The Uniform

Full uniform

I talk a lot about food on this blog, especially food I make at school.  This is most certainly not a fashion blog, but we’re going to talk about clothes today.  Specifically, the culinary school uniform.  I could probably get ready with my eyes closed at this point.

White undershirt.  Yes, it has to be white and it can’t have any writing or design on it.  Believe me, you can’t get away with this.  The chef’s coats are see -through.

White socks.  White socks that come halfway up your calf.  I have most certainly had chefs who check the color of my socks.

Chef’s pants.  Cross eye inducing checked pants hemmed to a length that come above the heel so you’re not tripping over them.  These are not unisex pants, in case you were wondering.  They all have a zippered fly in them and are not flattering in any way.  They have a huge inseam and I have to roll mine over to wear them so that they don’t sit at my arm pits.  Mine are usually comfortably riding at my belly button.  Super attractive.  You should probably iron your pants too and give em a nice crease down the center.

Chef’s coat: This MUST be ironed.  When I first started school, I had no idea how to iron.  Why would I ever buy clothes that wrinkled or required extra effort other that normal laundering?  I don’t even separate my laundry.  That was an interesting process to learn and I definitely had a few melt downs about some wrinkles that would just not come out of my coats.  Over reactor?  No, why do you ask?

You chef’s coat must contain the following: sharpie, pen, pencil, thermometer, your name tag and your collar designating what year you are.  Technically, I’m a first year, even though I’ve already been through school.

Writing utensils & thermometer.

Other odds and ends: 

  • Hair back and off the neck. Make sure you style it in a way that it will fit into your hat.
  • No finger nails.  Yes, chefs check the length of your fingernails.
  • No jewelry.  You can wear a plain wedding band if you want to.  Now’s definitely not the time to get a new piercing.
  • No make up.  This rule is not strictly enforced at my school, as there are many girls in class in full make up.  I have yet to hear a chef comment on a woman’s make up.
  • Non slip shoes are required.  Mine are pretty comfortable, but my heel slips out of the back sometimes.

So, this is how I get ready Monday through Thursday.  I usually leave my coat on it’s hanger in the car so that it doesn’t get extra wrinkled.  If I’m going to put all that effort into  making my coat look awesome, I’m not going to get it any more wrinkled than necessary!  And here’s some photos of our class’s production today.

Braised beef short rib, with wilted spinach, roasted potatoes and crispy onions.

Turkish lentil soup


Chicken a la King


Irish stew

Osso Bucco with spinach and creamy polenta


Off to bed!  Be well & happy eating!


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