Chef Uniform – Deconstructed
Food is a major part of our industry, and with the sensationalized chefs that have brought international cuisine to the everyday table, it is no wonder that more and more people aspire to become chefs to impress with their own creativity and signature dishes.
Chefs are instantly recognizable for the uniforms that they wear, and a well groomed and attired chef shows the standard of professionalism even before the food is presented.
A lot of high end chefs choose to have their own attire with an embroidered Jacket that fits their style for comfort and looks. It is important for a chef of this stature looks the part as both on a yacht and in a private house you will no doubt be working in an open kitchen where guests and owners will drop in without notice.
The uniform worn not just to sets them apart as a chef, but it has some very important practical purposes as well.
Chef Uniform – Deconstructed
Chef uniforms are generally white and are distinctive and functional. Every element of the uniform has its own job to perform that keeps the chef and the food safe.
The apron of a chef uniform goes from the waist to just below the knee and is designed from a durable material to protect the chef from spills. They are easy to get on and off, so the chef can change into a clean one quickly, if need be. Chefs often keep a clean dishtowel tucked into the waistband of their aprons to use when they need it. Choose a durable apron made of canvas or a cotton/poly blend that can withstand many times through the washing machine!
The shoes a chef wears need to be very good quality and supportive. Sandals, flip flops, and anything with laces that could come undone and trip someone should not be worn under any circumstances. This could be a serious safety concern. Professional chefs often wear clogs in the kitchen. The important thing is that the shoes are safe and comfortable. Usually they will have a reinforced toe for extra protection against heavy items falling onto the feet.
The chef’s pants need to be well fitting around the waist, but roomy in the legs and thighs, to ensure freedom of movement. Cotton, whilst not as durable as the poly/cotton blends, is still the preferred fabric due to the flexibility and breath-ability. The traditional pant has small or large black and white checks which are designed to hide small stains – but increasingly we are seeing chefs wear solid colours or other bright prints.
The best chef jacket is long sleeved and double breasted. All the buttons on the front must be buttoned up, to make sure the chef has several layers of clothing protecting the front of the body from spills and burns. It must allow plenty of air circulation and freedom of movement, but not be too loose, to prevent the possibility of it catching on fire. The jackets of a chef are usually white which looks clean, elegant and classy.
They used to be made of 100% cotton which again makes sense for movement, comfort and air flow, however most manufacturers will now use a blend of 35% cotton and 65% polyester for durability and crease resistance. Polyester is notorious for it’s ease of flammability but the retention of the cotton still makes this blend fire resistant.
Chef’s Hat, or Toque
Professional chefs wear tall hats; this shows that they are fully trained. The hats are usually white, but in some cases, a chef is specially awarded and receives a tall black chef’s hat and the title “Chef of Chefs”. The hat protects the hair from smoke and grease, and allows proper air flow. It also keeps the hair out of the chef’s face and absorbs perspiration. Another benefit of a chef hat is it can prevent loose hairs from falling into the food they are preparing.