Do You Have To Be A Pastry Chef/chef To Wear A Chef's Coat?

Decorating By mom2spunkynbug Updated 9 Sep 2009 , 2:47am by mom2spunkynbug

mom2spunkynbug Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:38am
post #1 of 27

I am not a pastry chef, chef, nor did I go to pastry school. After taking the Wilton courses, I self-taught myself everything else & now I teach Wilton classes. I've also started my own (licensed) home-based business.

I'm thinking about the upcoming bridal shows in my area...and thinking about what to wear. (This will be my 3rd year.) First year I wore a suit (too formal)...last year I wore a skirt & sweater. This year I'm thinking of ordering a chef's coat & going in that & jeans/black slacks. Do I have a "right" to wear such a thing? Of course, I know I can wear whatever I want, but I don't want to be decieving (sp?). I did order the Wilton's chef's coat & wear that to classes only.

Thanks for any advice/opinions!

26 replies
kettlevalleygirl Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:45am
post #2 of 27

I don't know about the "ethics" of wearing the coat, but I think that it looks professional, and presents a very nice image. Clean etc.
I am starting up my Wilton classes next week and will be wearing a chef's coat. I just think that street clothes are not as professional looking.
I don't have a diploma or an pastry chef school, just attended a lot of classes on cake decorating!

prterrell Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:48am
post #3 of 27

I don't think you have to have a diploma from a cooking school to wear a chef's coat. I wouldn't wear a toque, though (that's the tall, white hat). One thing to keep in mind is that those coats can be rather warm! Your other option is to get a high-quality apron with your company name/logo embroidered on the front and wear that.

chefjulie Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:58am
post #4 of 27

Absolutely not! A chef's coat is more of a practical "uniform" than a statement- It's definitely not just for chefs! Do stay away from the hat, though icon_wink.gif

StaceyCakes75 Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:59am
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

I don't think you have to have a diploma from a cooking school to wear a chef's coat. I wouldn't wear a toque, though (that's the tall, white hat). One thing to keep in mind is that those coats can be rather warm! Your other option is to get a high-quality apron with your company name/logo embroidered on the front and wear that.


I agree with prterrell. You should get a good quality apron with your name a logo. I think that is the best option. Even a nice polo shirt with your name and logo would be nice as well. But what do I know I don't do bridal shows. So this is just my opinion.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 4:32am
post #6 of 27

Thanks for your replies!

I will definitely stay away from the hat! (LOL!)

I don't think I like the apron idea...a little too homey...I'd like to look more professional. I will think about the shirt idea too though. (I like how the Cake Girls have their t-shirts.)

Thanks again!

indydebi Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 4:44am
post #7 of 27

I was like you. I refrained from wearing the jacket because I wasn't a chef and I felt it would be an insult to the 'real' chefs. I became educated by folks on CC who explained that the jacket is a kitchen uniform worn by everyone from head chef to part-time dishwasher boy.

So I threw those insecure feelings aside and I wear my jacket to every event. I even now have it in my official headshot (click on twitter or my blog link below to see the pic).

Someone mentioned how much different you are treated when you deliver a cake (or in my case, work a catering) wearing the jacket. It's SO true!

Kitagrl Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 4:45am
post #8 of 27

I figure if I'm doing the exact same thing as a "real" pastry chef and delivering the same quality goods, I can wear the coat too. thumbs_up.gif

I don't wear mine alot...just for an occasional bridal show and maybe a wedding delivery if I remember.

costumeczar Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:07pm
post #9 of 27

The coat is a general uniform kind of thing, but the hat is the one that people tend to get touchy over! icon_wink.gif When I was in culinary school the Chef Instructors were the ones who wore the tall toques, and we peons wore the floppy ones.

There was an episode of Hell's Kitchen where one of the contestants wore a tall toque, and Chef Ramsey mocked him greatly for it. It was kind of a "Look at you, who do you think you are wearig that thing?"

-K8memphis Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:17pm
post #10 of 27

The jacket does open doors for you--and I almost got picked up in the elevator once too icon_lol.gif

I mean something as nominal as the chef coat will prevent all flack when you might have to double park or park where nobody else can park. It's a solid good tool for your toolbox.

DebBTX Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:25pm
post #11 of 27

It is so hot and humid where I live, I ordered a lighter weight, short sleeve chef jacket last year.

-Debbie B.

tx_cupcake Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:34pm
post #12 of 27

Not all of the contestants on "Top Chef" have formal training, but they all wear chef coats.

An article of clothing does not equal a diploma.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:40pm
post #13 of 27

I have a friend who owns a restaurant. She is also an amazing baker, and does catering. As far as I know, she has never had any formal classes, just the mandatory food prep course required before opening her restaurant. And she wears the coat at all venues where she's presenting her business.

