Do You Wear A Chef Coat?

Business By something_sweet Updated 8 Apr 2009 , 4:12am by kellertur

something_sweet Posted 1 Apr 2009 , 10:18pm
post #1 of 44

For those of you who have your own cake business/bakery, do you wear a chef coat when you are working? I have always had the idea that only "chefs" wore chef coats, but I am not formally trained to be a pastry chef (or any other kind of chef). Is it acceptable to wear a chef coat if you are not a trained chef?

Thanks for sharing your opinions!

43 replies
antonia74 Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 1:49am
post #2 of 44

I wear one every day at work and have since my very first day in school/at work. (I'm a Pastry Chef in a bakery and still run my own cake biz.) I'm not offended by people who wear them and don't have "the formal training or accreditation". It's not a status symbol, police uniform, military uniform or clerical garments, IMHO.

I know some others will disagree and say that it's a garment that is earned. Fair enough. icon_rolleyes.gif

I think a chef is secure in their knowledge and position enough to know when the jacket comes off...they are still a chef. It's not the clothing that makes you what you are. If you are wearing the jacket and don't know diddly-squat about your food, the jacket won't help you. It's not a magical cloak. icon_lol.gif You may fool some people at first glance, but not for long.

littlecake Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 2:49am
post #3 of 44

are the comfy to work in?...i feel like i'd be dragging those sleeves thru everything.

i like working in a t shirt and apron that has the"Little Cake Co." embroidered on the front...i feel like i can move around better in that...

plus i'm menopausal....and that jacket would be HOT on me.

they do look cool though.

korkyo Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:00am
post #4 of 44

I wear a chef coat.... I consider it a smock of sorts. It's cut like a chef coat but is not a heavy fabric and has regular buttons instead of french knots... if that really makes a difference. I find it does come across as very professional.

But like Antonia said it is not a magic cloak. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:12am
post #5 of 44

After reading many, many threads from many CC'ers who are culinary graduates and really ARE chefs, I learned that it's ok to wear one. (I was like you .... I wasn't wearing one because I wasn't a "chef" and didn't want to "dishonor" anyone who really WAS a chef.)

I dont' wear one while working ..... I wear our kitchen aprons. But I do wear one on deliveries and at events. I learned first hand that it's true what everyone said on here .... people treat you more like a professional and less like "a cake lady" when you have one of those on.

SweetSweetCreations Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 3:16am
post #6 of 44

I ran a staffing agency in Colorado Springs and I had clients at Counrty Clubs and Large 5 star hotels that required chefs coats for prep cooks and carvers etc... The Chefs I worked with were very well known chefs and just wanted all of the staff (no matter what their training was) to look professional.

luvsfreebies72 Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 5:40am
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

I wear one every day at work and have since my very first day in school/at work. (I'm a Pastry Chef in a bakery and still run my own cake biz.) I'm not offended by people who wear them and don't have "the formal training or accreditation". It's not a status symbol, police uniform, military uniform or clerical garments, IMHO.

I know some others will disagree and say that it's a garment that is earned. Fair enough. icon_rolleyes.gif

I think a chef is secure in their knowledge and position enough to know when the jacket comes off...they are still a chef. It's not the clothing that makes you what you are. If you are wearing the jacket and don't know diddly-squat about your food, the jacket won't help you. It's not a magical cloak. icon_lol.gif You may fool some people at first glance, but not for long.


This is high-larious! thumbs_up.gificon_lol.gif

FromScratch Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 10:36am
post #8 of 44

I wear one on deliveries and to bridal expos... at home it's an apron. Even when I was cooking for a living I hated wearing the jacket while working. You get used to it, but it's restrictive. If you do want to wear one while making cakes get one with 3/4 sleeves. icon_smile.gif

something_sweet Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 11:04am
post #9 of 44

Thanks for all your answers! Now I feel much better about buying one! I too was planning on wearing one to deliveries and events, but not necessarily when baking. icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 11:36am
post #10 of 44

While I respect everyone's opinion on this issue, I am one of those who consider the chef jacket exactly like a police or nurse's uniform. To wear it, you should earn the right. Earning the right means either culinary school trained or enough years in the industry, coming up the line, apprenticing and such that you've earned it. Now of course while you're training, you are required to wear the coat.

That said, I certainly do not wear it while working in my own kitchen. They do restrict movement a bit and those long sleeves just get rolled up anyway. But for shows, yes I wear a quite snazzy coat. And when making deliveries, it depends on where I'm going. To a hotel, you bet I wear it. Because when I ask the staff for something, like extra table linen for fluffing, the response is an automatic, "Yes chef."

