The Secret of Why Chefs Wear White Revealed!



Kitchen staff busy working

In many cases when you think of certain professions somehow a particular type of clothes comes to your mind. The same happens with any kind of uniforms most often. For example, when you think of police officers – the image that appears in your head is a person wearing a police uniform, right? The same is with soldiers, doctors and chefs as well.

Usually, when you think of chefs, you think of them as wearing white jackets and white, tall hats. Although white is the most common colour of chefs’ uniforms, there are also other colours and patterns which can be found.

Alsco has different varieties of food and beverage garments. Plain white or coloured, patterned or not, with or without your company’s logo, it is up to you. You can choose your workwear according to your own needs and preferences.

The History of Chefs’ Uniforms

Working in any kind of kitchen is often a dirty work, especially in a professional one. So, have you ever wondered why chefs most often wear white uniforms?

If we take a look at this historically, it must be noted that a traditional white chef’s uniform is a product of the 19th century. First chef’s jacket was white, wide-flapped and double layered. The original idea of the last detail was that a chef could reverse a jacket when the jacket became soiled. By reversing it, the chef could use it for twice as long.

The Secret of White

It is clear that wearing white in the kitchen can be very tricky and challenging. When working with food, there is always at least some splitting, pouring, spraying – to cut it short, it is difficult to finish the shift without stains on your uniform.

Now, it seems a bit illogical that with all that stain danger, the most traditional colour is white, since stains are the most visible on this colour, right?

However, there is a logical explanation. Although stains are the most visible when wearing white, a white material also can be bleached. That is something that cannot be done with jackets of any other colours because the bleach would ruin the colour.

Photo courtesy from Flickr Image by US Army Africa

In addition, white is the colour which does not absorb the heat, so it offers adequate protection for chefs from the intense heat of cooking. It is always more pleasant to work when you don’t feel the additional heat just because of the colour of your uniform.

One more reason for chefs’ uniforms being white is that it shows a chef’s commitment to cleanliness. Preparing the food for other people is a very delicate job. You have to find all the ways you can to convince your customers that the food you are cooking for them is prepared in the cleanest and safest possible way.

After reading this, wearing a white jacket in the kitchen makes much more sense, wouldn’t you agree?

The Hat, the Pants and the Apron Background

The white hat, known as the Toque Blanche, is a piece of clothing that makes a chef recognisable. Fascinating history lies behind these hats since it is said that the hats were adopted from the headgear of the priests of the Orthodox Church.

In the beginning, the hats were grey and only later were changed to white by Marie-Antoine Carême, together with the rest of the chef’s uniform. It was Carême’s idea to make differences in the height of the hats. Because of that, now the tallest hat is worn by the most experienced chef, while young cooks wear those that look like caps.

The pants that are traditionally worn by chefs are those with black and white checkered patterns. This design helps a lot in hiding food stains. However, as the times change, you will see many different types, patterns and colours on the chefs’ pants nowadays.

The apron is a piece of clothing you cannot imagine a chef without. Chefs use aprons which are folded on top and tied at the front. They serve as additional protection and can be a perfect piece of clothing to put on your company’s logo or to play a bit with the design.

All the pieces of clothing which are mentioned above help the chefs to perform their duties in the kitchen in the most functional way. Each of the pieces has a very practical background, as well as the colour of the uniform.

So, everything you see on a chef is there with a purpose!

Alsco offers a variety of comfortable and hygienic food and beverage workwear that can help keep your staff looks clean, smart, and professional.

It pays to choose a high-quality workwear when you know that your staff is the first in line against bacteria and contamination.

If you are interested in high-quality uniforms, contact Alsco now. Apart from a myriad of uniforms, aprons and towels, they offer an excellent Managed Uniform Rental service, which can save you a huge amount of time.

Photo courtesy from Flickr Image by Atlanticcape



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.