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Hats in an open kitchen


andrewB
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i sweat it out on the line 6 days a week, 15 hours a day! I think if there were any resentment about me not wearing a hat, that can get over it pretty damn quickly... There becomes a sub issue to this 'sanitary' topic which becomes the over all appearence of the staff, kitchen, etc. kitchen for sure has to be spotless and the cooks well presented (no piercings or facial hair for my cooks). The reason i have them wear their beanies if more for the appearence it gives to the customers, the uniformity AND cleanliness of it. I'm not sure if customers expect to see the exec wearing a hat. anybody?

And to boot, the only hair which has been found in my food in the last year was as long as my forearm, coming from none of my cooks. As i was starring at the top of a backwaiter's head this afternoon reaching under me for a plate as i was plating, i know now how it got there.

i think i am settled on this issue and my thoughts of shaving my head are done. I will continue to not wear a hat dispite company policy. what are they gonna do anyway, fire me???? :laugh:

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Just as a note, all hair falls out. No matter where on the body it is located. Now the rate that it falls out differs given the body part. Beard hair tends to stay in place longer since the hair is coarser than the top of the head. There's also more subcutaneous tissue for deeper roots. On the head, less tissue means faster fallout. Beard hair also grows faster, so it remains thicker looking longer.

Unless you never step foot in the kitchen, I have a problem with people leaning over my food with no cover on the head. Even if bald. Anyone remember the schweaty guy from Hell's Kitchen season 2? Beards, eh. I have one. I know the likelyhood of a fly getting into my food is higher than a beard hair.

Cover it up. The rules are there for everyone, you are not an exception.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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i think i am settled on this issue and my thoughts of shaving my head are done. I will continue to not wear a hat dispite company policy. what are they gonna do anyway, fire me????  :laugh:

I hate to tell you Andrew but no one is irreplaceable. I'm not a chef and don't work in the food industry as such so I can't give an opinion on the topic at hand but I do know that no one's job is secure no matter how invaluable they feel or think they are to a company.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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By all means some kind of head covering. But what is this total aversion to an occasional stray hair? This is food made by humans for humans. Humans have hair. If not less as you get older. Does anyone know if there has been any deaths attributed to a stray hear?

I think hand washing and personal hygiene is the real issue. I have been in restaurant toilets on more than one occasion when a uniformed employee comes out of a stall, dampens his hands and runs out. Then I can imagine him preparing my food with his bear hands. His hands that came directly from -- you know where -- to my food. People sicken and sometimes die from this.

So, Chef wear a hat, but more importantly make absolutely sure that you and your people wash there hands – really wash their hands.

Comments anyone.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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By all means some kind of head covering. But what is this total aversion to an occasional stray hair? This is food made by humans for humans. Humans have hair. If not less as you get older. Does anyone know if there has been any deaths attributed to a stray hear?

I think hand washing and personal hygiene is the real issue. I have been in restaurant toilets on more than one occasion when a uniformed employee comes out of a stall, dampens his hands and runs out. Then I can imagine him preparing my food with his bear hands. His hands that came directly from -- you know where -- to my food. People sicken and sometimes die from this.

So, Chef wear a hat, but more importantly make absolutely sure that you and your people wash there hands – really wash their hands.

Wow, I think you really hit the reality nail on the head, jmahl!!!

It just goes to show you that people are more affected by what they can detect in their food, vs. what they can't. You can't taste an e coli, but it sure squicks somebody out when they have to pull human dental floss from between their teeth! But, as jmahl says, "which is worse?" I'm sure a food establishment would much rather comp a meal to a customer about a hair complaint rather than to suffer the damage of a lethal food lawsuit......

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I always get a bit jittery when I see Giorgio Locatelli cooking on the food channel here. He has a lot of stray hair flapping around. But I am not sure what sort of hat he could wear :smile:

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

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The floggings will continue until morale improves

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By all means some kind of head covering.  But what is this total aversion to an occasional stray hair?  This is food made by humans for humans.  Humans have hair.  If not less as you get older.  Does anyone know if there has been any deaths attributed to a stray hear? 

