The Amazing Origin of The Chefs Hat
One noticeable accessory in a chef’s uniform is the hat. The hat serves as the chef’s badge whether you are a professional or a student. It has been a tradition for chefs to wear hats in the kitchen as it shows professionalism. The hats evolved with the uniform itself. The history shows that chefs’ copied the way monks dress when they take refuge at the Orthodox Church.Some legends from ancient Assyrian would state, during that era most leaders were killed using poison. This is the reason why the king implied all kitchen personnel to wear hats to give them prestige. In that way they will feel important and will not plan to poison the sitting leader.
Another story about chef’s hat was during Henry VII’s time where one of his cook accidentally served a soup with his hair on it. Story tells that the cook was sentence to death and from then on kitchen servers were required to wear hats.
As time goes by the chef hats changed too. In France the chef’s hat was called “Toque” meaning a white hat. During that time chefs are becoming more like a celebrity that is why they are required to dress to impress.
After some time the hat then represents the rank in the kitchen; from the executive chef down to the sauce maker they are all wearing hat, each section in the kitchen had different hat height.
From the question how many ways you can cook an egg? It plays a significant legend in most chefs’ hat. The pleats in the hat indicate how many ways a chef can cook an egg. Though some tall hats don’t have pleats it still denotes the level of experience the chef has. It doesn’t have to be just egg cooking, the pleats also signify the skills, techniques, and recipes a chef had mastered.
The reason chefs wear them
The reason why chefs wear hats is to protect the hair from accumulating smoke and oil in the kitchen. It also absorbs sweat from the forehead and prevents the hair from falling off. The hat gives an impression of professionalism inside the kitchen.
Most hats are made of both polyester and cotton. They combine these fabrics to provide enough withstand and proper comfort. Some would offer one size fits all and some are adjustable with built-in Velcro for personalized fit.
If you are wondering how the hat stands on its own despite its material, they used starch to solidify the textile.
The color, the height, and the stiffness varied from country to country. And today’s hat is the proof that it had evolved from simple head covering cooks had worn over the centuries.
The modern chef
Some kitchen around the world would still follow the hat hierarchy. If you were to portray a chef in movies or televisions they will stick on the traditional uniform with matching tall hats.
Hats remain the symbol of expertise and experience in the kitchen. Some would wear simpler hat for comfort purposes, some would not wear anything at all. Some kitchen would require wearing hairnets for hygiene and not a hat anymore, others would wear beret instead of the tall ones. Their only concern is to deliver clean and delicious course to their customers.
For a chefs’ everyday kitchen routine they believe with or without a hat they will still be able to express their knowledge in the kitchen, if needed they won’t mind wearing hats for special occasions or presentations.
Chefs are geniuses whether they are in uniform or not, with or without hat, a celebrity chef or executive chef of a five star restaurant, it takes passion for one individual to study and apply kitchen magic in everyday cooking bringing smile and loud burp for individuals.