Is It Okay To Wear A Chef's Jacket When You're Not A Chef?

Decorating By Ruth0209 Updated 7 Jul 2008 , 11:38pm by Carolynlovescake

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:02am
post #1 of 31

I'd like to wear a chef's jacket when I deliver and serve cakes because I think it gives a professional and more formal appearance. However, I didn't attend culinary school so I wonder if it's considered bad form to do so. My DH is a certified executive chef and I know how hard he worked to earn that jacket and be identified by it as a professional chef, so it somehow just doesn't seem right to wear one.

When I asked him, he said, "Oh, honey, they pass those jackets out for everyone in the kitchen to wear down to the prep cooks. Don't worry about it." So maybe it's not such a big deal.

But I still have this fear that I'll show up at a reception wearing one and the caterer who HAS gone to culinary school will think "Who is she kidding? We both know she doesn't have the credentials." and then I'll just feel embarrassed like I'm trying to pass myself off as something I'm not. Maybe I shouldn't care, but I'm not immune to how snotty some people can be about this kind of thing.

Am I just being goofy to worry about this?

30 replies
JoAnnB Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:09am
post #2 of 31

A plain jacket is perfectly acceptable, even embroidered with your name and business. They often use them for wait staff. they launder well and wear a long time.

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 5:13am
post #4 of 31

Thanks Doug! Geez, it'll take me all night to read through all those. I'm sure they'll have some wisdom to share.

shigo Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:59am
post #5 of 31

I wear one, too, even though the course I took in collge is Hotel Management. I don't feel that I'm a real pastry chef based on standards but I make cakes for a living and I love what I do. I think that is what makes a real chef.

milissasmom Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 7:05am
post #6 of 31

It is absolutely fine!

Mike1394 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:59am
post #7 of 31

Wearing the jacket is fine. The title Chef is the subjective term. Anyone that flips an egg at a restaruant thinks they are a Chef. The term Executive Chef gets abused more. You don't have to be classicaly trained to be a chef. Put your name, and business on it, and wear it proudly. Just don't get one of those goofy floppy hats. I see those, and they look like a deflated mushroom on someone's head. LOL

Mike

CreativeGirl220 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 9:45am
post #8 of 31

I go to culinary school and I'm not finished yet and I do that wear the white jacket on the side. I don't know about you but it helps me alot because I live in a small town and when ppl see me and I'm with a cake I litterally stand out. I was selling cakes 1x and ppl came up to me because of the jacket and saw my creations and they would start talking to me about whats it like going to school for it. Some ppl were just blown away like wow.

joenshan Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 10:07am
post #9 of 31

I'm not 'in the business' but I can somewhat relate. I am a scientist. We wear lab coats. Anyone that enters the lab has to wear one whether you are a PhD or delivering packages. The coat has functional purpose, it's not a status symbol. Like the chef coat, they protect your clothing and are easy to wash. A chef coat has the added benefit of identifying you as a food professional which, regardless of your academic background, you are.

I say wear the coat... even get your name embroidered on it with a little cake next to it!

sarahpierce Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:49pm
post #10 of 31

Your work is beautiful, put the coat on and wear it with pride. You deserve the attention, and letting everyone know you ARE a professional thumbs_up.gif .[/b]

sarahpierce Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:50pm
post #11 of 31

Your work is beautiful, put the coat on and wear it with pride. You deserve the attention, and letting everyone know you ARE a professional thumbs_up.gif .[/b]

cakegal Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:14pm
post #12 of 31

Put the coat on. Who's to say you can't wear it?
If I was doing cakes as a profession, I would wear one. And I probably would have a cake and my name embroidered on it.

FromScratch Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:33pm
post #13 of 31

Dishwashers wear chef jackets.. you can wear it. Just don't get Chef Ruth put on it and you won't be stepping on any toes. It's just a uniform. If you feel wierd wearing the white coat then get a pretty colored one. For me it's not the coat you earn, but the title.

tonedna Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:36pm
post #14 of 31

We are professionals..is about the work...not the
background

bethola Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:36pm
post #15 of 31

I wear one when I work or serve and that's in our church kitchen! I'm a slob and an apron just doesn't help at all! LOL

I agree it makes one look more professional and, in my case, saves on the laundry bill! LOL

Beth in KY

vickymacd Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:47pm
post #16 of 31

I work in a restaurant and to look more professional, the cooks wear them. By NO MEANS have these guys gone to any culinary school, nor can they probably spell culinary school!!! I know that sounded mean, but the point was, go ahead and wear it. You're not telling people you're a chef, you're just looking professional!

loriemoms Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:50pm
post #17 of 31

wear one and wear it proudly! You are a professional, the coats are comfy, they keep you clean and you look great in them!

One word of caution: sometimes when you are walking down the hall of a hotel, a guest may ask you what you are serving in the dining room tonight. True!!!

michellenj Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:50pm
post #18 of 31

Who really cares what anyone else thinks of you?

I've been in the biz since 1990 and like the others said, ishwashers wear them, the line cooks without a degree wear them, and the ous chef/exec chef all wear the same coat. It's about WHAT YOU DO, not your degree. I have a 4 yr. degree, but I can tell you, none of my classes actually educated me as much as being on the job and doing the work. Over the years I have worked with exec. chefs who have culinary degrees, and I have worked with some that ran kitchens that received 4 stars in the New York Times but had no degree. Th only place I've ever heard a discussion on who has the "right" to wear a chef's coat is on here.

Wear the chef's coat and keep clean. Hold your head high, because if you are delivering a cake, are bnging n business and doing a good job-you have earned the right to wear it. thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 2:17pm
post #19 of 31

What nobody's telling you is that is the cupboard drawers in a thousand commercial kitchens slowly eerily quietly slide open, spatulas quiver and rise indignant gathering by the baker's dozens to swarm, descend and D-spatulate the jacket right off of your chefless-ed shoulders.

icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif

(Geez I know maybe I should switch to decaf huh.)