I think hand washing and personal hygiene is the real issue.  I have been in restaurant toilets on more than one occasion when a uniformed employee comes out of a stall, dampens his hands and runs out.  Then I can imagine him preparing my food with his bear hands.  His hands that came directly from -- you know where -- to my food.  People sicken and sometimes die from this. 

So, Chef wear a hat, but more importantly make absolutely sure that you and your people wash there hands – really wash their hands. 

Comments anyone.

Jmahl

I agree completely:

I'm more comfortable seeing someone in the kitchen wearing a racoon cap than I am seeing them use their bear hands!

:laugh:

Edited by aliaseater (log)

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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  • 2 months later...

I wear whatever - I have to were something becasue I sweat like a waterfall. In school I wore a toque and a womens hairdo white band so I did not go through the coffee filter hats everyday. At the club - the paper toques don't last long. I typically will go through 2-3 every 3 hours depending on my station. If you are in a people area Toques have to be worn - in the back hats with the company logo were the thing. The Exec Chef and Sous chefs did not wear hats - and we had a couple line guys that wouldn't - still - I have more of a chance of my arm hairs falling in the food then my head

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Hey Andrew, as you've stated, everyone has to wear a hat, and you are looking for any angle not to waer one, so its more of a ego power play than anything else. just wear one and act like it was your idea.

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After having a couple of those paper hats actually catch on fire (I think one was arson but can't prove it) I won't make my cooks wear them. Honestly, I'm pretty lenient about head gear, except there has to be some variety of it. I also don't care about facial hair as long as it's groomed. This business can suck in so many ways, but one of the good things is that you can be a good team player AND have your own strong personality. I don't want a bunch of homogenized robot soldiers.

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After having a couple of those paper hats actually catch on fire (I think one was arson but can't prove it) I won't make my cooks wear them.

Many years ago I worked in a large resort hotel. The culinary staff was known as the biggest practical jokers in the hotel. Also amongst the craziest and most drug addled. The chef did make them wear those tall paper hats. Us beverage department guys were mostly just always drunk and often the sworn enemies of the cooks. Or big way to get back at them was to have one guy engage in conversation with a cook the other guy would sneak up behind the cook with a lit match and light the hat on fire. Or course hilarity would ensue.

Just thinking about it brings a smile to this old guy.

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I always wear a hat in the kitchen.

If I have the time, I step out of the kitchen to allow customers to see me in my hat.

If I handle any food related item in the dining room, I also don food handler gloves.

I do this to put the customers mind at ease.

As a diner myself, I cringe at the thought of a hairy ape-like being cooking and/or handling my food hatless and gloveless.

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In Atlanta is a rarity to see any Exec. Chefs wearing any type of headgear. I have worked in about 10 different places here and it just not done. I think it is seen as a right of passage type thing- You have made it this far so you no longer have to peel shallots, break down and clean after service or wear a hat.

I personally don't have a problem with it because most of the chefs have little to no contact with the raw food and just work the pass checking the plates for smudges, errors or hairs. I'm not saying no chefs cook, but here its mostly line dawgs producing the food. The servers and mangers working the other side of the pass have just as good a chance of losing a hair and it landing on the plate as the chef does yet no one looks at them.

I shave my head because I have little choice yet I have had people eyeballing me for the found hair when that simply is impossible.

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The bottom line is customer satisfaction and getting them to come back.

I understand the "rite of passage" but 1 stringy hair cooked into the mashed potatoes will cause a lot of damage to yours andyour restaurant's rep.

When we are not real busy, I put on a fresh apron and go into the dining room to greet the diners. I inquire as to the quality of their meal and thank them for patronizing my establishment. I want them to see that their chef has on a head covering.

I do not allow any facial hair either.

Its all psych but it will help to bring them back.

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My curent chef allows hair up to 3/4 inch long to go uncovered. I don't get it; follicles still slip and fail; the only difference is that a hair that falls into the food is less likely to be discovered. Of course, when I found that out, I immediately put a #3 guard on my hair clippers and went to town on my scalp. But I still wrap a bandanna around my oversized melon most nights because I don't want sweat running into my eyes (or the food).

I'd quit a job before I'd wear a paper toque. They do nothing but look retarded.

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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