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Hats in an open kitchen


andrewB
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was wondering if anyone out there is working in an open kitchen and how is the idea of wearing hats treated. i believe there is a law in the states about it but i haven't worked there for some time...

I was asked today to wear one and refused, but not sure why really. i do make all my cooks wear one but don't feel i should be wearing one...

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated...

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Wear a hat. It keeps your hair from falling in the food. Just because you're the boss does not make you immune from getting you hair places. It's the law in New york but I'm not sure where else. Get over looking likea dink, and just do it.

I worked in an open kitchen and there was no question about it at all. Though of course nobody likes them.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Agreed. You should wear a hat. Possible exception if you're Kojak-bald. Otherwise, wear a hat or a do-rag. Heck, if you've got an open kitchen and you're the CHEF, you should be setting the example, not becoming the exception.

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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Agreed.  You should wear a hat.  Possible exception if you're Kojak-bald.  Otherwise, wear a hat or a  do-rag.  Heck, if you've got an open kitchen and you're the CHEF, you should be setting the example, not becoming the exception.

Agreed. The line cooks have enough resentments and issues without you actually creating more of a divide. By example is the ONLY way to lead; if one can't take over somebody's station during service and work it harder, faster, and cleaner than they do, one has absolutely no business calling oneself a chef.

Personally I think floppy toques are okay, ball caps are not nearly effective enough, and hair nets are for hospital cafeterias. Do-rags are prolly the best at keeping hair contained and absorbing sweat. Plus they help your crew to look like scary hardasses, which is always a plus.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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You should wear a hat.

But what is interesting to me is why you think you should not have to. If you make your cooks wear them, then presumably you know why they should (containing hair). Why do you think you should be exempt?

Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

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most chefs don't wear hats.

most chefs make their cooks wear hats.

that's just the way it is.

it is regulated by the health department, that's why people who don't normally wear hats (the chefs) are running around with a silly paper hat on when the health inspector comes to town.

sure, ideally it would be great if the chef would wear a hat...but the likelihood of that happening is very small.

if you're the chef, wear a hat...make a statement.

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most chefs don't wear hats.

most chefs make their cooks wear hats.

that's just the way it is.

it is regulated by the health department, that's why people who don't normally wear hats (the chefs) are running around with a silly paper hat on when the health inspector comes to town.

sure, ideally it would be great if the chef would wear a hat...but the likelihood of that happening is very small.

That's been my experience as well. Dishwashers start off with silly paper hats, line cooks et al get fancier hats like toques/coffee filters, etc., then the exec chef (and often whoever is directly below them) wears no hat, except during the time you mention.

The more demeaning places require hair nets and/or baseball caps. And I guess the worst would require the indignity of beard nets (never worked at such a place).

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My gals and guys are required to wear the little "bakers" caps. I also wear one, but will wear a bo'sox or patriots hat, or even my fave cowboy hat - cause I can. But I still wear a hat the same. Any one refuse and they are out the door immediately(actually, refusing anything will get one there)

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at the culinary school where i teach, they have to wear beard nets...it is so ridiculous i wonder why people don't just shave. there are a lot of restaurants that don't really want you to have facial hair. it has gotten more lenient in recent years (what with the frowning upon of "screamer" chefs), but that's one preference i wish they'd keep. somehow facial hair just looks dirty regardless of how it is groomed.

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at the culinary school where i teach, they have to wear beard nets...it is so ridiculous i wonder why people don't just shave.  there are a lot of restaurants that don't really want you to have facial hair.  it has gotten more lenient in recent years (what with the frowning upon of "screamer" chefs), but that's one preference i wish they'd keep.  somehow facial hair just looks dirty regardless of how it is groomed.

That's interesting. Beard nets for ANY facial hair or just long beards? They going to make guys shave their arms as well? While we're at it, how about eyebrows?

Most kitchens I've worked in I've avoided having to wear any hat at all since I shave my head, I do however have a bit of a beard, but I trim/shave everyday (to keep from looking dirty... plus it's the only way my chef would ever let me keep facial hair).

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If you go to Costco, it's beard-moustache net-city there! They'll probably introduce the eyebrow-arm hair nets next, followed by the ear hair and nose hair nets...... :laugh:

I don't wear a hat because it makes my head itch and my head hot. I tie my hair up in a scarf. I have too much hair to tuck up in a hat or a toque anyway.

Regarding beards and such.......I have an interesting observation about that.

