Best Choice for a Chefs Hat

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Being a chef has been a career for over 2000 years, techniques from preparing dishes to proper etiquette for uniforms have a historical tradition in the kitchen and have varied over the centuries. The chef's headgear or hat is a unique part of the uniform that is easily recognized.

In seventh century A.D., Assyrian kings feared being poisoned by a resentful chef. In order to appease the chefs, hats similar to a king's crown without the jewels, were ordered to elevate the importance of the role of the chef. The kings hoped this would eliminate the chefs desire to poison his food.

At this same time, many persecuted chefs sought refuge in the Greek Orthodox Church, because the studying of recipes was considered an intellectual endeavor. The chefs began dressing like monks to blend in at a distance. The chefs eventually modified the robes and hats to white because they did not wish to offend God by imitating the monks.

An early urban legend is that King Henry VIII, while closely inspecting his soup, located a hair. Legend tells that the king became very upset with the chef and requested him beheaded. To prevent further beheadings, the next chef chose to wear a hat.

In the 17th century, chefs took refuge from accusations of witchcraft in Catholic cathedrals. In order to resemble the Catholic clergy, the chefs would don a tall white hat. It is believed that the chefs were often burned at the stake for preparing food in an unusual manner for that time.

Marie-Antoine Carme worked as a chef in France in the 1800's. He designed a white chef's uniform to denote sanitary conditions in the kitchen. He decided the height of the hat should signify the staff's ranking.

A pleat in the hat could represent a recipe or technique the chef had successfully accomplished. A chef with a lot of pleats was considered very talented. The pleats in a hat still signify the level of experience a chef has today.

While some chefs choose a paper rendering of the traditional hat, other chefs adopt less formal headgear. The traditional hat still denotes authority and knowledge in the culinary arts. Often the traditional hat, called a toques blanche, is reserved for the chef in charge.

The Food Industry Ladies Coverall Hat receives high marks for sanitary applications, as the elastic band holds hair well and the hat is disposable. For those interested in a traditional chefs hat, but desiring a disposable hat for cleanliness, the Paper Chefs Tall Hat meets the requirements at a reasonable price. Chefs with a preference for style will find the Food Industry White Trilby Hat an economical option.

A number of options for chef hats are available: http://www.british-chefs.co.uk/acatalog/Chefs_Hats.html

€ The Straw Boater with Hat Band - **

Priced right at 14.85 each, this is a sturdy hat made flat straw. The band is available in red or green and is reminiscent of the hats worn by 1940's jazz bands.

€ Chefs Kerchief Black Satin Cotton - **

The hat is priced at 4.44 each. It is constructed of 100% satin cotton and is available only in black. Many gangs wear similar style kerchiefs.

€ Food Industry Ladies Coverall Hat - ****

This disposable hat is priced at 1.31 each. The white hat is constructed with a thin elastic band around the face to hold hair.

€ Food Industry Skull Cap Black and White Stripe - **

Priced at 3.42, this cap is 100% pre-shrunk cotton. The cap resembles a traditional cap worn by prisoners. It is available in sizes small, medium and large.

€ Food Industry White Trilby Hat - ****

Reasonably priced at 6.00, this stylish white hat resembles the hat worn by gentlemen. It is made of 100% polyester with Teflon and is available in sizes, small, medium and large.

€ Kitchen Chefs Check Unisex Hat - ***

This hat is available in solid colors and checks at the price of 3.30 each.

€ Paper Chefs Tall Hat - ****

This white paper hat is priced at 8.66 per pack of 10. This unisex hat is traditional in style and disposable.
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