I’ve never stopped to think about it, but I guess chefs hats—properly known as toques—are pretty silly. However I’ve never had to wear one. Not so the case with food blogger and chef Barbara Fisher, of the blog Tigers & Strawberries, who has worn a toque and hates them.
You know, I am going to own up to something right here and right now: I utterly loathe and despise the toque, which is the proper name of the classic chef’s hat. Whether it is tall and straight sided with a bazillion pleats which mythically refer to the number of ways a proper chef knows how to prepare eggs, or the balloon-like mushroom cloud version, or especially if it is the idiotic floppy deflated-balloon version, I bloody well hate them all.
The post is a rant, no doubt about it (she calls the toque the “dumbest looking headgear known to humankind”), but as with all of her writing, Barbara’s got the chops to back it up (remember her award-winning post from 2005 “Meat Comes From Animals: Deal with It, or Eat Vegetables”?).
And the origins of the toque might surprise you. Did you know it is thought to descend from the tall mitre headdress worn by Greek Orthodox priests? (Think pope hat.)
Yeah, but I bet those priests took off their hats before they tried to whip up dinner.