Nugget of Knowledge: Chef’s hat

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Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – There are two things you might not know about a chef’s hat, those large, pleated white caps that are part of the uniform. The correct name is a chef’s toque, the French word for “hat.”

The history on the chef’s hat is not entirely clear. Chefs may have been wearing these hats since the 16th century. The initial reason was to keep hair out of the food.

In the 1800’s in France, the chief chef for the prime minister decided that chefs deserved a specific uniform and white meant cleanliness in the kitchen.

The hats usually have exactly 100 folds. According to the website Bon Appetite, the number of folds represents the number of ways you can prepare an egg.

Having a hat with 100 pleats meant you really knew your way around eggs and that you were a master chef.

Toques aren’t always the standard hat anymore, but they still represent a devotion to the craft of cooking. Both their folds and their height represent a long tradition of mastering the art.

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