Chef Coats

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by binamichelle, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. binamichelle

    binamichelle

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    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
     
  2. michaelga

    michaelga

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    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! 
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

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    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.
     
    drirene and The Suede Chef like this.
  4. thetincook

    thetincook

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    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.
     
  5. avondell

    avondell

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    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.
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Cotton is best or a blend but the blend should be mostly cotton.
     
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  7. pirate-chef

    pirate-chef

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    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. 
     
  8. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    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.
     
  9. workingduds

    workingduds

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    Always wear a chef coat. Look professional, cook accordingly!
     
  10. liza

    liza

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    I second Uncommon Chefs women's coats. They're well made, and fitted for a woman and they're not a lot of money. I also agree with having a standby on the hanger.
    I wear tshirt and/or prep shirt when getting down and dirty, but always put my coat on in public (apron off of course)

    Pretty awesome colors out there now too... You're not just limited to the white!
     
  11. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    I second Uncommon Threads' products. I prefer the cut over Chef Wear or Chef works. For me, in the summer or a hot kitchen, I wear a shortsleeve, "vented" double breasted coat. The venting is a moisture wicking mesh back that helps keep you cool and dry. James Arnold Co. in New Bedford , MA. has the best pricing that I have been able to find on the net with coats starting at a mere $15 plus shipping.

    http://www.jamesarnoldco.com/category.1275.2.htm?cat=Uncommon-Threads&UMParent=0
     
  12. liza

    liza

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    Great link thank you!
     
  13. freshbaked

    freshbaked

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    Personally, i prefer the stsstaffff to wear all black and the chef to wear a white coat and black pants. Looks best in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  14. workingduds

    workingduds

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  15. workingduds

    workingduds

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    @CapeCodChef Appreciate the feedback. We are still "learning the ropes" in the ChefTalk forums and do not mean to be seen as spammers. Our intent is to provide some awareness of our chef-specific product line (Manufacturered by Regent Apparel, a 90 year-old apparel business) to this influential audience.

    Best regards,
    Brent
     
  16. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I dislike pop-ups and approved links as much as the next guy/girl but here on CT they are small and have never encroached onto what I am wanting to read.
    Sometimes I go ahead and click on one if it seems worth my time.....just to satisfy my curiosity.
    If Nicko would call for a vote.....pop ups vs paying to enjoy Chef Talk....I would have no problems voting for the pop ups.

    Of course as usual this post is IMO and :)

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  17. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Because I am anal, I just timed myself reading this post, which I purposely did as slowly as I could. It took me a whole five seconds. When I get to the end of my life, I don't think I will remember the five seconds it took me to read it, as one of the biggest regrets of my life. Nor do I think it will register as one of the minor annoyances in the span of my life. I highly doubt that I will even remember the five seconds.

    That's my story and I' sticking to it!
     
  18. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    lol...even your 'mea culpa' reads like an advertisement!
     
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  19. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    I just read your post. I want that 12 seconds of my life back./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  20. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Oh well. Here's to making better choices in the future. ;~)