The first two seasons of FX’s series The Bear have featured more than a few cameos from celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Paulson, and John Mulaney, but none seem to be gaining as much attention as Will Poulter’s character Luca from season 2. Fans of the show are dying for a return of this character in season 3, which comes out this month on June 27th on Hulu, and the internet is longing for more info on this somewhat mysterious character. One of the reasons I love The Bear is its authentic portrayal of the industry by utilizing consultants and real chefs to create the food, and the sets, and help flesh out the characters. Because of this, we have to wonder, is our beloved Luca based on a real chef, or just a character we all love made to serve as a rival to Carmy in season 3? Here’s what we know.

Are all the characters based on real chefs?

While the show is known to highlight real Chicago landmarks and restaurants, not everything in the show is fact. According to Mashed, “All the characters are purely a figment of the writer's imagination,” so even though the show uses the city in their narrative and real chefs as inspiration, it doesn’t look like Luca is technically based on any real chefs. Rather, I believe that the training that Will Poulter did to prepare for the role is what makes this character so interesting and chef-like to us that we assume it must be based on a real chef.

All the actors got real chef experience.

Similar to how the show utilized Loaf Lounge co-owner and baker, Sarah Mispagel, as a consultant (she even made the chocolate cake from season 1, episode 4 made by chef Marcus), almost all of the cast also had to work in real kitchens in order to prepare for the role. People who work in the culinary field are the first to notice inaccuracies in food shows, so authenticity and actual training was necessary for this food industry and restaurant-centric show. In an interview with Daily Beast’s Obsessed, Will Poulter describes how the training he did for the role affected the backstory he had in mind as he played Luca:

“I was set up in a couple of kitchens in London to prepare. I worked at Black Axe Mangal, St. JOHN, and then I did half a shift at Trullo,” Poulter said “Conor Gadd, who is the head chef at Trullo, and the people that I met during that experience really helped me form my backstory.”

Poulter expressed that he was grateful for the opportunity to learn from professionals in the industry, and hoped to emulate what he had learned as he portrayed Luca in the show. Based on everything Will Poulter experienced during his training, it makes sense that his character’s personality is the opposite of the main character Carmy, who is equally talented as a chef, but often loses his cool in the kitchen. He learned the attributes of being kind and supportive but authoritative in the kitchen from the chefs he trained under to prepare for the role. While we have only had a small taste of this character in season 2, I for one hope we get to see more of this character in the kitchens, as well as some confirmation on the history between Luca and Carmy’s characters, but more importantly, watch Will Poulter kneed more dough.