Whether you run a large-scale kitchen or a small one, a common aspect of any commercial kitchen is the uniform. From the Head Chef to the cooks and kitchen helpers, everyone is required to wear a uniform that conforms to tradition and history, as well as modern day rules and regulations of food preparation, not to mention conforming to the company’s brand ethos.
The Chef’s uniform has many parts, which includes:
- The hat (Or Toque).
- Chef Coat or Jacket.
- Chef Pants.
Out of all these components, one of the most prominent and most important parts is the Chef Coat. The original Chef Coats as illustrated by their creator French Chef Marie-Antoine Carême was made of white thick fabric, with long sleeves and two rows of buttons down the front. The Coat’s design was that of a double-breasted jacket, which allows the chef to quickly reverse the front panel of the coat, to hide any stains or dirt, before they go out to meet customers or VIP’s. These traditions are still being kept when designing Chef Coats, although many other aspects of it have changed since then.
Both men’s and women’s chef coats come with either short or long sleeves these days, and while the shorter sleeve may be more comfortable for the Chef to work in, the longer sleeve provides protection for the arms from burns and similar accidents. Certain Chef Coats with unusually long sleeves are also used by chefs, because they use the end of the sleeve to touch hot pots and pans or take something hot out of the oven. So, it is both functional and practical.
Women’s and men’s chef coats are usually made of 100% cotton fabric, which is a very breathable fabric that is comfortable and does not cause any skin irritations. However, more innovative and stylish fabric are now being used for designing Chef coats, which provide greater durability and style.
Why are Chef Coats or Jackets important?
It keeps the wearer safe from dangerous accidents that are prevalent in a busy kitchen. A commercial kitchen is a very fast-paced environment with many people working in it at the same time, although they are doing different tasks. Hence, there is no end to the number of accidents that could happen on a daily basis, and therefore it is important to keep everyone safe with the right protective clothing. Chef Coats are usually made of fire and heat resistant fabric, as those are some of the common dangers of working in a kitchen. The thick fabric used for Chef Coats can prevent sharp utensils from causing injury.
Although a professional Chef is expected to work without any spilling or splashing, in a fast-paced kitchen that is a bit hard to do, and there will be numerous instances where sauces, oils and other things will spill and splash. The design of the professional Chef Coat allows the wearer to quickly hide stains before going out in an emergency.
The uniform, and the jacket and Toque in particular, exudes an aura of professionalism from the wearer, and shows that the Chef takes his profession very seriously. It shows pride in the profession and a sense of love and passion for the work that a Chef does.
So, how does one select the right Chef coat?
When buying Chef Coats, make sure that you buy high quality ones produced by a recognized manufacturer. While there may be cheaper options out there, it is best to go with top quality Chef coats that provide the right amount of protection and are highly durable.
Buy a coat that fits you perfectly and allows for easy movement. A loose jacket or coat could be a hazard in itself in the kitchen, and is not very safe. Especially when it comes to women’s chef coats, the fit should be comfortable because an ill-fitting one doesn’t look professional.
Buy a color that is easy to clean and maintain. White Coats are easy to clean although they can get dirty very quickly, because bleaching doesn’t mean that the color will fade or spoil. Whatever color coat you use, you should take great care to look after it in a proper manner.
Getting your name or brand printed or embroidered on the coat is important to portray an image of professionalism.
If your budget lets you, you should get an extra jacket or coat, to keep for emergencies.