Hotel staff are well trained. icon_rolleyes.gif

marmalade1687 Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 12:56pm
post #11 of 44

I have industrial aprons that I wear when I'm working - as others have said, much easier to work in! When delivering, I have a custom polo shirt that I wear with my business name on it - I wear it with comfy, clean, presentable work pants that I can bend in, and network in if need be. As Indydebi mentioned, people treat you more like a professional than the local cake lady when you have a "uniform" on!

PinkZiab Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 1:13pm
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by something_sweet

For those of you who have your own cake business/bakery, do you wear a chef coat when you are working? I have always had the idea that only "chefs" wore chef coats, but I am not formally trained to be a pastry chef (or any other kind of chef). Is it acceptable to wear a chef coat if you are not a trained chef?

Thanks for sharing your opinions!





It's totally fine... it's the big hat that you're supposed to "earn," not the coat. lol

sweetlayers Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 1:27pm
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



I dont' wear one while working ..... I wear our kitchen aprons. But I do wear one on deliveries and at events. I learned first hand that it's true what everyone said on here .... people treat you more like a professional and less like "a cake lady" when you have one of those on.




This is so true. My husband bought me a chef's coat for Valentine's day. He embroidered it with my name and business. At first, I was nervous about wearing it, but now I wear it all the time when dealing with my customers or potential customers.

It also makes it a lot less chaotic when making corporate deliveries. They can just look at me and say, OK, she's here to bring us food!

CHoxie Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 2:44pm
post #14 of 44

I have one. I wear it occasionally. I love to cook, and everyone who knows me calls me "the chef". My wife got it for me for my birthday this year, and had my name stitched on it. I have no formal education in cooking, but wished I had gone when I was younger.

I wear it when I am delivering a cake to a party in progress, otherwise it is an apron and t-shirt.

BTW, my coat has short sleeves, so no problem draggin them through the cake.

cakelady15 Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 4:55pm
post #15 of 44

I'm with Indydebi on this one. I didn't wear one for a long time because I didn't have the formal training that a chef receives. I have heard from many people though that it's ok so I finally ordered one with my company name embroidered on it. I don't wear it to cook in. I just wear it when I'm making deliveries. It makes a big difference when you're wearing it and it looks very professional.

FromScratch Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 5:19pm
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Quote:
Originally Posted by something_sweet

For those of you who have your own cake business/bakery, do you wear a chef coat when you are working? I have always had the idea that only "chefs" wore chef coats, but I am not formally trained to be a pastry chef (or any other kind of chef). Is it acceptable to wear a chef coat if you are not a trained chef?

Thanks for sharing your opinions!




It's totally fine... it's the big hat that you're supposed to "earn," not the coat. lol




Exactly... the coat is just a coat and almost everyone in a kitchen will wear one... even the dishwasher. Now if you go and wear that big toque and have executive chef written on your jacket and you haven't earned it then that is an offense punishable by by flogging with a pastry docker. icon_wink.gif

itsacake Posted 2 Apr 2009 , 6:25pm
post #17 of 44

On the first day of pastry school, we were told in detail that school would not make us chefs. It would just possibly get us jobs in kitchens. Notice that bus boys often wear chef's coats, so they are not reserved for Chefs. Anyway, "Chef" is French for "chief" and means you head the kitchen, so if you are the head of your kitchen/business you are by definition the chef! Wear what makes you happy!

I have to admit my own definition of chef has more to do with being innovative and knowing how to play with food, but that is not the classic definition. The person who heads the kitchen of a chain restaurant who cooks by using corporate recipes and is not allowed to change anything is still the chef cause he's (supposedly) in charge.

When I had to wear my chef's coat for school, I was sure I'd burn it when I was done, along with the rest of my uniform. However, I've come to appreciate it. The long sleeves have saved me from burns more than once and being able to button the opposite way has enabled me to look cleaner than I really am icon_smile.gif Also, at the end of the day, when I take off my apron and coat, my clothes are clean and I can run errands on my way home. (I never wear a chef's coat when I cook or bake at home.) When we do shows, my business partner wears a chef's coat, even though she rarely joins me in the kitchen. Makes it easy to see who is who.

cylstrial Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 1:10am
post #18 of 44

I've been interested in getting one too. Can anyone recommend a good place to get one?
TIA!

indydebi Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 1:38am
post #19 of 44

My daughter's Home Ec teacher gave me this website: http://www.kng.com/wholesale/servlet/cat/en/kng/Restaurant/Chef-Coats You can get them for as low as $10. The teacher actually gave me one that she embroidered my company name on as a thank-you for speaking to her class.

chelleb1974 Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 3:16pm
post #20 of 44

A lil off topic, but I was wondering, has anyone ever dyed a white chef coat because you couldn't find the color you wanted?

