kitchen uniforms in hot climate

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by butzy, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. butzy

    butzy

    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    372
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I’m looking for some suggestions.

    I had my yearly visit from the health inspectors and every year they think of something else.

    This time we were told the non-smoking sign in the bar has to be put higher and we have to put a non-smoking sign in the kitchen, even though it is off-limits to the public!

    Anyway, we have also been told that the kitchen staff needs to wear closed shoes and full protective clothing. My issue with this is that I am in a part of the country were the temperature gets up to 43 oC in the shade (110 F) and I don’t want to kill my staff by overheating!

    We are also very limited here in what we can get. Almost everything needs to come from South Africa, or I could try to get some stuff from Holland when I go there in a month’s time.

    Does anyone here have experience with a similar climate? And what is the kitchen staff wearing?

    All suggestions will be appreciated!!!!!

    NB:I would like to find some all cotton clothing as I feel  that synthetic is just not comfortable around here.
     
  2. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    337
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Um, wear t-shirts and aprons and throw on a chef's coat when the health department comes? 

    Tough spot to be in...traditional kitchen uniforms are designed to provide some protection from hot spills and the like. They are usually double breasted so that you can switch buttons and present a clean side if needed. But, as we all know, they aren't really designed for comfort or cooling effect. 

    There are fancy types of coats out there with different vents, fabric and the like. They are usually very expensive. There are short sleeve chef coats.

    One place I worked, the kitchen was also very hot in the summer and I took to wearing "dish shirts" or snap shirts. They are basically very cheap, usually polyester white shirts that you wear over a t-shirt and it simply snaps shut with buttons. They are short sleeved, light, and look a LITTLE more professional than just a plain t-shirt. 
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,143
    Likes Received:
    509
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Medical staff clothing (scrubs) are lighter weight and usually more readily available, not to mention less expensive. Downside being, not as good at the protective aspect.
     
  4. butzy

    butzy

    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    372
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Thanks for your help!!!

    I actually found short sleeved cotton chef's coats on the internet for a reasonable price, so I'll probably go that route and pick them up in the Netherlands next month.

    I think I will also change the current shirts (blue cotton golf shirts) for white ones or white t-shirts just to show that I a trying to comply with their suggestions.

    Shoes I haven't been able to work out yet. There is a butchery supply shop in Lusaka, so will have a look see what they have.
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    176
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Butzy keep in mind one of the purposed of a  long sleeve jacket is to protect you arms from spatering grease and boiling  water.  Go on internet to   Happy Chef.com   they have a large variety and good prices.
     
  6. butzy

    butzy

    Messages:
    1,673
    Likes Received:
    372
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Thanks Ed,

    It would all be quite straight forward in a "normal" climate !!!!

    Long sleeves at 110 F is a bit of a mission. But your comment is a very valid one.

    Still got a week or so to decide.

    White T-shirt and long sleeve jacket? Maybe a long and short sleeved jacket each?

    Unfortunately the stuff will have to be locally available or in the Netherlands. The shipment costs to Africa are prohibitive!
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    176
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    The Hotels in NY Had 2 catagories. Short sleeve personel and long sleeve. The short sleeve used to be pantry and garde manger workers and long sleeve line prep cooks and chefs . In the summer heat, Beer was allocated and dispensed the  same way(it was in union contract) short sleeve received   1 beer a day, long sleeve 2. Those were the days before air conditioning when kitcen hit at least 100 every day. The brand of beer no one ever heard of Sunshine was name. probably cost  a nickel a can.
     
  8. paul alfred

    paul alfred

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    butzy,

    I feel your pain...I am required to wear a long-sleeve chef coat all day, and it hits at least 90-degrees F in our kitchen every day...and it's not even summer yet.  I've been told that in the summer months temps can hit upwards of 110F easily.  Still, I wouldn't trade my long-sleeved jacket for anything...it's saved me from a couple of burns.  That's just me though.  My chef prefers having a short-sleeved chef coat when working the line.  

    Maybe you could keep some long-sleeved chef coats for times when you need to be out in front of the customers, and use short-sleeved chef coats when you're in the kitchen.  Sadly, cost is going to be bothersome no matter which option you go with...but you can try to mitigate it as much as possible.  Maybe you could order things from a European supplier cheaply and have them delivered to someone in the Netherlands who can hold them for you until your next trip there?
     
  9. fennel

    fennel

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Try Le chef jacket with coolmax back. I deal for hot kitchen  lower back panel allows air to circulate and cool the body. 50/50 cotton polyester, 215g fabric . Double breasted Button free  pullover design, also have pen pocket on left sleeve and zipped security pocket.
     
     
  10. paul alfred

    paul alfred

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Quote:

    I need to look into a chef coat like that!  I didn't know they made any with a coolmax back...but now I know (and knowing is half the battle, lol).  Now, off to research a new chef coat!