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Chef Coats

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey, all. I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I am looking to buy my first personal chef coat. I have worked in the industry for years, and always just wore the uniform of my current restaurant. However, my personal business has picked up quite a bit, and I found myself with 6 weddings to cater this summer. I would prefer a proper uniform for prep and presentation. In the past, I have simply had server staff in white button-downs and black slacks; prep staff in white button-downs and khakis. I never wore a chef coat, because I did not want to be presumptuous, as I considered myself "just a cook" and have not yet graduated from culinary school. I'm also fairly young and sometimes feel intimated by some of my colleagues who possess years of formal training--what I see as "earning" the right to wear the uniform. A "for-real chef" associate of mine, however, suggested that as I have a pretty consistent  catering gig going on, it was about time I got my own coat. 

 

However, I find myself grossly under-educated on such subjects.  What is the difference between an executive chef coat, and a regular chef coat?  I prefer all-white coats, because I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I've seen some asymmetrical coats that look pretty neat. I think I like the feminine-cut coats; are there female chefs out there who have preferences they'd like to share?  Any uniform experts who'd like to share what would be considered proper in such a situation?  I'm open to the idea of more than one coat, depending on different situations.  Thoughts on the matter?  This seemed like a good forum for such a question. 

 

Bina

post #2 of 8

Best thing about catering - your the boss so it's your rules.

There is no real universal standard to be honest - every type of cuisine, country, geographic area and even town has a different feel / different code or considerations.

 

Some things to consider:

 

Being the 'chef' means you're in charge... it has very little to do with degrees, education or even experience (they all help but they all vary immensely among Chef's!) If you are in charge you need to be identifiable.  Don't be shy - your staff will find it a great help if they can easily point you out to guests that want to meet / say / converse / congradulate / complain with you!  :)   hopefully not complain but i'm sure you get the idea.

 

server #13 that has only worked for you this one occasion needs to be able to say "Chef is in the white/black double breasted coat with pinstripes, behind that table over there." to the customer that must have the receipe  for that to die for cake your team just served.

 

Also being in charge means you have to look like your in charge, your staff will respond to the way you look and so will your customers.  Most people will also feel better / perform better when they are wearing something that fits well / looks good.

 

As for two coats I believe it's a great idea - one for when it's hot and one for when it's cool.  Always bring both in case the weather changes or a sauce acts up and stains the first one! 

 

 

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by binamichelle View Post

Hey, all. I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I am looking to buy my first personal chef coat. I have worked in the industry for years, and always just wore the uniform of my current restaurant. However, my personal business has picked up quite a bit, and I found myself with 6 weddings to cater this summer. I would prefer a proper uniform for prep and presentation. In the past, I have simply had server staff in white button-downs and black slacks; prep staff in white button-downs and khakis. I never wore a chef coat, because I did not want to be presumptuous, as I considered myself "just a cook" and have not yet graduated from culinary school. I'm also fairly young and sometimes feel intimated by some of my colleagues who possess years of formal training--what I see as "earning" the right to wear the uniform. A "for-real chef" associate of mine, however, suggested that as I have a pretty consistent  catering gig going on, it was about time I got my own coat. 

 

However, I find myself grossly under-educated on such subjects.  What is the difference between an executive chef coat, and a regular chef coat?  I prefer all-white coats, because I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I've seen some asymmetrical coats that look pretty neat. I think I like the feminine-cut coats; are there female chefs out there who have preferences they'd like to share?  Any uniform experts who'd like to share what would be considered proper in such a situation?  I'm open to the idea of more than one coat, depending on different situations.  Thoughts on the matter?  This seemed like a good forum for such a question. 

 

Bina


Even culinary STUDENTS wear Chef coats.It is the uniform of your profession. You are not being presumptuous, you are simply wearing the uniform of your profession.

 

post #4 of 8

I kinda like wearing what's called a 'dishwashers' shirt from the uniform company I got it from. It's very light weight polyester with snap buttons. Keeps me much cooler then a chefs jacket.

post #5 of 8

First off, you should wear a coat. You don't have to wear a fancy one with flags and labels and your name and all that, just start with a simple white jacket. I'm very picky about the ones I wear...I've bought online before and gotten thin, cheap coats that aren't worth wearing. Uncommon Threads or Chefworks are the brands I like. A basic Chefworks coat is $25-$30 and will last a long time. They are a bit heavy for hot kitchens in the summer, and since a coat is optional for me, sometimes I'll just wear a tee shirt or polo shirt.

 

Personally, I wear a chef coat because it is the most logical thing to wear...it is the uniform of my profession and works best in the environment I am in every day. My coats protect me in the same way the uniforms of other professions protect people. An auto mechanic wouldn't wait until he was 'qualified' to wear a pair of overalls. Doctors don't wear gowns and masks because they make a striking fashion statement. It's because those things work best for their professions and environments.

post #6 of 8

Cotton is best or a blend but the blend should be mostly cotton.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 8

With some of the chaper chef works ones i have bought in the past they shrank quite a bit over time just a fil in but i would absolutely advise wearing one for safety and presentation. 

post #8 of 8

The classic cooking coats were developed over the years to address specific functions, the least of which was fashion or comfort.

 

  • White for ease in maintaining cleanliness
  • Double breasted to protect the abdomen from burns
  • Long sleeves to protect the arms from burns
  • French cuffs (fold-able up or down) for protection from burns (down) when needed but out of the way (up) when not needed
  • Loose fitting to allow air circulation in the hot environment of the kitchen

 

As long as the above are addressed, kitchen cook wear is adequate.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
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