But truly I felt the same way at first, kinda putting on show-ish, awkward-y--just work with it though--makes a positive difference.

Doug Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:33pm
post #20 of 31

or think of it this way.....

many jobs/professions require the workers to wear a uniform

postal service
UPS
FEDEx
McDs/BK/Wendy's/Hardees/et. al.
most car dealership repair shop mechanics
the airlines
nurses and the rest of the medical profession (just had eyes checked and Dr. was NOT in lab coat or scrubs -- seemed less professional to me!)

this profession too has its UNIFORM.... the expected/standardized look (well shape at least -- the color and pattern combos are amazing now)

wear it.

(and have you noticed how in diner type places we sort of expect the male cook to be in white t-shirt, white pants, white apron and that little white folding hat?)

(oh...and the biggest problem I see....

white? pink? blue? black?
piping on sleeve/collar?
double breasted? single?
black buttons? french knots?
will it be in MY size??????
too many choices!!!!!!!!!!

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:53pm
post #21 of 31

Sarahpierce, thank you so much for your kind comments about my cakes. I only do this part time, but I've really fallen in love with it. It's always great to hear positive feedback about my work.

And thank you to everyone else for your comments. I knew I'd get the straight scoop here. Guess I should listen to my DH after all!! I'm going to go out and buy a really cute, nicely fitting chef jacket and wear it proudly (everywhere...maybe even to bed...HA).

Jeanne, maybe instead of Chef Ruth I'll embroider Ruth - Goddess of Sugar like someone on another thread suggested! I kind of like the sound of that. : )

Ruth

-K8memphis Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:33pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

Guess I should listen to my DH after all!!




Omg, I woudn't go that far! I mean don't make a habit of it y'know?

I vote for Ruth Goddess of Sugar!! thumbs_up.gif

(watch out for the spatulas)

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:44pm
post #23 of 31

k8memphis, I love your sense of humor! I KNOW! It's a dangerous precedent to set, for sure. He hates it that I never believe him until 20 other people agree with him but I'm afraid it's just the natural order of things.

I'll watch for the flying spatulas! Sounds like a Harry Potter movie!!

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:22pm
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

One word of caution: sometimes when you are walking down the hall of a hotel, a guest may ask you what you are serving in the dining room tonight. True!!!




icon_lol.gif Oh so true! My daily in-the-kitchen uniform is a red apron. I get stopped in walmart, sam's, gfs, almost everywhere, by people needing help. I spent about 10 minutes helping a lady in GFS once with a long discussion on plastic tablecovers!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif They are usually embarrassed when I tell them I don't work there ... I just tell 'em "Oh don't worry about it.... happens all the time!" icon_lol.gif

FromScratch Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 8:49pm
post #25 of 31

HA!!! I like that.. Goddess of Sugar sounds very fitting. icon_wink.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 1:41am
post #26 of 31

I was taught that it wasn't the jacket that makes the chef, but the type of toque (hat) that he/she wears. I don't know if it's the same today, but I believe years ago that you could walk into the kitchen and know exactly who was who (head chef vs. sous chef vs. pastry chef, etc.) based on the type/shape/height of their toques.

When I've taken various classes, I was either asked or required to wear a chef's jacket (got my 1st one for $12 off of ebay), so I don't see it as any blasphemy to now wear one when I deliver cakes. I usually only do that if the delivery is to an establishment and not to a private home. I splurged at GFS on a pink one with my name & screen name embroidered on it.

I think your DH is a wise man--go with his advice!

Rae

loriemoms Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 1:54am
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

One word of caution: sometimes when you are walking down the hall of a hotel, a guest may ask you what you are serving in the dining room tonight. True!!!



icon_lol.gif Oh so true! My daily in-the-kitchen uniform is a red apron. I get stopped in walmart, sam's, gfs, almost everywhere, by people needing help. I spent about 10 minutes helping a lady in GFS once with a long discussion on plastic tablecovers!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif They are usually embarrassed when I tell them I don't work there ... I just tell 'em "Oh don't worry about it.... happens all the time!" icon_lol.gif




I started laughing today, I was deliverying a cake today, at an inn. We were waiting for the wedding planner, and this lady stopped me and asked where the main garden was. I told her "I am sorry, but I have no idea!" I felt so bad for her!

mjnj Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 7:06pm
post #28 of 31

Wear the jacket. While you may not be a certified Executive Chef (a complete waste of time certification)you are THE chef of you operation. The title chef is not earned through culinary degrees (also a complete waste of time) but rather it means one in charge of any food related operation. We are not talking about a PhD here we are talking about the jacket and the title chef.

Someone who has a Culinary Degree

littlecake Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 1:15am
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

One word of caution: sometimes when you are walking down the hall of a hotel, a guest may ask you what you are serving in the dining room tonight. True!!!



icon_lol.gif Oh so true! My daily in-the-kitchen uniform is a red apron. I get stopped in walmart, sam's, gfs, almost everywhere, by people needing help. I spent about 10 minutes helping a lady in GFS once with a long discussion on plastic tablecovers!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif They are usually embarrassed when I tell them I don't work there ... I just tell 'em "Oh don't worry about it.... happens all the time!" icon_lol.gif




I wear an apron that says "Little Cake Co." on it, but, i still wear it if i gotta run to the store because i ran out of something, i figured if i took it off to go in, i'd just look like a dirty girl running around town. at least with the apron on i look like i got a reason to have foodstuff smeared on me.

And yes they all want help while your out and about.

7yyrt Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:35pm
post #30 of 31

Wear the jacket. It's the hat that identifies the type of chef.
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