Hat Lore

The Hundred-Pleater

Chef's hat,
1960 1987
Loan courtesy of Mr. Marcel Kretz
From as far back as the time of the ancient Assyrians, the person in charge of a kitchen has worn a special hat. It is said that the pleats in a chef's hat — of which there should be 100 — denote the number of ways in which a master chef could prepare eggs, since eggs were regarded by the ancient Persians, Greeks and Romans as symbolic of the universe and hence as a special food. Today, egg dishes are an essential part of French cuisine.

Its towering height, whiteness and stiffness give the chef's hat an air of authority, even in the paper version often seen today.

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