Reporter's Notebook

Beyond chef whites

Restaurant uniforms get a color splash and even an NRA runway show

Chef whites are giving way to an entire Crayola box of colors for restaurants' kitchen and front-of-house uniforms.

The whites and occasional blacks and grays are giving way to such colors as berry, blue, lime, orange and red, according to uniform vendors at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.

And one company was even entertained the show crowds with a hip runway fashion show had had such culinary notables as Russell Skall, corporate executive chef for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, walking the catwalk to a pulsing pop-music beat.

Whites, grays and blacks have been staples in kitchen clothing, but in the past three years color has made a splash, said Ursala Cohen, acting marketing director for Chef Works Inc. of Poway, Calif.

“Celebrity chefs really started it,” Cohen said. “Obviously they are their own brands and color helps with that. It’s not just black and white anymore.”

And for the male celebrity chefs, Cohen added: ““It takes a real man to wear pink.”

But for safety’s sake, let’s call it “berry.”

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Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.


Lisa Jennings

Follow @livetodineout From the Los Angeles office, Lisa Jennings covers companies based in the West, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska and...

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Ron Ruggless covers the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Nation's Restaurant News in 1992 after working 10 years in...
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