So what all do Chef's Whites consist of?
1. The traditional hat also known as the toque. Hair must also be restrained. For photo purpose only, I left my hair down; however, it is normally up in a ponytail and all hidden underneath the hat.
Different heights of hats oftentimes indicate rank within a kitchen. My teacher's hat is very high and pointy. As you can see, mine is rather short. :)
2. The double breasted jacket. It can be reversed to hide stains. Its thick cotton cloth protects from the heat of stove and oven and protects from splattering of boiling liquids. There is also a small pocket in the left arm to hold my pen, permanent marker (for labeling foods before putting them in the fridge) and my digital thermometer.
3. The black and white checkered-pattern trousers. While not the most attractive pants, they are great in camouflaging minor stains.
4. Plain white t-shirt worn under the jacket.
5. White apron - used to protect my outfit from splatters and stains.
6. Black, closed-heel, closed toe, non-skid chef shoes. I took the advice from a good friend and bought some Dansko shoes. They are mighty comfortable!
7. Last but not least, the awkward neckerchief. I'm not a big fan of this thing at all. I just don't like things around my neck like that. It took me a few weeks to get the hang of how to tie it but it is essentially just the same as tying a guy's tie. Neckerchiefs used to be worn to soak up the sweat of those working in hot kitchens but today they are mainly worn for aesthetic purposes.
8. One more thing I will show you is my knife kit. Although it is not part of my uniform, I am required to take it to class every day. It is a heavy black suitcase-like piece that houses all the tools that I need for class. Shown in the picture are my parisienne scoop, wooden spoon, pastry brush, kitchen scissors, pastry cutter, rubber spatula, whisk, and peeler. There are 3 other compartments in my knife kit. One compartment holds all my knives (hence the name) and another compartment holds things like my measuring cups, measuring spoons, kitchen ruler, pastry bags and tips, metal spatulas, etc. There are too many things in there to list them all!