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What to wear? - Page 7

post #91 of 100
I tend agree with whoever said that the jacket practical. When I worked in a fancy hotel kitchen several years ago the jacket was our uniform although everyones was slightly different from the chefs and didn't say chef on it. The reasoning of the coat is twofold- 1. it gives you layers of protection in front in case of splashing hot things on yourself and 2 if you soil your coat while cooking you can unbutton your coat and button it the other way to have a clean jacket front again. THe style of the hat and coat does determine ranking. There is nothing wrong with wearing the jacket as long as it is the right one and doesn't say chef. IMO icon_wink.gif
When all is said and done................Eat Cake!!!!
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When all is said and done................Eat Cake!!!!
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post #92 of 100
There are plenty of self-taught chefs out there who are now owners or executive chefs now, and they wore chef's coats back in the day before they became famous. The most famous one who comes to mind is Tom Colicchio, head judge from Top Chef, comes to mind. He entered the culinary world after teaching himself from books.

Even the cashiers at Au Bon Pain wear chef's coats.

There is no "right to wear a chef's coat" earned when you get your certificate or degree from a culinary school. It is just part of a traditional uniform.

History tells us that people in food service have been wearing white for at least 200 years, long before most culinary schools.

Here is a link to the history of the traditional chef's uniform -

http://www.cheftalk.com/content/display.cfm?articleid=45&type=article

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #93 of 100
That reminds me of the story of Jacques Torres' first job in a pastry shop... he had never worked in a place like that before and on a dare went into some fancy hotel to ask for the job... and was told "be back here in an hour in uniform"... and he didn't own a chef's jacket even and his friend did a mad dash across the city and back... He's since earned his stripes quite successfully (the story is in the book Into the Fire or something like that that world famous chefs talk about their early days of "coming of age" in the culinary industry)...

Mind you, I absolutely H-A-T-E polo shirts, golf shirts, whatever you want to call them. I don't think they look good or compliment anyone's body type. My IL's have them as a work uniform and all the women's shirts give them a "Muffin top" because they shrink in the torso so much (for men it would be called "Dunlap's Disease")..

Btw... I like the neon green chef shirt and tiedye pants!!! Have fun with it!!! It also shows you've got a creative personality and not a traditional baker.

The thing that the coat gives is respect and that you're there on BUSINESS, not there to make a social call. When I'm delivering a wedding cake I've done it both ways and I got more questioning about my professional licenses (like the hall wanted to refuse delivery), fewer people seeing that I was carrying heavy stuff in to do that thing called helping to open doors, or allow me to use moving carts... Just all around less professional treatment... But in the chef jacket, they had someone there instantly with the "don't piss the chef off" even if I had been a lowly dishwasher, there's just an aire of "she's got a knife roll and knows how to use it" attitude. I don't call myself "chef" but I can guarantee you I'm the closest thing my IL's have to it on staff most of the time.

Remember, in other countries, they apprentice for years in many trade industries rather than attend formal schools to learn their crafts so the jacket is not an "earned degree". OTOH, things like the MOD distinguishment around the chef's jacket colar is another thing, but that is an industry known earned marker.. Everyone knows when to back down when there's a "lead dog" who is higher up on the experience food chain in their particular industry. If I'm in a room with a bunch of chefs, I know I'm not the lead dog, but when I'm meeting with a potential customer, I'm in charge of the negotiation and am not afraid to say what can and can't be done with what they're asking for. When delivering cakes, one needs that same level of authority and control over the situation especially when there are potential problems (like a cake table directly next to the south facing window, a cake table that is going to colapse under the weight of the cake, a cake table in the middle of the walk way, etc.)..

Also, when wearing the jacket and I get asked "Where did you go to Culinary School" my answer is "The Culinary Institute of Hard Knocks - where there is no such thing as graduation because there's always another course!" (CIHK - pronounced like the word kick because there's always one being strategically placed)... But, I'm not afraid to say I've been involved in the food industry since I was born, I was a personal cook at 10 for my bed-ridden GM one summer, I had my first restaurant job at 11, I earned several proficiency awards for my work in the food industry, yada yada yada...

