Back centuries ago, chef hats were only exclusively worn by individuals who managed to graduate from a Culinary School. The most commonly seen chef hat, also known as the Chef Toque, was utilised as a visual acknowledgement of the various culinary achievements attained. During this time, the number of pleats in the hats correlated with the number of techniques mastered by the chef donning it. The number of pleats present on one hat could go up to 100!
However in the fast-paced environment we live in today, this concept is now loosely utilised due to the fact that chefs are always learning and do not always have the resources or time to constantly tweak their Toques. Following the decreasing use of Chef Toques, different styles and designs of Chef Hats have soon been introduced!
Many drifted towards the importance of hygiene when it comes to Chefs Hats. Chefs’ hair length can vary from long to short, so much so that if it’s left without a cap, it can get in the way, or most importantly, can also act as a fire hazard.
With all this said, let’s go through the common types of Chef’s Hats and as well as the 3 important points to look out for while picking out the ideal one for you!
Choice of Hat
1. Chef Toque
This is the most typical hat that comes to mind when it comes to Chef Hats. This style is frequently used in Culinary School training. It is typically made of a firmer material to maintain its unique shape.
Shop Chef Toque here
Chef Beanies are typically the most traditional type since they can be worn by other Chefs besides the Head Chef. Unlike other hats that are limited to only white or black in colour, beanies allow other striking colours to better match the uniform. They are fitted closely on the head with the help of an elastic.
Shop Chef Chef Beanie here
3. Skull Cap/ Headwrap
Similarly to chef beanie, skull caps comes in various colours. Unlike Chef Beanies however, these caps are uniformly /consistently/symmetrically shaped. They are commonly seen and used in bakeries and food production units.
Shop Chef Headwrap here
3. Baseball caps
Though caps are not as traditional as the rest, this design can also act as a visor for those shops that are based outdoors! They’re commonly used in fast-food chains for a more casual touch.
Shop Baseball Cap here
Chef Bandanas are very versatile. Since this simple piece of cloth is excellent at absorbing sweat, it can be transformed into a wristband, headscarf, neck scarf, or even a simple headband for the chefs or servers. This style is definitely perfect for those who do not say that they don’t do too much deep frying all.
Shop Chef Bandana here
5. Flat caps
Just like baseball caps, flat caps are towards the urban and modern style. These caps are perfect for creating a more laid back atmosphere.
6. Catering hats/ Food Production
Though this style of hat is not commonly seen on chefs because they’re normally worn by industrial caterers who work in large production kitchens and units. Due to the long working hours, these hats are often made with a lightweight and breathable material, that includes mesh!
Shop Production Cap here
Ventilation on Chef Hats
While looking for your ideal hat, it is always good for you to find one with extra ventilation! This means that there is netting on the Hat's roof for better breathability. This is important since it tends to get hot while Chefs are working around an open fire and helps reduces the risk of overheating!
Shop Ventilated Chef Toque here
Shop Ventilated Baseball Cap here
Disposable or Reusable?
Though a handful of these hats are available in both disposable as well as reusable materials, it is recommended that we stick to the former. Despite not being environmentally friendly, there are still a number of restaurants that continuously opt for disposables due to hygienic reasons. Other than being environmentally friendly, reusables are a much better option because they are yours easy to take care of. The chef hats can add on an embroidery of your name for that extra personalised touch or company's branding!
Shop Disposable Chef Toque here