Joined May 27, 2015
I am wondering what the thought is with Chefs and line cooks wearing shorts with their chef coats? I don't like the look but would love to know some thoughts.
Joined May 5, 2010
Welcome to Chef Talk.

Personally, for me, it is an accident waiting to happen. I realize that these companies are creating a style, but I don't think they realize the complications.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
I wore shorts in the kitchen for many years back in "the good old days".  I doubt it would fly today, though.
Joined Apr 5, 2007
Depends on the style of place.  If it fits the the mood and overall tone of the restaurant I don't mind "shorts".  That said they must go past the knee, and shoes with socks are still a must.  So nobody is looking cool no matter what!  Actually, thinking about it, any kitchen that I would let that fly in is probably not the type to have have a jacket as part of the uniform anyway.
Joined Apr 7, 2015
I am wondering what the thought is with Chefs and line cooks wearing shorts with their chef coats? I don't like the look but would love to know some thoughts.
Are the legs in said shorts shaved? Long pants are also about hair containment....

Long pants also protect your legs while you work....

sorry... i do no allow shorts to be worn. I get that they are comfortable and cool.... but not in my kitchen or on my line.
Joined Apr 19, 2015
The cooks I work with have been wearing shorts for years and it flys at my restaurant. So far the only problem Ive had is the occasional oil singe on the leg, doesn't really bother me. I work at an up scale restaurant but it's not fine dining, I imagine that wouldn't fly in that setting
Joined Mar 15, 2012
in summer i ware Shorts, they are below the knee and black and with my cook shoes and socks.  i have had no Problem at this place or any other.  and no i dont shave my legs,  or shave my head or shave during hockey Playoffs and have had no hair Problems.
Joined Jul 1, 2009
A big no.

Safety, hygiene and appearances.

There is nothing that can be said to change that.
Joined May 7, 2012
hygiene? I've never worked for a place that required me to wear a hair or beard net, and I've managed to keep my hair out of the food. How exactly would one go about accidentally getting leg hair into the food, shorts or not. 
Joined Aug 7, 2013
I wear shorts every day. I HATE wearing pants in the kitchen. My body temp is always close to fire when I'm resting in air conditioning.

In the kitchen, during lunch? My pants would become heavy with sweat.

And though it's not part of our uniform requirements, I occasionally wear a chef's coat with my shorts.

I make it look pretty damn good, too!!
Joined Oct 10, 2005
My choice (and my resulting rule in my kitchens) was um.. "greatly influenced" by an "experience" I had well over 25 years ago.

Back then, I was a buck 2nd yr apprentice.  I remember heaving a 12 ltr pot over the sink to drain freshly cooked pasta into a collander.  I slipped, and the pot spilled it's contents down my right side.

After recovering from the slip, my first action was to pull off my apron which was sopping wet with near-boiling water.  My pants were soaked, and I had problems.  I was wearing one of those "one-size-fits-all-hide-a-pregnant-elephant-in-your-pocket" pants, the kind were the pants-cuffs end just before your ankles.  The apron had protected my waist and thigh fairly well, but below my knee, I could feel my skin start to blister.  The worse hit part was my ankle, and I could feel my foot and sole start to blister as well.  By the time I kicked off my shoe and started to peel off my sock, I was starting to consider that shaving my legs  in the future might not be such a bad idea after all....

So 3rd degree burns might not sound like such a bad deal, but the big killer was the blisters on my foot--I could live (and work) with the blisters on my calf and upper ankle, but wearing socks and shoes on a fresh blister wasn't fun.  The biggest thing was infection:  It was pasta water that went through my blistered skin, nice starchy hot water, and treating the resulting infection took a lot longer than most other burns.

Full recovery though, 5 years later no scar, and the pink ring on my ankle finally disappeared.

Yeah long pants are a p.i.t.a, but they do provide some protection from spills.  I knew that if I had worn pants with legs that came down to mid-shoe, I probably wouldn't have had such bad blisters and probably no infection.

It's something to think about...... 
Joined Mar 15, 2012
Foodpump.. again i appreciate your words from experience.  when i was a 2nd year apprentice i would not consider wearing Shorts in the kitchen.  after years of cooking i feel my movement in the kitchen is efficient and careful.  very much unlike my second year in the kitchen. 

Shorts in the kitchen... its good for me in the right Setting.

but Hygiene?

hair Containment?

i thought my prep tables were low..


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Sorry, but no shorts in any of my kitchens.  I know that in many kitchens the rules have relaxed to allow them, but in my kitchens I will always require full length pants.  Partly due to safety concerns and because of my personal preference to see my cooks looking at least somewhat professional-even in a sports bar venue.
Joined May 30, 2015
Today, we were changing out the metal shelving in our walk-in. One of the steel grates slid as I was unhooking it, and it fell on my leg. Not only did I get a massive bruise, but it actually broke my skin through a pair of thick jeans. I can only imagine what kind of open wound I would have had if I were wearing shorts.

Unless you're slinging cocktails on a beach mini-bar or running a hot dog stand, shorts are just an accident waiting to happen.
Joined Mar 4, 2015
I  have never worn shorts in a kitchen. Mostly as a protective layer. when I was in a kitchen prepping a hot line, or working the hot line we had hot oil or pots of boiling water. The worst thing was the way we par cooked bratwurst that we got from our local charcuterie/ butcher. We would bake them in the very old "blodget" deck oven. One cook left them in way too long, on a sheet tray. Internal temp was well over 190 and the fat in the brats was now a giant hot tub for the meat. pulling the pan out a cook spilled fat all over the floor and my shoes/ankles. Yay for pants!!

Since moving to pastry I still wear long pants, but have taken a liking to golf pants. Light weight, black and surprisingly stain/water resistant.  

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