Get and wear the jacket, and like others said, just don't have it embroidered with "Chef _________" ...
post #94 of 100
ok...I know you have had a multitude of suggestions from millions of people...(well maybe not millions but alot)...and so I am going to add mine... icon_lol.gif

I love the chefs jackets but not white ones.....white sucks to me.( as a nurse white really sucks). Anyway...get a nice chefs jacket and dye it a fun color and then get a picture of one of your cakes and have someone embroider it on the jacket along with the name of your business.

At an ICES DOS last fall one of the demonstrators had on a lilac colored chef jacket with dark purple pants....it was so FUN looking I wanted to know where she bought it....but she said she had dyed it herself. it was really cute....

So take all the advice for what it's worth and pick what works for you...
The chefs jacket is just a uniform...it is not a license or a degree....it's just a UNIFORM...

Teri
post #95 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake


and I got more questioning about my professional licenses (like the hall wanted to refuse delivery), fewer people seeing that I was carrying heavy stuff in to do that thing called helping to open doors, or allow me to use moving carts... Just all around less professional treatment... But in the chef jacket, they had someone there instantly with the "don't piss the chef off" even if I had been a lowly dishwasher, there's just an aire of "she's got a knife roll and knows how to use it" attitude. ...



Now THAT is very interesting! The "people observer" part of me loves stories like these!
post #96 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake


and I got more questioning about my professional licenses (like the hall wanted to refuse delivery), fewer people seeing that I was carrying heavy stuff in to do that thing called helping to open doors, or allow me to use moving carts... Just all around less professional treatment... But in the chef jacket, they had someone there instantly with the "don't piss the chef off" even if I had been a lowly dishwasher, there's just an aire of "she's got a knife roll and knows how to use it" attitude. ...



Now THAT is very interesting! The "people observer" part of me loves stories like these!



My main degree is in Psych and Marketing Communications... It's a VERY well documented effect on attire versus perceptions people have both themselves and of others and how such a simple step can make a huge difference... OTOH, the other part of my training is such of really messing with people's minds as much as humanly and ethically possible icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gificon_twisted.gif
post #97 of 100
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake


My main degree is in Psych and Marketing Communications... It's a VERY well documented effect on attire versus perceptions people have both themselves and of others and how such a simple step can make a huge difference... OTOH, the other part of my training is such of really messing with people's minds as much as humanly and ethically possible icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gificon_twisted.gif



AWESOME. I like you! LOL
post #98 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake


... OTOH, the other part of my training is such of really messing with people's minds as much as humanly and ethically possible icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gificon_twisted.gif



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif You are EVIL!! Which must be why I luv you so much!!
post #99 of 100
Thread Starter 
Ok, I have no idea if I'll be able to get a decent one before the show next week or not, but I've decided I WILL be getting one.. and maybe dyeing it.

Will be using the teal shirt and black pants next weekend.
post #100 of 100
I haven't read all pages, got through 3 when I had to chime in. I attended culinary school. That does not make me a chef. There is no degree that gives you the title of Chef. The term 'Chef' is french for Chief. If you are the head of the kitchen, you are the chef. No degree earns you the title of chef. ONLY hard work and time served will earn you the title of chef, no degree required. Now, if I were to take the Master's Chef test, then I can take that label. But since there are very few Master chefs, I doubt I would be able to pass it. icon_biggrin.gif

With that said, I am a chef. I am the Sous Chef in the kitchen where I work. I report to the Executive Chef. If anyone wants to wear a chef's coat to work in, I say 'more power to you!' They are so blasted HOT! Just don't put the title CHEF before your name if you are not the head of your kitchen.

You might say, but then I am a chef since I am the head of my kitchen. Yes you are. I am a professional cook. Not as cool sounding, but the correct title. This was drilled into our heads in culinary school. We were the ones that would eventually become chefs since we went to school and would be more likely to get management positions. And that is really what a chef is, more so, a manager, he/she has their sous chefs and other cooks to do the dirty work.

So to sum it up, wearing a chef's coat does not offend me. It is the proper attire for working in a kitchen, even though they are heavy and hot, they protect you from splatters of all kinds. And, there are some really cool looking coats. The only thing that would offend me is calling yourself a chef when you aren't.
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