We use to distinguish the chef from the other members of the kitchen team due to the uniform he or she wears. In the 5-stars restaurants, for example, we identify the chef with the one who wears the chef’s hat. However, this is not the only element that distinguishes the chef from the other members of the so called “French brigade system”
What do chefs wear when they work in a 5-stars restaurant, it depends on the level of the chef and on the activities he or she is in charge. Let’s have a look on the different chefs titles and what do they wear.
The different levels of chefs
In the 5-stars restaurants there is a strict kitchen hierarchy that must be respected because it helps to ensure the whole operations run as smoothly as possible.
Each one of the chef titles distinguish the activities they are in charge and the uniform they have to wear so, what do chefs wear in a 5-stars restaurant it depends on their level in the hierarchy.
At the top levels there is the Executive Chef. He or she doesn’t cook but manages all the operations of the staff. Even if it is a responsibility role only, the Executive Chef usually wears the long apron, that gives a professional and elegant appearance to the uniform. This is the reason why the apron is usually made of white cotton or other natural fibers.
Than there is the Executive Chef or Chef de Cuisine who is in charge of the whole kitchen control, from staff managing to manus creation. The Sous Chef or Second Chef replaces the Executive Chef but has a more active role in the kitchen.
The Chefs de Partie run a specific section of the kitchen each one, and they have a specific workstation. Each one of the Chefs de Partie manages a certain number of Commis Chefs. Usually, they are junior chefs who work side-by-side with the Commis Chef in order to learn. They are different from the Kitchen Assistant who are not professional and who are in charge of basic food preparations. They have all an operative role, so that their uniform must be made with very resistant fabrics and it must be comfortable in order make the movements easier. All these professionals wear the cook’s trousers with elastic waist and the cook’s jackets with a pleat on the back.
Of course, not all the restaurants are equipped with a so large and various structure. It can vary according with the size and the style of the restaurant. Also, the diffusion of industrial machines reduced the number of operators so that, nowadays, it is very hard to find all these professionals in the same establishment. Nowadays, the basic kitchen staff is generally made of an Executive Chef, a Sous Chef, a Chef de Partie and a Dishwasher.
What do chefs wear it depends on the HACCP certification
The HACCP certification was made in order to verify and certify the presence of high standards in some special environments such as, for examples, the kitchens. The aim of the certification is to ensure safety and security to the kitchen staff and to the customers, too.
The HACCP system describes what do chefs must wear in order to prevent food from possible contaminations. The most important rule is that all the different garments used must be “suitable, clean and easy to sanitize”. This is the reason why all the fabrics used for the chefs uniforms must be suitable to be washed and sanitized at high temperature, without getting damaged.
This is a basic and general rule that must be respected in all levels restaurants.