Over half the food that americans eat is cooked outside of their homes. Think about it. Do you know anyone that only eats what they cook? Being a cook in a kitchen is a very important job and the Chef is the boss of the kitchen. The Chef has to know how to cook everything on the menu and has to be a cool enough manager to inspire the kitchen team to work together. Chefs wear heavy cotton uniforms called "Whites". They protect agains burns and can make a hot kitchen feel even hotter. Those hats they wear are called "toques" (tooks).
The professional wear or chefs whites, black pants, non slip shoes, aprons, "Torque", hats, caps, or sometimes hair nets, all serve a purpose: prevent you from some injury, as well as sanitation purpose.
Some kitchens have a more traditional "chef" attire-
- "Chef Whites" or jacket- this is usually a jacket which has a double layered cotton panel that folds over and buttons down along the front, long sleeves, and is made of heat-resistant fabric.
-"Checks"- a pair of plaid or checkered pants which cover the tops of the shoes but don't drag on the ground.
-Kitchen Clogs/Safety Shoes- these are so important! They are non-cloth shoes with a non-slip rubber bottom. Cloth shoes like sneakers can absorb hot water or oil. Leather/rubber work clogs protect your feet from falling sharp objects, hot spills, and keep you from slipping in the kitchen.
- "toques": Not many restaurants still have chefs wear these hats because they are always getting in the way. However, some places still use them.
- An apron
Most Kitchens are less formal!
The fundamentals are kitchen/safety shoes, apron, and hat. Many kitchens have baseball hats or other small cloth/net hats, allow you to wear jeans or other pants that cover the entire leg and ankle, and some places even allow you to wear t-shirts. Some restaurants provide chef jackets, and others will have a laundry service which cleans and provides light-weight chef-shirts.