My first husband had a beard. My current husband has a beard......almost all men I have dated in the past had a beard. Ok, yeah, I have a thing about beards!!! Love them! So I have a lot of experience with beards, although I myself, have never had one. :raz:

I have seen my hairs on the kitchen counter at home every once in a while....I've seen a few strands of my husband's also. Not to mention a lot of cat hair. But I've NEVER ONCE seen a stray beard hair. EVER. The only time I see beard-mustache hairs is when they are in the bathroom sink after my husband has finished trimming. I really don't think facial hair falls out the same way head hair does.

Am I wrong? I've never seen any beard hairs laying around from ANY husband/boyfriend I've ever had. Guys, do beard hairs fall out like head hair and I just don't see it? I never see it.

Personally, when I'm a customer in a food establishment, I would worry more about the long haired folks with their hair untied than I would be about the guy with the well groomed facial hair.

Regarding the original post, if I made my crew wear headgear then I would also. One of my philosophies of good management is that I never make my crew do something I wouldn't do.

Crews respect not only a manager that will get in the trenches with them, but also follows the rules they lay down. If you make yourself an exception to one of your own rules, you're a hypocrite. :wink:

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If you go to Costco, it's beard-moustache net-city there! They'll probably introduce the eyebrow-arm hair nets next, followed by the ear hair and nose hair nets...... :laugh:

I don't wear a hat because it makes my head itch and my head hot. I tie my hair up in a scarf. I have too much hair to tuck up in a hat or a toque anyway.

Regarding beards and such.......I have an interesting observation about that.

My first husband had a beard. My current husband has a beard......almost all men I have dated in the past had a beard. Ok, yeah, I have a thing about beards!!! Love them! So I have a lot of experience with beards, although I myself, have never had one. :raz:

I have seen my hairs on the kitchen counter at home every once in a while....I've seen a few strands of my husband's also. Not to mention a lot of cat hair. But I've NEVER ONCE seen a stray beard hair. EVER. The only time I see beard-mustache hairs is when they are in the bathroom sink after my husband has finished trimming. I really don't think facial hair falls out the same way head hair does.

Am I wrong? I've never seen any beard hairs laying around from ANY husband/boyfriend I've ever had. Guys, do beard hairs fall out like head hair and I just don't see it? I never see it.

Personally, when I'm a customer in a food establishment, I would worry more about the long haired folks with their hair untied than I would be about the guy with the well groomed facial hair.

Regarding the original post, if I made my crew wear headgear then I would also. One of my philosophies of good management is that I never make my crew do something I wouldn't do.

Crews respect not only a manager that will get in the trenches with them, but also follows the rules they lay down. If you make yourself an exception to one of your own rules, you're a hypocrite. :wink:

I bet you dad had a beard huh?

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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it is not about Ego :cool: but the customer- hats lessen the hair in food syndrome but you have waiters and of course the customer who's own hair can fall on the food or even the next table, hair does move through air.

Whose hair is in the air and floated into my dinner. :blink:

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Mind you, even though the servers handle food, they don't have to restrain their hair at all. WTF is up with that? Nope. Can't agree that going without a hat is a 'perk' of being a "chef", unless you actually want your crew to think you're an effete snob and hate you. The rules apply equally or they don't apply at all.

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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If you go to Costco, it's beard-moustache net-city there! They'll probably introduce the eyebrow-arm hair nets next, followed by the ear hair and nose hair nets...... :laugh:

I don't wear a hat because it makes my head itch and my head hot. I tie my hair up in a scarf. I have too much hair to tuck up in a hat or a toque anyway.

Regarding beards and such.......I have an interesting observation about that.

My first husband had a beard. My current husband has a beard......almost all men I have dated in the past had a beard. Ok, yeah, I have a thing about beards!!! Love them! So I have a lot of experience with beards, although I myself, have never had one. :raz:

I have seen my hairs on the kitchen counter at home every once in a while....I've seen a few strands of my husband's also. Not to mention a lot of cat hair. But I've NEVER ONCE seen a stray beard hair. EVER. The only time I see beard-mustache hairs is when they are in the bathroom sink after my husband has finished trimming. I really don't think facial hair falls out the same way head hair does.

Am I wrong? I've never seen any beard hairs laying around from ANY husband/boyfriend I've ever had. Guys, do beard hairs fall out like head hair and I just don't see it? I never see it.

Personally, when I'm a customer in a food establishment, I would worry more about the long haired folks with their hair untied than I would be about the guy with the well groomed facial hair.

