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Uniform Questions - Shoes and Pants


rubyred
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I'm a personal chef, about to go to Paris for a workshop at Atelier Pierre Herme.

My question is about my uniform: I usually wear Puma sneakers in the kitchen and yoga pants instead of chef pants, for the fit and comfort.

Will these items be acceptable in a (French) professional kitchen? I am not keen on spending money on things I may never use again. On the other hand, I have my doubts about my Pumas from a safety standpoint; are they slip-resistant enough?

Cheers for any advice!

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I would expect that black, leather, slip-resistant shoes and either black or herringbone chef pants would be suggested, if not required. Does the workshop information not give any detail? You could also try calling whomever you booked the reservation with. And, not to get into another long drawn out "this is the kind of shoe I wear" conversation... Spend the money on a good pair of shoes: Dansko, Birkenstock London's, Sanita, Chefwear, whoever fits you well and feels good, and spend the money for at least one pair of black chef pants. You'll be surprised at how long both last, how versatile they both are, and how comfortable you are.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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Wearing anything other than non-slip shoes is just plain foolish.  If I had my own place and you showed up on the first day in Pumas I'd tell you to go home and never come back.

I agree 100% not to mention that clogs and heavy footwear also can protect against spills of hot oil/water etc. I think wearing sneakers makes a cook look really sloppy and unprofessional.

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Wearing anything other than non-slip shoes is just plain foolish.  If I had my own place and you showed up on the first day in Pumas I'd tell you to go home and never come back.

How are sneakers not "slip resistant" ... ?

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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Wearing anything other than non-slip shoes is just plain foolish.  If I had my own place and you showed up on the first day in Pumas I'd tell you to go home and never come back.

How are sneakers not "slip resistant" ... ?

I know I have a pair of sneakers that are dangerously slippery on wet tile floors.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I am *definitely* not trying to start something with WiscoNole here, but should I really be concerned with 'kitchen banishment' if I'm paying over $500 a day for the pleasure of a three day workshop? I appreciate the virtues of professionalism, and if I were attending a stage, or seeking employment I would have higher standards for my uniform requirements. Still, this is only a three day workshop, and the expense seems unnecessary to me. If anyone else cares to share their point of view, I would appreciate to hear more.

Cheers!

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If there are no uniform requirements stated in your informational materials, one could assume there were none. However, assumptions are dangerous. There's no telling if you'd show up overdressed compared to the rest of your cohorts or be pointed and laughed at as a hopeless rookie for showing up in anything but professional chef wear, as uptight as that may seem to you.

This could all be solved with a quick phone call or email inquiring about uniform requirements since they seem to have "been inadvertently left out" of the materials sent to you. Ask graciously and stick with whatever they tell you.

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

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I'm a personal chef, about to go to Paris for a workshop at Atelier Pierre Herme.

On the other hand, I have my doubts about my Pumas from a safety standpoint; are they slip-resistant enough?

Cheers for any advice!

I would not want to run the risk of wearing the Pumas there, and slipping on something unexpectly slick (a spill and someone's gone off to get the mop but you walk that way without realizing it and ....) You mention being a personal chef so you are in different home kitchens where the protocol is not so strict as a restaurant kitchen. Commercial kitchens usually have some sort of tile or cement floor and where I am, even with slip resistant shoes, I worry when the dish pit starts to crank and the floor can get pretty slick over there.

A friend of mine wears Dansko clogs all the time - she has her kitchen ones and her "play shoes". :biggrin:

So I'd spend the money on the shoes anyway, and see what they say about chef coats, pants, etc. I know that once I bought a nice pair of chef pants, I never looked back. They're cool and comfortable in all seasons.

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My first piece of advice is to simply call or e-mail to clarify.

If you can't get in touch before your workshop, I would absolutely stick to black pants and black non-skid shoes. You can definitely save black pants for later use. A good pair of heavy black work boots are also invaluable in case you do any kind of heavy duty work later.

I would also wear a plain white tee shirt with perhaps a sweater or button-up blouse over it.

This way, you won't look so foolishly overdressed in checks if everyone else is dressed down. Also, in case they give you some kind of jacket, throwing it on over a white tee would be no problem. Also, if they don't give you some kind of jacket, white is a very traditional color for a French kitchen.

Even if you aren't doing a stage or looking for employment, my feeling is that you're their guest no matter what, even if you are paying a big sum to be there.

If anything, maybe you can just bring a change of clothes?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Get some Dansko clogs, if for no other reason than that they are the most comfortable shoes ever!

I have two pairs now, too. One in plain black leather for work and one in shiny red patent leather for the rest of the time.

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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I looked at the webpage and the boys there are looking regulation. They've got on white chef jackets and white baseball cap type chef hats. Snowy white aprons for the camera shots. I would not hesitate to dress in uber classic impeccable chefware. You can remove a chef coat for a more relaxed atmosphere if necessary.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for your input everyone! I just got back from Paris and the workshop was unbelievable! Pierre Herme is such a genius!

In case anyone was wondering, I did get some proper shoes, although others in the group wore sneakers or even dress shoes. The guy in the dress shoes was such a #$%^ and I kept waiting for him to slip, but alas, even he was safe!

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