Chef Hats are an integral part of the Chef’s uniform, as well as being a distinguishable factor for a chef’s ranking within the kitchen. The taller the hat the more senior and well experienced the chef is, with cooks and other assistants wearing simple skull caps or beanies rather than toques.
So, is it important for a chef to wear a hat while working? Or can they simply be bare headed? What determines whether a chef should wear a hat or not?
Chef hats are usually worn for food safety and to create a hygienic environment for preparing food. It prevents hair and sweat from falling into the food that the chef is preparing, as these could lead to contamination, and loss of customers for the establishment.
When it comes to preparing food, the environment in which it is prepared in must be kept absolutely clean, and this goes for the people preparing the food as well. Many countries have laws and regulations regarding food safety and hygiene where it is mandatory for all kitchen staff to cover their head while preparing food. In situations like this, there is simply no other choice.
Most Chefs these days, while they wear their tall toques for functions and events so that they look professional and elegant, when working daily in the kitchen they prefer not to wear such a restricting head gear which also has poor air circulation. They need to have absolute comfort when it comes to working which may be a little difficult when wearing the toque, especially since the kitchen is a very hot environment.
One solution that is available these days is to wear paper disposable chef hats, which are far more comfortable and absorbent and very lightweight. These are a great choice for a hot busy kitchen, and they also look elegant and professional as well. They are also a very low-cost option for many establishments.