BTW: When I read that you shouldn't wear a 'toque', my first thought was "Why would she wear a toque? That's just weird." In Canada, a 'toque' is what we call a winter wool hat! icon_lol.gif

Win Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:41pm
post #14 of 27

I asked a "real" chef that one time and he laughed. He asked me if I thought the "cooks" in front of the grills at footballs stadiums were "chefs" just because they wear the jacket... He answered himself with a "not even a little bit." The uniform is strictly that, a uniform designed to protect the wearer --double breasted to hide stains and keep one safe from spatters. Even the hounds tooth checked pants so often worn in kitchens are designed that way to hide stains. Now, as mentioned by prterrell, the toque is truly the sign of a chef's rank in the kitchen. The taller the toque the more important the role of the chef. thumbs_up.gif

Edited to add that often you will see a chef change his spattered coat for a clean one before a large presentation to preserve the dignity of his role and present the impression of cleanliness (which is why the French still adhere to the traditional white.)

pattycakesnj Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 1:41pm
post #15 of 27

check out zazzle.com for tshirts and aprons (some of those aprons are very cute) and even sneakers that you can put your company name and or logo on.

Uniqueask Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 2:08pm
post #16 of 27

I have four Chef coats, 2 black and 2 White, 2 plaid pants and 2 black slacks from Chef Revival And I am not a chef, But I did attend a vocational Program and got a culinary certificate, not a Diploma, we used the white coats for cooking, and the black coats when we had luncheons, and dinners, so I think anyone in the cooking or baking field can wear chef coats We as students did wear the hats that was open in the top, and the chef and his assistant wear the ones with the star on top

txnonnie Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 2:32pm
post #17 of 27

I just assumed you were supposed to be a chef of some sort to wear this as well. However, when you think about it, there are kitchen help that wears the coat and have never been to school. Interesting to know this information.

PinkZiab Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 4:06pm
post #18 of 27

As others mentioned, anyone can wear the coat... in a high end kitchen, even some of the dishwashers wear them. It's the hat (toque) that is the true symbol of the chef and is meant to be "earned."

PinkZiab Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 4:10pm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I was like you. I refrained from wearing the jacket because I wasn't a chef and I felt it would be an insult to the 'real' chefs.




Debi, it's not a formal education that makes a chef (as many chefs do not have that at all), it's years of experience and working your way up to that title. If ANYONE is deserving of the title "Chef," around here, it is you. You have certainly earned it, and you are the chief of your brigade, which is, after all, what the Chef title means. You are as "real" a chef as anyone!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 5:12pm
post #20 of 27

I'm glad I asked! So much helpful & interesting info icon_smile.gif

nesweetcake Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 5:30pm
post #21 of 27

The coat is definitely a statement of professionalism..Story...I had a decorator at a venue who didn't want to listen to how the bride and I decided to have the cake table decorated. She did do what the bride wanted, but I surely got her attitude towards me. The day I delivered the wedding cake (wearing my chefs coat)... and her able to see the beautiful cake with unique gumpaste flowers, her attitude towards me totally changed. She was asking me if everything was how it was planned....etc...She fussed and fussed and since we have worked several of the same weddings and she views me as more than the lowly home baker I am. I am small framed and had a difficult time finding a jacket to fit me that didn't look like I was wearing a sack, so I found a great company to work with for my jacket. I don't look like the wash boy, I look like a professional sugar artist.

nannie Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 5:36pm
post #22 of 27

below is a link to ruth rickey's website where she discusses her designer chef coats.

http://www.ruthssweetejustice.com/Category%20Pages/crooked%20brook%20womens%20chef%20coats%20and%20aprons.html

I have seen them and they are a whole lotta fun

nesweetcake Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 5:43pm
post #23 of 27

This is exactly who I use and Veronica there is fab to work with. It's crooked brook dot com...you know without the spaces.

indydebi Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 9:36pm
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I was like you. I refrained from wearing the jacket because I wasn't a chef and I felt it would be an insult to the 'real' chefs.



Debi, it's not a formal education that makes a chef (as many chefs do not have that at all), it's years of experience and working your way up to that title. If ANYONE is deserving of the title "Chef," around here, it is you. You have certainly earned it, and you are the chief of your brigade, which is, after all, what the Chef title means. You are as "real" a chef as anyone!




Thanks so much for the compliment. I'm really touched by that.

I just knew the expense and commitment it takes for someone to complete culinary school, and I respect that immensely. Because I was uninformed about what the chef jacket meant, I didn't want folks to think I was pretensious (sp?) or that I was trying to "join the club without paying my dues."

-K8memphis Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 10:43pm
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I was like you. I refrained from wearing the jacket because I wasn't a chef and I felt it would be an insult to the 'real' chefs.



Debi, it's not a formal education that makes a chef (as many chefs do not have that at all), it's years of experience and working your way up to that title. If ANYONE is deserving of the title "Chef," around here, it is you. You have certainly earned it, and you are the chief of your brigade, which is, after all, what the Chef title means. You are as "real" a chef as anyone!




Awww--how sweet.

Think it should be ChefyDebi or ChefyIndy or ChindyDebi ChebiIfffy.

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Just totally teasing. You are the bombshabomb.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 9 Sep 2009 , 2:45am
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I just knew the expense and commitment it takes for someone to complete culinary school, and I respect that immensely. Because I was uninformed about what the chef jacket meant, I didn't want folks to think I was pretensious (sp?) or that I was trying to "join the club without paying my dues."




You took the words right out of my mouth! thumbs_up.gif

mom2spunkynbug Posted 9 Sep 2009 , 2:47am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nesweetcake

This is exactly who I use and Veronica there is fab to work with. It's crooked brook dot com...you know without the spaces.




That's exactly where I was earlier today!! icon_biggrin.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%