Regarding the original post, if I made my crew wear headgear then I would also. One of my philosophies of good management is that I never make my crew do something I wouldn't do.

Crews respect not only a manager that will get in the trenches with them, but also follows the rules they lay down. If you make yourself an exception to one of your own rules, you're a hypocrite. :wink:

I actually started shaving my head because I dislike the heat... In closed kitchens it's never an issue, no one makes me wear a hat. (not even French chefs)

As for beard hairs falling out, I honestly can't recall ever seeing one. I'll only lose the occassional eyebrow hair...

One rule I think should apply in all professional kitchens though, is that everyone should keep their hair well trimmed and groomed. Nothing worse than seeing a cook who looks like they haven't shaved or taken a shower in a week... I'm all about looking PROFESSIONAL - while I certainly am not the most traditional looking guy, no one has ever told me I looked unprofessional. In several kitchens where I was simply a cook, I'd been mistaken as the chef, because of the way I present and carry myself...

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If your restaurant has an open kitchen, a bit of what's it's about is presentation.

Your choice of headgear (which >is< required by law) allows you to set up a certain sense of style for the restaurant.

I've worked in several such kitchens, most with individual rules as to the type of recommended headgear:

Baseball caps (no class)

Do-rags (fine)

Skull caps (hipper)

Beret (I liked the best)

Toques (very formal)

And we would always keep a case of those silly paper caps around for when the health department shows up. To expect 100% compliance is unrealistic.

As chef/owner you have an opportunity to tweak the way your customers view your opperation and your food. It seems to be a good idea to take advantage of it.

Pick up your phone

Think of a vegetable

Lonely at home

Call any vegetable

And the chances are good

That a vegetable will respond to you

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If your restaurant has an open kitchen, a bit of what's it's about is presentation.

Your choice of headgear (which >is< required by law) allows you to set up a certain sense of style for the restaurant.

I've worked in several such kitchens, most with individual rules as to the type of recommended headgear:

Baseball caps (no class)

Do-rags (fine)

Skull caps (hipper)

Beret (I liked the best)

Toques (very formal)

And we would always keep a case of those silly paper caps around for when the health department shows up. To expect 100% compliance is unrealistic.

As chef/owner you have an opportunity to tweak the way your customers view your opperation and your food.  It seems to be a good idea to take advantage of it.

I think this would be the point for my topic. An open kitchen is about a sort of presentation to the clients. What would you think if you came into a upscale restaurant with an open kitchen and saw the chef walking around with a do rag on his head or a baseball hat flipped backwards? to me, and maybe only because of my professional background, this just has a bad flavor to it. I have never worked under a chef who wore a hat and there was no animosity or resentment for that. it just was how it was. Nobody wanted to see him go out in the dining room and greet the guests rocking his detroit tigers (sorry had to throw that one in there) hat backwards....

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A noted chef around here (who worked at The French Laundry) did a cooking demonstration wearing a baseball cap.

I think getting hung-up about hats/no-hats is silly. And, you know, the exec chef can do whatever the f he wants!  :raz:

i feel the same way!! unfortunately the company policy doesn't see it as such...

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Well, how much cooking does the executive chef do? If you are sweating it out on the line with your crew, then do it, wear a little bakers cap (my favorite) but if you're in the office all day- or if you just point and yell...just make sure you know when the health inspector is in town!

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Open knit Kangol caps are comfortable. Washable, too.

Baseball caps for the cooks, with a golf cap for the chef d'chefs makes a subtle class distinction. Don't wear a hat from a country-club your customers can't afford.

Berets or bogues are too hot.

Straw hats -- whether cowboy or stingy brim are comfortable -- but get dirty and can't be washed.

Toques are dated, skull caps not here yet. The look screams "professional chef." But if you're any good, why are you screaming? Whom are you kidding? We aren't european. Not one of us is located closer to Paris than Cleveland.

Do-rags are piratical. Very Disney. For the gentlemen, one earring only. Not each, but to be shared as the Graia shared their eye.

For a gentleman to wear his baseball cap with the bill to the rear or side is a loss of 20 IQ points. If the idea appeals, you've proven you can't afford it.

For a woman to have her hair pulled back through the back of a baseball cap is tres fetching. Professional, yet there are those wispy tendrils on the back of her neck. But I digress.

Beard nets are ridiculous. Beards are not cats. They do not shed. Neither do they sharpen their claws on the furniture. Brava Chefpeon!

Rich

Edited by boar_d_laze (log)
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