Edited to add: I want to clarify that it would be for delivering cakes, not decorating in it.

cylstrial Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 3:45pm
post #21 of 44

Wow Indy! Thanks for sharing. I'll go check it out!

BCo Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 4:01pm
post #22 of 44

www.happychefuniforms.com

You can request a catalog also.

There is even a tab for women's chef wear - they have some chef coats for women that are pink and white and gray and pink.

Prices seem reasonable. You can get names put on them too!

mommyle Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 4:05pm
post #23 of 44

Ok. Well my problem is that my top is small, but my butt is huge. so any jacket that fits on top, doesn't fit after the waist. Any ideas????

snarkybaker Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 4:57pm
post #24 of 44

for what it's worth, Ihave a coupon for 10% off in april at Chef Uniforms ( the link above) Just type in APRIL, in the promotion box at checkout.

bobwonderbuns Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 5:03pm
post #25 of 44

I know there are a few Ebay stores that sell them as well, but don't ask me who... icon_rolleyes.gif Do a search and there are a few stores on Ebay with quite a good selection.

mkolmar Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 8:52pm
post #26 of 44

I've went to culinary school, not for pastry though, my degree is in culinary skills and management. I'm also in classes once again to go and get my certification through the American Culinary Federation. I take classes right now also to earn credits to keep these certifications up. The culinary field is a lot like the teaching field in that respect.
I like to order my jackets for one I'm demoing or in front of people from Culinary Classics. I put in the measurements I need and it's cut for my shape. I'm a small petite build so I get swallowed up in my chef jacket if I don't specially order them. They are also a good quality jacket, I use the cheaper ones that are too big for me when I'm working.
I always use a chef jacket when working. Guess it's just habit now. I put on my chef jacket, take a lint roller to it to pick up any loose hairs and my hair is pulled back in a bun and under a clean ball cap that I use for only cooking in.
With that being said I have no problem with people wearing them, because they are meant to protect the body. I prefer in fact that when in the kitchen people do where them, no matter what position/station they work in the kitchen, from executive chef all the way down to the dish washer. It's designed to help protect you.
When doing deliveries it's up to you if you want to wear one or not. It really does make a difference in how people look at you. The jacket seems to make people take you more seriously and command attention.
(Now if people are wearing the different hats, that's another story. Those are earned not given and each one has a different status. I tell people chef hats is kind of like the ranks in the military. You don't see a private sporting MSGT stripes).

mommyle Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 8:59pm
post #27 of 44

Thank you! I'll contact them and get one made for me. That's just what I needed!!!

-K8memphis Posted 3 Apr 2009 , 9:16pm
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bturpin

www.happychefuniforms.com

You can request a catalog also.

There is even a tab for women's chef wear - they have some chef coats for women that are pink and white and gray and pink.

Prices seem reasonable. You can get names put on them too!




I'm pink and white and gray and pink I could get one of those!!!

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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Kitagrl Posted 5 Apr 2009 , 2:01am
post #29 of 44

I try to deliver in one with my business name on it....I don't use it alot, just keep it hung up to keep it nice and white and clean for "appearance" sake.

I do feel that my cakes are "professional enough" to where the jacket matches the product....I worked with a pastry chef at a caterers for a year and have been decorating for 10 years myself and feel that one doesn't necessarily have to have a degree if they can do the same stuff self-taught. Although I have a LONG way to go before my work is as nice as I'd like it to be.

I can understand why people may feel strongly about it though.

Anyway I never got any special coat to wear with my secondary education degree haha so I stole the chef coat instead. icon_cool.gif Teachers deserve body armor, man..... icon_lol.gif

JaimeAnn Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 8:43am
post #30 of 44

I only wear a chefs coat for extremely fancy weddings. Other than that I have a HUGE apron collection. My Mom and I make custom handmade retro and vintage style aprons with custom embroidery designs, So I have quite an elaborate selection.. hahah

We are actually in the process of building a catalog and website, and just got our first order for 10 matching aprons for the employees of a local bakery.

These are the ones they ordered
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But they are solid light pink with this embroidery

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