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Line Cooks/Exec Chefs: Purdue University Industrial Design Thesis Questions.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

    Hello, my name is Nicholas Smigielski and I am a Senior Industrial Design student at Purdue University, currently working on my year-long senior thesis design project. Being that whatever I design is totally free of choice, I decided to go with something concerning my past 3 summers.

 

    Over these past 3 summers I have worked at Can Can Brasserie, a higher-end French-modern restaurant in Richmond, VA as a raw bar/pastry chef. Constantly observing the fast-paced atmosphere, I tried to think of anything that I could create to increase safety, efficiency, consistency, plate presentation, etc. or anything that could possibly apply to a product I could create for my Industrial Design Major. Things that I did notice the most concerning myself and the other chefs was sweating, knife sharpening, and burns of all kind to our hands and/or forearms.

 

    The following questions are for all Line Cooks, Higher End Restaurant Chefs, and even the Home Consumers:

 

    NOTE FOR RESPONDERS: Answers are going to be presented professionally and used as part of a research section in my project. So please be honest and include:

 

    NAME, made-up if you do not want to use your own

    WORK EXPERIENCE, or some credibility to your chef experience (pictures of injuries would be fantastic!)

 

    1. How often does your forearms encounter burns/cuts/etc.?

   

    2. How often do you sharpen or take the steel to your knife during service? How often would you prefer to?

   

    3. Do you wear wristbands and/or sweatbands/bandanas during service?

   

    4. Would you consider wearing arm protection or anything that could make you a more efficient chef?

   

    5. Can you think of any improvements you would like to see added/modified to the standard chef coat?

 

 

Thank you all for your cooperation. I look forward to presenting my final product next spring,

Nicholas Smigielski

Senior Industrial Design Student, Purdue University

www.coroflot.com/snugtron

post #2 of 6

1. Almost never, though my colleagues manage to toss duck fat on their hands frequently and the new kid slices his finger open twice weekly.

 

2. I don't steel my knife during service. 

 

3. No. Never. Wristbands are probably illegal or should be. Trapped sweat and caught food sweltered and stuck to skin then falling out while platting plates. Yum. 

 

4. I would not. 

 

5. More sex appeal if that's possible. Cheap chef coats are unbearable though. They don't breath. They could be vented somehow. 

 

Most innovations will restrict movement, actually worsen safety for the customer or the cook or both, or just be impractical. Like the steel attached to a burn proof arm glove/ice water face blaster you were dreaming up. 

post #3 of 6

1.)  I get a nasty burn that leaves a mark about once a every 2 months.  Minor cuts/burns happen periodically, but they are usually easily managed.

 

2.)  We get our knives sharpened every other week.  I usually hone my knives before service.

 

3.)  I wear a black skull cap that is pretty absorbant.  Wristbands? No.

 

4.)  Protection and efficient do not co-exist together.  The more you have to cover up, the more hindered your movements are.

 

5.)  ChefWorks is doing some really great things with the ventilated jackets.  Anything that can increase air flow or lower air temperature is great.  If there were some way to make a white jacket that can stay perfectly white even after being exposed to excessive amounts of grease, sauces, chocolate, etc... I would probably buy 20.  I also like the idea of more sex appeal (though I am not sure exactly how that would be done, I leave that to the designers).

post #4 of 6

 NAME,  my username on here is fine

 

    WORK EXPERIENCE:   Currently I am akm/sous at a breakfast place.  Plans for the future... ideally my own personal chef business.

 

    1. How often does your forearms encounter burns/cuts/etc.?

Not often.. I did a stupid a couple of weeks ago and touched the handle of the salamander.  Nice burn that left. I always wear a long sleeved chef coat and it goes a long way towards protecting my arms from burns and the like.

   

    2. How often do you sharpen or take the steel to your knife during service?

Not at all during service.  Before service I will hone it with the steel if I need to.  Our knives are sharpened weekly.

 

How often would you prefer to?

As I stated, not at all during service and when needed otherwise.

   

    3. Do you wear wristbands and/or sweatbands/bandanas during service?

Goodness no.  I do wear a beanie cap and that's more of a uniform standard than a personal choice. 

   

    4. Would you consider wearing arm protection or anything that could make you a more efficient chef?

My chef coat provides a significant amount of personal protection.  I can't think of anything that I could wear that would make me more efficient at my job.

   

    5. Can you think of any improvements you would like to see added/modified to the standard chef coat?

More breatheable fabric perhaps.. and as it has been stated above.. maybe some sex appeal!  Also a type of fabric that will come white again after being exposed to life in the kitchen.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #5 of 6

Adam, Line Cook, 6 years

 

1.  Minor cuts and burns are nearly everyday, major cuts and burns are once or twice a month

2.  I take steel to my knives everyday before service, never during

3.  I wear a baseball cap, I would never consider wearing a sweatbands, but i know a few line cooks who have too

4.  Never, I wear my cuts, burns and scars as badges of honor.

5.  Chef Coats and Chef pants can always be improved on.  I've seen a few that are designed to breath better so that you don't get over heated on the line.  I once worked with a sous chef who sewed a custom holster to his coat for a small paring knife (on the arm where the pen, sharpie, thermometer pocket is), he also sewed a sanitary holster for his tongs on the right leg of his chef pants.

post #6 of 6

NAME: 

WORK EXPERIENCE: 26 years of food and beverage. From dish, bus, bartending, serving, linecook, sous chef, exec sous, exec chef.

    1. How often does your forearms encounter burns/cuts/etc.?

               Not often. Maybe a minor burn a week.

   

    2. How often do you sharpen or take the steel to your knife during service? How often would you prefer to?

          Every time I pick it up. I use carbon steel.

   

    3. Do you wear wristbands and/or sweatbands/bandanas during service?

          No. I have worn a bandana ONCE, when my Toque order was shorted.

   

    4. Would you consider wearing arm protection or anything that could make you a more efficient chef?

          That's what my jacket is for.

   

    5. Can you think of any improvements you would like to see added/modified to the standard chef coat? 

          No. Chef's coats should NEVER be made from synthetics though. and, to be honest, I think the industry needs to address the specific requirements of the female form.

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