to toque or not to toque?


a chef is a man/woman of many hats.  drill sergeant, caregiver, teacher, adversary, and most of all cook.  an interesting question was being talked about yesterday on the social media.  are baseball caps acceptable for chefs to wear?  and the response, interesting.  first off, let me give my answer.  i can wear whatever the fuck i want, and it does not change the character of my food.  and. i am never wearing a neckerchief again in my life.  my craft is about transforming or interpreting natural ingredients into something edible, and hopefully ahmazing. so the abstract of my answer: if you don't want to eat my food because of the cover on my head, good day, and i wish you all the best. it is a shallow notion.

but. my business is not like other cooking businesses.  i have no boss, no clients to constantly entertain.  i cook food for people who appreciate my effort, passion, and skill. people who eat at resturants, want to see something that makes them feel better about spending their hard earned dollar. understood. a chef wearing a toque has an air of fancy, and it is comforting to know that the person with the tall hat made something special for each and every guests.

so.  i understand.  it makes people feel better, and i accept that.  but there are plenty of men/women wearing the paper or cloth toque with no interest in your happiness or enjoyment.  they just want to get to the otherside of the shift, and get wasted.

antonine careme invented the toque out of necessity.

ask the next touqued chef is they know of antonine careme. he has shaped the way the western world has cooked and eaten for 200 years.

because it matters.