Most uniforms in any career setting usually symbolize a thing or two. You see a police officer’s uniform and you think safety and protection, a firefighters uniform makes you think help and rescue. So what about a chef’s ensemble? Like any other job, each part of chef’s uniform has an important role. It’s got nothing to do with entertaining the client when he walks around the restaurant. Most of the pieces are there for safety! The kitchen can be a dangerous place to spend the whole day. The probability of accidents happening, considering the number of people who work in a commercial kitchen, is very high.
Let us look at some functions of parts of a chefs uniform;
- The jacket
A chef’s jacket is usually double breasted. I know the fancy look might have led you to believe they are making a fashion statement, which they might be, but it serves a certain protective function. Ina kitchen there are bound to be spill and splatters of the hot variety. The double breast protects the chef from all these kitchen hazards; by creating a two layer barrier. The jackets are also designed to allow the chef to unbutton and change flap sides to conceal spills or stain. These jackets have long sleeves to protect the arms from splatters and scalding steam.
- The hat
The torque blanche, which Is the chef’s hat, is the most recognized part of the ensemble. It’s a French cooking hat that’s usually tall and pleated but can come in a variety of looks. It’s used to contain the hair and keep it from falling into the food. A commercial kitchen is bound to get very hot; the hat serves to absorb sweat from overheated brows. The neckerchief also serves to absorb sweat from the neck area.
- The pants
Despite the hot kitchen conditions, chef’s pants are always long. They protect the chef’s legs from hot spills and splashes. The pants are baggy to keep hot spills from making contact with the chef’s skin with an elastic waistband for quick removal. Their pants don’t have cuffs because they can trap hot liquids.
- The apron
Like any other household apron, this one serves to protect the chef’s jacket and pants from excessive staining. It also serves as an extra barrier from the spills and splashes. Most chefs use towels to hot onto hot pans and wipe up messes. Some even use the apron to grab hot oven pots. The cleaner the apron looks the more professional the chef seems.
- The shoes
If you’ve never noticed, chefs wear hard leather boots. Certain brands of shoes are especially made for chefs. Hazards involved that call for such protection of feet include falling knives, spilling of hot food and pans. These shoes have slip resistant soles that give the chefs feet support and enough grip in case of a slippery floor.
Next time you see a chef, you’ll be able to recognize his ensemble as not only a fashion statement but also a security measure. Makes you wonder what the suits worn by the Diamond and Diamond lawyers represent, apart from the obvious…