Pattern for Chef Jackets
Dressed to cook – The Chef Jacket – more than just a uniform for the kitchen. In the meantime, it has also become the signature for star chefs with a sense of fashion. In this article you will learn many interesting facts about the chef’s work jacket. We also give you a little insight into the pattern technique for chef’s jackets.
Workwear Chef Jacket
The profession of cook has been undergoing a change for years. Times have changed and the rulers of the stove like to present themselves in the first line – at TV cooking shows, public show cooking in star restaurants or at receptions and cooking events. But no matter whether prominent or simply good in their own field: the question of the right workwear is playing an increasingly important role. Of course, on the one hand the chef’s jacket should always meet functional requirements, but on the other hand it can and should also be fashionable. Cooks are often individualists and that is where the details count…
Instructions for the pattern construction of four different chef jackets
So if you want to be successful as a chef in the media age, you should also look good. Star chef Johann Lafer has long recognized this. Through cooking shows in german TV he became known to the general public. The native Styrian (Austrian) looks back on a culinary career of more than 40 years. Already in his childhood, he learned to appreciate nature’s products on his parents’ farm and to process them carefully. The master of his trade proves this not only in numerous TV series, books and magazines, but also in his restaurant Val d’Or at the Stromburg. Lafer enjoys his job – and wants to look good while doing it. In the meantime, he has accumulated a number of chef’s jackets in his wardrobe: he owns over 100 of them in total, and they include everything from classic white to coloured, single-breasted and double-breasted. He collects them a bit like trophies, because they remind him of earlier stages of his cooking life. “I value good design. My jackets should be stylish and modern. I love high-quality, light material and now I wear darker fabrics more often because they are chic and also less sensitive,” reveals the TV chef.
For decades chef’s jackets always looked the same. Lafer used to wear classic jackets: white, undecorated and easy to wash. “In the meantime, I have a say in the matter and am in the happy position that a collection of chef’s jackets is currently being created by the head designer of the van Laack company. She has designed and developed the models according to my ideas,” Lafer proudly reports. He likes details like fine piping and elegant cuts. His chef’s jacket should also make an elegant impression. A chic button facing completes everything.
“The chef’s jacket is also a statement and has an identity-forming effect on my employees,” he reports. The details must be right if the jackets are to prove themselves in everyday life. “The cotton needs a certain strength so that it remains stable and does not need to be strengthened as it used to be,” he continues. Although they are subjected to extreme wear, the jackets must be comfortable to wear. So the fabric should be fine enough to be comfortable on bare skin, but at the same time easy-care and washable at 90 degrees, says Lafer. For him, short cut stand-up collars close the jacket straight down to the neck. And by the way: there are small holes under the armpits of his work jackets so that the air can circulate there. “Since a working day is long, one should feel comfortable in it all day.”
The practical Functions of the Chef Jacket
In the past, you could read the hierarchy from the button bars:
- Apprentices wore white buttons and skilled workers black buttons.
- Chefs with blue buttons often worked in the “cold kitchen«
- Those with red buttons were mostly responsible for the preparation of all kinds of pan dishes (“Saucier” oder der”Rotisseur”)
- People with green buttons on their jackets were so-called “entremetiers” (“side cooks”).
Nowadays, the button colour rarely indicates the hierarchy and distribution of tasks in the kitchen.
Nevertheless the buttons have advantages. Lafer loves the removable ones because they can be decorated with the logo or name of a restaurant and – depending on where they are used – they can be replaced quickly. In addition, the jackets can then be rotated more easily through the mangle during cleaning with the buttons removed.
The typical two-rowed cut of a chef’s jacket is also more than just a fashionable trend. The practical sense behind it:
If the front part is dirty, you can button the chef’s jacket and wear the clean one on the dirty side. This way the cook is always dressed perfectly and hygienically. Jackets that can be turned completely, for example from grey to white, are also practical. When things get hot in the kitchen, long sleeves are important. They protect against occupational hazards such as burns from hot vapours or splashes.
4 Facts about the Chef Jacket
- It cools – heavy cotton protects against heat in the kitchen.
- It protects – long sleeves protect against burns over the stove or oven.
- It connects – it creates identity and is a trademark
- It is easy-care – washable at 90 degrees
Pattern Construction for Chef Jackets
The pattern for the Chef Jacket is somewhat simplified due to the processing and the loose fit, so the bust dart is eliminated and the side part is placed right next to the front part. At the same time, other criteria are important for use as work clothes: the jacket has a wider fit so that it does not stick to the body during sweaty work and the sleeve is much flatter to allow good movement.
In the E-Dossier Pattern Making Chef Jackets you will find detailed instructions for the cut construction of cooking jackets for men.
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