Recently, I was asked, “What’s up with the checked chef pants?” Well, those weren’t the exact words, but they evoke the general sentiment.
I discerned a basic sense of why the houndstooth motif ornaments kitchens everywhere because I’ve spilled enough berry juice and chocolate sauce on myself to know that the mess is cunningly camouflaged. Still, I promptly investigated the question further.
I unearthed a pamphlet called, “Professionalism, Uniform and Hygiene Policy,” given to all students upon entry to the culinary school. While a three-page explanation was given for the tall, white, (and let’s admit it, slightly absurd and mildly dysfunctional) “toque,” a paragraph was dedicated to “The Chef’s Pants.” Indeed, the checked pattern was chosen to disguise spills…although, I’ve also heard tell that houndstooth was the cheapest and least desirable fabric…To continue with our investigation, let’s presume that it was the cheapest and least desirable fabric with the multifunctional ability to hide stains…
The mystery does not end here. In fact, we have discovered a paradox. The white chef coat claims a completely contrary purpose to the pants, which is that the coat is designed to demonstrate impeccable cleanliness.
Having worked in a couple kitchens, I have no difficulty believing that chefs are intrinsically dirty from the waists down. Kitchens are lecherous places, what with the people there being more parts pirate than professional.
To conclude: The pants fit.