November 8th, 2017
Do we need to develop an interest in clothes if we have a solitary job? I walked in four chef’s kitchens to see how they work and what kind of working clothes they choose to wear.
Seven years ago, Alexandru never thought he would become a chef. He stepped in a hotel kitchen for the first time, washing dishes as a substitute for a friend.“ When we were preparing breakfast, that kitchen would look like a mythical giant, set in motion by us at five o’clock in the morning. I still remember the smell of that entire space, a smell of a freshly baked croissants and bacon, hot from the oven.”
Alexandru was drawn to kitchens ever since.
“I was fascinated by the way people worked together in the kitchen, as a team, and I also enjoyed their brand of humor, delivered in the rhythm of a ping pong game.”
Throughout all these years, his working days have been between 14 and 16 hours long, and they have a simple rule: “Do not stop, do not linger. There’s always something to be done in a restaurant. My hands are always on the move. I have scars and signs of battle with hot pans and tons of peeled vegetables. I noticed over time that my hands were not as tidy as the hands of people the same age, with a job in a bank for example.”
Do we need to develop an interest in clothes if we have a solitary job?
Every morning before he starts to cook, Alexandru looks in the mirror and buttons up the blouse he’s going to wear in the kitchen. It’s a process that takes a few minutes, so he can feel connected with his working outfit.
Alexandru says he only buys his clothes from specialty stores, many of them based in the US.
“I don’t skimp when it comes to the clothes I work in. I spend 12-15 hours a day in those clothes, so I invest as much as I think is needed for me to feel comfortable.”
I asked him if the verb to wear has any special meaning for him. He said it meant the start of the day, the moment he puts on his pants, his tunic and his shoes. He feels that wearing a uniform is important, because it makes you feel cosy and leaves you free to move.