Do Chef Coats Really Matter?

by Ryan on May 23, 2011

White Chef Coat with Black ContrastYes, chef coats do matter. Chefs usually wear a particular uniform in restaurants. The uniform’s parts like hats, coats, and pants serve their specific functions. In fact, coats have been worn by chefs since many years now with hardly any changes in the design. There have been slight modifications in the colors and buttons but the basic design has remained unchanged. This is because the design has both practical and safety functions to serve.

The double-breasted coat is made of a thick cotton fabric. The buttons on the front are knotted cloth buttons and the sleeves are long. The traditional coats were white and were designed for cleanliness and safety.

What Purpose Do They Serve?

White is a symbol of purity and cleanliness. That’s the reason why it was chosen for chef jackets. The coat can easily be cleaned and bleached. It is double-breasted so that it can be reversed in case it gets stained. The double coating also serves as a safety shield from heat and burns. Knotted buttons can suffer many washes. The long sleeves of the coat protect the chef from oil spills and hot liquids. The buttons are knotted cloth buttons and not plastic. So they will not melt easily or change shape due to heat. The ideal fabric for the coat is cotton because it is heat and fire resistant and a good insulator. It remains cool in summers. These coats were introduced way back in the 16th century by Chef Marie-Antoine Careme.

These days, it is not important for all chefs to wear a uniform. The ultra-modern restaurants do not require chefs to wear the traditional coats. However, the chef coats are still in place. The only difference is that now they have become designer in style. Some restaurants even allow chefs to wear the coats they like. But, all the kitchens follow health and safety guidelines. Whatever the coats may be like in terms of appearance, they must follow the safety and hygiene guidelines. The modern coats are more like a button-down shirt which is worn under the apron. These coats are also made of khaki and denim and may be short-sleeved. They are also available in many colors, from black to red. They may even have embroidery on them—usually on the collar and front opening which lends them an impressive look.

The designer jackets can have French cuffs and a black or colorful piping. These coats also generally have a large-sized pocket on the left side. Many big chain hotels and restaurants go for an expensive and exclusive look for their chefs. But the fact remains that the white chef jackets have not lost their charm. They are still the most popular, safe, and functional coats available. They are also the most cost-effective. People still associate chefs with white coats.

Do They Really Matter For Guests?

A chef looks like a chef with a coat, hat, scarf, bandana, apron, belt, gloves, and shoes. People associate this attire with chefs and expect them to wear this. Jackets are quite practical, durable, and comfortable for the chefs. It is an obvious choice for them. Chefs stand out in the crowd with these coats. They get the esteem and respect they deserve with chef coats. These coats are also important for self-image which improves performances and the resultant customer satisfaction.

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