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Chef Uniforms The Importance of Looking Professional

Aug 17, 2007
In today's modern world, getting a job as a cook may or may not be hard. Of course, that does depend on what type of job you would be interested in and what type of degrees the company is interested in. Whether you work in the neighborhood McDonalds or the state bank, you usually still have a uniform that you must wear. Take a chef's uniform for instance.

For example, when you go to a restaurant and see the chefs cooking they are usually wearing a pair of white pants with a white lab coat and one of those long white hats on their head. No, they do not wear uniforms just to look funny, but because it is a requirement! It is a time-honored tradition, and every chef wears his or her chef uniform with pride. After a chef gets the job at the restaurant that he had wished for, the first thing that is talked about is the uniform that he or she is required to wear. It is always white, and always prestigious.

Depending on where you are hired to work, the restaurant may supply your uniform for you or you might just have to buy it. One of the reasons that you might be given a uniform by the restaurant would be because it may be specially made for employees. It might have the restaurant name, sign and maybe even the motto. Another reason for the employer to furnish chefs uniform is to make sure that all the uniforms are the same. You can't go out somewhere and buy something like that. Usually the chef's uniform and the waitresses' uniform's will be similar in a way, but will have their differences.

If you are planning on being a chef, always make sure that your chef's uniform stays clean. It is very unsanitary if you washed your uniform every two weeks knowing that you are around food the whole day. If you are a chef and you come out of the kitchen to go use the restroom wearing a uniform that has Wednesday's mashed potatoes and gravy that someone ordered, you are not going to be driving people to the restaurant.

The same rule applies to wearing a chef's uniform that is stained. Customers have a certain image of a chef, and a stained and dirty chef uniform does not fit the picture. The only thing you will be driving them towards is their car so they can go as far away as possible from your restaurant. This is definitely going to be a problem, your restaurant will not get that much business and it might even possibly go out of business.

Your chef's uniform is not the only thing that you should make sure stays clean. The restaurant itself has a great impact on your business and amount of pleased customers you have. This is also another way to either have the ability to attract customers or bugs. Keep the restaurant clean for the customers and the employees.

A chef uniform was designed with a purpose. The jacket is double breasted, so it can be turned inside out if there too many stains are on it. The jacket itself is made out of a double layer of cotton so it can insulate the chefs' body against the incredible heat from the stove or from the spill or splatters that may occur throughout the day. The cloth covered knotted buttons can handle a lot of washes and the frequent bumps with the hot pots and handles and heavy equipment.

Even the pants to a chef's uniform have a purpose other than being completely unattractive. The pattern on the pants of chefs uniform is called hounds tooth. It is a tiny black and white square pattern and it is great for hiding stains of any kind.

In past kitchens of the past, a chef would wear a neckerchief to catch the sweat that would pour off of them in the sweltering kitchens. Today, they are worn for aesthetic reasons. They give a chef uniform a more finished look.

The traditional chefs hat is called a toque blanche. It is the most distinguishing feature about the chef uniform. Chefs uniforms were originally gray, and made of regular material.

They can be traced back to the eighteenth century. Chef Careme, a famous chef of the time, decided to redesign the uniforms of all chefs. He designed them in the color white, thinking that it denoted cleanliness. He made them double-breasted and made of cotton. All of these idea were his. The hat sizes were originally made according to the position of the kitchen help. The chefs wore the tall hats and the rest of the kitchen cooks wore the shorter hats. A true torque has one hundred folds in it and has been rumored that because chef Careme could cook eggs one hundred different ways.

The traditional chef's uniform is a standard for the chefs' profession, but it is not a law. As far back as the mid 1980's, chefs have been wearing their own form of clothing. Some chefs frown on these new-style uniforms as non-professional. They are proud of their chef uniform, and have worked very hard to be able to wear it.

Years of hard work at the culinary academy and then years of back breaking work perfecting their art have earned them the right to be critical. It is more of a respect feeling that they have toward the uniform and all that it signifies to wear it. They feel that by changing the uniform, it is defiling it in some way.

A chef's uniform is a very special article of clothing. Some feel that those who change the design of their own uniforms are somehow dishonoring the memory of the chefs before them that had dedicated their lives to creating culinary masterpieces. The time tested chefs uniform will continue to be the standard dress for all chefs, but there will always be rebel in the mix.
About the Author
Freelance writer for over eleven years.

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