward to. For example, AMC's drama Feed the Beast will focus on two lifelong friends (David Schwimmer and Jim Sturgess) who open a high-end restaurant in the Bronx. But, lest you think this show is better-suited to The Food Network, there's a catch — they also happen to be in trouble with the law and the mob, so these two are going to have a busy schedule of cooking, evading arrest, and fending off violent mobsters. The show isn't based on a true story, but does Thirio, the Feed the Beast restaurant really exist?
The food at Thirio looks delicious, but the restaurant is fictional and therefore we sadly can't dine there in real life. However, a great deal of effort went into creating Thirio and Bon Appétit described it as "the buzziest new restaurant" in town, adding that it specializes in pan-Mediterranean cuisine and the food is served in a remodeled piano factory on the Bronx waterfront. Thirio may be fictional, but the showrunners and cast put a lot of effort into learning about the restaurant biz. According to Time Out, both Schwimmer and Sturgess were trained in their characters' areas of expertise in order for the kitchen scenes to be as realistic as possible.
Showrunners didn't stop there — the same Bon Appétit article reported that they hired Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle to act as a consultant during filming. He worked with the writers to make the dialogue authentic to what we'd hear if we entered the kitchen of an actual restaurant. The show even has a food stylist, Susan Spungen, who we can thank for the mouth-watering dishes we'll see on our TV screens this summer. And, although the actors took cooking classes, stunt doubles were used for trickier cooking scenes — for example, the article noted that the task of "cleaning and opening prickly, live sea urchins" was a little too daunting for the actors who play Thirio's line cooks.
Schwimmer emphasized that learning the ins and outs of the restaurant biz was no easy feat — and he told Newsday that mastering the wine lingo was a bit of a challenge: "[It] requires a range of vocabulary and timing that has to be kind of poetic and delicious.”
We may not be able to book a reservation at Thirio, but we can certainly count on Feed the Beast to give us an extremely accurate picture of what it's like to manage a restaurant — legal troubles aside, of course.
Images: Frank Ockenfels; Christopher Testani (2)/AMC