Kitchen Uniforms: Appearance in a Professional Kitchen

When you think of a professional chef, you probably have a picture in your head: White jacket, black pants, apron, and a chef’s hat. Did you know that each part of the uniform has it’s own purpose and when it comes to appearance, professional chefs have very strict standards to which they must live up to?

 

What is The Purpose of Each Part of the Kitchen Uniform?

Each piece serves a unique purpose that may not be entirely obvious to the average person.  We’ll go over each piece from the most familiar item (chef’s hat) down.

A chef’s hat is not just for looks, although depending on your title, in some kitchens, different chefs wear different types of hats. The main purpose is to keep hair from getting into food. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and had a hair in your dish, you know how unappealing that is.

Next down is a neckerchief. This is a square shaped piece of cloth that is usually flame resistant. It is folded in a specific way and tied around a chef’s neck, similar to a necktie. It is worn, not only for a professional appearance, but also to protect your neck from splatters of grease and other hot liquids.

The chef’s jacket is next. This is a symbol of professionalism, and worn to show commitment to the trade. It’s usually made of a heavy, thick, flame resistant material and is almost always long sleeved to protect from burns and splatters. It will often have a logo of the establishment on the breast pocket, and will often have small pockets on the arms to keep tools such as a thermometer convenient at all times.

Aprons in a professional kitchen serve the same purpose as in a home kitchen: To protect clothing (in this case a bright white chef’s coat) from stains. If you use your hands to mix things, aprons are often used to wipe your hands, and they often have pockets to hold tools and anything else you always want to have handy.

Chefs also have specific types of pants they must wear; usually black, but often you’ll see crazy patterns or stripes, these are also usually made of a thick and flame resistant material and usually made with an elastic waistband for comfort. You want to be able to move about all day long, so comfort is important.

It is important to have the correct shoes as well. Usually black, closed toed and heavy shoes, you are looking for something that is comfortable, durable and has a slip resistant sole. Wearing the wrong shoes in a professional kitchen can be disastrous whether you drop something heavy, such as large pot on your foot, or slip and fall. Since most chefs work on their feet all day long, comfort is a must as well.

It is extremely important that all these items are kept clean and in good condition; even though most restaurant patrons never see the people that actually prepare their food, they want to be assured that they are clean and neat; after all, they are eating a chef’s creations.

When you put all these items together, you have a long standing symbol of professionalism in the kitchen, that can’t be matched otherwise. It shows commitment to the craft, and dedication to the industry itself.

Chef Uniform Photo Courtesy Of:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1803

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