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Dress for the kitchen

A short humorous video presenting the correct way to dress in a professional kitchen
Hi, I’m Chef Andy from International Culinary Studio. Today, I’m going to touch on the chef attire. [WHISTLING] Hey chef, I’m here for duty. Yeah, I’m ready, so what you want me to do? Well, that’s definitely not a good example of what to wear in a kitchen. No hat, chef’s top untidy, dirty, buttons missing– What’s wrong with these? –sleeves, one sleeve up, one sleeve done, very untidy, not uniform. As you can see, apron, just thrown on the table, very scruffy, very untidy.
Sneakers in the kitchen, definitely a no-no, definitely not. I think you need to go tidy yourself up– Yes, chef. –and try again. I will the next time, chef.
Chef, I was wondering, why do we wear this whole dress code? Well, Lauren, it’s easy. Every kitchen has a dress code, and every kitchen has a uniform to follow. And as you can see, you’ve got a cap, or a beanie, or a skull cap is what we call it in the kitchen. That is very important, in order for hygiene purposes, that your hair doesn’t fall into the food, and also there are different types. As you can see with my one, I’ve got a tall one with pleats, it’s the chef’s talk, as we call it. And then you can see you’re wearing a necktie, a necktie has different colours in it, but also goes through the different stages of kitchen.
When you become a trainee, you normally wear white, and you go through different colours, but that’s also depending on the institution. Really what a necktie does is from when you’re working hard, and in the hot kitchen, you start sweating it, and it helps you from cooling down, so that’s really the key part of wearing a necktie. Then, jacket, that’s the one item which is that we wear in the kitchen in order to keep us safe, cool, and also, as you can see, different colour buttons as you go through the different ranks of the kitchen, you’ll eventually have black buttons one day.
Also, the reason why there are buttons on this, is so that you carrying a hot pot, doesn’t go directly onto you, so the safety aspects of it, so you don’t do to your jacket. And also, if for some reason or other, which is really bad if your jacket gets alight, on fire, you can rip it off quite easily, because that’s the whole idea of the buttons. So you pull it, it comes off a lot easier. So I just pull it from here if I need to. That’s it, and get rid of it. Of course, you have trousers. We don’t come into this short with skirts, or with shorts, definitely a no-no because of the health and safety. What about jeans?
Definitely not. It depends on the institution, the establishment, if they want it that way, it’s up to them. But generally, neat, comfortable trousers, that works in the industry would be all good. I guess jeans would get too hot if you’re working in a hot kitchen. Correct, correct. I’ve noticed with your apron that you’ve tied it at the back. Look at my apron. The front. Correct, there is nothing wrong with it. However, in a busy kitchen, I’m going to be standing near the stove with open flames, I’m going to be busy on the bench, coming back to grab something from the chiller, and not knowing that piece of apron, string, lying in the flame, and an accident can happen.
And if it’s in the back, it’s going to be harder to untie it as well. Correct. [INAUDIBLE] at the front. Correct, so hence why we do a wrap around and tie in the front. As long as it’s neat and tidy and clean all times and not wiping your hands on it, or if you’re doing a job, rub it on a towel, dish towel, it will be fine. Socks, everybody forgets the good old socks. You need to have comfortable socks in order to have comfortable shoes. Shoes in the kitchen are very important. We stand pretty much eight hours a day in the kitchen, so hence, one needs to have comfortable shoes. If you look at mine, comfortable shoes, non-slip shoes.
Specifically, if you’re working in a kitchen that is very busy, a lot of spills, oil spills, that you can quite easily stand on and slip.
Now that you understand the full attire and what we wear in the kitchen, this will, in order to make you look professional and be confident in what you do in the kitchen.

When starting a restaurant, you need to consider what uniform or dress code is necessary. In most cases, your waiters and waitresses may be able to get away with more freedom as to what they can wear, but chefs need to dress appropriately as a matter of safety. If chefs were to wear regular street clothes it could encourage injuries and contamination of food.

But just what kind of features of clothing are important when working in a professional kitchen?

  1. Safety: items like steel capped rubber soled boots and heatproof gloves provide safety for the employee

  2. Hygeine: hats or hairnets, plastic gloves and full length shirts and pants/trousers prevent hair, skin and other contaminants from falling into food

  3. Professsionalism and equality: a tidy, white or black, gender-neutral uniform indicates cleanliness and ensures female identifying team members are not treated differently to male identifying team members.

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Food Safety and Personal Hygiene in a Professional Kitchen

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