Competitive Cooking Brings New Fashion To Culinary Uniforms

June 20 2012 – Robert Fiumara

In recent years, there has been a rising popularity in reality television shows, skill based competition shows, and cooking shows. Cooking shows in particular have taken a gigantic leap with the advent of competitive cooking shows like Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Sweet Genius. Stations like The Food Network have risen quickly to the top of the charts. These are not the cooking shows from our childhood. Julia Child may have helped home cooks everywhere experience The Joy of French Cooking, but professional chefs like Iron Chef Michael Simon, Iron Chef Bobby Flay, and master cake artist Ron-Ben Israel take it to a whole other level.

It’s not just their cooking that has an innovative and challenging spin, but their unique culinary apparel marks them as more than your average chefs. Most often when we think of a traditional chef’s uniform, we see black pants, a white jacket with a double row of buttons and big white puffy hat, also known as a toque. The contemporary culinary uniform still stays, for the most part, true to this style. Designers do play with elements to add comfort and a more modern style, like short sleeves, alternative trim colors, and collar designs for cooking jackets. A lot of ingenuity is being used to improve the comfort of professional chefs. Underarm air vents are added to chef jackets, terrycloth bands are added to the waists of chef pants; all to improve the comfort of busy chefs and their kitchen and wait staff.

While not every kitchen can afford custom designed chef uniforms from famed designer, Mark Ecko (The man who individually redesigned the chef jackets for all of the Iron Chefs), there are a plethora of companies specializing in contemporary designs for chef uniforms. It is now possible to find working professional chefs in culinary uniforms that look like they have been custom made. Getting a sleek and polished design at an affordable price is no longer an impossible task.

Bragard is putting out some truly innovative and cost effective designs for chef jackets and pants. They are affordable, comfortable and can work for any professional kitchen or catering event. If you’re trying to dress your servers, their chef pants and safety shoes are both comfortable and professional looking.

The same can be said for other companies like Chef Works, Chefwear and Culinary Classic. They are all bringing the traditional restaurant uniforms into the new age with contemporary designs that still pay homage to that classic French aesthetic. Interest in food is on the rise. Its preparation has become its own spectator sport. So the fact that there has been an upswing in flashy designs is no surprise. As the old saying goes, Art imitates life. This time it’s the culinary arts.

If you’re looking for some stylish chef wear of your own, check out our collection at Fiumara Apparel!

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