We are all fully aware of the implications of poor hygiene within a kitchen and the effects poor hygiene within the kitchen can have to the persons who may eat the meal. That said we also need to consider the clothing that our chefs and cooks are wearing within the kitchen and the reasons they are actually wearing them.
Firstly, let’s imagine the typical chef and how he may look including the clothing he wears. Our chef- “Bob” will be a smiling chef, with a white hat, a cravat and a white jersey and striped trousers. Would this be something like you may imagine “Bob” to look?
Why Does “Bob” wear the clothing he does and do they actually be worn in real life?
The white hat in some countries may be a legal requirement, however in my experience within the kitchens only chefs with long hair need to wear these hats. Why the hats? The hats are mainly worn to prevent hair loss and contamination of the foodstuffs with stray hairs.
This may be worn in some kitchens to signify status or rank. They may be color coded to signify what rank you hold within the kitchen and what department you should be within.
The white jersey- known as “chef whites” are commonplace. They are a vital part of a chef’s uniform for several reasons. The whites are worn to protect the chefs as well as also as a hygiene barrier. The protection comes from the inbuilt fire protection with the Whites. If there was a flash fire, the whites should at least protect the chefs from any serious injuries. The whites will also show if they are used and dirty. This way, they must change them regularly to ensure they are wearing clean clothes to cook within.
The Striped trousers
The chefs will wear loose fitting trousers, a little like jogging pants for both comfort as well as protection. Like the “Whites” the trousers will have an inbuilt fire protection. To protect the chef. The loose fitting is also needed as a kitchen can become very warm and sticky, so the trousers will give the wearer room to breathe as well as work.
There are many heavy pots and containers within the kitchen. With this in mind the chefs need to protect their feet. Typically they should be wearing steel toecap boots. Many today though are also going one further and wearing the “crocs” with inbuilt toe protection. The crocs also give a loose comfort fit as well as good grip on the floors which can become greasy or slippy.
So now we know some of the reasons why “Bob” wears his different aspects of what makes up a chefs uniform. We also understand there is also a safety and hygiene aspect to their uniforms which they wear within the kitchen.